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Top 5 Public Reservoirs in Alabama

When it comes to fishing, Alabama is as plentiful as they come. There are many freshwater and saltwater game opportunities all along the coastline. Alabama’s Reservoir Management Program monitors 42 bodies of water that are home to a wide variety of fish species, including bass, bream, crappie, catfish, walleye, rainbow trout, and much more. If you don’t have the luxury of a privately stocked pond in Alabama, there is a wide array of lakes, ponds, river systems, and the inshore and offshore salt waters to fish on, with many local, regional, and national tournaments being held every year, as the Bass Angler’s Sportsman Society is the leading promoter of competitive matches.

Lake Guntersville

As Alabama’s largest lake that spans 75 miles from the Nickajack Dam to the Guntersville Dam, this lake is famous as a home to many large bass, but also houses many other species including, redear sunfish, bluegill, longear sunfish, crappie, sauger, and catfish. During the late spring season and early summer, bream is excellent, whereas, during the fall, crappie is more prominent. Regardless of the season, anglers find it prosperous here for many species. If kayak fishing is ideal, many anglers love Guntersville because of the many boat ramps along the shore to explore.

Wheeler Reservoir

Located in the northern central part of the state, halfway between Nashville and Birmingham, Wheeler Reservoir is the second largest lakes that stretches 60 miles. With many popular locations in the such as the stump flats, to the weed beds, or the creek channels, there are plenty of opportunities to catch game. The most common catch in Wheeler is largemouth bass, as they are the dominant species from Decatur to the west end. Though bass is the most common species, there are also a plethora of catfish, crappie, and sauger.

Lake Eufaula

A 45,181-acre basin located on the Chattahoochee River formed by the Walter F. George Dam, and home to a thriving population of catfish. Lake Eufaula is excellent for catching many species of catfish, some easier to find in the main reserve, while others are below the dam. Common also for over 13-inch crappie and the even larger 18-inch spotted bass, while largemouth bass has been seen to be at least in the 14-inch range. Boat access to the lake is attainable from the Georgia or Alabama side, with state park boat ramps available for anglers at only $3 to launch.

Pickwick Reservoir

On the Tennessee River in the northwestern area, the lake stretches 50 miles out from the Pickwick Landing Dam to the Shoals below the Wilson Dam. During the summertime, the lake hosts many major competitive tournaments on its 47,500-acre pool. Ranked as one of the top four lakes for average bass weight, pounds per angler, and hours per bass larger than 5 pounds, it has held the number three spot for hosting five or more tournaments in 2012. With an abundance of smallmouth and largemouth bass, fishers seek the Pickwick as their primary location to catch great game. Though bass is the most common sought after fish species, crappie is also among the mass population of fish in the lake, especially during the spring season where an influx of crappie come to Pickwick.

Lake Martin

On the outskirts of the central part of the state, Lake Martin is a 39,180-acre body on the Tallapoose River along a 700-mile shore. With access to the marinas as well as private and public boating, Martin is excellent for those wishing to explore the range of opportunities for game. As a clear water pool, the abundance of fish is more limited, until you go to the upper region where the water is more fertile around Coley Creek and Elkahatchee Creek. The most popular species are the striped bass, spotted bass largemouth bass, black crappie, white bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, bluegill, and redear sunfish. Coming in at second place for percent success by anglers, Martin proves to be a fantastic choice for those looking to fish. Many tournaments are held here because many fishers love the ease at which they are able to catch fish from its crystal clear water.

Whether you want to catch smallmouth, largemouth, crappie, catfish, or any other species of game, there are some tremendous reservoirs to explore. Hosting frequent tournaments, many of these lakes are prime locations to seek out for some top catches, with over 11 million angler fishing days. Saltwater and freshwater fishing are available, as well as many places along the shorelines with boat ramps that are sure to accommodate any fisherman’s needs. If you’re looking for a great spot to fish in Alabama, be sure to check out one of these spots.