The summer swing in Bama

John Crews

The heat is on…

Summer heat that is, and that means the first of our summer events, and this “swing through ‘Bama” takes us to Wheeler Lake in Decatur and Lewis Smith Lake in Cullman.

Let’s talk about Wheeler Lake for a minute. It’s the Tennessee River in June and that can mean some pretty good fishing. I think Wheeler is going to be at least in part an offshore deal, and that means I’ll be able to pull out some of my SPRO Little John DD crankbaits. Any time that I can get out there and wind a big plug, it is like old times. 

However, I think I’ll have to do some different techniques to really catch them there. I hope the deeper ledge bite will play, but I know that Wheeler has a good amount of grass in it, so it may take being flexible and working at different depths to have a good event.

Smith Lake is going to be a good event too. It’s probably going to feature a lot of spotted bass, and I would bet the offshore bite will be key there too. I would think that suspended fish will probably be a big factor there and that can always be a challenge to figure out, but fun if you can. 

The biggest key – especially at Smith Lake – is going to be dealing with boat traffic. Smith Lake is close enough to several major cities that it is a very popular recreational lake. We’ll see our share of pontoons, cruisers, ski boats and Jet Skis that week. I fish at Smith Mountain Lake at home in Virginia in the summer, and that lake gets pounded by boat traffic. I’ve learned how to navigate these types of lakes in high-traffic times of the year, and I feel like I’ll be alright.

The biggest impact the traffic will have is in finding areas to fish that aren’t right in the middle of high traffic areas. If a guy does well on a main lake point between two of the busiest marinas on the lake early in the event, then his chances of being able to sit on those fish on the weekend might be nearly impossible, so managing that situation is going to be important.

I think they will both be interesting events and should be fun to fish too.

We have a week between the two events, so I will go home after Wheeler Lake and see the family, continue to do some prep work for ICAST at the Missile Baits Headquarters with our team and get my tackle ready for Smith Lake. It’s not too terribly difficult to do that because about half of the stuff in my boat is the stuff I carry everywhere I go. Those are my go-to, strength-type of things, and they are with me everywhere.

I’m working on some really cool projects for ICAST with Missile Baits, Cashion Rods and SPRO that I’m really excited to show off, but those reveals have to wait a while. I will be filming some promo stuff for the projects we’re working on at Missile Baits, and those will get released some time near the end of June. So be on the lookout for those on my personal channels and the Missile Baits socials.

Another cool thing that I’ll be doing is the annual Fish Fest event at Buck’s Island in Southside, Ala. I started going to that event a few years ago, and it’s fun because they have a lot of vendors. We have some spirited and informative Q&A sessions with the pro panel they bring in, so look for me there on June 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s a cool place.

See you on the summer swing!