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Weiss Lake

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Description: 

Weiss Lake is a Reservoir in Cherokee, Alabama.

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Lake Weiss (pronounced "Wice") is an Alabama Power Company hydroelectric impoundment covering 30,200 acres in northeast Alabama on the Alabama - Georgia border. The Weiss Lake fishery is the major economic influence in Cherokee County, so the locals treat anglers very well.
An Alabama fishing license is needed to fish the Alabama portion of Lake Weiss (all but the very upper end), and a Georgia fishing license is needed to fish the Georgia portion of Lake Weiss.
Information about Cherokee County from the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce is available at: www.cherokee-chamber.org/. The best way to get information from them is to go to the "Contact Us" area and e-mail them a request for information to be sent to you via mail. The Cherokee Chamber of Commerce literature lists a dozen motels, cabins and camping areas, five bait-and-tackle shops, eight restaurants, and eight fishing guides. They will send you a map also. Lake Weiss RV Park is just outside Leesburg on Hwy 44.

Fishing Description: 

The lake known as the "Crappie Fishing Capital of the World" has other fish to boast about these days; largemouth bass and striped bass are making a name for themselves. The largemouth bass fishery has been a best-kept secret for several years. Data collected from tournament anglers and state fisheries personnel has shown that Weiss Lake is one of the better bass fisheries in the state.
The black bass population primarily consists of 15-18 inch bass as well as abundant numbers of young growing bass. The striped bass population is dominated by 3-7 pound fish, but fish over 25 pounds have been caught. With a creel limit of 30, one can have a lot of fun getting into a school of these bruisers!! Crappie fishing was good this past spring, but there are many crappie just under the legal size of 10 inches. The upcoming fall season and next year spring crappie fishing should be excellent as these fish grow to legal size. Georgia gives their prospect for fishing Weiss Lake.
In late February through early April, white bass can be caught as they make their annual spawning run up the Coosa River. A better than average run of mature white bass should make for good spring fishing in 2008. The River Road boat ramp upstream to Lock and Dam Park is a prime river stretch for catching spawn-run white bass. Key in on creek mouths and fallen trees with good water flow around them in the main river. Hungry white bass congregate in these areas waiting on food to pass by on the current. Anglers targeting white bass should try casting small jigs and crankbaits in shad patterns or use live bait. Most likely, anglers will catch a mixed bag of white bass and crappie using these techniques.
Striped bass fishing in the Coosa will be good in 2008, but the severe drought last summer may limit the number of larger striped bass caught this year. Spring run stripers are caught from the Lock and Dam upriver to the city of Rome. Live or cut shad is the most popular bait, but a few stripers are fooled using artificial lures such as bucktail jigs, shad colored crankbaits, and large jerkbaits fished in swift water near fallen trees. After the spawn, stripers disperse all over the Coosa River basin in search of cool waters to beat the summer heat. These fish can be found hiding wherever there is cool water in the rivers above Lake Weiss and the smaller tributaries to the lake. Find one of these spots and striped bass could be on the menu all summer. When cooler fall temperatures arrive, stripers will begin moving back toward the main lake where anglers can find them chasing shad on the Coosa River. From mid-to-late winter the area between Brushy Branch and the main body of Lake Weiss are good places to find some winter striper action.
Largemouth bass numbers and quality continue to be good in the upper portion of the lake. The average fish will weigh 1-2 lbs., with larger individuals topping the 7-8 lbs. range. Most bass fishing in this part of the lake is done in the Brushy Branch area, but largemouth will be found in any of the backwater tributaries off the main Coosa River channel. Such stump-laden areas like Kings Creek and Mt. Hope Creek hold plenty of largemouth, but must be boated with care. Spotted bass occur in fair numbers in the upper sections of Weiss. Spotted bass tend to stay in the main river channel and are generally a little smaller on the average than largemouth. Spots over 4 lbs. are available to anglers fishing bluff banks and creek mouths along the Coosa River above Brushy Branch.
Blue, channel and flathead catfish of all sizes are abundant. The larger blue catfish can top the 50 lbs. range in the riverine portion of the lake. Fish for these whiskered behemoths in and around log jams and undercut banks common in this area. Cats can be taken with a number of unsavory baits, but anglers should keep in mind most pole-breaker cats are after live prey such as shad or bream.
Freshwater drum, smallmouth buffalo and suckers are extremely abundant in this portion of the lake. The average drum is slightly over 12 inches, but be prepared to hook into some bull drum over 20 inches in length. Bluegill, redbreast sunfish and redear sunfish round out the fishing opportunity in the Georgia portion of Lake Weiss.

A few anglers may encounter an odd-looking fish they have never seen before in Lake Weiss or its surrounding waters. The lake sturgeon, once a resident of the Coosa River system, disappeared in the 1960s. Pollution and over-fishing are believed to have eliminated these archaic fishes from the river system. Thankfully since then, water conditions have improved in the river and WRD has begun to re-stock lake sturgeon in an effort to re-establish this native fish. Since their first stocking in 2002 more than 67,000 sturgeon fingerlings have been released in the Coosa basin. This long-term reintroduction project will require annual stockings over the next 15 to 20 years to re-establish this native fish. The species grows slowly and does not mature for 12-15 years so it is important to protect them from harvest until they can reproduce and once again support some limited harvest. As their name implies, they do have a tendency to inhabit slow waters, which includes Lake Weiss. Anglers accidentally catching a lake sturgeon should immediately release the fish unharmed. Fish hooked deep will often survive if anglers cut the line near the hook and release the fish with the hook. If you catch or otherwise see a sturgeon, please contact the Calhoun WRD office (706-624-1161) to report the location from which the sturgeon was caught. Such sightings are very helpful to biologists trying to assess the survival and dispersal of these magnificent fish. Those wondering what impact sturgeon will have on their favorite game species can rest easy. Because of its low reproductive potential, the fish does not establish itself as a prominent species making its impacts negligible. In fact, the sturgeons poor reproductive potential has caused the species to be listed as rare or endangered throughout most of its original range.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

Three special fishing regulations apply to Lake Weiss:
"It shall be unlawful for any angler to fish with more than three rods and reels, or poles, or any combination thereof on Weiss Reservoir or Neely Henry Lake, at any time;"
"It is illegal to possess crappie less than 10-inches in total length;"
"It is legal to possess 30 white bass, yellow bass, saltwater striped bass and hybrid (striped) bass or combinations of any size."
Several regulations of particular interest to Weiss Lake anglers:
"It is a violation of Alabama law for any person to transport more than one day's creel limit of game fish beyond the boundaries of this state."
It is a violation of Alabama law for any person to fillet a fish while fishing, or to possess fillets of fish while on public waters except when fish are being prepared for immediate cooking and consumption; provided however, that fish may be drawn or gutted with heads left attached.
For more fishing regulations, see www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/regulations/

Facilities and Parks: 

Four free public access areas and 37 privately run marinas service Lake Weiss. Campgrounds, motels and rental cabins dot the shoreline of the lake.

Some large boats and houseboats may be prohibited.

Name: 
Weiss Lake
Waterbody type: 
Reservoir
County: 
Cherokee
State: 
Alabama
Country: 
United States
Surface area: 
30200.00
Standard elevation: 
80
Latitude: 
34.1812
Longitude: 
-85.6541