No doubt about it, it’s starting to be winter. But we lucky Alabama lake anglers don’t have to worry about ice-cold winds. The fishing is still great in Alabama.
Since most pleasure boaters have put their boats away for the year, fishing the big lakes in ‘Bama can be lots more pleasant and quieter for anglers.
Of course, anglers in November should have good waterproof and rain gear on board on every fishing trip. There’s nothing like being wet in chilly wind conditions to make a miserable time. Good hats can also help keep anglers not only dry but warm in cool weather.
The whole range of Alabama’s freshwater game fish will be feeding heavily in November before the water and the wind gets very cold. Anglers who spend some time looking for concentrations of fish can have a lot of fun and also fill an ice chest with some great eating fish.
Now, let’s see what the lakes outlook are from some of the best anglers in Alabama. They can tell us about the fishing in November.
Joe Dunn advises us that fishing this month can be very good on Miller’s Ferry, but it all depends on the weather. If we don’t get too much cold weather, the bass will remain in their fall feeding patterns well into November, and this means anglers can find some actively feeding bass that should be catchable.
Bass anglers should look up in the major sloughs where the bass will be chasing shad and feeding up for the upcoming winter and cooler weather. If the weather doesn’t get very cold, the bass will be preparing for very early spawns at Miller’s Ferry, so anglers can take advantage of the fall fishing.
Bass anglers can work secondary points of big creeks and the main river channels. Small crank baits, spinner baits, and chatter-baits worked around woody cover on big creek points.
November should be very good for crappie fishing on Miller’s Ferry. Joe Dunn says,” Anglers should work the main river channels of the lake, and they’ll be deep- from 15 to 30 feet depending on the water temperatures.”
Crappie will be feeding heavily as the water cools, and this is a good time of year to try bottom bouncing for the slabs with jigs and live minnows. In particular, Joe Dunn has good results on crappie with Road Runners fished vertically around snags and deep ridges.
Our buddy Captain Lee Pitts likes the lower air temperatures and the lower water levels on Lake Weiss. The cooler air is much more comfortable to be in while fishing and the winter-pool lake levels of Lake Weiss makes finding structure much easier and it concentrates the fish.
“Crappie fishing at Weiss should be very good in November. Most of the crappie are moving on creek ledges and deeper river banks. Look for isolated brush piles and especially stumps on the creek channels.”
Captain Lee says,” Crappie fishing at Weiss should be very good in November. Most of the crappie are moving on creek ledges and deeper river banks. Look for isolated brush piles and especially stumps on the creek channels.”
Crappie anglers should try vertical approach by dropping a double jig rig with a ½ oz. bank sinker on the end of the line.
Captain Lee recommends the Bobby Garland line of crappie specialty jigs. He says, “The Bobby Garland Baby Shad and Shad Slay’r jigs give lots of action in the water, and they don’t require a lot of rod movement by the angler.”
White bass will be schooling on afternoons, and anglers can have a lot of fun casting shad pattern topwater lures to the busting whites.
November is a great time for anglers who want to find some big catfish on the big north Alabama lakes. Our buddy Captain Brian Barton tells us that anglers looking for good fall catfish action should start a catfishing trip on the lower part of Wilson Lake from Jackson Island just below the dam to Indian Springs, and anglers can expect some big catfish in this area.
Steep bluff walls in this area can be very good spots to find big cats.
Standing timber will be good as will the Muscle Shoals canal structure can be great for fall catfish. Use your electronics to locate the depth the bigger cats are holding.
Large chunks of cut skipjack work well as do live bream when very slow-trolled very near the bottom.
Stripers and all species of bass will be in the tailrace waters below Wheeler Dam. Live bait- shad in particular- is always best, but the fall fish will take spoons and jigs worked in the fast water.
For some very hard fighting, anglers can fish the rock piles and shell mounds downstream of the dam for some great smallmouth bass. The brown bass like to hold on the top and the front areas of the structure, especially when the current is strong.
On Pickwick Lake, November is very often the best catfish month of the year. Pickwick cats tend to be smaller than the cats on Wilson and Wheeler lakes, so angler on Pickwick may want to use smaller baits- chunks and fillets of shad instead of whole shad.
Captain Brian says of the smallmouth bass fishing on Pickwick,” Drifting live shad over good locations can yield five-fish limits that weigh over 20 pounds. Work steep shorelines with drop-offs and rock structure. Find schools of shad and the bass will be close by.”
The big old eastern Alabama home of bass fishing should be very good this month, and anglers would be doing a good thing to plan a trip here for some fall fishing fun.
Captain Sam Williams has fished Eufaula a long time, and he offers some good advice. He says,” Bass fishing will get better as the weather cools off. Bass will be in all kinds of cover. The lily pads will be dying down with the cool weather, but the bass will still hold on the underwater stems and stalks of the pads.
November bream can be quite good on Eufaula. They will be deeper on the flats, and they will continue to move deeper as the water cools. Use red worms for some very hot shellcracker action.
Crappie will be holding over drop-offs, and if an angler can find brush piles or other covers near the drop-off some very hot crappie fishing can happen.
Of course, catfish are always good at Eufaula, and anglers can use jugs or rod and reel to find great catfish action.
November bass fishing on Lake Guntersville can be very good if the weather holds from the early fall. As cool fronts move through, the bass will transition to winter conditions, and anglers will need to modify their techniques to match the fishing.
“Finding the schools of shad is crucial in November at Guntersville in November. The bass will be following the shad at this time.”
Captain Jake Davis that on Guntersville in the late fall, what the weather is doing makes all the difference for anglers. He says,” During the first part of the month, we’ll still be working on the frog bite, especially in the middle of the day. The bite will be better at that time rather than early or late. We’ll use jerk baits and swim baits as the big grass mats die down. Anglers will need to slow down their presentations regardless of what kind of lure is being used.”
Finding the schools of shad is crucial in November at Guntersville in November. The bass will be following the shad at this time.
Captain Jake says that the crappie at Guntersville will be much better after the hot weather has left us. The crappie will be following schools of smaller shad, and the middle to lower parts of the lake will be best for finding crappie.
Important Contact Information
Captain Brian Barton
Captain Jake Davis
Mid-South Bass Guide Service
33358 Highway 43
Captain Lee Pitts
Captain Sam Williams
Hawks Fishing Guide Service