September 28, 2018
Cooler weather has finally arrived and the catfish and smallmouth bass bite should be on fire this month. Wilson and Pickwick Lakes have both had bumper shad crops this year and the fish are in extremely good health. For trophy catfish, set your sights on the lower one third of the lake. Big cats will be located in 50 to 80 feet of water from Shoals Creek to Wilson Dam. Target contour breaks along the north side of the lake, as well as the long flats between Wilson Lake Shores and McKeirnan Creek. These flats have scattered standing timber which holds lots of big fish in the fall. Use your electronics to find suspended bait schools and the cats will be just below the shad. Live gizzard shad and large chunks of fresh cut skipjack will work best. For numbers of smaller eating size catfish target 20-40 feet of water on points and along the bluffs. Tapered bluffs tend to hold more fish than straight wall bluffs.
For smallmouth bass and stripers head to both the Wheeler and Wilson dam tailraces. The downstream sides of both dams will hold tremendous numbers of small shad minnows that provide an unlimited buffet for the fish. Drift live shad down the outside current seams or search out eddy pockets along the shorelines downstream of the dams. Mister Twister Sassy Shads in Pearl and Blue / Black will also produce well. For those hard to get fish, use a BoJoLe flutter spoon on a Carolina rig with a 1 to 2-ounce sinker. This rig takes a little practice to learn how to fish but it's deadly on fish holding near the bottom."
For guide trips for Catfish, Striper, or live bait Smallmouth Bass fishing, contact Brian Barton at [email protected] or visit the website at www.brianbartonoutdoors.com."