March 30, 2018
Our source for Wilson Lake, Brian Barton, told us,"April is one of the best months for fishing on Wilson Lake. Crappie will be moving to the shorelines to spawn along with the bass and shell crackers. Catfish will begin to stage on shallow bluff ledges and points leading into the mouth of feeder creeks and sloughs. Target catfish in 10 to 20 feet of water on the upper portion of the lake. Hog Island, the Wheeler dam tailrace downstream to Town Creek, and the rocks of the old river lock system near Bluewater Creek will hold plenty of cats. Worms, shrimp, chicken livers, guts, and cut bait will all do well now. On the lower portion of the lake, search for catfish in Shoals Creek along the channel ledges and isolated wood cover. All the bluff wall ledges 15 to 40 feet deep will hold fish. For trophy fish try fishing just off the bottom along the ledges of Jackson Island near Wilson Dam. Whole live shad or large chunks of skipjack will be your best bet. Smallmouth bass will be post spawn and ready to feed. Drifting live shad in the Wheeler tailrace will be at its best. Smallmouth will also be found hanging off the ends of long points in 15 to 30 feet of water on the lower end of the lake.
The first week of April is historically the peak spawn for smallmouth bass on Pickwick Lake in the "Horseshoe" below Wilson Dam. Last year we had several 10 fish 45-50 pound catches trolling live shad in this region. Target fish in the calm water early in the morning and late afternoon. Move out into the edge of the current and eddy pools during the middle of the day. Fish will stage along the Pond Creek gravel bar as well as the pea gravel bars across from McFarland Park. On the lower end of the lake target both catfish and smallmouth on humps and gravel bars in 10 to 20 feet of water. Typically, the bass will hold on the up current side and top portion of the hump, while catfish tend to hang near the backside and closer to the bottom. Use live shad if you're targeting both species. If your targeting catfish only, shad or skipjack guts will be best fished on light line with spinning tackle. For heavy weight catfish use your electronics to locate fish along the basses of the river ledges. Bigger catfish will be found near rock or wood cover near the bottom in deeper water.
For catfish trips, meat or trophy, or live bait smallmouth action, contact Brian Barton at [email protected] or visit the website at www.brianbartonoutdoors.com."