Lewis Smith Lake: the deepest lake of Alabama.


Michele Fanfani

MLF Toyota Series


For the fourth time, Jacopo finds himself facing the deepest waters of Alabama while fishing in the dam on the Sipsey Fork tributary of the Black Warrior River, known as Lewis Smith Lake.

The maximum depth is 264 feet and the fish species suitable for tournaments consist of Largemouth black bass and Spotted bass. Despite the lake’s main features (deep waters and rocky walls), Smallmouth is not present.

While the activity of Largemouth is still low due to seasonal conditions, Spotted bass is now available and ready to be caught.

With a color similar to Largemouth, but with a smaller mouth, Spotted bass has adapted well to artificial basins with predominantly rocky bottoms, such as Lewis Smith Lake.

Therefore, after some successful practises, especially in terms of the number of catches, Jacopo has decided to focus on fishing for Spotted bass.

During practice, using the Livescope, he noticed that numerous schools of Spotted bass were approaching the bait but not taking it. This led the Jacopo to insist too much on presenting to inactive fish, wasting time. Jacopo decided to focus mainly on the patterns he deemed correct, without relying too much on technology.

On Day 1, he started fishing near vertical rock walls that continued underwater with steps leading down to depths of 4.5-6 meters. Here, he immediately found Spotted bass in a typical pre-spawning aggressive state.

After the first hour, he already had a 3-pound fish caught with a small plastic swimbait. He then continued alternating between rock walls and artificial structures such as piers and docks. When the aggressiveness of Spotted bass decreased during the day, Jacopo changed technique, using a drop shot rig and still managed to catch several significant fish. With a total of 13-03 pounds, he was quite satisfied with his performance.

On Day 2, he continued with this strategy and the day could have been much more fruitful if the co-angler of the day had been able to land a really nice fish that remained in the water instead…

However, with 12 pounds, Jacopo earned the right to fish on the third day.

On Day 3, Jacopo did not change his pattern and realized that the leader of the tournament was fishing exactly like him and in the same area. Comforted by the fact that he had made a choice that could really win, he continued fishing, but in the end, he found it increasingly difficult to catch fish and only managed to catch 10-04 pounds.

At the end he finished in 17th place, but with the same weight (35-07lbs) as the 15th and 16th place finishers.

Jacopo’s techniques were mainly finesse, but he also caught fish with reaction baits such as a 130 Glide bait.

Equipment used:

For the Glide bait: a 7’3″ 13 FISHING ENVY casting rod with a Fast action and a 1,1/4 oz. weight, paired with a CONCEPT C2 casting reel spooled with 14-pound Fluorocarbon Sufix Advance.

For drop shot and shaky head fishing: a 6’10” 13 FISHING ENVY spinning rod with Extra Fast action, 3/8oz, which proved to be excellent for extracting combative fish from underwater bushes and other obstacles.

The drop shot rig consisted of a 3/16oz. weight, a BKK Siren #1 hook, and a 4″ worm. The shaky head had a #1.0 hook.

Jacopo used a 15-pound Sufix X8 braid and an 8-pound leader on the reel.

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Michele Fanfani
Michele, 60 years old, Florentine like Jacopo, followed him during all phases of his sporting career in Italy and accompanied him to America at the start of his professional career. He achived several successes fishing along with Jacopo but above all he conceived and created the Italian magazine “Bassfishing” and the publication “The Secrets of Bassfishing”. He currently follows Jacopo along his career and is the creator and administrator of the “Curva Gallelli” Fans Club.