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Alabama Bass Trail

855-934-7425

402 Sherman Street P.O. Box 2537
Decatur, AL 35602


 

 

classic-14The Alabama Bass Trail is a cooperative effort between Governor Robert Bentley’s office, the Alabama Tourism Department, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association.

The Alabama Bass Trail features 11 of Alabama’s premiere bass-fishing lakes and stretches from the mountains of North Alabama south to the Mobile Delta. With a mild climate, mineral rich reservoirs, affordable lodging and dining, as well as public access to boat ramps and marinas, Alabama is a year-round destination for anglers from across the country.


Governor Robert Bentley“Don Logan and I first discussed the concept of promoting the great fisheries in Alabama in my office. The launch of the Alabama Bass Trail is the realization of that goal. Anglers from around the nation will be encouraged to come and fish where the pros fish. I firmly believe the Bass Trail will grow into a successful model that neighboring states will want to emulate.”

 

Dr. Robert Bentley
Governor of Alabama

 

 

 


Lee Sentell“I congratulate the Alabama Mountain Lakes Association on accepting the responsibility to develop and operate the Alabama Bass Trail in association with the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society. You will have a wealth of cooperation from local businesses, organizations and governments. This effort will significantly increase the visibility of our state with anglers around the country. Our agency will assist you in every way possible.”

 

Lee Sentell, Director
Alabama Tourism Department

 

 


Dana Lee Jennings“When visitors enter our state they are greeted by a sign that says “Alabama the Beautiful.” Nothing defines that beauty more than does Alabama’s waterways. Regardless of your fishing expertise, we invite you to “Get Hooked” at one of the eleven lakes and rivers on the new Alabama Bass Trail. Whatever your idea of fishing is, you will find it in Alabama.”

Dana Lee Jennings, President & CEO
Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association

 

 

 

 

 


abt-frame

The Alabama Bass Trail...

One trip and you'll be hooked by Alabama's fantastic lunker bass fishing. You know when our official freshwater fish is the Largemouth Bass, there's some serious fishing going on across this state. The Alabama Bass Trail features 11 premiere bass fishing lakes and we've made it easy to find all the information you need to get here and get on a lake. Details for each lake – from ramp locations to what's biting to where to stay – are conveniently located on this site. Plus, check out the tips and lake reports from professional anglers and guides. Come fish on the Alabama Bass Trail... the excitement is catching!

 


 

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Alabama Road Trip - Golf and Bass Trail fishing

 

 

 

 

 

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Alabama Bass Trail

855-934-7425

402 Sherman Street P.O. Box 2537
Decatur, AL 35602


 

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Alabama Bass Trail

855-934-7425

402 Sherman Street P.O. Box 2537
Decatur, AL 35602


 

 

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ALABAMA BASS TRAIL LAKE OVERVIEWS

LAKE GUNTERSVILLE

Whether you like working in the stump flats in the pre-spawn period or the frenzied action you create with top water frogs in the grass mats, Lake Guntersville is the place to catch largemouth bass.

Lake Guntersville is located in northeast Alabama between Bridgeport and Guntersville. Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Alabama’s largest lake contains 69,100 acres and stretches 75 miles from Nickajack Dam to Guntersville Dam. Lake Guntersville fish habitat includes milfoil and hydrilla weed beds from which big bass explode on top-water baits. There is a 15-inch minimum length for both largemouth and smallmouth bass on the lake.

Free boat ramps and private marinas dot the lake’s perimeter. Fishing, boating, camping, hunting and eagle watching are all popular sports at Lake Guntersville State Park.

 

WHEELER LAKE

In a year-round fishing heaven, local anglers and tournament pros hit the water in search of largemouth bass. Dark jigs cast on points and along bluff walls at night are good for smallmouth bass in the lower reservoir. Spotted bass – we call them “spots” – also are common; they’re found primarily near the main channel. Striped bass, hybrids and white bass make spring runs and can be caught schooling during the summer.

At 67,100 acres, Wheeler Lake is the largest of three stair-stepping reservoirs along the Tennessee River that were created by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1930s and 1940s. Situated in north central Alabama, Wheeler Lake stretches 60 miles from Guntersville Dam to Wheeler Dam, with the City of Decatur at about the midway point.

The terrain and structure of Wheeler is diverse. The upper end of the reservoir is a run-of-the-river reservoir as it goes past Huntsville and begins spreading out near Decatur. In the middle section, stump flats, weed beds, and creek channels are popular locations for lunker bass. The lower end has many steep banks and long points.

 

PICKWICK LAKE

If you’re ready to put your rod technique to the test, go after the tough-fighting smallmouth bass in Pickwick Lake.

Located in northwest Alabama on the Tennessee River near Florence and Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  Pickwick’s total surface area at full summer pool is 47,500 acres.  Generation discharge from Wilson Dam creates a strong current that smallmouth bass love. In fact, Pickwick Lake has a superb lunker smallmouth bass population with proof being that several line-class records have been certified by the International Game and Fish Association.  The middle to lower reaches of Pickwick’s 50-mile reservoir provide excellent habitat for both largemouth and smallmouth bass.

 

LEWIS SMITH LAKE

With five past world record spotted bass catches, you can see why the lure of big spots brings anglers from all over the country to Lewis Smith Lake. Plus, the Gulf Coast strain of striped bass here often weighs in at more than 20 pounds. In fact, a monster 32 lb.-8 oz. striped bass caught on the lake is an Alabama record and many anglers feel there are 40- to 50-pound stripes just waiting to strike.

Lewis Smith Lake – usually called Smith Lake – is located in Cullman, Walker, and Winston Counties about an hour north of Birmingham or south of Huntsville on I-65. It is a beautiful, deep, clear lake with dozens of feeder streams, winding bays, and sloughs. Steep bluffs cradle much of the lake, with water depths dropping as deep as 60 or 70 feet just a few yards offshore. Hundreds of coves along the 500 miles of shoreline on this 21,000-acre lake provide anglers ample points to search for spotted bass.

 

NEELY HENRY LAKE

Anglers target largemouth bass and spotted bass on Neely Henry Reservoir. Although growth is average for both species, plumpness for both species is close to the top in the state. The majority of largemouth bass are 12 to 15 inches, with good numbers of lunkers reported. The spotted bass population is exceptional for large spots; the number of spots in the 14- to 20-inch range is one of the best in Alabama. Striped bass fishing is best at the headwaters below Weiss dam during spring runs and into the summer during power generation; there are good numbers of stripes over 7 pounds.

Generally a river-run lake, Neely Henry fans out toward the dam to offer more open water. Neely Henry Reservoir is located in northeast Alabama on the Coosa River, near the towns of Gadsden and Ohatchee. Just off I-59, the reservoir envelops 11,235 acres and extends 77.6 miles.

 

LOGAN MARTIN LAKE

Largemouth bass and Coosa River spotted bass are the main draw for anglers on Logan Martin Lake. Largemouth bass are abundant in the 12-18 inch range. Spotted bass also abound, with many in the 14- to 21-inch range, representing some of the best values in the state. In fact, the spots numbers in the 17- to 20-inch range equaled the highest value ever recorded from the lake. Spotted bass growth has been good to excellent, and their condition is outstanding.

Logan Martin Lake – not to be confused with Lake Martin – is located in east-central Alabama on the Coosa River, about 30 miles east of Birmingham on I-20 near Pell City and Talladega. Nicknamed “Lake of a Thousand Coves” by locals, it has 275 miles of shoreline along its 48.5-mile length sandwiched between Logan Martin Dam on the south and Neely Henry Dam on the north. The depth of this 15,263-acre lake is 35 to 110 feet, with only five feet average water level variance.

 

LAY LAKE

Lay Lake is best known for its spotted bass and largemouth bass fishing. A high quality largemouth bass and spotted bass fishery exists at Lay Reservoir; both species are abundant up to 18 inches with moderate numbers of larger bass. The best fishing for largemouth bass occurs in creeks and shallow water sloughs. Anglers targeting spotted bass should fish riverine portions of the lake.

In the upstream end of Lay Lake, the tailwater fishery below Logan Martin Dam is excellent for hybrid striped bass. Striped bass are also present. The tailwater area is popular with anglers who enjoy fishing for largemouth bass and Coosa River spotted bass when shad are running along the banks.

Lay Lake was impounded in 1914 by Alabama Power Company; the company continues to improve fishing by providing habitat on this 50-mile-long lake. With shallow water aquatic weeds, wood and rock cover, and dozens of major tributaries featuring deep creek channels filled with minnows, frogs, baitfish and crayfish in every season, Lay Lake is an excellent year-round fishery. This 12,000-acre reservoir is located just 35 minutes south of Birmingham off I-65 and 15 minutes south of Columbiana in east-central Alabama. Seven public access areas offer easy bank and boat access to the lake.

 

LAKE JORDAN

Located twenty-five miles due north of the city of Montgomery in central Alabama, Lake Jordan is a 6,800-acre impoundment created by Alabama Power Company in 1928 on the Coosa River. Public and private boat ramps, as well as several private marinas provide access to Lake Jordan. Two popular public boating access areas include Bonner’s Point on the west side of the lake and Rotary Landing to the east.

From the river-like terrain found in the first 10 miles of the headwaters below Mitchell Dam to the lower end where the lake widens, Lake Jordan features 188 miles of irregular shoreline and many types of aquatic weeds, rocky banks and boulders scattered along deep, rock bluffs and loads of wood cover. Lake Jordan is very fertile and supports high densities of sport fish and forage species.

Coosa River spotted bass, largemouth bass, and hybrid striped bass make Lake Jordan an angler’s dream – and it’s an under-fished lake. The most productive times to fish are during spring and fall; during the summer months, nighttime bass fishing also can be very good. Largemouth bass are more cover oriented and are usually caught by fishing in or near dense water willow stands that grow near the shoreline. Spotted bass are more structure oriented and are likely to be caught from points, humps, ledges, rock piles, and vegetation.

Popular bass lures include willow-leaf spinnerbaits in white or shad color patterns, topwater chuggers and walking baits in shad colors, hard and soft plastic jerk-baits, and Carolina-rigged centipedes or finesse worms in various shades of green.

 

ALABAMA RIVER

The 318-mile long Alabama River originates just north of Montgomery from the confluence of the Coosa River and the Tallapoosa River near the Fall Line. The Fall Line in Alabama is the boundary between the East Gulf Coastal Plain and any of the provinces of the Appalachian Highlands Region. As with most of Alabama’s great rivers, dams slow the progress of the Alabama River as it flows to meet the Tombigbee River and form the Mobile River.

All of the Alabama River downstream of Montgomery is commercially navigable. The Alabama Scenic River Trail is a 631-mile boating trail from Weiss Lake down the Coosa River into the Alabama River and through the Mobile Delta to the Gulf of Mexico.

The lakes on the Alabama River are run-of-the-river type of impoundments; each lake is basically the old river channel. From upstream to downstream, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes on the Alabama River are Jones Bluff, Millers Ferry, and Claiborne. Temperate climates in the area make fishing ideal on the river from February through June and in October through December.

Millers Ferry

Millers Ferry – officially named the William (Bill) Dannelly Reservoir – is a 17,200-acre impoundment with numerous public access areas. It provides excellent fishing opportunities for both largemouth bass and spotted bass of three pounds or larger due in part to high fertility and a relatively stable threadfin shad population. The largemouth bass are found primarily in the backwater areas such as Alligator Slough, Houseboat Slough, Pine Barren Cree, Gee’s Bend and Foster Creek. While spotted bass are found more commonly in the main river areas, look for deep points and bluff walls for good places for spotted bass angling.

Claiborne Lake

Immediately downstream of Dannelly Reservoir is Claiborne Lake. Formed by Claiborne Lock and Dam, it is the most primitive of the Alabama River lakes. Nestled in Alabama’s southwest hill country, the lake encompasses over 60 miles of the Alabama River. Claiborne Lake provides good fishing for largemouth bass.

Lower Alabama River

The Lower Alabama River begins at the Claiborne Lock and Dam and runs south 72.5 miles through Monroe, Clarke, and Baldwin counties where it joins the Tombigbee River.

Anglers on the lower Alabama River generally target largemouth bass, spotted bass, striped bass, and white bass. Largemouth bass can be found among the fallen timber and creek mouths along the banks, as well as in the backwater areas off the main river. These backwater areas are important nursery habitats for a host of game and non-game fish species. Spotted bass are commonly found just below Claiborne Lock and Dam, and along creek mouths, rock piles, and bluff banks.

 

LAKE EUFAULA

Most anglers south of the Mason-Dixon Line think of Lake Eufaula – officially, the Walter F. George Reservoir – when they hear the phrase “Bass Fishing Capital of the World.” Even though the largemouth bass population at Eufaula Reservoir has had its ups and downs since the heydays of the 1960s and 1970s, this lake is still considered one of the true gems of the south. The Walter F. George Dam was completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1962, forming the 45,181-acre impoundment on the fertile Chattahoochee River. The reservoir extends from the Walter F. George Dam at Ft. Gaines, Georgia, northward to Phenix City, Alabama. Because this lake is shared by Georgia and Alabama, a fishing license from either state can be used when fishing Lake Eufaula.

Lake Eufaula does not have much weed cover, making the fishing techniques for bass in this lake different. Bass are more likely to stay around submerged cover and deeper humps and ledges, adding a challenge for anglers. Anglers can still catch a lot of bass at Lake Eufaula, and many bass over the 14-inch minimum length limit, but they will need to seek out deeper structure such as rock piles, woody debris, and creek ledges where bass will concentrate.

Anglers can expect their bass catch to be comprised of about 25 to 30% spotted bass if they fish the main channel or the deeper creek channel areas of the lake. Anglers are encouraged to harvest largemouth bass between 14 and 18 inches and spotted bass less than 18 inches to thin the number of this size bass and promote better quality bass fishing on this reservoir.

Fishing for Striped Basses

Both the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources have stocked hybrid striped bass since the early 1980s. A cross between a white bass and a striped bass, this fish mainly inhabits open water area of the lake. They are very popular with anglers when they chase schools of shad during the late summer and fall. Anglers report good catches trolling crankbaits around the Old Creek Town area, the Causeway, or in front of the WF George Dam. Hybrids are also excellent table fare when the dark strip of meat along the middle of the fillet is removed.

 

MOBILE-TENSAW RIVER DELTA

The Mobile Delta consists of approximately 20,323 acres of water just north of Mobile Bay. Second only to the Mississippi River Delta in size, the Mobile Delta is an environmental showplace that is 30 miles long and 12 miles wide. It covers more than 200,000 acres of swamps, river bottomlands and marshes. Congress named the Mobile Delta a National Natural Landmark in 1974; fewer than 600 sites have received that honor. The Alabama Environmental Council considers the Delta as one of “Alabama’s Ten Natural Wonders.” Formed by the confluence of the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers, the Mobile Delta is a complex network of tidally influenced rivers, creeks, bays, lakes, wetlands, and bayous.

Since the Mobile Delta empties into Mobile Bay, it is a productive estuary with numerous species of fresh and saltwater fish. The Bartram Canoe Trail is a unique way to see the Delta; a map of the Trail is available from the Lands Division. The Mobile-Tensaw Delta and W. L. Holland Wildife Management Areas and Upper Delta Wildlife Management Area offer hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities for those utilizing the Delta. Anglers enjoy the Delta because of the good fishing and because of the natural beauty of the marsh and the cypress and tupelo gum forests.

Largemouth bass fishing success in the Delta is good year-round and many anglers are successful even during the coldest winter months. Delta bass anglers have good success whether they fish the grass beds of the lower Delta or rivers and streams of the heavily-timbered upper Delta. Anglers have good luck using crankbaits, plastic worms, or live shrimp.

Boating access in the Mobile Delta is abundant with more than twenty access sites available throughout the Delta. Popular fishing sites for those without boats include newly constructed piers for bank anglers. These sites are found at Cliff’s Landing off Highway 225, Meaher State Park pier off the Highway 90-98 Causeway (fee), Choccalotta Access Area on Highway 90-98, and the U.S.S. Alabama Battleship Park Pier. Fishing is also very popular along the Highway 90-98 Causeway, where many bridges and road accessible areas abound for bank anglers.

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

Logo

Alabama Bass Trail

855-934-7425

402 Sherman Street P.O. Box 2537
Decatur, AL 35602


 

 

About Us

abt-frame

The Alabama Bass Trail...

One trip and you'll be hooked by Alabama's fantastic lunker bass fishing. You know when our official freshwater fish is the Largemouth Bass, there's some serious fishing going on across this state. The Alabama Bass Trail features 11 premiere bass fishing lakes and we've made it easy to find all the information you need to get here and get on a lake. Details for each lake – from ramp locations to what's biting to where to stay – are conveniently located on this site. Plus, check out the tips and lake reports from professional anglers and guides. Come fish on the Alabama Bass Trail... the excitement is catching!

Alabama Bass Trail

402 Sherman Street P.O. Box 2537

Decatur

AL

35602

855-934-7425

http://www.alabamabasstrail.org/

Send Email

 

The Alabama Bass Trail features 11 of Alabama’s premiere bass-fishing lakes and stretches from the mountains of North Alabama south to the Mobile Delta.

 

 

 

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