bass fishing

Photo provided by Greg Bartz

Greg with a good bass caught and released on Lake Guntersville.

There is nothing more exciting than going to one of the great bass capitals of the world. Lake Guntersville is one of those lakes, and after getting a chance to spend a few days on the water and catching some of those legendary bass, I can only say that I’m counting the days until I get to fish it again.

Lake Guntersville is located in northern Alabama. I haven’t had a chance yet to fully explore it, but from what I saw of it, there are a multiple ways to fish this great lake. I just happened to be up there after one of the professional tournaments went through there, and the FLW Regional was coming up the weekend following. The weather was nice when we got up there for the first day or two but then started to turn cooler. I wanted to get out early in the trip because from all reports, the topwater bass bite was on fire.

Before leaving, I sent a text message to a friend I had not seen in a while. Former Bassmaster Classic winner Chris Lane now resides up in Guntersville, and I thought a little bit of his local insight might help me out. At the very least, it could save me some time figuring out what I needed to find in order to catch bass. Chris mentioned the topwater bite, primarily on frogs, was hot — so I set out looking for ideal spots to fish that bait.

We were staying at the Alabama state park on the lake, so I didn’t have to go far to find a spot that produced some immediate results. We got set to go after the sun broke and decided to run right straight out around the corner of an island that happened to be out in front of the park where we had docked the boat. Around the point we found that the water was a little calmer and out of the wind, which would make working frogs a little more effective.

We weren’t out there 10 minutes when I had one just under 5 pounds blow up and absolutely destroy my frog. It was one of the most violent strikes I’ve ever had. I set the hook and worked the bass back through the scattered vegetation to the boat. I was happy to see one that size attack my frog, especially since it was my first bass out of state in quite some time.

We worked that area for a little while longer, then decided to move around the other side of the island. We didn’t have to move far to find some very different cover to fish. Here there were fallen trees in the water, and the edge went from 2 feet to 9 feet in a very short distance.

I switched up and started flipping a jig and craw. I alternated that with a chatterbait tipped with a Gambler Little EZ swimbait. I got to the third tree lying out off the bank and fired the chatterbait past the tree. As it approached the tree, a 14-inch bass jumped out and hit my bait — fun, but I was hoping for that little fish’s mama. We finished that side of the island with no other bites.

We had some things to take care of back at the campsite, but I wasn’t ready to quit just yet. I decided to go back to where I caught the first bass and start throwing the frog again. This time I started where I quit after coming into the cove. I went about 100 feet and got another strike. This one wasn’t quite so violent, but then the bass was only about two-and-a-half pounds. Not that I’m complaining, because catching any bass on new water is always a good time.

After that, we packed it in and headed back to the dock. There were a few things we needed to do with the RV after bringing that on its maiden voyage, so I thought it best to get back and make sure that got done.

I did get a chance to go out one more time before we left, but I didn’t catch anything. The weather was swinging to the cool side and the bass were on the move. Not knowing the lake, I wasn’t quite sure where to look to hunt bass with declining water temperatures. However, there will be another trip up to Lake Guntersville in the not-too-distant future. The sights up there are gorgeous, and the bass fishing is nothing short of spectacular.

All in all, it was a great trip. Fishing out of state is always something I find fun. The fact I got a couple of decent bass in a short amount of time only made it that much better. But getting that local knowledge and finding some information out before we got there really helped us out in finding a spot that held a few bass. Had we gotten there a day or two earlier, I believe we would have caught more bass. But I can’t complain.

Another trip to Guntersville is definitely in order.

Greg Bartz is a tournament bass fisherman based in Lakeland. Greg fishes lakes throughout Florida’s Heartland and enjoys RV travel around the Southeast with his wife and tournament partner, Missy. Contact him at

Greg Bartz is a tournament bass fisherman based in Lakeland. Greg fishes lakes throughout Florida’s Heartland and enjoys RV travel around the Southeast with his wife and tournament partner, Missy. Contact him at


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