CATCHING SMALLIES AT NIGHT AND IN WARM WEATHER WITH
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
Often at night, I'll throw a Carolina rig in a junebug color. You can
use a shorter 3-foot leader at night. I fish on pea-gravel points and
banks, or, I try to find some humps and ledges at night on which I can
throw a Carolina rig. I work the bait slowly and give it a pretty good
jerk every once in a while. I use a junebug-colored Strike King 3X Lizard
or a junebug-colored 3X Centipede. The 3X will last so much longer and
will hold up against 10 times more fish.
I like the spinner bait with the Indiana blade No. 5 in black or black
and red. I fish it just like I'll fish a Texas-rigged worm - bottom hopping
it off a steep bank. I use 12-pound High Impact Stren line. I usually
keep my drag set light and use a medium/heavy action rod. You don't have
to have big line because you won't have as much water drag on the line
in deeper water.
Rattling for Nighttime Smallies:
Another bait I use a lot is the little Bitsy Flip with a rattle on it
that Strike King has just developed. I put a Strike King Denny Brauer
3/8-ounce Chunk Trailer to make it smaller. I shake it a lot when I throw
it out, and then I let it fall. That rattle rattles and falls slower because
it has a Chunk Trailer. I position the boat in 15 to 20 feet of water
and throw it in 3 feet of water.
The current often runs at night, which helps anglers catch the smallies.
At night I fish points of islands where water is running over a point.
When there's not a current, I'll fish flats where they'll hit buzzbaits
or Diamond Shads. On an average night, I'll catch 10 to 18 fish a night.
Some weigh 4 to 5 pounds. I'll occasionally catch a 7 pounder.
more information on fishing with Roger Stegall, call (662) 423-3869, e-mail
or check out www.fishpickwick.com.
You can learn more about Strike King Lures by going to
For more information on staying at Pickwick Landing State
Park on Pickwick Lake, contact the Hardin County Convention and Visitor’s
Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.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.
TOMORROW: CATCH SMALLMOUTHS AFTER THE SPAWN