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Pickwick Lake Preview for the Pickwick Slam presented by Evolution Fishing

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Next weekend, the Association of Collegiate Anglers will host its first major televised event of 2023 on the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series. The Pickwick Slam presented by Evolution Fishing will be contested April 22nd-23rd in Florence, Alabama on Pickwick Lake and Wilson Lake.  The event will be held at McFarland Park, with a current field size right at 200 boats from some of the power houses of college fishing. The anglers will be competing in this no entry fee event for over $20,000 in prizes and contingencies, as well as double points to count towards the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.

The playing field next week will include both Wilson Lake and Pickwick Lake. These two bodies of water are very diverse and will offer a wide range of fishing options for this talented field of collegiate anglers.  The fertile waters of both lakes are home to a healthy population of largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass.

This area of Alabama has been a favored stop for the series, and the last time the ACA visited these fisheries at this time of the year was in 2021. That event was dominated by smallmouth bass. A total of eight limits weighing over 20 pounds crossed the scales through two days of tournament competition, and a majority of those limits were comprised of exclusively smallmouth bass. James Willoughby and Chance Schwartz from top ranked University of Montevallo won the event with a two-day total of 10 smallmouth bass exceeding 45 pounds.

Many of the teams that found themselves in contention at Pickwick Lake back in 2021 were concentrating their efforts on the Wilson Dam tailrace, just up from the official takeoff at McFarland Park in Florence, AL. The TVA was moving water through the Tennessee River at a high rate that week, as they worked to push water down the Tennessee River system.  This moving water created strong currents below the dam where boat loads of healthy smallmouth bass were set up to feed on bait as it passed by. Anglers found a great deal of success targeting fish in this area with a variety of swimbaits, spinnerbaits, and soft plastics.

Lake conditions this year are setting up to be different than in 2021, and will more closely resemble regular conditions this time around. Typical elevation for Pickwick Lake this time of year is between 413 and 414 feet. At the time of this article, Pickwick Lake sits at 413.15 feet. The current 10-day forecast does not project much rain, meaning anglers should expect fairly stable lake levels from practice through the conclusion of the event, which will see anglers likely targeting a mix of fish using shallow cover.

For more information and to register for the Pickwick Slam presented by Evolution Fishing, click here.

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