Saturday, May 28, 2022

Alabama Bass- For the Record


Updated Feb 2024

As I am home reflecting from another fishing outing this past week at Lake Caroline, I once again came away so thankful for the opportunity to enjoy the vastness and variety of fishing in this great state.

Every time I go to a lake, I am submerged with beauty, challenge, risk, and reflection. The sights, sounds, smells. and adventure never gets old.

I keep journals of my experiences- water temp, conditions, techniques, pictures and each time I open my journals, I get to relive these fun moments I have had at so many different places.

I have a blog post on personal records.... but I thought I might spend this post reflecting on some of my favorite Lakes- and some thoughts on each one.

Just about an hour drive from my house, Logan Martin is likely my choice of public waters. It sets up to my style of fishing which is more geared to Alabama spotted bass rather than largemouth. Logan gets a LOT of pressure, but it is a great offshore fishery, so it rarely feels crowded. I doubt I would feel that way without electronics.... but with all of the tools today it isn't hard to find the fish- and spots tend to be easier to get a strike that the moody largemouth tend to be.

I think Lake Martin is the most beautiful of all the Alabama lakes. It is vast, deep, clear but has grown on me over the last decade. There is no way a person could explore all of the fishing opportunities there. I like it because it offers the same offshore options that have become some of my go to fishing patterns... but it has miles and miles of docks and lay downs that will never run out. You could run a trolling motor all day and cast docks and lay downs and only hit a grain of sand of shoreline at this place.

Pickwick is that mystical draw that sits just out of reach for an easy drive... but it is always such and enjoyable change of pace for me. It has so many different looking places and it is also there where I get the thrill of catching that mean brownish looking bass species. Pickwick is also where I tend to catch big largemouth bass as well.

It is the closest public water to me with great places to launch. You have to be careful when navigating and the fish can get hard to find at times. It is the one lake that can still zero me out if the conditions aren't right but also has the draw of a BIG bass in the grass.

A deep clear, beautiful lake with a fishery much like Lake Martin. It takes more work to find the pattern there at times, but has ample docks and fishy places to look.

The Lake where I kind of learned the basics of bass fishing while my dad had a little fishing camp there where I fished out of a little johnboat on Cargyle Creek and Inman's Camp. The old pattern was buzzbait, spinnerbait, plastic worm.... and crankbaits were an expensive luxury (does anyone remember that they used to RENT shadraps?)

This is the Lake that I want to learn more about. Been on the water a few times, but feel like I am just stumbling around flipping grass and hoping to get lucky.

No secret- this is my version of Walden Pond- my love of Lake Caroline (private) began on Dec. 26, 2015 when it was totally flooded and has since led to now 31 trips! The access to that amazing property has done more to develop experience than anything else. It has been a gift from the Lord and I don't take for granted that it will always be there. I could probably write a book on all of our stories there for the last 9 years. Henry David Thoreau could not have going to Concord as much as I love making that drive to Louisville.


Personal Best: 12.5 (estimated)
29"long/ and a girth of 19"- huge belly
My Big Fish Story
Dec. 18, 2013 Private Lake in Rockford, AL

I hate that we did not have a scale-we did have a tape measure- the Bass Resource calculator listed it as 15.665

Witness: Coach Steve Renfroe

Lure: green fluke with a tiny weight pegged about 5 inches up.

In the monster's mouth was the fin of a fish that looked as big as the earlier bass I caught. This fish was stuffed to the gill and still eating!

Lake Caroline:

June 1, 2021- Winning Edges Filming

Witness: Carson Miller

Lure: Night blade spinner bait from the dock

See the whole catch on video- exploded on it right at the dock!

Lake Caroline:

May 29, 2021- Winning Edges Filming

Witness: Carson Miller

Lure: Green Pumpkin monster on skip gap head

See the whole catch on video- was a blast! Used thumb drag just like I mentioned in my book.

Shimano, Lake Caroline: 7.03

June 27, 2018- Winning Edges Filming

Witness: BCS Bass Team and Lisa Talmadge, Shimano

Lure: Junebug Red monster on skip gap head

Was skinny, if fat might have been a 10.

Lake Caroline Double:
Lake Caroline, Louisville, AL
June 7, 2017 -  6.37

I caught this and Connor Peterson hung a 6.46 at the same time!

Witness: Melissa and Conner

Lure: Green pumpkin monster on skip gap head


Oct 11, 2016 Lake Caroline, Louisville, AL

Lure: Finesse Black Trick Worm- Drop Shot

Witness: Jack Flemming/ Grayson Morris

We were helping an MLF corporate event and we pulled up right after Kevin Van Dam had left the spot.

Jack and Grayson were trying to get me to hold it up to KVD- I just turned and looked- but the story and been growing since.

This is my Lake Caroline PR


April 13, 2018
Old Steam Plant- Pickwick Lake, Florence, AL

Lure: black flake finesse skip gap shakey head

Witness: Brian Berry/ Jeff Davis

How good is Pickwick? every time I go I catch a 5 lbr!

March 19, 2016
Barge Canal- Pickwick Lake, Florence, AL

Lure: Square Bill

Witness: Austin Luke

This may be my all time favorite fish and I LOVE Pickwick.

We were parallel casting down the barge canal when this beauty tore it up! She got wrapped up around the trolling motor and I almost lost her.

Feb 8, 2024
East Slough, Lake Caroline

Lure: Skip Gap- California

Witness: Jeff Davis (video)

31st trip to Lake Caroline and got it recored on a GoPro and posted to Winnng Edges You Tube


March 26, 2017
Lake Caroline, Louisville, AL
Lure: Whopper Plopper

We were in the very back of a wooded cove where fish were exploding on top water and chasing shad.

A 2 lb bass exploded on my whopper plopper but missed- I could see the fish so I paused and watched it gearing up to strike when this fish came out of no where and blasted it.

Nolen Vinson (who later caught a 12.0 fish) said it was one of his all time favorite bites to watch.


WEIGHT: 4.43
April 14, 2017
Lake Pickwick, Florence, AL
Lure: finesse trick work- shakey head- black/red flake

Felt like a bream tap- must have been on bed- 2 ft of water

Fun time with Jeff Davis


estimated- 5 lbs

I sight fished this beauty- got the male first- came back later for female.

Took about 30 minutes- watched her take a blue/red speckles Ned rig

Had to fight her for 4 or 5 minutes to get her out of the weeds

April 12, 2017- after school


I have come to love Logan Martin as my favorite of the Coosa Lakes...

The Coosa Spotted Bass is as mean as they come and to get this 3 lbr was quite a fight.

Caught it on black shakey head on the infamous Texaco hump.

We caught almost 80 on that day

March 30, 2016


I could load up the page of all Lake Caroline Bass I have caught in the years I have had the privilege to fish there. That lake is LOADED with 3 and 4 lb hard fighting fish.

Lures/ Techniques that have caught bass over 3 lbs at Lake Caroline: Texas Rig, Drop Shot, Ned Rig, KVD Lucky Shad, Square Bill, Jerk Bait, Fish Head Spin, Fluke, Whopper Plopper, Lizard, Football jig, Carolina Rig, scrounger, Pop R, skip gap head, wobble head- etc, etc

Here is the 'double'

It has been an amazing lake to learn on.

Since we have been going, we have caught almost 2,000 bass and taken out 1400 small ones.

This lake will continue to get better and better and I believe it will produce a 14 or 15 lb bass soon.

Who knows.... maybe bigger?

During two trips, I helped pull in TWO 12 lb fish....


Riley Underwood put me on a very nice bag of spots in 2019.

Learned A LOT about Smith that day.


July 28, 2015
Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, AL
Lure: Bull Shad

This isn't a big fish- but you would never know it by the way he charged out of the grass mat I was fishing.

We missed some big ones that morning- but this one was more fun than the misses!



Cargyle Creeek, Lake Mitchell
Clanton, AL
July 28, 2014

This one is special because I got to go back to Lake Michell after fishing it for years. But this time I was armed with a blue/black swim jig and has this beauty explode out of the grass.

Brought back good memories of that place


June 23, 2014
Beeswax Creek, COLUMBIANA, AL

Another good memory because I was just learning to swim a jig in the grass.

This was a white swim jig with a ribbits frog trailer.


April 13, 2018
Pickwick Lake, Florence

This was my first ever smallie- can't wait to get more of them this summer!

Hope I add to this fun report soon... Lord willing....

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