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Gary Harlan's Pickwick Lake Fishing Report

Pickwick Fishing Report/Forecast
August 21, 2017
Lake level: 413.82
Water temp: 85-89
Clarity:  stained to clear
Overall: looking good, improving daily

     Schooling activity has picked up; most are small (10”-14”) fish. There are more shad on the lake than I have ever seen.  I rode from the Second creek area to State line Island and there were schools of 1”-2” shad everywhere we stopped in between. I am certain we had several shad spawns this year. I think this is why the schooling has picked up.  The other reason is that the grass (hydrilla/milfoil) has really come on strong lately. Imagine not mowing your yard for a month or more.  I think the hot weather and clearing water has given it a booster shot. There are still some good fish out deep too. 
Lure Selection: For the schooling fish I keep Strike King’s Sexy Dawg and a 1/2oz double willow white KVD spinnerbait handy. You need something you can quickly cast a long ways with as they are not staying up for very long. I am catching most of my fish on a Texas rigged worm or creature bait when fishing around grass. I am throwing a medium running crankbait around chunk rock and gravel.  As I mentioned , there is a plethora of shad … I have been using bluegill and crawfish patterns and colors on my lures I really think this gives the bass a better target. I think things are going to burst wide open and the schooling activity ought to pick up dramatically once the temps and the water start falling. TVA usually begins drawing the lake down to winter pool of 409.0 around September 1. Good luck!  It’s hot out there so please stay hydrated and keep an eye out for other boaters and swimmers.
Capt. Gary Harlan
W/Roger Stegall Professional Guide Service LLC