CULLMAN, Ala. – Timing is everything in bass fishing, and the Bass Pro Tour‘s Favorite Fishing Stage Three Presented by Mercury is showing up in prime time for some fat Alabama spotted bass to be weighed and for some fat checks to be cashed by the Bass Pro Tour anglers, according to a local MLF pro who has been a terror on his home fishery.
“The last time we were there was in May,” said Bass Pro Tour angler Jesse Wiggins, an Alabama angler who won three Bass Pro Shops B.A.S.S. Opens in an 18-month span in 2016 and 2017. “Almost all of the fish were super skinny and in postspawn. This time we are going to be here at the beginning of March. The bass will be at their absolute biggest. Super fat and prespawn.”
About the fishery
Lewis Smith Lake is located about 20 miles northwest of Birmingham, Alabama. There are approximately 21,000 surface acres and about 500 miles of shoreline available for the Bass Pro Tour anglers to explore. It’s known to produce large spotted bass and some quality largemouth as well.
Many of the biggest spots are caught offshore in Smith’s deep, clear water, but according to Wiggins, bass could be located at almost any depth during this event.
Bushes, docks, wood, rocks, seawalls, and rip rap could all play a role when it comes to fish location on Lewis Smith. Classic steep rock banks and bluff faces are also excellent locations to find the Alabama spotted bass.
“Spotted bass will be the primary fish,” Wiggins said. “Largemouth will play too, but I don’t think they’ll be a key factor. We should see multiple 3-to-4-pound spots caught. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone caught a 5-pound spot.
“These fish will be anywhere from 2 feet deep to 40 feet. You’ll be able to fish exactly how you like to fish. The fish are really healthy and this should be a super fun event. If we get a flood and the water is up and muddy, it could get very good. Fish will be grouped up, fat, and biting. Anyone could win.
“If the lake is at normal pool, I really like my chances. It’s my home lake.”
John Cox won the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit tournament on Smith Lake in 2021 and Dean Rojas won the Bass Pro Tour Stage on Smith in 2019. The big bass in 2021 was 5-pounds, 4-ounces.