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Alabama is a tournament anglers delight, and many of its lakes have been front and center this month- Lay Lake, Lake Eufaula, and coming up Guntersville and Wheeler. Lake Guntersville, one of the most legendary lakes in the USA, has gone through its ups and downs recently but the fishing is excellent right now, just in time for Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour Stage Four (May 16-21). According to local resident Randy Howell, “The grass is healthy and there have been some really good spawns. The lake is full of 2- to 4-pound fish right now. It’s as good as it’s been in 10 years or longer.” Guntersville is in northern Alabama between Bridgeport and Guntersville,and stretches 75 miles from Nickajack Dam south to Guntersville Dam. It’s Alabama's largest lake at 69,100 acres with approx. 950 miles of shoreline, including many bass friendly feeder creeks and weed filled bays. The lake was created by Guntersville Dam along the Tennessee River. Both the lake and the dam are named after the town of Guntersville, which received its name from an early settler of the area, John Gunter.

Guntersville is known for its diverse fishery and abundance of aquatic vegetation. The lake is full of hydrilla, milfoil and grass, providing gamefish with an abundance of habitat. In combination with the vegetation, the lake is full of submerged stump fields that were left after the forest was cut before flooding occurred. Due to its robust and diverse fishery, numerous tournaments are held on the lake. The lake has an average depth of 15 ft. The Sequatchie River is the main tributary, followed by Town Creek and numerous smaller creeks. The deeper portions of the

lake generally consist of sand, gravel and mud. The steep ledges of old stream channels consist of limestone. Most of the shoreline has a sand and gravel bottom. Heavy siltation has occurred in some creeks such as Mud, North Sauty and South Sauty. Though most noted for largemouth bass, Guntersville is also home to quality angling for striped bass, spotted bass, crappie, sauger and catfish. A 15-inch minimum length applies only to largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Guntersville can claim the Alabama record largemouth, a monster weighing 16-8.

Groups A and B slug it out Tuesday through Friday to send 40 anglers to the Knockout round on Saturday, that will determine who fishes for the Championship on Sunday the 21st. All the action will be streamed on MLF NOW!


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