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Bass, Crappie, Bluegill and Catfish – Guntersville’s Got It All with Captain Buddy Golden

Dodging the GPS Pirates

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: You can get pulled out of the boat when you bass fish Lake Guntersville by the oversized bass that take your bait. Mark Menendez of Paducah, Kentucky, a bass fishing pro on the BASS Elite Series circuit, recently finished sixth at the BASS Elite Series Southern Pro Challenge held on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama. “Every day I fished there, I’d catch from 60 to 100 bass per day weighing 4-pounds each or more,” Menendez said. “Each day, I’d throw back five-fish limits, weighing 20 pounds or more. This is a phenomenal lake, and right now is the best time to fish it.” After hearing Menendez talk about the huge numbers of big bass at Lake Guntersville, I called my long-time friend Captain Dallas “Buddy” Golden, a guide at Lake Guntersville and professional-tournament fisherman, and requested a bass fishing trip. Golden, Click to enlargewho’s fished Guntersville since the early 1980s and knows where to find the fish, promised not only to guide me to numbers of bass, but also to plenty of crappie, bluegills and catfish.

Phillips’ Question: Buddy, what’s a GPS pirate?
Golden: It’s another angler who sees you catching bass, marks the spot with his hand-held or dash-mounted GPS receiver and then returns later to fish the location where you’ve found bass. For instance, recently, I found a spot where we caught a number of nice-sized bass from 3- to 6-pounds each. When I went by that place the next day, a GPS pirate was sitting there catching fish. This happens often when many of the local fishermen see my yellow boat and notice I’m catching fish.

Phillips’ Question: One of the major wars in fishing history has been about the grass on Click to enlargeLake Guntersville. The boaters hate it and the fishermen love it. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the local residents want to kill it, but the fishermen want to preserve it. What’s the situation with the grass right now?
Golden: Right now, the fishermen are winning the war. The Corps of Engineers is only killing the grass in limited sections of the lake. But one of the problems we have now is they’re trying to eradicate the grass in the Jackson County Park area in Roseberry Creek. All the fishermen here are trying to prevent this from happening because on Guntersville, where there’s grass, there’s bass, and where there’s no grass, there’s no bass.

Phillips’ Question: We saw Billy Gray with a nice basket of crappie at the Mink Creek culvert. Why are there so many crappie holding there?
Golden: The crappie are staging there to prepare for deep water. They’ve gone to the creek to spawn, and now they’ve pulled out of the creek and are holding on deeper holes, waiting for the weather to warm-up to make the final move to deep water. There’s a large amount of bait that funnels through the culvert when the current’s running, so the crappie and the bass are sitting there, waiting to eat the bait. Many people park on either side of the dam, walk down the riprap and fish around the mouth of the culvert.Click to enlarge

Phillips’ Question: After you move through the culvert and get into Mink Creek, where do you locate the bass?
Golden: We fish with top-water lures on the edge of the creek channel where there’s grass. The bass will be holding on the edge of the channel, and they’ll bite top-water baits early in the morning. I’ll cast the Heddon Zara Spook on the edge of the milfoil where it drops-off into the creek. On a cloudy, rainy day, the bass will move out to the edge of the creek channel and hold in the grass. This is one of the best places to try and catch a big bass.

To view a detailed description of my fishing trip at Guntersville, check out my Twitter page at If you want to see more pictures of the fish we caught at Guntersville, go to my Facebook page at To fish with Buddy Golden, call him at 256-603-9943, email, or visit

Tomorrow: Guntersville Has Got More than Just Bass and Plenty of ‘Em

Check back each day this week for more about "Bass, Crappie, Bluegill and Catfish – Guntersville’s Got It All with Captain Buddy Golden"

Day 1: Catching Fish from the Bank
Day 2: Dodging the GPS Pirates
Day 3: Guntersville Has Got More than Just Bass and Plenty of ‘Em
Day 4: Guntersville’s Got the Bass – Plenty of ‘Em and Big Ones, Too
Day 5: New Spot, New Bait, More Bass


Entry 510, Day 2