Lay Lake News Article

Spring Fishing on Lay Lake

Reed's Guide Service
Posted: 3/1/2005

Reed Montgomery

Lay Lake is one of Alabama's busiest lakes during spring. Bass tournaments are held every weekend and some bass tournaments are now held at mid week on Wednesdays. This constant fishing pressure would surely devastate any other impoundment, but somehow this lake (over 50 miles in length) just keeps on producing.

Lay Lake is the fourth of six lakes found along the Coosa River System. Unlike the three upper Coosa River Impoundment's Weiss Lake, Neely Henry Lake and Logan Martin Lake, Lay Lake is kept at or near full pool year round. This creates a dynamic, aquatic weed fishery that produces largemouth bass year round. Spring is when anglers can really load up on bass, many bass that have not been pressured for months.

Not only is there an excellent largemouth bass population but in addition there is the famed, Coosa River breed of spotted bass. These spotted bass are second to none when it comes to their unique fighting ability. When the Bassmaster's visited Lay Lake during the Bassmaster's Classic, most professional bass anglers fishing that world famous bass championship were quoted as saying, " the Coosa River breed of spotted bass puts up more of a fight than any other breed of bass (excluding striped bass) they have ever tackled.

Breaking down spring into three months calls for specific tactics for targeting each of these Lay Lake bass species each month.

March is prespawn time on Lay Lake and most bass are just making their annual trek towards the shallows for the first time. Cold fronts and heavy spring rains can delay this sudden movement toward the shallow spawning grounds, until conditions improve for the better. Warming trends and a constant water temperature on the rise can induce bass to bed early in late March, usually near a full moon.

April shows many changes found throughout the entire lake. If cold fronts stall the bedding process, most bass will bed in mid to late April when more suitable conditions stabilize. Warming trends can heat up the shallows fast in April. This can show a lot of both male and female bass move up early to bed in shallow water, often creating two months of fantastic fishing until the hot days of summer arrive.

Throughout April new growing aquatic weeds will be in full bloom for the first time in months on Lay Lake. This oxygen rich greenery can attract hordes of male and female bass, that usually have a bed nearby in the many types of weeds Lay Lake displays. Weeds are also homes to minnows, insects, shad, bream, frogs and crayfish, the meals these bass dine on prior to going on a feeding binge for weeks.

Some bass are very spooky during April, visiting the shallows for the first time in months. Bass as big as five pounds or even better will lay in weeds as shallow as one foot deep during these spawning times. But again, they are very cautious about hitting your lures, especially with the shallows now being constantly pounded by anglers on a daily basis. So a very quit approach will give you an advantage over other anglers that do not practice stealth during these times. Weeds also filter out the surrounding water and all around new growing weeds can show some very clear water.

May shows a lot of distractions for these shallow water bass. Bedding female bass by now, have left the bed tending up to the smaller male bass. They are still hanging around but feeding is more on their mind now. These bass are constantly being hammered with an assortment of enticing lures with the bass tournaments now in full swing. The poor little male bass not only has to avoid being caught and taken from the bed, but he must also run off egg eating intruders such as bream, crayfish and lizards, that wear him down by the time the newborn fry are present.

May is the month for some vicious strikes from hungry, shallow water bass and topwater lures are excellent choices for targeting these recuperating spawning bass, that want a slow, easy to catch meal. Bass tournament release sites are loaded with bass by May.

One annual bass tournament (held for 12 years now), is labeled, " The Lay Lake Tournament "it is held each year in late April, sponsored by Marks Outdoors of Vestavia Alabama (see: This huge bass tournament alone shows a limit of 500 boats and that comes out to 1000 anglers bringing in as many as 5 bass per boat, all of which are released alive in the small pocket at mid lake where Paradise Point Marina is located.

Mark's Outdoors, " the Lay Lake Tournament " has also stocked this lake with over 10,000 bass each year, for over 10 years, amounting to over one million bass now stocked in Lay Lake. Anglers that fish these bass release sites must be sure to read the rules, for many bass tournaments say no fishing in these areas.

So give Lay Lake a try this spring and see how good the fishing is first hand like many anglers say, "Lay Lake is the best bass lake in Alabama"...and that's saying a lot! Practice Catch and Release this is spring, so future anglers will be able to catch fish like we do.

Need a guide on Lay Lake? Always call on Reeds Guide Service...first! Lay Lake's oldest professional guide service. Reed Montgomery owner of Reeds Guide Service has many major bass tournament wins on Lay Lake, some victories going back for 20 years. Call today (205) 787-5133 for guided trip reservations and for obtaining some very useful fishing info for all of Alabama's Lakes this spring season.

Good Fishin'
Reed Montgomery / Reeds Guide Service
Producer / Host "Fishing Alabama" With Reed Montgomery Radio Show
"6 Years on the Radio  / Jan 2005"
Birmingham, Alabama
Call Reeds Guide Service...First! (205) 787-5133
"Over 40 Years Fishing Alabama for Bass and Stripers"

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