107, Day 1
ROGER STEGALL ON PICKWICK LAKE
NOTE: Few anglers see or ever catch a 7-pound smallmouth bass. However,
in 13 years of guiding and fishing Pickwick Lake, which borders Alabama,
Mississippi and Tennessee, Roger Stegall of Iuka, Mississippi, has caught
more than 50-smallmouth bass weighing more than 7-pounds each. This week
Roger Stegall talks with us about how to fish Pickwick Lake.
Question: Who sponsors you?
Answer: My sponsors include Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, Timex
Sports, Strike King Lure Company, Delco battery chargers, Mossy Oak, All
Star rods, Okuma reels, Stren fishing line, Motor Guide trolling motors
and Mustad hooks.
In what tournaments do you fish?
Answer: I fish in the B.A.S.S. Central Division, the Eastern Invitationals,
the Everstart Central Division, the Forrest L. Woods (FLW) tournament
circuit and other regional and local tournaments.
Question: Roger, where do you catch the bass on
Answer: During the Dog Days of summer -- August and early September,
I consistently catch both largemouth and smallmouth bass on underwater
humps, main-river drop-offs and submerged ditches and canals on Pickwick
Lake. Many fishermen don't catch bass at Pickwick Lake because they remain
shorebound. Sure, in the spring when both the largemouth and the smallmouth
move in to shallow water, you can catch some large fish next to the bank.
But, throughout the rest of the year, the larger bass will hold in the
middle of the lake on underwater humps, ridges and ledges that you only
can locate with a depth finder.
Question: Do you only catch smallmouth bass on
Answer: You can catch both smallmouth and largemouth bass in the
same places on Pickwick Lake. Before I've caught a smallmouth and a largemouth
on the same cast on the same crankbait. Occasionally, one of my clients
will cast to an underwater target and catch a smallmouth, and then, my
other client will cast to the same target and catch a largemouth.
What lures work best in Pickwick Lake?
Answer: My five favorite lures for fishing deep-water structure
* Carolina-rigged lizard. I like to fish with a watermelon-colored lizard
with a chartreuse-colored tail.
* Strike King crankbait. I fish with either a No. 5 or a No. 6 Strike
King crankbait in either the watermelon-shad color or the chartreuse color
with a blue back.
* 3/4-ounce Strike King Premier Elite Spinner Bait. I modify this spinner
bait into a single spin. I use a No. 5 gold blade with a chartreuse-and-white
skirt or a white-shad skirt.
* smoke-colored grub or a white bucktail jig with a 3/16-ounce head.
* 1/2-ounce Premier Elite black-and-blue Strike King jig with a blue-plastic
I fish all these lures, except the crankbait, on 12-pound Stren High-Impact
line. When I fish crankbaits, I fish 10-pound Stren Magnathin line. I
use the lighter, smaller diameter line on crankbaits to sink the baits
deeper in the water and to give the lures more action.
Question: Besides fishing the main lake, where
else do you fish on Pickwick?
Answer: I fish humps on the Pickwick side of the Tenn-Tom Waterway,
where at certain times of the year, the smallmouth and largemouth gather.
These locations also hold a high concentration of white bass during the
Question: In what water depth do you primarily
Answer: I like to find fish in water 10- to 15-feet deep next to
a deeper-water drop-off. These places produce large bass because they
hold plenty of shad on which both the largemouth and the smallmouth bass
feed. I usually fish at least 200 yards from the bank.
How does current affect the smallmouth and the largemouth bass on Pickwick?
Answer: Current determines the number of fish you'll catch on Pickwick
Lake. I try to schedule my guide trips around the time of day that the
dam pulls current through the lake. During the summer months, I often
don't start fishing until 10:00 a.m. Pickwick Dam doesn't pull water for
Alabama Power until mid-morning.
For more information on staying at Pickwick Landing State
Park on Pickwick Lake, contact the Hardin County Convention and Visitor’s
Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (731) 925-8181 or (800) 552-3866,
or visit www.tourhardincounty.org. Pickwick Landing State Park offers
fishing, boating, hiking, camping, swimming and golf. Lodging includes
the lakeside inn with over 100 rooms, cabins that sleep eight and a campground
that contains 48 sites with grill and electric/water hookup at each site.
A restaurant at the park offers delicious southern cuisine. Call (731)
689-3135 or (800) 250-8615 to learn more.
TOMORROW: STRUCTURE PROVIDES GOOD BASS FISHING