FISHING FOR SALTWATER STRIPER AT WEISS LAKE WITH STEVE
What to Expect From a Day at Weiss
NOTE: Steve Pope from Centre, Alabama, guides for crappie from February
through the middle of May. During May through the hot time of the summer,
Pope guides for stripers or bluegills. I've discovered on this striper
trip with Pope at Weiss Lake that you'll have exciting, fun fishing for
stripers. On Friday of this week, Pope will give you the secret to cleaning,
storing and cooking stripers that will make you leave your crappie poles
at home and go out and buy striper tackle for these delicious stripers.
QUESTION: In an hour and six minutes, we caught 12 stripers
that would weigh from what, Steve?
ANSWER: 4 1/2 to 12 pounds. And, I know we've missed a bunch. We've probably
missed as many as we've caught.
QUESTION: What's the best day of striper fishing you've
ever had at Weiss Lake?
ANSWER: Sixty-four striper in one day was our best total. However, we
only kept 15. Three people legally can keep 90 striper, however, not in
Why are there so many striper in Weiss Lake here on the Georgia/Alabama/Tennessee
ANSWER: Striper naturally reproduce in Weiss. The biologists aren't sure
how and when they are naturally reproducing. There is a professor in Georgia
doing a study on striper reproduction, and his study involves one of those
tagged fish I've caught. Scientists are trying to figure out where the
striper are going, what they are doing, and why they are doing it. Right
now they believe the striper are going up Brushy Branch and spawning in
that shallow, swift, cold water. Others are spawning in the Chattooga
River, but you can't get to them because the water's not waist-deep, and
QUESTION: So Weiss has a natural spawn of saltwater striper
that is not supposed to occur, is it? And as far as I know, this lake
and Neely Henry near Gadsden, Alabama, are the only lakes where you can
catch and keep 30-saltwater striper, correct?
ANSWER: To answer your first question, no, the natural spawn is not supposed
to occur. Lake Weiss is probably the only lake in the country that has
it. To answer your second question, the reason Neely Henry, the lake below
Weiss on the Coosa chain, has so many striper is because 90% of Neely
Henry's striper and saltwater striper come from Weiss.
How did you first start striper fishing?
ANSWER: Well, I started in J. Percy Priest Lake outside of Nashville,
Tennessee, 30 or 40 years ago. Striper fishing was a novelty back then
because nobody had ever done it. The stripers I was catching were 12 and
18 pounders, and I just got bit with the striper-fishing bug. I loved
QUESTION: How long does striper season run?
ANSWER: You can catch them here at Weiss Lake year-round. But around the
first of July, the weather gets too hot to stay out here with the temperature
hovering around 110 degrees with no wind and no shade. However, I fish
for striper until I can't stand the weather. Before that, I'll be crappie
fishing or bream fishing because I'm a guide and that's what most people
like to do. I start striper fishing around the middle to the last of May.
QUESTION: What's the biggest striper you've seen come
out of Weiss Lake?
ANSWER: I have him on my wall, and he weighed 38 pounds. But, I've seen
bigger. I guess there's probably some 50 or 60 pounders in Weiss.
What does an average fisherman expect to catch if he comes up here striper
ANSWER: I call a trip a good one if we catch 10 striper; a great trip
15; and anything more than that is just a celebration because you usually
miss so many. At times, you can catch 10 to 15 in an hour or two. But
during slick- water times, striper don't seem to bite at all. The ideal
condition to catch striper is when the water is a little choppy.
For more information about striper fishing, call Steve
Pope at (256) 927-6617, e-mail him at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his Web
His Web site has up-to-date weather for the lake as well as a photo gallery
of what Pope is catching at Weiss each day.
TOMORROW: THE KEY TO A PERFECT DAY AT WEISS