If you like fishing shallow rocks, wood and grass, Weiss is the place to be in November. Big Coosa spots and quality largemouth are around seawalls, logs and brush, feeding up for winter, and they are easier to target and catch on a wide variety of baits.
The Coosa River flows out of Georgia at Rome to the Weiss Dam near Centre. The very upper end is in Georgia, but an Alabama fishing license is required on the lake, except the part of the river in Georgia.
Your first trip to Weiss might surprise you. Fairly high, rolling foothills surround the lake, giving the impression as you approach that the lake should be mostly deep, with contours that drop quickly. But the lake is very shallow with huge flats and shallow shorelines, except places where creek and river channels swing right next to the shore.
These shallows are lined with docks, many with brushpiles, and water-willow beds are scattered all along them. Seawalls with rip-rap are in front of many houses, and drift wood has lodged in many places. All of this cover offers great feeding places for both spots and largemouth.
Cal Culpepper is a senior at Harris County High School and fishes with the bass team. He has been very successful, winning Angler of the Year titles on his team the past two years. He and his family are friends with Don Wells, and Don has mentored Cal the past few years, helping him learn to find and catch bass.
Cal has also done well in state and regional tournaments. He won the East Alabama Bass Trail High School Angler of the Year in 2016. He and his partner, Mason Waddell, won the FLW High School Georgia State Championship on West Point and came in second in the National Championship on Pickwick.
In the B.A.S.S. Southern Open on Guntersville, Cal and Mason placed 18th out of 330 boats and then placed 26th in a Chickamauga tournament with 350 boats. They plan on going to a college where they can remain teammates on a college fishing team.
“Bass follow shad into the creeks in November and also feed on bluegill in shallow water,” Cal said.
You can catch them on transition points as they move in and also get them to bite in the shallows where they are feeding right now.
Cal will have a variety of baits ready for November fishing. A bone-colored Jenko Fleabag is a walking topwater bait that works well for bass chasing shad, as does a pearl Zoom Fluke. Around grass and wood, Cal’s go-to bait is a chartreuse-and-white Z-Man ChatterBait fished on a Favorite 7-foot medium-heavy rod. A Southern Shiners’ spinnerbait in the same colors will also get bit.
For steeper rocky banks, a Megabass 110 jerkbait and a Pro Point Crunch Minnow swimbait will attract both spots and largemouth, as will a Jenko CD Squared shad-colored crankbait.
When Cal wants to slow down and work on fish the faster baits have helped him locate, he will fish a shaky-head jig with a green-pumpkin finesse worm or a Southern Shiners’ green-pumpkin jig with a matching Speed Craw trailer. He sometimes dips the tail of his finesse worm in JJ’s Magic to entice reluctant fish.
Cal and his dad showed me the following 10 spots a few weeks ago. Fish were already feeding in many of them, and they will be better now. We landed both spots and largemouth, with our best five going about 13 pounds.
No. 1: 34º 10.838 – W 85º 43.198 – The creek at Bay Springs Marina is a good example of the type of area where shad move in as the water gets cooler, and bass follow them. Also, fish released in tournaments at the marina “restock” the area every weekend.
Going into the creek, there is a small cove with a ditch on the left. Docks line both sides, and rip-rap is on the seawall. There are some grassbeds in it, too.
Start at the shallow point on the upstream side where a white pole marks it. Fish a walking bait around the grass, and then work around the cove, fishing the walking bait all the way if you are getting action on it. If the fish don’t want to hit on top, run a ChatterBait around the grass, rocks and docks, and try your jig or shaky head in the same places.
Cal caught a 3-lb. spot here the day before we fished, and we landed some smaller fish here on Saturday. A 60-boat tournament that Saturday resulted in several boats fishing this area at first light. It is good early, but shade makes it good all day.
No. 2: N 34º 11.287 – W 85º 44.849 – Across the lake and upstream, Chestnut Cove runs back parallel to the river and splits into two arms. As you go in, a dock on the right with a blue metal roof has a wooden walkway going down to it. The bank is steep and drops off fast into the old creek channel. There is rip-rap on the seawall and natural rocks deeper.
Start at the blue-topped dock, and work the deep bank with a jerkbait, topwater and Fluke. Cal’s dad landed a good keeper fish here. As you round the point, the water gets shallow, and a powerline crosses the cove. You will see some old plugs hung on the line, and under it is some brush. One top was out of the water on this shallow point, and it has grass on the bank.
Fish the grass with a ChatterBait and topwater. Work on around the right bank. It is shallow, and big rocks are just under the water. We got a good keeper largemouth on top off these rocks. Fish them and the docks, and work all the way to the grass-lined ditch that enters on that side.
No. 3: N 34º 12.359 – W 85º 41.779 – Run up to the mouth of Yellow Creek. On the main-lake downstream point, a big white house sits up on the bluff hill, and a gazebo is near the walkway leading down to the water. The point is steep and covered with rocks.
Start on the river side of the point, and fish around it with a jerkbait and crankbait. Also, try a shaky head here. I lost a keeper fish on a shaky head on the back side of the point before we got to the dock. There are some rocks there that run out a little shallower. Fish to the dock and around it, too.
No. 4: N 34º 12.548 – W 85º 41.207 – A small creek enters between Yellow Creek and the opening to Little River downstream of Hog Island. It has a causeway back in it. On the downstream point, a nice yard runs to the water’s edge where the clay bank drops down. Way out on the shallow point that runs toward the middle of the creek, there are rocks on the creek-channel drop.
Idle over the end of the point, and locate the drop from 5 feet deep down to the channel in 15 feet. Keep your boat out in the channel, and cast up to the shallow water, working a jerkbait over them. Follow up with a jig ’n pig and shaky head. This is an excellent spotted bass hole, and we caught a small one here.
Wind blowing in on places like this makes them better, as long as you can control your boat in the waves. Wind will make the fish more likely to bite a jerkbait, and any current hitting the rocks will turn the fish on, too.
No. 5: 34º 11.715 – W 85º 38.802 – Going up the right side of the lake, just downstream of the Highway 9 Causeway, a small island sits just off the bank. Downstream of it are two small pockets, and there are some docks upstream of the downstream one. The river channel swings in near this bank, so deep water is close to the pockets.
Start on the downstream point of the downstream pocket. The bank is rock and clay, and there is a small blowdown here. Fish this deeper bank with a crankbait, ChatterBait and jig. Work the blowdown and other wood, including the dock posts, with a jig.
Fish around the upstream point where there is a seawall and dock, and also the next pocket where the downstream bank is rocky. Cast a spinnerbait and ChatterBait back into the pockets around the wood there. Fish on up until you are around the shallow grass on the main bank behind the island, working it with a topwater and ChatterBait.
No. 6: N 34º 11.805 – W 85º 37.909 – The river channel runs parallel to the causeway and has channel markers on posts along it. Go out to channel marker 25, and idle across the channel that is on the downstream side of it. On the downstream side of the channel, across from the channel marker, an old roadbed runs along the ledge and tops out about 9 feet deep.
Cal likes to get on top of the roadbed and cast ahead of the boat with a crankbait and a shaky head, fan casting so his baits cover both sides of the drop, as well as the top. This roadbed runs a long way, and fish will bunch up on it, so fish fairly fast until you get bit. Then slow down, and pick that area apart.
No. 7: N 34º 11.380- W 85º 37.745 – Go under the first bridge on the right side of the causeway. There is a narrow cove on the right with a drain pipe in the back. The right bank has wood and grass on it, and the upstream side has some docks, one in the pocket and others on the main lake.
Fish the shallow cover with a ChatterBait and spinnerbait. In the back, fish the rip-rap and pipe with those and a shaky head. When you get to the docks, work them with a ChatterBait and shaky head.
As we worked into the cove on the right, another boat pulled in on the left and quickly moved to the back to fish the pipe. They should have worked the docks they idled past on the left side. We landed three good largemouth here, two on the ChatterBait and one on a shaky head, all holding on the posts.
No. 8: N 34º 10.539 – W 85º 37.046 – Going up the river, the channel runs along the right bank, and it drops off fast. Stop at the point on the upstream side of the first little creek on the right above the causeway. It is rocky and has docks on it, some with brush. There is a small pocket on the upstream side of this point, and the docks in it are the last ones for several hundred yards going upstream. There is a small willow bush in the middle of the ditch that forms the pocket.
Fish the point with a jerkbait and a crankbait over the rocks, and work the docks with a ChatterBait, jig and shaky head. As you fish past the ditch going upstream, there are a lot of blowdowns on the bank, which drops into deep water. Fish them with a ChatterBait, spinnerbait and jig. Cal caught a nice spot here the day before we fished it.
No. 9: 34º 08.670 – W 85º 35.790 – Go up to the Spring Creek Bridge. Shad and bass moving up the creek are forced to move to the bridge, so it provides a good pinch-point to concentrate them. Cal works the whole rip-rap from one end to the other since the bass work along it to the bridge and feed.
Work the rocks with a crankbait and swimbait, fishing at an angle with your boat out in 10 to 15 feet of water, to cover the depth the fish feed along the rocks. When you get a bite, slow down and work the area with a shaky head since bass tend to bunch up in small areas. Fish all four corners of the bridge hard, since they are key areas. Cal got our best keeper of the day here on a shaky head.
No. 10: N 34º 08.528 – W 85º 35.738 – Above the Spring Creek bridge, a small creek enters the main creek on the right. The upstream point of it has seawalls, docks and grass to fish. The channel is near this point, and fish feed on it as they move into the smaller creek and up the main creek.
Fish the rocks, docks and grass with your crankbait, ChatterBait and shaky head. If the sun is bright, try to get your baits as far back into the shade under the docks as possible, bumping the shady posts with all your baits.
All these places have been holding fish for the past few weeks and will get even better as the water cools this month.
Cal is on Facebook. Go friend him, and you can see pictures of the fish he catches and keep up with him on the tournament trails.