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Best Fishing Lakes in Alabama

Alabama may not have the reputation other cities have, but one thing that Alabama excels at is fishing lakes. The state boasts many outstanding lakes for fishing. 

2 anglers in a fishing boat on an alabama lake

There are 23 lakes managed by the state’s fisheries division. Alabama has long been the location of choice for many of the most prestigious fishing competitions in the United States such as Bass Masters.

In addition to those 23, there are numerous other private and public lakes. Many of these get substantial traffic from anglers, particularly in the summer.

We’re going to focus on the most recommended lakes perfect for an upcoming vacation to the Yellowhammer State. 

person holding a bass on a boat in alabama on a lake

Each fishing lake has its own advantages, scenery, and, of course, fishing populations. Read on to find out more about the best fishing lakes in Alabama, so you can determine which ones will suit your trip the most.

Top 12 Alabama Fishing Lakes

  1. Lake Guntersville
  2. Lake Martin
  3. Wheeler Lake
  4. Lake Jordan
  5. Logan Martin
  6. Pickwick Lake
  7. Alabama River
  8. Aliceville Lake
  9. Lay Lake
  10. Neely Henry Lake
  11. Wilson Lake
  12. Dekalb County Public Lake

Lake Guntersville

Lake Guntersville, located between Bridgeport and Guntersville, is a stunning lake that has to be seen to be believed. It boasts 75 miles of nature, with rich hardwood and pine. 

Lake Guntersville

There is a lot of room to fish which means two groups aren’t likely going to be competing for the same fish.

Visitors can expect to catch black crappie, largemouth bass, giant catfish, and excellent striped bass.

Outside of fishing, the real hot spot around this lake is Guntersville State Park. Lake Guntersville is a haven for all sorts of wildlife! Deer especially are plentiful around the lake.


Lake Martin

Perhaps the best fishing destination in the great state of Alabama is Lake Martin. The beautiful reservoir is 44,000 acres and came into existence with the construction of a dam.

Lake Martin

Lake Martin can be a complex lake to fish in due to the high level of water transparency which can often make fishing difficult. 

On the other hand, the lake is ideal for crappie. What’s more, the level of bass fishing offered is outstanding when compared to many other places.

It is the place to be for largemouth bass, redear sunfish, flathead catfish, striped bass black crappie, bluegill, spotted bass, channel catfish, and bluegill.

Lake Martin boasts much more besides simply fishing. That includes camping areas, sand beaches, and restaurants.


Wheeler Lake

Wheeler Lake is often mentioned when talking about great fishing lakes. At just over 67,000 acres, it is the second-biggest lake in the state.

Wheeler Lake

Local authorities in Tennessee have reported that it has more abundant fishing than Guntersville. 

Lake Wheeler has a very fragile smallmouth population, but numerous spotted bass can be found near the brooks of the lake. Black Bass are hard to find but are well worth the extra effort. 


Lake Jordan

Lake Jordan is a 6,800-acre 18-mile reservoir that covers 188 miles of shoreline. This firm lake is near the beautiful Elmore County, Alabama. 

Lake Jordan

The lake is well known for its plentiful populations of sunfish, striped bass, white bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, and hybrid.

Lake Jordan is the place to go for bank fishing trips and boasts stunning views.


Logan Martin 

Logan Martin Lake was built in 1965 by the state’s power company. It has 17,000 acres and a fish population that include spotted bass, common bream, largemouth bass, white bass, and striped bass. 

Logan Martin 

While this lake is less active in winter. However, fishing really takes off from March. The terrain has earned it the moniker “Lake of a Thousand Coves” by the residents.

One of the best lakes in the state for competitive fishing, Logan Martin Lake hosts multiple annual competitions. 


Pickwick Lake

Pickwick Lake stretches from Pickwick Landing Dam to the Wilson Dam, encompassing three states: Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

Pickwick Lake

The majestic shoreline extends for 490 miles and has plenty of spots perfect for excellent fishing. 

Its main claim to fame is the smallmouth bass. Outside of that, a nice mixture of blue catfish, bluegill, channel catfish, and largemouth bass.


Alabama River

This lake is open to private and commercial traffic. It’s a popular destination for bass fishing That includes largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted. The crappie can also be caught in the waters.

Alabama River

The lake is situated right on the Alabama Scenic River Trail. That stretches for about 631 miles, continuing straight into the Gulf of Mexico. 

Besides fishing, the Alabama River has multiple natural nearby attractions, including Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge and Roland Cooper State Park.


Aliceville Lake

Aliceville is also known locally as Pickensville, and is near a dam on the Tombigbee River.

Aliceville Lake

The Army Corps of Engineers acquired the area in 1980. Since then, its 8300 acres of fishing delights have made it a solid fishing destination.  

The fishing opportunities at Aliceville are varied thanks to its terrain, making it one of the best places to fish in Alabama.

Aliceville Lake has become famous thanks to its flourishing population of drum, crappie, catfish, and multiple types of bass.

However, bluegill and redear sunfish are the most common types of fish in Aliceville. 


Lay Lake

Lay Lake boasts 12,000 acres. It’s south of Birmingham, taking about 35 minutes to reach by car.

Lay Lake

The area has abundant tree coverage, ensuring that you can even enjoy summer fishing in a comfortable shade. 

This lake is a popular spot for boating and fishing tournaments. Multiple types of bass are present in the waters, with the largemouth and spotted varieties growing to 18 inches or more. 


Neely Henry Lake

This lake is some 129,800 acres along the Coosa, a 280-mile river. It is conveniently located near Gadsden.

Neely Henry Lake

The lake has built a solid reputation as one of the best fishing lakes in Alabama. Indeed, this location is no stranger to competitive fishing tournaments. 

It’s the home of the Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series, a popular competition that was first organized in 2013.

The lake has a thriving population of fish. These include bluegill, spotted bass, white bass, crappie, and striped bass.


Wilson Lake

Wilson Lake takes up a wide area that encompasses multiple dams. The Tennessee Valley Authority built the lake, and it has since become a popular spot for fishing. 

Wilson Lake

The lake is sizable, at 18 miles and 15,930 acres. Wilson Lake contains smallmouth bass, striped bass, blue catfish, white bass, and largemouth bass.

Fishing isn’t the only hot location that Wilson Lake holds as it’s near the Port of Decatur. 


Dekalb County Public Lake

Dekalb County Public Lake is a newly refurbished 120-acre lake just a mile north of Sylvania in Dekalb County. The lake has a great variety of fish that can be caught year-round. 

Dekalb County Public Lake

February through April is the perfect time for crappie, redear sunfish, and bluegill near the bank is perfect in spring through summer.

Expect good largemouth bass fishing and channel catfish year-round. A wide range of fish can be spotted in this lake. 


Final Thoughts

So, now you have a solid idea of the best fishing lakes in Alabama. The state’s lakes are pristine, abundant with numerous fish types, and offer much more than what’s in the water.

Each lake has its own varied populations, but you will typically find multiple kinds of bass, crappie, bluegill, and more. 

Fishing, boating, swimming, and sunbathing, Alabama has much to offer for anyone who loves exploring and experiencing nature. And if you’re headed up north to Wisconsin, you may want to check out these fishing lakes, too!

Rocco Smith

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