UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Keys to sweet spot success

Keys to sweet spot success
Stren Series leader Lloyd Pickett shows off a couple of his lures from Wheeler Lake.

DECATUR, Ala. - On day one of the Stren Series event on Wheeler Lake, Lloyd Pickett of Bartlett, Tenn., caught nearly 23 pounds of bass to take the early lead by over 5 pounds.

Some pros were surprised by such a big bag of bass on Wheeler in June, but not Pickett. He has been mining 20-plus pound limits from Wheeler for almost two weeks, during several visits to lake.

What's remarkable about Pickett's fish is that the overall quality of his bass is much better than what a majority of the field is catching. And his co-angler from day one experienced the quality of those fish as well, reeling in 17 pounds, 7 ounces from the back of Pickett's boat.

"Summer is my favorite time to fish," Pickett said before the takeoff on day two. "I love to get out on the ledges and drag a rig or jig for post-spawn bass - that's my game."

The part Pickett enjoys about summer fishing on TVA impoundments is scouring the lake bottom with his graph, looking for tiny, hidden spots holding a school of big bass.

"It's a lot of hard work and long days," Pickett continued. "I'll idle for hours looking at bottom contours and composition. Over the years I've developed a feel for what looks right on my graph. And when I see it, I know it. But I'll seldom fish those spots when I actually find them. Instead, I just mark them on my GPS and keep idling."

It's not until much later in the evening or early the next morning - the most predictable feeding times for summer bass - that Pickett returns to sample his potential areas with lures, hoping that ravenous schools of big bass will show themselves.

And that's exactly what happened at Wheeler this week when he pulled up to several of the places he found earlier in the day and discovered giant shad skipping across the surface, fleeing the jowls of big bass.

"Once I figured out that those bigger bass were after the big shad, I began to put it all together," said Pickett, who has been using a big spinnerbait and a Brush Hog on a Carolina rig to imitate the big shad on his best spot. "Each spot has a sweet spot on it, whether it is a current break, cluster of stumps, or steep drop where the fish really gang up and that's what I try to find."

The day-two weigh-in of the Stren Series event on Wheeler Lake will begin Friday at 3 p.m. at Ingalls Harbor in Decatur.

Friday's conditions

Sunrise: 5:35 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 63 degrees
Expected high temperature: 77 degrees
Water temperature: 78-82 degrees
Wind: N 10 to 15 MPH
Day's outlook: partial clearing all day


Tags: rob-newell  morning-story  2009-06-04-wheeler-lake 

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