Deciphering Alabama’s Lake Jordan

Local Scott Luster provides helpful tips for tackling Lake Jordan

"About 70 percent of the bass tournaments at Jordan are won with spotted bass," claims Scott Luster, a local hot stick who has been fishing Jordan for nearly four decades.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

Scott Luster has been fishing Jordan Lake for most of his 44 years and has won many bass tournaments here. These waters are as much a part of him as the blood that courses through his veins. His grandfather fished this stretch of the Coosa River before it was dammed to form Jordan Lake.

Luster met his wife, Jennifer, during a bass tournament at Jordan. They were married at a house that overlooks the lake. He feels such a kinship with the lake and its bass that he named his 6-year-old son Jordan. Had his 12-year-old daughter, Hanna, been a boy, she probably would have been given the name Jordan first!

Twenty-five miles north of Montgomery, Ala., Jordan Lake churns out strong populations of largemouth and spotted bass year after year. If you like steady action with mean-spirited 3- to 5-pound Coosa River spots and largemouth up to 6 pounds, put this 6,800-acre reservoir on your must-fish list.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources reports that Jordan Lake’s largemouth and spotted bass are equally abundant, and their growth rates exceed the statewide average.

About 70 percent of the bass tournaments at Jordan are won with spotted bass, claims Scott Luster, a local hot stick who has been fishing Jordan for nearly four decades.

Jordan Lake was impounded in 1928 by the Alabama Power Company. In 1967, the lake was expanded by the Bouldin Dam, which filled an adjacent basin with water. Locals call this area “New Lake.”

“About 40 percent of the tournaments at Lake Jordan are won in ‘New Lake,’” Luster says. “It has the most shoreline grass and underwater stumps.”

GRASS BASS

The shoreline grass Luster refers to is water willow, an emergent aquatic vegetation that grows from the bank out to depths of about 4 feet. Lush water willow beds are also present in Blackwell slough and in Weoka Mill and Softkahatchee (Swayback) creeks in the lower half of the lake.

Where the water willow stems have folded over, they form a dense canopy that bass can lounge under. Luster attacks these mats with a stout flippin’ rod and 50-pound braided line. A Missile Baits D Bomb creature bait Texas rigged with a 5/0 hook and a 1-ounce bullet weight penetrates the grass and tempts bites from the bass below.

Luster also swims a 3/8-ounce homemade jig dressed with NetBait’s Paca Chunk along the edges of the water willows and through any lanes and openings within the grass.

“I like white during the shad spawn and black at other times,” Luster says. “The bass go for black when they’re feeding on bream.”

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