Top 10 Fishing Destinations in Alabama

Lake Guntersville Alabama Fishing

Lake Guntersville

Fishing Logan Martin Lake Alabama

Logan Martin Lake

Lewis Smith Lake

Fishing Joe Wheeler State Park Alabama

Joe Wheeler Lake

Fishing Neely Henry Lake

Neely Henry Lake

Fishing Lake Eufaula Alabama

Eufaula Lake

Fishing Weiss Lake Alabama

Weiss Lake

Fishing Lake Jordan Alabama

Lake Jordan

Fishing Pickwick Lake Alabama

Pickwick Lake

Fishing Lay Lake Alabama

Lay Lake

Top 10 Fishing Destinations in Alabama


With over 132,000 miles of rivers and stream channels, and 32 miles of sandy beaches along the Gulf Coast, Alabama is a haven for fishermen of all levels, and it offers some of the best freshwater and saltwater fishing the U.S. has to offer.

Alabama takes great pride in its aquatic wildlife—so much, in fact, that the state has not one, but two state fishes. Alabama’s official state saltwater fish is the fighting tarpon, while its state freshwater fish is the largemouth bass—both of which you can find in abundance.

With so many miles of river and coastline, it can be hard for an angler to know where to start. We narrowed the list down to the top ten best fishing locations for fishermen of all levels.


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Types of Catch Available

Freshwater

raindbow trout

Rainbow Trout

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass

smallmouth bass

Smallmouth Bass

spotted bass

Spotted Bass

Striped Bass

White Bass

White Bass

yellow perch

Yellow Perch

walleye

Walleye

bullhead catfish

Bullhead Catfish

Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish

Bluegill

Bluegill

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Crappie

Crappie

Carp

Top 10 Fishing Spots Across Alabama

Lake Guntersville


Lake Guntersville

Lake Guntersville is located in beautiful northern Alabama, between the cities of Guntersville and Bridgeport. It is Alabama’s largest lake, stretching over 75 miles across, and spanning more than 69,000 acres.

Grab your life vest and paddle and do some kayak or boat fishing in Lake Guntersville. When you’re ready to land your catch, you can dock your vessel on one of the free boat ramps along the perimeter of the lake.

The lake is most well-known for its hefty largemouth bass, but Guntersville is also known for its black crappie, largemouth bass, striped bass, common bream, bream, redear sunfish, longear sunfish, catfish, sauger, and bluegill.

Alabama anglers take their fishing seriously. If you’re a more competitive angler, keep an eye out for the numerous fishing competitions held on Lake Guntersville. Many competitions have a low-cost or no admission fee, and prizes can be in the tens of thousands. The Alabama Bass Trail Tournament has a grand prize of $50,000.


Lewis Smith Lake

Lewis Smith Lake Alabama Mini Map


Lewis Smith Lake

Lewis Smith Lake, or Smith Lake as it’s known to locals, is a reservoir located in northern Alabama, in the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River. This large lake spans over 21,000 acres across three counties. It is the deepest lake in Alabama, dropping down to 264 feet at its deepest point. Tree-covered cliffs and enormous boulders create a sublime backdrop for fishing.

Smith Lake is home to a diverse range of fish, primarily bass. The lake is known is known for its largemouth bass, spotted bass, spotted bass, white bass, smallmouth bass, and even the rare Guadalupe bass. The Guadalupe bass is native to Texas, where it is the official state fish. The Guadalupe is a relatively small fish, usually between one to two feet in size, with bold diamond-shaped stripes running from its gill to the base of its tail.

If you are lucky enough to catch a Guadalupe bass, due to its near-threatened status, anglers and fly fishermen are encouraged to practice catch-and-release techniques to ensure that future lake visitors and anglers can enjoy this beautiful fish.


Neely Henry Lake

Lake Neely Henry Alabama Mini Map


Neely Henry Lake

Neely Henry Lake is a lake located near Gadsden, Alabama, on the Coosa River. This beautiful artificial lake spans over an enormous 11,200 acres. Here, you can catch largemouth bass, spotted bass, bluegill, catfish, hybrid bass, white bass, sunfish, and crappie. Due to the stable winter water levels at Neely Henry, the fish can grow very large, and it’s possible to catch a prize-winning bass at this lake.

Most largemouths are 12 to 16 inches in length, but 18- to 20-inch fish are commonly spotted. The fish here, especially the bass, are hungry for a tasty-looking lure, and they bite readily. Out of all the lakes in Alabama, Neely Henry ranks as having the 3rd most successful fishing trips, based on the percentage of anglers who successfully catch a fish.

In April, largemouth start their spawning season, and the southern half of the lake becomes a premium fishing spot for anglers.


Weiss Lake

Weiss Lake Alabama Mini Map


Weiss Lake

Weiss Lake is located in the beautiful Cherokee and Floyd counties in Alabama. The lake stretches over 32,000 acres. The water is relatively shallow, with a maximum depth of 62 feet. Owned and operated by the Alabama Power Company, the lake is well-maintained and highly regarded by anglers as one of the best fishing spots in Alabama.

Weiss Lake’s geography is marked by shall flats, deep channels, and hundreds of miles of pristine shoreline. The lake boasts a diverse range of species, and it is known for its healthy population of largemouth bass, white crappie, black crappie, channel catfish, flathead catfish, bluegill, redear sunfish, white bass, striped bass, and hybrid striped bass. The bass are a healthy size, average between 15 to 18 inches in size. The striped bass usually weigh in at about 3 to 7 pounds, but there have been several cases of 25-pounders being caught by anglers as well.

Weiss Lake features numerous amenities for visitors and anglers, such as a marine, boat rentals, boat launch ramps, campgrounds, and bait and tackle shops.

The fish bite readily year-round at Weiss Lake, but springtime is the peak season to catch fish and to see them swimming in large schools.


Wheeler Lake

Joe Wheeler State Park Alabama Mini Map


Wheeler Lake

Wheeler Lake is a reservoir located in northern Alabama, between the cities of Rogersville and Huntsville. The lake is very large, stretching 60 miles from the Wheeler Dam to the Guntersville Dam.

Wheeler Lake is home to a large number of fish species, including bluegill, longear sunfish, redear sunfish, striped bass, hybrid bass, sauger, and white bass, but Wheeler Lake is especially known for its large catfish. A previous record-breaking catfish weighing 111 pounds was caught in Wheeler Lake in 1996.

 Spring and summer are the best time to catch striped, hybrid, and white bass. The best baits for bass are crankbaits, plastic worms, spinners, and Carolina rigs. The fish at Decatur flats are known to prefer lures shaped like small vertebrates, such as mice and frogs.

Lake Jordan

Lake Jordan Alabama Mini Map


Lake Jordan

Lake Jordan, located in central Alabama, twenty-five miles north of Montgomery is a 6,000-acre stretch of water that boasts over 180 miles of shoreline. The species of sport, game, and forage fish that can be caught at Lake Jordan include bluegill, redear sunfish, black and white crappie, spotted bass, largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, striped bass, threadfin shad, gizzard shad, blue catfish, channel catfish, and flathead catfish.

The fish population at Lake Jordan maintains its healthy numbers, and it’s essentially remained unchanged since the 1980s. Largemouth and spotted bass are particularly abundant, while the population of crappie is variable.

Popular bass lures include willow-leaf spinnerbaits in shad or white, finesse worms, and Carolina rigs. Crappie can be found in shallower waters, near fallen logs and branches during the springtime. Use live minnows if you want to have a more successful fishing trip and catch more crappie. During the winter, crappie school together in large numbers beneath the surface of the open water.


Lay Lake

lay Lake Alabama Mini Map


Lay Lake

Lay Lake is located 30 minutes south of the Birmingham. The reservoir spans over 12,000 acres. You can access the lake easily from one of its seven public-access areas. Each area features easy shore and boat access to the lake. The lake features numerous amenities for anglers, such as nearby bait and tackle shops, convenience stores, boat launch ramps, boat rentals, and a marina.

Lay Lake is a fantastic year-round fishery, but the upper end of the lake, close to the Logan Martin Dam tailwaters, is home to a large fishery. Largemouth bass, spotted bass, white crappie, black crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, striped bass, and hybrid bass call this lake home.

During the spring, cast your line near aquatic weeds to catch large bass. The bass at Lay Lake are known for their voracious appetite, and they will prey on frogs, lizards, and even snakes. If you want to catch larger bass, try using frog and rat lures.


Lake Eufaula

Lake Eufaula Alabama Mini Map


Lake Eufaula

Lake Eufaula is a 45,000-acre reservoir located on the Chattahoochee River. It borders southwest Georgia and southeast Alabama. This lake is well-known by anglers and local fisherman for its plump largemouth bass, spotted bass, black crappie, and channel catfish.

Spring is the best season to catch largemouth bass and crappie. Crappie over 1 foot (1 pound) in length are abundant. While the numbers of flathead catfish and blue catfish are increasing, channel catfish are the most commonly caught catfish species.

Whether you’re fishing in the lake in Georgia or Alabama, public boat access is available throughout the lake. Boat ramp parking is inexpensive or free. Boat access sites owned by the city of Eufaula (Old Creek Town and Barbour Creek) are free to the public to use.

 Good baits to use to lure in larger fish include worms, swimbaits, shads, and crankbaits.

Logan Martin Lake

Logan Martin Lake Alabama Mini Map


Logan Martin Lake

Logan Martin lake is a reservoir in east central Alabama. It is located on the Coosa river, 30 miles east of Birmingham. The lakeshore stretches for 275 miles.

Hybrid bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, striped bass, white bass, crappie, bream, drum, channel catfish, drum, carp, and gar call Logan Martin Lake home, and can be caught in abundance. Spotted bass ranging from 14 to 21 inches in length are common, and the growth of spotted bass in Logan Martin Lake has been evaluated to be good to excellent in recent years.

If you are here to catch crappie, live minnows, small jigs, tubes, imitation minnows, and curltail grubs make excellent bait. During the spring, hybrid and striped bass make their annual swim upriver. March throughout summer are the best months for fishing for striped and hybrid bass.


Pickwick Lake

Pickwick Lake Alabama Mini Map


Pickwick Lake

Pickwick Lake is a 43,100-acre lake that spans across three states, including Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. This reservoir is relatively shallow, with a max depth of only 59 feet, and an average depth of 9 feet.

The lake is famed across all three states as an excelling sportfishing lake, and anglers have hauled in record-sized smallmouth bass and catfish. The discharge basin at Colbert Fossil Plant, just west of Sheffield, Alabama, is a hotspot for fishing. The power plant releases hot water into the fossil plant, attracting fish of all species during the autumn and winter months.

Traffic can get busy near the lake, especially on the weekends and during tournaments, but luckily, Pickwick is a great lake for night-fishing.

You will find smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish in abundance throughout the lake. Crappie are common at Pickwick Lake, and the spring and summer months are the best time to go crappie fishing. If you’re looking to catch a prize-winning catfish, try drift-fishing using night crawlers, cut bait, and minnows. And, of course, no tackle box is complete without a Ziploc bags filled with a local secret: chicken livers!


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