Wiggins' winning patterns in B.A.S.S. Open at Lewis Smith Lake

Jesse Wiggins of Cullman, who won last weekend's B.A.S.S. Southern Open on Lewis Smith Lake by more than 2 pounds, did

Jesse Wiggins of Cullman, who won last weekend's B.A.S.S. Southern Open on Lewis Smith Lake by more than 2 pounds, did it by concentrating on shallow water and largemouth bass instead of the much more abundant offshore spotted bass found throughout Smith.

The lake, an impoundment of several rivers coming out of Bankhead National Forest, is one of the clearest in the southeast, and has long been noted as a prime spot and striper lake, but largemouths are sort of an afterthought--they're mostly found only in the upper ends of the feeder rivers where there are shallows and woody cover more suitable to their habits. However, largemouths regularly attain larger sizes than spots, and they also live in gnarly backwaters where they're less likely to be spooked by dozens of boats running overhead in a major tournament like this one--Wiggins figured this out and used it to win.

Wiggins said he caught his winning bass on a Zoom Horney Toad soft plastic frog on the shorelines in the mornings, then switched to a shaky head jig with a Zoom Fluke Stick to fish around the many docks on the lake later in the day. He also caught fish on the Jenko CD Squared, a square-bill crankbait, and on another 1.5 diving crankbait on some of Smith's many rocky shorelines.

Wiggins' pattern should be a good one throughout October for those who want to catch largemouths on Smith, but as the water cools the spotted bass will become more active and start chasing herring to the surface, making them an easier target to find and catch at least until the first freeze.

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Alabama DCNR is now offering an Adult-Mentoring Hunting Program to introduce adults to the sport of hunting, with the first event slated for Nov. 18 in Mobile County. The classes cover firearms safety, gear, scouting, hunting, cleaning and cooking wild game, and include actual hunting time for deer, turkey, squirrel and rabbits. Eleven classes are scheduled through March 2018, all in Mobile or Dallas County.

To apply for an AMH event, you must be at least 19 years old, have a valid driver's license and be new to hunting (or have limited hunting experience). The AMH application is available for download at www.outdooralabama.com/apply-adult-mentored-hunt. Completed applications go to Justin Grider, WFF Mentored Hunt Coordinator, Justin.Grider@dcnr.alabama.gov.

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The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries has Game Check seminars scheduled across the state to educate hunters about the harvesting system and new hunting regulations that become effective this year. Remaining seminars include:

October 5, 2017
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building
Room 2217
602 Duncan Drive
Auburn, AL 36849

October 9, 2017
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Central Alabama Community College
Technology Building, Multi Media Room
1675 Cherokee Road
Alexander City, AL 35010

October 10, 2017
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Greenway Sportsman Club
231 Jan Drive
Union Springs Alabama, 36089  

October 12, 2017
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
District I Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Office
21453 Harris Station Road
Tanner, AL 35671

 Game Check results from last year's hunting season, hunting and fishing regulation changes, and new public hunting opportunities for hunters will be explained during the seminars. A question and answer session will follow. For details, visit www.outdooralabama.com.

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Article Wiggins' winning patterns in B.A.S.S. Open at Lewis Smith Lake compiled by www.al.com