How I’ll fish Lake Guntersville 


Brandon Lester's first bass on Lake Guntersville.

It seems like forever since we fished the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest at Lake Fork, and I’m itching to get back on the water in an Elite Series event. Besides fishing the Eastern Open on Chickamauga a couple of weeks ago, I’ve just been fishing as much as I can around the house and spending time with my wife and our two girls.

We did take a little vacation down to Orange Beach, Ala., and I got to do some saltwater fishing, which I always enjoy. It’s been a fun little break but Guntersville is almost here, and I’m pretty excited to say the least. 

Guntersville is a special place to me, and it always will be. Being from southern middle Tennessee, I’m only an hour and a half drive from Lake Guntersville. I wouldn’t call it my home lake, but I’ve spent a good bit of time there over the years. I still remember the very first bass I ever caught there.

I still remember the exact spot I caught it from and the bait I was throwing. I was 17 or so. In high school and college my team tournament partner and I fished many club tournaments and college events on Guntersville as well.

I’ve learned a lot from that lake and like any other lake it goes through ups and downs, but year after year it keeps pumping out big ones. It truly is one of the best lakes in the country. 

As far as how I think the lake will fish, I think we are going to hit it really good, and I fully expect it to be a slugfest. June is always a great month on the “Big G” because you have so many different options as far as ways to catch them. Ledges, shallow grass, deep grass, docks, bridges, all of the above and more will come into play and you have a chance at catching a big bag on any of those patterns.

I spent one day out there the week before it went off limits for us back in May and from what I saw the lake is just really healthy right now. I spent the majority of the day just idling around looking at my Lowrance units, but I did fish some and bites were not that hard to come by.

As always though, you have to find a way to catch those better-than-average size fish to separate yourself from the pack and that will definitely be the key. I expect a lot of fish to come off deep ledges, but I’ve fished Guntersville enough to know you never rule out the grass bite. The grass bite will play a role as well. 

As far as baits go you’ll see a wide variety of techniques come into play. Big crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits, spoons and all sorts of other baits will catch fish. One bait that I’ve always had a ton of confidence in this time of year is a big worm. It’s a very versatile bait that just gets bites in the summer months. You can use a light weight and swim it through grass or put a heavier weight on and fish it 30 feet deep. X Zone Lures has a new one out call the Blitz worm that’s 11 inches long which is the perfect size for big summertime bass. It has a ribbon style tail that has great action and is available in the best colors as well.

I throw it on an MHX-NEPS90HF 7-foot, 6-inch heavy power rod and 17-pound Vicious 100% fluorocarbon. That rod is perfect for maintaining the proper contact with the worm on a long cast and getting a good hook in the fish, especially big fish.

I would like nothing more than to catch 20 the size of that first Guntersville bass and add to my list of fond memories from the jewel of the Tennessee River.