Home to seventeen different river systems, Alabama has some of the most diverse fisheries our great nation has to offer. With over 250 different species of fish, it’s no wonder that Alabama is one of the top fishing destinations in the country. Not only is the fishing good, but there are endless bodies of water, all of which have their own unique layout. This offers anglers a unique opportunity to master many different styles of bass fishing and other freshwater fishing. You can find some of the best fishing in Alabama.
Alabama is home too numerous professional fisherman including Chris Lane, Kyle Welcher and Gerald Swindle just to name a few. It’s no coincidence that Alabama pumps out more professional bass fisherman than any other state. This is largely due to the access these anglers have to nearly every type of fishery imaginable. Alabama offers a plethora of different fisheries that can train you to effectively target any species of bass all over the country.
Alabama is most widely known for having some of the best grass fisheries in the country. Some of the most prevalent types of grass include hydrilla, hyacinth and coontail. All of which are known for holding trophy bass across the state of Alabama. Lakes such as Guntersville and Wheeler are known for being extremely productive grass fisheries and are great location for learning how to fish this type of cover.
There’s a plethora of different ways to fish the varying types of grass across the state of Alabama. Grass can be found both shallow and offshore, giving anglers the ability to use numerous techniques. While there is a plethora of different ways to fish this type of cove, my go to baits are a hollow bodied frog, Senko and a lipless crankbait.
A frog is likely the most popular approach for targeting grass here in Alabama. This is due to the aggressive strikes and quality fish this style of fishing is known for. Throwing a frog at shallow bank grass is a great way to catch trophy fish across the entire state. My go to frog for this technique is the Booyah Pad Crasher.
A Yamamoto Senko is a great option for targeting both deep and shallow grass when fish are acting sluggish. You can flip this bait in and around thick clumps of shallow grass, or drag it around offshore grass and shell beds. This bait seems to work the best when fishing around a mix of grass and hard bottom.
Lastly, I like to use a Megabass Vision 110 jerkbait when targeting suspended fish around offshore grass. This is a great method for targeting fish that are keyed on baitfish. Throwing this bait around offshore grass is a great way to catch a ton of fish on numerous lakes across the state. Not only does Alabama offer exceptional grass fishing, but it’s also home to some of the best spotted bass fisheries in the country.
SPOTTED BASS FISHING
The Coosa River, Tallapoosa River and Chattahoochee River offer unique fisheries all of which have trophy sized spotted bass. Alabama has both deep clear water fisheries as well as muddy rivers that are home to some of the states largest spotted bass. This allows you to fish both shallow and deep for this species of bass, giving you the opportunity to master nearly every style of spotted bass fishing there is.
The Coosa River is one of the most widely renowned spotted bass fisheries in the country. This river system is home to some of the biggest spotted bass in the state and consists of grass, timber, current and muddy water. Targeting these fish using an Alabama Rig, vibrating jig and a swim jig are all proven ways to catch trophy spotted bass on this fishery.
The Tallapoosa River on the other hand, offers a completely different style of spotted bass fishing. This river system consists of deep clear water fisheries such as Lake Martin. This gives anglers the ability to target offshore schools of spotted bass using live sonar. Catching over fifty fish in a day is common on this lake, however size can be a challenge. Techniques such as a damiki rig, jerkbait and drop shot are all extremely productive lures on this body of water. While Alabama is well known for its spotted bass fishing, It also has a good population of trophy smallmouth that are far less talked about.
While this may come as a surprise, Alabama is home to some of the best smallmouth bass fisheries in the Southeast United States. The Tennessee River runs right through Northern Alabama, creating multiple prime locations to catch trophy smallmouth. Lakes such as Pickwick, Wheeler and Wilson are home to the biggest smallmouth in the state. While all three lakes hold trophy smallmouth, Wilson is known to be the best smallmouth fishery in Alabama.
These fish tend to relate to current and rocks throughout this part of the county. Targeting tailraces, bluff walls and current breaks are all prime locations to catch smallmouth across the state of Alabama. Lures such as swimbaits, football jigs and Alabama Rigs are all proven techniques for catching trophy smallmouth on these bodies of water.
Largemouth bass fishing is arguably the best type of fishing that Alabama has to offer. Home to big bass, Lake Eufaula, Alabama has some of the biggest largemouth in the Alabama. Lakes such as Guntersville, Eufaula and Pickwick are all great location to catch giant largemouth in the state of Alabama. Not only is the largemouth fishing impeccable, it is also extremely diverse. These differing bodies of water give anglers the ability to master numerous techniques for targeting this species of bass.
Grass fishing, ledge fishing and current fishing are all popular ways to catch largemouth across the state of Alabama. Guntersville, Pickwick and Wheeler offers some of the best ledge and grass fishing in the entire country. These bodies of water are known for giant bags of largemouth that can be caught using a plethora of techniques. Anglers find success both shallow and offshore on these fisheries, which makes it a fantastic location for practicing a variety of different techniques.
One of the best ways to catch largemouth across the state of Alabama is fishing grass and ledges. Using electronics such as side scan and live sonar have quickly become some of the most popular ways to catch bass in these scenarios. Side scanning for offshore cover on places such as Lake Eufaula and the Tennessee River is arguably the most productive ways to put a big limit of largemouth in the boat. Baits such as the Strike King 10xd, a Zoom Ol’ Monster Worm and a True Bass Swimbait are all proven fish catchers for this technique.
SHOAL BASS FISHING
Last but certainly not least, Shoal bass are one of the most fun and unique species of bass that Alabama has to offer. This species of bass only resides on the eastern side of Alabama in the Chattahoochee River tailwaters. These fish are considered endangered however, and cannot legally be kept if caught.
One of the most effective ways to target shoal bass is by fishing shoals and current breaks located along the Chattahoochee River system. These fish tend to reside in rocky areas with strong current. You can also find these fish in deep water pools located in or around these shoals. There are numerous techniques you can use to catch these fish, however, my favorites consist of a glide bait, jig and ned rig.
Throwing a glide bait around deep water pools is a great way to call fish out from the depths and get them to commit to your bait. This is one of the best ways to catch a trophy sized shoal bass. A jig is another great option for targeting laydowns and other types of shallow water cover. Flipping this bait into the heard to trees is a great way to pull big shoal bass out of heavy cover. Lastly, I like to throw a ned rig around rocky banks and boulders. This bait is typically responsible for putting lots of fish in the boat, however it can still catch some quality sized bass.
BEST PLACES TO FISH IN ALABAMA
While there is undoubtedly a plethora of lakes to fish in the state of Alabama, there are a few places that generally take the cake for best places to fish in Alabama. Our picks for the best 5 fisheries in Alabama for bass would be the following:
While all five of the locations are great fishing, each one offers a unique body of water with varying types of cover structure and fish.
Lake Guntersville is considered to be the best place to fish in the state of Alabama. This lake is home to some of the biggest largemouth in the country and is a fantastic destination for the avid outdoorsman. This body of water consists mainly of grass, docks, shell beds and bridges. This lake is known for its exceptional grass and offshore fishing, which annually produces some of the biggest limits of largemouth bass in the state of Alabama.
Another fantastic location to fish in the state of Alabama is Lake Pickwick. Much like Guntersville, Pickwick is also part of the Tennessee River system. This lake has trophy sized largemouth much like Guntersville, however the smallmouth fishing is exceptional as well. This lake consists of grass, bluff walls, ledges and current, all of which produce trophy bass. The Pickwick tailrace is one of the most widely renowned smallmouth destinations in the south, pumping out giant bags of smallmouth annually.
Lake Wheeler is another less talked about Alabama lake that produces some giant bags of smallmouth and largemouth each year. While the weight aren’t typically as good as Guntersville or Pickwick, giant bass still reside all over the lake. This fishery consists mainly of expansive flats, grass, shell beds and laydowns. All of these locations are known for producing quality bass over the course of the season.
Lake Wedowee, also known as R L Harris Reservoir, is another fantastic fishery located in the state of Alabama. This lake is part of the Tallapoosa River and is home to some of the biggest spotted bass in the state. This long and windy reservoir consists mainly of standing timber, steep banks and buck brush. This body of water produces both giant spotted bass and largemouth annually, making it a super unique fishery. This is one of the lesser known lakes in Alabama that consistently produces giant bags of fish year round.
Last but certainly not least, Lake Eufaula is a fantastic destination for catching trophy sized largemouth bass. Known locally as the big bass capital of the world, Lake Eufaula has a large population of big bass. This lake consists mainly of ledges, standing timber and bank grass. All three of these locations produce big bass throughout the course of the year. The fishing on this body of water is very similar to the majority of Texas fisheries, giving angler the ability to target giant bass in standing timber. If your looking to catch a trophy largemouth, fishing Lake Eufaula is a great place to start.
Alabama has some of the most diverse fisheries offered across the United States. Not only is the fishing great year round, but you can successfully target nearly any species of bass regardless of the time of year. I’ve been lucky enough to fish nearly every lake in the country, however Alabama has the widest variety of fisheries available within a few hours drive. If you’re looking to diversify your fishing skills, Alabama is the perfect location to broaden your fishing expertise.