All I want for Christmas is two big bass! And if they are magnum spots, that is even better. Weiss is not always the first lake to come to mind for anglers who desire big spots, but there are a lot of 3- and 4-pounders feeding shallow during December at Weiss.
Coosa spotted bass are famous for how big they get and how aggressive they bite. Weiss is the first lake upstream on the Coosa River, so it makes sense it would be good for spotted bass. Weiss is a lake with lots of shallow structure and cover with plenty of wood and rock to fish, and you can catch good largemouth, too. Alabama Power generates electricity here, and the current makes fishing better for both spots and largemouth when the current is moving.
Zeke Gossett lives in Cropwell, Ala. and is a freshman at Faulkner University in Montgomery, where he is on the fishing team. Zeke’s fishing resume reads like a seasoned pro, with many awards since he started fishing tournaments in 2008. His dad Curtis is the coach of the Pell City High School bass fishing team.
This year Zeke was named as one of only 12 anglers on the BASS High School All American Team. Zeke’s list of top-10 finishes in high-level tournaments would take up half this article.
Zeke knows how to find and catch bass on a wide variety of lakes, and he fishes Weiss often, December is one of his favorite months to fish it.
“You can keep your baits simple and to the basics,” Zeke said.
His top baits are a 3/4-oz. Strike King KVD chartreuse-and-white spinnerbait with silver and gold blades, a 1/2-oz. brown jig with a green-pumpkin Baby Rage Craw with tips dipped in orange JJ’s Magic, and a Strike King KVD HC flat side crankbait in sexy shad and DB Craw. All of his baits are fished on Daiwa Tatula rods and reels and Vicious line.
Zeke and I fished Weiss a few weeks ago so he could show me 10 locations and how he fishes them. Fishing the following 10 holes, Zeke landed 10 keepers, both largemouth and spots, and his best five weighed at least 16 pounds. The bigger bass were all spots. By now the water has cooled, and anglers can catch even more big largemouth and spots on these places.
No. 1: N 34º 10.445 – W 85º 45.324 — If you put in at the Leesburg Park ramp in the canal, like we did, it is a short ride to where the canal splits off the river. The point at the split has big rocks on it, and current moving across the point attracts big spotted bass and largemouth to feed here.
Start on the canal side near the powerlines, and fish up to the point. An eddy just downstream of the main point will at times stack up the bass here. Cast a spinnerbait right to the bank, and slow-roll it down the drop. When you get to the point, cast across it and keep your spinnerbait on the bottom, bumping the rocks and letting it fall by them.
Fish a jig ’n pig the same way, working it from the edge of the water out to 10 feet deep or so. If current is moving here, the fishing will be much better, and the spinnerbait will allow you to fish faster in the current. It was moving when we fished, and Zeke got five or six keepers here, including a couple of better than 3-lb. spots.
No. 2: N 34º 10.323 – W 85º 45.254 — Go to the corner of the dam, and stop upstream of the rip-rap on the right side. Start fishing toward the dam, and fish both spinnerbait and jig here. Fish the rocks down to the concrete pilings on the dam. Be sure to cast under the pier of concrete the pilings hold up on the right side of the dam.
Power is not generated here, but the floodgates can let water through, so be careful. When we fished, the first gate on the right was open a little, and there was some current around it. That helps. Fish across the front of the floodgates, casting to the current around any gates that are open.
When you get to the left side of the dam, work the wall there, and then go around and fish the rip-rap past it. Cast a spinnerbait right to the edge of the water, and slow-roll it back. Work a jig ’n pig along the bottom, bumping the rocks and any wood that has washed in here.
No. 3: N 34º 11.285 – W 85º 42.634 — Run up the river past the creek with Bay Springs Marina in it. Upstream of this creek, a smaller double creek opens on the right. The bank on the river side of the downstream point between the two is a concrete seawall with docks on it.
Stop at the second dock downstream of the downstream point of the creek, and start fishing upstream. Zeke says this is a good deep bank, and bass feed all along it in the fall. Fish around the point and into the creek to the dock—the one with a long walkway with white pickets coming down to it.
Fish a crankbait and spinnerbait along this wall, casting right to it and bumping the bottom back out to the boat. Zeke got the biggest bass of the day on this spot. There were shad everywhere along this bank going into the creek, and Zeke says this is the key. If baitfish are in an area in December, the bass will be there, too.
After fishing your faster-moving baits, work more slowly over the same area with a jig. Wood will wash in and hang on the rocky bottom, so probe for it. If two anglers are fishing, one should use the faster-moving baits, and the other should follow up with the jig.
No. 4: N 34º 11.771 – W 85º 42.529 – Across the river and a little upstream, a big bay opens up on the left, downstream of Yellow Creek. You are not far below the powerline crossing. A highway causeway runs along the right back side of this bay. Stop on the downstream point of it downstream of the dock near the end.
There is a camping trailer on the end of the point, but no house out on it. The seawall going out to the point is concrete, and the depth drops off pretty good off the point. Fish a crankbait and jig along this bank to the dock, and then fish around the dock with a jig. There’s a lot of brush around the dock. Fish around the point into the bay, working the point carefully. There are big rocks on it, and the shad will pass across this point as they move into and out of the cove. Bass will ambush the shad here.
No. 5: N 34º 13.508 – W 85º 43.658 — Run to the back end of Yellow Creek, under the bridge and to the right arm. You can see a waterfall coming off the hillside. Where it enters the lake is another small waterfall at a big boulder. This water is usually very clear and colder than the lake, but Zeke catches some good bass in the area.
Since the water is so clear, Zeke will tie on a Vision 110 or Strike King KVD jerkbait in the pro blue color to fish here. He starts just past where the right arm forks off and works all the way to the pool at the base of the big boulder. He caught two good keeper spots here the day we fished.
Also fish a jig in the area. You can see the bottom in much of this arm of the creek, so cast to the deeper holes and to any bigger rocks you see. The base of the old pilings in here often hold a bass, too.
No. 6: N 34º 13.414 – W 85º 43.428 — Go back out to the bridge in Yellow Creek, and stop on the upstream side on the left going toward it at the big tree on the rip-rap. The sun shining on the rocks warms the water and can really turn on the bass, especially later in the month.
Fish a crankbait from the tree around about the same area on the downstream side. Zeke says he does not go any farther toward the bank on either side, since it gets too shallow. Concentrate on the point at the end of the rip-rap, schools of fish often hold here.
Zeke will also work his jerkbait and jig ’n pig on the rocks. Cast right to the water line, and fish your bait back to the boat at an angle. Try to feel the rocks, and keep your jig on them as you fish it. Dipping the tails in orange helps. One of the bass Zeke caught spit up a claw from a crawfish, and it was very orange. Watch for little tips like this that will help you pick the right bait and color.
No. 7: N 34º 13.513 W 85º 43.201 — Just downstream of the bridge is a small ditch on the left. Past the ditch is a clay bank that drops off into the creek channel that swings in along it. Zeke likes to start just past the ditch and fish this bank to the powerlines that hit this bank.
Keep your boat in about 10 feet of water, and cast ahead of the boat at about a 45-degree angle with a jig. There is some wood cover along this bank and scattered rock, too. Keep your jig on the bottom, and work any structure you hit carefully. Cast to the blowdowns along this bank, too.
No. 8: 34º 13.236 – W 85º 42.347 — Farther toward the mouth of Yellow Creek, a big bay opens on your left, and there is a point that is almost an island on the upstream side of it. The end of this point is very rocky and an excellent place to fish both a spinnerbait and a jig ’n pig. There are big rocks on the point.
Stop downstream from the point in about 17 feet of water, and fish the outside of the point. Work around the end of the point and to the back side a little ways. The rocky bottom drops off fast and holds good bass in December. Some wind blowing in on this point will help the spinnerbait bite. If it is calm, fish the jig more than the spinnerbait, but try both under all conditions.
No. 9: N 34º 12.353 – W 85º 41.791 — Go to the mouth of Yellow Creek, and stop on the downstream point of it. This bluff point has big rock around it and a house up on top of a block wall. There is a nice gazebo on the point, too, and the bottom drops off fast all around the point.
Fish your crankbait and jig ’n pig here, working all around the point. This big point can hold a lot of fish anytime in the winter. Sun hitting the rocks warms them and makes this location even better as the water gets colder.
No. 10: N 34º 10.686 – W 85º 43.136 — Go back downstream and across the lake into the creek with Bay Springs Marina in it. The creek splits with the marina on the right side. The middle point of the creek, across from the docks and ramp, is excellent this time of year.
Zeke will work all the way around this point with a crankbait, casting to the rip-rap rocks on the bank and fishing back out. He covers it fairly fast but will slow down and fish it carefully with a jig if he catches a good fish.
Tournament released fish from the marina will move across to this point, and they will feed here after they calm down from their boat ride and weigh-in. Zeke said some tournaments out of Bay Springs are won by fishermen staying on this point all day.
These 10 locations are some of Zeke’s favorites this time of year, and they give you a good variety of places to try. Once you see the kinds of places and the structure and cover on them, you can find many more great December spotted bass holes on Weiss.