Pro angler Chris Lane and the MLF Anglers Association are working on a program to stock F1 largemouth bass in Guntersville. Guide Lonnie Cochran, who spends 200 days a year on the lake, is all for it.
The social media Guntersville fishing pages all spring have had comment after comment about how Guntersville is not living up to its potential.
“Guntersville is not where it should be,” Lonnie said. “It is still better than 90 percent of the lakes in the country, but it is not at its potential.”
Lonnie said a couple of spawns were lost 5 or 6 years ago and it has hurt the number of big fish in the lake.
“I takes awhile to recover when you lose a couple of spawns,” he said.
He said the key to making Guntersville all it can be is boosting the largemouth genetics. The F1, sometimes called a “Tiger” bass, is a cross between a Florida strain and a Northern strain largemouth. It is said to be fast-growing and aggressive.
The cross between the Northern strain and Florida strain is what helped Chickamauga take off as a big bass factory in recent years.
"A few of us guides are raffling off trips to help raise money for this stocking program,” Lonnie said.
He said the fingerlings that are going to be put in the lake “can’t be turned loose out on the ledges. They will be dead. They need to be placed back in the creeks and in the grassy flats so they can find places to hide.”
He thinks a few years of intensive stocking can help Guntersville become the best bass lake in America year-in and year-out.
“The town of Dayton took on Chickamauga by itself and built a big bass factory,” Lonnie said. “And Chickamauga is not as suitable for Florida largemouth as Guntersville.”
He said only a few lakes have all the elements to be a “super lake” and Guntersville has them, large flats, creeks pouring fertile water into the system and deep water and ledges.
“Guntersville has it all when it comes to bass,” Lonnie said. “Everything we need is here. We just have to take care of it a little bit."