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John's Journal... Entry 249, Day 1


Fishing on a Full Moon

Editor's Note: Roger Stegall of Iuka, Mississippi, has guided for smallmouths on Pickwick Lake on the Tennessee/Alabama/ Mississippi border for 17 years and has fished for smallmouths on the lake since 1975. In an average year, he and his party of fishermen will catch 50 to 60 smallmouth bass that weigh 5 pounds or more. At times, he'll even catch smallmouths that weigh 8 pounds or more. Stegall most enjoys fishing for smallies at night during the warmer months. This week, Stegall shares his tactics for catching nighttime smallies.

Question: When do you like best to fish for smallmouths at night?
Stegall: Smallmouth fishing at night is best around a full moon. Some people like to fish at night in April or May in shallow water. I like it around the first of June through mid-September or October, depending on how cold the weather gets. In June or July when the current runs at night, you'll increase your chances for catching smallmouths. I'll throw crankbaits, Strike King's Diamond Shad, buzzbaits and three-bladed buzzbaits in about 4 to 6 feet of water.

A bright-colored Diamond Shad works really good at night. I think the smallmouths can hear these loud baits at night. They may not can see the baits, but they can hone in on them, thanks to all of the noise they make. You always want to use a quality hook on a Diamond Shad. At night, throw the Diamond Shad across shallow flats-places you'll normally fish in the springtime. Smallmouths will be looking for crawfish or minnows, and they'll get a lot shallower because the sun isn't bothering them. I'll use a steady stop-and-go retrieve. I catch bigger smallmouths at night-not as many, but bigger. I think the bigger smallies feed up higher at night, making them easier to catch.

For more information on fishing with Roger Stegall, call (662) 423-3869, e-mail rogstegall@fishpickwick.com, or check out www.fishpickwick.com.

You can learn more about Strike King Lures by going to www.strikeking.com.

For more information on staying at Pickwick Landing State Park on Pickwick Lake, contact the Hardin County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at info@tourhardincounty.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.




Check back each day this week for more about CATCHING SMALLIES AT NIGHT AND IN WARM WEATHER WITH ROGER STEGALL ...

Day 1 - Fishing on a Full Moon
Day 2 - Nighttime Baits
Day 3 - Catch Smallmouths After The Spawn
Day 4 - Summer Tactics
Day 5 - Work the Current

John's Journal