Alright Big Bass fans, the time has come for the Gerald Swindle Big Bass Classic on Lake Guntersville!
Although all the Oakley Big Bass Tour events are placed on the nations best lakes at the best times, the G-Ville event is arguably the most anticipated of the year- and for very good reason.
Lake Guntersville is the legendary TVA stand-out that is known for harboring one of the largest populations of big bass, due in part to it’s baitfish rich ecosystem, its vast grass flats along with its other diverse cover and structural elements.
Since there are so many options for anglers on G-Ville, I wanted to take some time to help simplify this body of water that is very capable of making even the best big bass hunters feel a little overwhelmed.
Fish the Grass for Big Bass
Like I said, there are so many options for anglers on G-Ville this week, and with this being an event that only one big bass is needed to take home the grand prize- a brand new Toyota Tundra- I wont be betting my own Tundra that I know with certainty which technique will best the rest. That being said, I am almost positive that whatever bait the fish is caught on, it will be caught out of, or around, Guntersville’s grass.
Guntersville has two primary types of grass, milfoil and hydrilla. Milfoil dominates most of the shallower, in-bay, areas of the lake, and is quite a bit thinner than the hydrilla this year. Hydrilla is very dominant this year in most main lake areas, especially from Seibold Creek all the way north. I wont say that one is better for big bass than the other, but they both require different techniques and fish very different.
If your favorite flavor is frog fishing, then milfoil is going to be where you want to concentrate your efforts-but not just any milfoil. Milfoil by itself is not what is holding the best fish, it’s the milfoil that has a thick layer of slimy yellow and brown algae. If you pull up to a milfoil mat and it looks like mom burned some cheese toast and threw it into the lake- PLEASE fish it! Also, don’t forget to keep your ears open for blue-gills popping under the mats, which is another key element for this bite, but make sure that what you hear popping isn’t carp instead of bluegill, since they sound very similar.
When you find the right mat, you have to use the right equipment to get them to bite and into the boat. For most of my frog fishing I use a solid black frog, with the legs trimmed to only an inch or so in length. Since we are fishing very heavy cover, I am going to only use braided line, like 65lb Power Pro braid. The rod and reel that I use are also very important since I want a reel that has a solid drag and also can cast very far, as well as a rod that can handle the heavy cover. I like to use a Quantum Smoke SL150 HPT high speed reel paired with a strong Smoke Flippin’ Stick.
Now, though I love frog fishing and fishing milfoil, I do feel that the hydrilla of the lake is where the tournament has the greatest chance of being won. The reason I say this is that fishing the edges of the main river has been winning tournaments for months now, and all that is dominated by flipping heavy weights into this grass.
The only issue with hydrilla is that it is harder to identify the best stretches to flip. There is no real shortcut to finding the best stretches, it all comes down to dropping the trolling motor and fishing, but I will say that areas where two different channels merge, and where the grass is sparser next to the main river channel are your best bets.
For my hydrilla flipping arsenal, I like to pretty much use the same exact reel, but I mix it up with a Quantum Tour Tactical Flipping Stick. I will also use the same 65lb braid and slide, and peg, a 1.5oz tungsten weight on before tying on a 4/0 Lazer Trokar TK130 hook. I then will dress the Trokar with a beaver-style bait, in either black and blue or green pumpkin.
As I said before, there are so many ways to approach G-Ville right now, but these two techniques are by far my favorite for consistent big bass action right now.
Fishing the grass takes a little time to master, but once you start getting a feel for this style of fishing, you increase your chances at finding that one big bass!
Good luck to everyone fishing this week’s Gerald Swindle Big Bass Classic, and I look forward to seeing you all at the hourly weigh-ins!
To watch last year's Oakley Big Bass television show CLICK HERE