Fishing in Alabama

Last updated on July 3rd, 2021 at 10:53 am. Originally published on July 1st, 2021

The beautiful weather in Alabama makes it an ideal spot for year-round outdoor sports. That weather also creates perfect camping conditions. If you want to experience Alabama for yourself, consider a fishing expedition. Be sure to check the state’s fishing regulations and get your license before you go. There are 23 public lakes, 77,000 miles of rivers and streams, and many great Gulf Coast locations. It can be challenging to know where to go, so here are some of our favorites. 

Three people fish off a dock in a lake, turned gold by the rising sun.

Fishing Spots in Alabama

Pickwick Lake

Pickwick Lake, near Sheffield, Alabama, is a 47,500-acre lake on the Tennessee River that’s ideal for smallmouth bass fishing. This lake, created by Wilson Dam, has an average depth of 11 feet, but it has spots that are over 50 feet deep. The lower part of the lake has many ledges, grassy flats, and structures where the bass love to hide. Consider fishing here before the spring spawn. Another great time to fish this lake is when water flows over Wilson Dam because it moves baitfish and forage downstream, setting off a feeding frenzy. 

Wheeler Lake

Wheeler Lake, near Decatur, is an ideal place to go largemouth bass fishing. This 67,100-acre lake on the Tennessee River is also a great place to fish for smallmouth bass, especially south of where the Elk River enters the lake. While this lake does not yield as many catfish as some locations, it has generated a previous world-record 111-pound one. Fish for sauger right below the Guntersville Dam. Joe Wheeler State Park surrounds the lake on both sides, so it’s easily accessible. 

Lake Guntersville

The outstanding bass fishing at Lake Guntersville makes it a favorite stop on national and regional tournament calendars, and the Goose Pond boat dock is a favorite starting point. Try fishing for bass on crankbait near grassy areas where this 76-mile-long lake meets the Tennessee River during the spring. As temperatures warm up, you can expect the bass to move towards the center of the lake where the water is deeper. These 69,100 acres are also a great place to go bream fishing in the spring and early summer. You’ll find crappie in the spring and fall, with some anglers even catching some by fishing at night near the bridge pilings during the summer months. 

Weiss Lake

If you love crappie fishing, then head to Weiss Lake, near Centre. The best time to go crappie fishing here is from March to May and in the fall. Try using minnows under a float. This lake covering more than 30,200 acres is also a great spot to go large- and smallmouth bass fishing. Bass are usually biting from February until May and again during October and November. Weiss Lake offers various fishing conditions, and it can be a great place to go shore fishing. 

Neely Henry Lake

Neely Henry Lake, near Gadsden, is ideal for fishing for largemouth and spotted bass. Go striped bass fishing in the headwaters below Weiss Dam in the spring. While the fishing can be challenging in many Alabama lakes in the summer, that doesn’t apply here thanks to the spring-fed creeks that feed into it. Therefore, try summer fishing near where the Ohatchee and Cane Creeks enter the lake. 

Lewis Smith Lake

One of the most productive lakes in the state for different fish species is Lewis Smith Lake, near Cullman. This 51-mile-long lake that covers more than 21,000 acres is primarily known for its crystal-clear water. Over 50,000 striped bass are released into this lake annually, and you can catch them by using a 6-pound line and lightweight bait. If you prefer to catch largemouth bass, fish the Ryan Creek arm as it is flatter than the Rock Creek and Spivey areas. If the water level is low in this lake, fish along the shrubs; if it’s high, head to the lower lake as it will be clearer than the upper lake. 

Lower Alabama River

Largemouth bass, spotted bass, crappie, catfish, striped bass, and white bass can be caught in the Lower Alabama River. This section of the river starts at the Claiborne Lock and Dam and runs 72 miles to where the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers join. This span is perfect for mussels. In addition to the usual Alabama fish, this river can be an excellent spot to catch alligator gar, paddlefish, Alabama darter, and Alabama sturgeon. 

Where to Fish in Alabama

Generally, the lakes in the northern part of the state are the best answer when deciding where to fish in Alabama. In particular, look for those artificial lakes in the northeast and northwest corners created by dams that were built for power generation. The lakes where Alabama Power manages the location also tend to make for good fishing spots because the shoreline and surrounding areas are nicely maintained. 

Camping and Fishing in Alabama

It’s easy to combine a camping and fishing trip in Alabama. Your RV will have everything you need to cook up your catch and enjoy a delicious dinner! You may want to stop at a grocery store before you hit your fishing spot to be sure that you have all of the spices that you will need to season your catch and the accompanying side dishes. 

Fishing and camping in Alabama is a terrific way to enjoy the great outdoors. Each of these locations makes it easy to get on the water with your vessel. Many of the best fishing Alabama spots are near state parks, so you can bring your whole family, and they will have a marvelous time even if they don’t fish. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about fishing.

With an RV rental, your fishing trip will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day fishing, grill up your catch right at your campsite. Then, retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home on board your RV. Plan your perfect fishing getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.

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