The late bird gets out the Carolina-rigged worm

Published 3:01 pm Monday, August 18, 2008

When you head out fishing with Tracy Beall, don’t expect to see the sun rise on Lake Eufaula. Unlike most guided fishing trips, Beall’s charters start at the crack of noon.

The reason is simple – Beall is what is known in the bass fishing world as a deep-water structure fisherman, and the fish he targets have a habit of sleeping in.

“If you want to structure fish, you need to forget about waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning,” Beall said. “Do whatever you need to do in the mornings and fish in the afternoons. Typically, there is more (electricity) generation at the dams in the afternoon. That generation moves the water, which moves the baitfish out. Then the bass start moving out and get more active.

“They will bite when they’re not generating, but your odds greatly improve when they’re pulling water.”

Beall started fishing Eufaula, rated as one of the top bass fishing lakes in the nation, in 1965, riding his bike to the 45,181-acre reservoir that was impounded two years earlier on the Chattahoochee River.

“I got my first boat when I was about 14,” Beall recalled. “It was a 14-foot Monark aluminum boat with a 20-horse Mercury. That’s what I started in and I’m still fishing. The boat’s a little bigger (a 22-foot Ranger with a 250-horse Yamaha) these days.”

Although he didn’t have the range he has now when he first started fishing Eufaula, it didn’t take Beall long to determine that deep water is where he wanted to fish.

“I figured that out right after I got a boat,” he said. “I actually figured that out in the creeks, fishing points. You could catch more than one at one spot if you started fishing away from the bank.

Beall said there are a number of lure choices for deep-water fishing.

“A plastic worm, Carolina- or Texas-rigged, is good,” he said. “I prefer a Carolina rig because I can fish it faster. I can cover water quicker. I do a lot of drift fishing, or dragging. You let the wind or current drag you along the ledge. You just use the trolling motor to stay on the ledge. If you find fish, you can use a Mann’s 20-plus crankbait. A big Strike Zone spinnerbait, like the Ledgebuster, is a good deep-water bait, especially when you’ve got heavy cover. You don’t hang it up like a crankbait. And you need to have a jigging spoon tied on at all times. I like the three-quarter ounce Hopkins type. I use the chrome. Some people use the gold.

For guided fishing trips, contact Beall at 334-703-2570 or Jackie Thompson at 334-687-9595.