20 Best Bass Fishing Lakes in Alabama

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Alabama is an angling paradise with over 1,500 miles of inland waterways. Although the state fish is the largemouth bass, and they will figure prominently in this article, the Heart of Dixie is home to around half a dozen bass species. 

This article covers the species of bass you will find in Alabama and the top 20 places to go bass fishing in the state.

We hope you’ll check out all 20 of these great fishing spots. But we also recognize that’s a lot of information. So, if you’re in a bit of a hurry, simply use the table of contents to jump straight to the fishing spots you want to explore.

Bass Species in Alabama 

There are a variety of species of bass to catch in Alabama. Species include smallmouth, largemouth, spotted, striped, yellow, hybrid striped, redeye, and shoal bass.

Their size ranges from a few ounces to nearly 70 pounds for the state-record striped bass.

What Do I Need to Catch Bass in Alabama?

Aside from the basic fishing license, anglers can catch bass on various lures and bait on their rod and reel.

For more on how to catch bass, please see our how to catch bass guide linked at the bottom of this article. 

Where Can I Catch Bass in Alabama?

Anglers catch bass throughout Alabama in various bodies of water, including streams, ponds, lakes, rivers, and marshes.

The species you catch will vary depending on the location, due to water type preferences and bait.

The following Alabama waters range from some of the most famous bass lakes in America to some more under-the-radar lakes that you won’t have to share with a flotilla of tournament anglers while reeling in bass after bass.

A quick note: We’ve included six reservoirs along the Coosa River in this article. Strictly for ease of use, we’ve bundled these half-dozen hotspots together under a separate heading, in the lower part of this article.

Lake Guntersville

Size: 69,100 acres

Location: North Alabama

Bass Species: Largemouth, striped, smallmouth

Lake Guntersville is located in northern Alabama, a 69,100-acre reservoir filled with largemouth, striped, and smallmouth bass.

With a national reputation for holding massive largemouth, Guntersville features several annual tournaments for bass anglers and is Alabama’s largest lake.

Its dense bass population is partly due to the aquatic vegetation, including hydrilla weed beds and milfoil, and its sprawling series of offshoots and creek systems.

One of the best fishing locations throughout the entire lake is North Sauty Creek, an offshoot of the main lake near the Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge near Scottsboro.

The miles of forested shoreline and undercut banks in this arm of the lake provide excellent cover for largemouth bass.

If you are searching for the best location to run a shallow diving crank bait or top water, the tail end of North Sauty Creek is your best bet. Here you’ll find a series of small cuts with excellent hunting grounds for trophy lunkers.

The Highway 227 Bridge and the cove shoreline behind it is another bass hotspot popular with largemouth, and anglers can work along the bank to rip lips with big lunkers using soft plastics and crankbaits. 

Mink Creek is another excellent location riddled with small islands and grass beds, but anglers in the know will forgo this location in favor of the secluded Fish Pond. Only accessible by a feeder creek at the end of Mink Creek, this pond is a little-known gem on an already stellar bass lake.

Jones Creek is another secluded cove just off the main lake that has shelter from the current by a series of small islands and boasts miles of grass beds and several significant drop-offs.

If the main lake isn’t yielding results, Jones Creek is an excellent spot to try weedless crankbaits, with imitation shad being a favorite among anglers. 

Bankhead Lake

Size: 9,000 acres

Location: Central Western Alabama

Bass Species: Largemouth, spotted, striped

This moderately-sized lake, about an hour from Birmingham or Tuscaloosa, hosts a substantial population of largemouth and spotted bass. 

With plenty of forested shorelines and several significant offshoot branches, anglers will have little trouble locating bass on this Warrior River reservoir.

In addition to containing a decent population of rainbow trout, anglers will find a modest number of monster striped bass, medium-sized spotted bass, and of course, a substantial population of largemouth bass over 16 inches.

The northern end of the reservoir yields a solid crop of largemouth and striped bass, while the southern portion is a favorite for the spotted bass. Some of the best locations in this lake include Shoal Creek, Camp Creek, and Humber Bend.

Submerged structures such as log jams, weed beds, and lily pads make for easy targets, but the mouths of feeder creeks give you the most bang for your buck.

Anglers often catch largemouth bass off the main lake inside channels, including the ones previously listed.

The shorelines of these cuts often have docks or piers, which provide structure for hungry lunkers to lurk beneath. The brush piles and fallen trees along the more secluded creeks are also great targets.

Anglers in boats launching out of Lighthouse Marina have access to some of the best fishing just a short boat ride from the dock.

Steep Creek, Willow Stump Branch, and Shoal Creek are all within striking distance, having recorded solid numbers of largemouths in recent years.

Fishing the main body of water is hit or miss, particularly with the heavy traffic from boaters, jet skis, and pontoon boats.

Jigging is a viable option on the river channel, but anglers find that the best results are usually off the beaten path and, surprisingly, at night.

Spinnerbaits are a favorite here, but there’s no denying the effectiveness of topwater frogs, especially amid the lily pads and weed beds in the feeder creeks, especially coming in from the west side.

Bartletts Ferry Lake (Lake Harding)

Size: 5,860 acres

Location: East-Central Alabama

Bass Species: Largemouth, spotted, striped

This Chattahoochee River impoundment on the Georgia-Alabama state line tends to be underfished despite its large population of spotted and largemouth bass.

Though anglers may catch the occasional striped and white bass at Bartletts Ferry, it is a black bass haven, and for a good reason.

Featuring prime locations such as Halawakee Creek and Mill Creek, the jagged lake footprint is riddled with undercut banks, points, and curves. 

Although this is a heavily populated lake with houses on much of the shoreline, anglers can still find secluded fishing locations, mainly in the western portion near Tillery Crossroad.

These offshoot coves provide bush- and tree-lined banks and a handful of sand bars where bass retreat from the main lake in search of bait fish and other prey.

Anglers will find that Lake Harding is unlike most other lakes on our list because it is devoid of submerged grass beds and lilies common to this part of the U.S.

Instead, this reservoir features clay and silt bottoms with fallen trees or brush piles providing the majority of the structure.

The small contingent of striped bass can be caught near the hydro dam, with shore anglers having access at Po Boys Landing.

Just north of the dam, the Alabama side of the impoundment is lined with lakeside homes, most with small docks that provide structure for hungry bass.

Anglers can try their luck around these piers when water levels are particularly low but should, for the most part, stick to the cuts in the western portion of the lake.

Gold spoons are a popular lure here, with spinnerbaits and crankbaits tying as a close second.

Wheeler Lake

Size: 67,070 acres

Location: Northwestern Alabama

Bass Species: Largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, white

This huge impoundment of the Tennessee River in northwestern Alabama is home to white, smallmouth, and largemouth bass.

Featuring a variety of channels, small islands, and cuts that make it a bass paradise, anglers have a variety of fishing locations to target at Wheeler Lake.

While the main lake can yield some decent results when angling for bass, it’s the offshoot creeks and coves that shine through at Wheeler Lake.

Locations such as Flint Creek, Piney Creek, and Brush Creek offer an out-of-the-current, secluded haven for bass looking to sit out of the heavily trafficked main reservoir and feast on the lake’s substantial population of shad.

To the north, Mallard Creek offers several small channels along a series of sand bars that boast a significant largemouth population. Other hotspots are Elk River, Second Creek, and Spring Creek.

The key to fishing Wheeler Lake isn’t targeting the popular fishing holes but looking for secluded offshoots a short boat ride from the launch. Even for an impoundment as big as this, the competition between anglers at locations can be stiff, so heading off the beaten path has its rewards. 

Additionally, finding small coves and creeks means you can break out that topwater lure you’ve been dying to try out and let it rip along the grassy shorelines and beds of weeds or lilies that permeate the deeper cuts.

A favorite of mine was moving along the shoreline of Ditto Landing, where anglers catch white, spotted, smallmouth, and largemouth bass in decent sizes. A deep-diving crankbait is your best bet, but check the water clarity before deciding on a color.

I recommend giving Barren Fork Creek a look as it connects to Swan Pond. The creek has a heavily forested shoreline with plenty of downed trees for structure, and the pond is a known hideout for bass during the warmer part of the day in the winter.

Lake Martin

Size: 39,000 Acres

Location: Central Alabama

Bass Species: Spotted, largemouth, striped, smallmouth

This Tallapoosa River reservoir is one of the most popular bass fishing locations throughout the entire state.

This huge reservoir northeast of Montgomery is populated with largemouth, striped, spotted, and smallmouth bass.

Full of shad, minnows, and other small bait fish to feed hungry bass, Lake Martin also is loaded with piers, drop-offs, undercut banks, and brush piles that make it a bass angler’s dream.

Anglers will find the stripers around the dam and near Our Children’s Highway and Coven Abbett Highway, where deep water structures such as rock formations and pilings provide some buffer to the current.

Trolling these waters or casting out a drop shot or Carolina rig with live shad or minnows will yield you a big striper or big blue cat. Either way, buckle up.

The northern portion of the lake is your best bet for black bass fishing featuring a myriad of channels, such as Madwin and Mannoy creeks, with a solid crop of largemouth and spotted bass recorded. 

The Wind Creek State Park fishing pier offers anglers opportunities to bass fish from a dock near the mouth of Elkahatchee Creek. 

Other prime locations throughout the lake include Oakachoy Creek, with its miles of tree-lined banks with the occasional dock thrown in, and Parker Creek and its large population of spotted bass.

And don’t leave out Old Harmony Branch, where just about any bass species is fair game. 

The stripers at Lake Martin respond well to live shad or minnows on bottom rigs, and even a few black bass will hit this rig. You might also find out why this lake also is highly rated for catfish fishing.

However, the largemouth, spotted, and a handful of smallmouth bass in the reservoir prefer crankbaits and spinnerbaits on Lake Martin.

Lake Eufala

Size: 45,181 acres

Location: Southeastern Alabama/Georgia

Bass Species: Largemouth, white, spotted, striped

Also referred to as the Walter F George Reservoir, this giant lake on the Alabama-Georgia border is a bass fishing paradise.

Fed by the Chattahoochee River to the north and emptying at the Walter F George Lock to the south, anglers have a variety of locations to angle for a myriad of species of bass on the massive spread of Lake Eufala. 

Starting from the top and working down, anglers can launch from Lakepoint State Park and hit the cuts of Hills Lake for some excellent spotted and largemouth bass fishing.

This location is a favorite of spotted bass when the river is in flux, but the largemouth bite here is nearly year-round.

On the upper reservoir, just above the town of Eufaula, Wylaunee Creek boasts a solid crop of sizeable largemouth bass.

Just off the main river channel, this forked set of cuts offers plenty of marshy shoreline and dead ends into Cool Branch, which has recently yielded quite a few 3-pound-plus bass. 

Further down, right in the city of Eufaula, Chewalla Creek keeps the bass out of the current and provides plenty of cover with grassy banks, tree-lined points, and several docks notorious for holding largemouths.

Chewalla Creek Marina offers a boat launch and a shore-angling location for fishermen to keep their feet on solid ground while catching big bass. 

Tobannee Creek sits across on the Georgia side and is also known to produce some large lunkers. Tree-line banks line this cove, which also is split by a small island.

Anglers should anchor just inside the cove mouth to fish the structure along the banks without spooking the fish. 

South of these locations, anglers will start to see an uptick in striped bass.

Barbour Creek and Cheneyhatchee Creek boast catches of both white and striped bass. Both are a short boat ride downstream from Chewalla Creek Marina.

Farther south, White Oak Creek and Sandy Creek both yield a solid crop of largemouth and stripers.

The largemouths are usually found in the back of coves like Gin Branch or the tail end of Sandy Creek, while anglers more often catch the stripers trolling near both shorelines in the main channel.

Below these, Otho Branch and Thomas Mill Creek offer some excellent largemouth fishing around docks out of the main river channel. Anglers who work topwaters or crankbaits beneath these docks will have little trouble hooking into a sizable lunker on this portion of Lake Eufala. 

Towards the bottom portion of the lake, anglers will hit the last bastion of excellent largemouth bass fishing at Hardridge Creek. This small cove is virtually uninhabited, besides campers and hikers.

Anglers can work the series of coves and cuts that line the shore running all the way behind Henry County 97 and hook into some nice bass.

There’s a public boat ramp on the north shore.

With an artificial rocky shoreline running across the southern face of Lake Eufala’s dam, anglers will find the largest striped bass population near the Walter F. George Lock.

Trolling here is your best bet by boat, but anglers can shore fish for magnificent stripers with bottom rigs baited with live shad.

Overall, spinnerbaits cover more water, and with a 45,000-plus-acre footprint, anglers often do well selecting a bait that can reach more spots.

Other popular baits include topwater frogs beneath docks, over lily pads, and around grass beds. Soft plastics fare another versatile approach to fishing the cuts off the main lake.

Pickwick Lake

Size: 43,000 acres

Location: Northwest Alabama

Bass Species: Largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, striped

This massive Tennessee River impoundment on the three-way border of Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi is another famous bass fishing mecca.

With its rich population of shad, minnows, and crawfish, this lake is lined with submerged trees and brush piles, perfect for ambush predators like largemouth and spotted bass. 

The population of crawfish, shad, and minnows provides a solid diet for the variety of species of bass found in the lake. Because of this, anglers should target their bait selection to each species. For example, largemouths prefer imitation shad, while smallmouths prefer faux crawfish. 

The upper portions of the lake near Wilson Dam and 7 Mile Island make for prime smallmouth habitat.

The boulder-laden bottom and strong current is ideal for smallmouth bass, and anglers who use a soft plastic crawfish will have little trouble limiting out on smallies here. 

The southern portions of the lake include stump fields, gravel banks, and creek mouths that serve up some great largemouth action.

Live shad under a cork or imitation shad swimbaits are solid choices for largemouths. Offshoots and creeks call for some topwater action. 

The best black bass spots are creeks and cuts, including Haw Branch, Bluff Creek, and Slate Rock Creek. Crankbaits, topwater, and even corks baited with minnows have an excellent track record on Pickwick Lake.

For stripers, you will want to target the waters around the Pickwick Dam, which boasts a solid population of white, hybrid, and striped bass.

Stick with bottom rigs baited with shad or troll with shad swim baits for the best results.

Lewis Smith Lake

Size: 21,000 acres

Location: Northern Alabama

Bass Species: Spotted, striped, largemouth

Lewis Smith Lake offers more than 20,000 acres of prime bass fishing waters.

Resembling splattered paint on a canvas, the lake’s sprawling acreage consists of massive branches connected by channels instead of centering around a main body of water.

The western portion of the lake is fed by tributaries like the Sipsey River along with Brushy and Clear creeks. Simpson and Ryan creeks feed the eastern side. This influx of water from all directions helps maintain a healthy population of baitfish.

While it is undoubtedly an aesthetic bonus, anglers will find the downside of this lake is that it tends to be very clear due to the influx of freshwater. This clarity means anglers should both downsize tackle and select life-like baits to avoid spooking the fish.

Rock Creek is a hotbed of spotted bass, and anglers can launch from Smith Lake Fishing Resort to take a quick boat ride to prime water.

Swimbaits and soft plastics are a solid choice, but anglers can use their fish finder to locate submerged structures in the creek and jig over them.

Reid Creek features a four-way fork where anglers catch all three species of black bass from the many docks lining the shores and the handful of shallow coves in the area. The back of the central fork boasts a large grass bed perfect for topwater frogs and weedless soft plastics. 

Additional locations include Miller Bottom, Lick Branch, Bates Branch, and Brushy Creek, where spotted and largemouth bass are commonplace.

Wilson Lake

Size: 15,500 acres

Location: Northern Alabama

Species: White, largemouth, smallmouth

Anglers will have no trouble catching the full spectrum of Alabama’s bass population in Wilson Lake, located on the Tennessee River near Muscle Shoals and Florence.

With various fishing holes within striking distance of two boat launches, anglers can head into creek mouths and coves like Fourmile Creek, Indian Spring, and Poplar Springs Creek to chase spotted bass.

Meanwhile, in front of the Wheeler Dam, anglers will find plenty of stripers, white bass, and even a strong contingency of smallmouth lurking around Big Nance Creek and Lock Three.

Your big striper, white bass, and smallmouth will be closer to the dam, but the largemouths aren’t far off.

Locations like Town Creek and Douglass Branch are small cuts off the river with a heavily forested shoreline and a few docks for good measure.

Largemouths prefer the murkier, slower-moving water, and in Wilson Lake, these spots, along with Muscle Shoals Canal and Sixmile Creek, are your best bet. 

Spinnerbaits are your most versatile option, and a handful of willow blades thrown in for good measure help draw in the bass. Other solid options here include swimbaits in the form of imitation shad and crankbaits that run at a variety of depths.

Yates Lake

Size: 1,980 acres

Location: Central Alabama

Bass Species: Largemouth, striped, spotted

Also known as the Middle Pond, this smaller-by-comparison reservoir on the Tallapoosa River is home to some trophy largemouths, stripers, and a handful of spotted bass.

South of Lake Martin, the tailwaters of the dam yield monster stripers that anglers can catch from the shore. Bottom rigs are the weapon of choice here, so stock up on shad and get some rod holders handy. 

Further downstream, Channahatchee Creek offers some excellent largemouth angling off the main body of water.

Like Sougahatchee Creek and Coon Creek below it, anglers will follow the main creek into a series of offshoots rich with structure and full of black bass.

Topwater frogs are a great way to find what’s lurking in the back of cuts you can’t access in your boat, but spinnerbaits let you cover more water. 

The Yates Dam is another popular location with anglers who can shorefish off the dead end of County Rd 30, where you’ll also find Yates Lake Ramp.

Bottom rigs with shad are also your go-to here, but anglers can work the cut next door to the parking lot with soft plastics to bring in some smallies and spotted bass that frequent this location.

Dekalb County Public Lake

Size: 120 acres

Location: Northeastern Alabama 

Bass Species: Largemouth, spotted

This tiny 120-acre lake is by far and away the smallest lake on this list, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in a high concentration of sizable largemouth bass population and a handful of spotted bass sprinkled in. 

With plenty of sandbars, grass beds, and a handful of fallen trees in the mix, the lake’s structure makes for dozens of fishing holes despite the small footprint.

The northern shoreline features sandbars and heavily brushed banks, while the southern bank offers several easy-to-access coves and a handful of drop-offs.

Popular lures here include shallow-running crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and soft plastics. 

Coosa River & Reservoirs

Size: 280-mile tributary of Alabama River

Location: Northeastern Alabama

Bass Species: Largemouth, spotted, striped, white, smallmouth

This long tributary of the Alabama River starts in Georgia and snakes its way through Alabama.

Along the way, dams have created excellent fishing reservoirs in Lake Weiss, Neely Henry, Logan Martin Lake, Lay Lake, and Lake Mitchell. These six major impoundments they can target are filled with bass, crappie, catfish, and more. 

Anglers can catch striped, white, largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth bass throughout this fertile system. Power-generating dams break each section of the river into individual impoundments, each with its distinct fishing flavor. 

With a highly diverse ecosystem hosting crawfish, shad, snails, and even freshwater mussels, there is no shortage of prey for bass.

Because of this feast, anglers need to take stock of what forage inhabits whichever lake they are fishing on the Coosa River. This knowledge can help with bait selection and narrow your search. 

Below, we cover the six significant impoundments on the Coosa River for anglers looking to hook into a large lunker.

To help organize this section, we’ll start in the north where the Coosa River flows into Alabama and work our way through the reservoirs heading south.

Weiss Lake

Size: 32,000 acres

Location: Northeastern Alabama

Bass Species: Striped, spotted, largemouth

This shallow but fertile lake in northeastern Alabama headwaters in Georgia and works its way down to just above Neely Lake.

Weiss is better known as a crappie fishing hotspot, and anglers too often overlook its bass fishing. 

That said, the bass fishing here is stellar from March through November, yielding striped bass over 25 pounds and 18-inch largemouth regularly.

Spinnerbaits and crankbaits are a favorite of anglers here, but soft plastic lizards and worms aren’t too shabby, either. 

Locations such as Trotter Cove, Spring Creek, Cowan Creek, and Little River usually have a decent crop of largemouth, while Black Mallard cove is infested with hungry spotted bass above the two-pound mark.

However, most anglers never head west through Hawthorne Cove and discover a small canal that leads them to the bass heaven known as Little Cove. 

Just southwest of Leesburg, this small inlet includes shallow water sandbars, inlets, and drop-offs, with an extraordinary number of sizeable largemouths recorded caught in a single place.

With both docks to cast under and plenty of steep drop-offs, anglers would be foolish not to take the boat ride out to Little Cove to try their luck in this bass bonanza. 

Neely Henry Lake

Size: 11,200 acres

Location: Northeastern Alabama

Bass Species: Spotted, largemouth, striped

This reservoir is home to spotted, largemouth, and striped bass and is one of the best bass lakes in all of Alabama.

The spotted bass can usually be found in the upper reservoir and up into the narrower river toward Weiss Dam, where the current is stronger.

The lake’s southern end is a favorite of spotted and largemouth bass during the spawning season, and April is a hotbed of activity in locations such as Canoe Creek and Ottery Creek.

Here, anglers want to target the grass and points where docks jut out into the lake, providing structure for big bass that win tournaments.

These artificial structures are home to more than a few trophy bass, and anglers who jig or work a crankbait from the shadows beneath them are sure to hook into at least a 3-pound lunker in the early morning or late evening.

If the bass aren’t there, a safe bet is to run upriver to the flats around Cedar Bend, where crankbaits lure out even the most stubborn big bass.

Beaver Creek also has miles of shoreline untouched by development and plenty of undercut banks lined with structures for anglers to try their hand on. 

Additional locations include Shoal Creek and Bridge Creek, where anglers will find brush-lined shores, coves, and even a few small islands that are favorites of spotted bass.

Logan Martin Lake

Size: 15,263 acres

Location: East-Central Alabama

Bass Species: Largemouth, spotted, striped, hybrid striped

Below Neely Henry Dam, Logan Martin Lake is the largest and most central of the Coosa River’s main reservoirs.

Its more than 15,000 acres offer prime fishing for spotted and largemouth bass just 45 minutes east of Birmingham.

Also a summer hot spot for stripers and hybrids, the main lake near the dam is a feeding ground for the non-black bass species during the warmer months.

However, the offshoot creeks and spring-fed channels are more likely to hold these large silvery fighters during the cooler months. 

Boasting nearby bass hotspots such as Dye Creek, Blue Eye Creek, and Ohatchee Creek, anglers have a myriad of locations to target during their time on the water at Logan Martin Lake.

The Ohatchee Spillway is a popular location for anglers after both stripers and catfish in large numbers, feeding off the incoming bait pushed in by the current.

Anglers can moor just out of the current along the side channel and cast into the current or troll in front of the dam’s overflow to catch monster striped bass using imitation shad swim baits. 

A series of small overflow ponds near Lick Branch has an excellent track record for producing sizeable largemouths, which prefer to stay just out of the current and hammer the schools of shad that shelter here. 

Finally, Blue Springs Branch and Blue Eye Creek offer plenty of sandbars and docks that anglers can target using spinnerbaits.

Even though this is a heavily trafficked area, anglers can find some secluded coves ripe for the picking, especially during the wee hours of the morning or late evening.

Lay Lake

Size: 12,000 acres

Location: East-Central Alabama 

Bass Species: Striped, largemouth, spotted

This 12,000-acre reservoir in east central Alabama offers excellent striped, largemouth, and spotted bass fishing. 

At its southernmost point, Lay Lake offers some excellent spotted bass fishing in the offshoots of Paint Creek and Little Tom Creek in a large backwater on the lower east side of the reservoir.

These creek systems feature tree-filled islands, small, shallow coves, and a few runoff ditches, making it a must-visit for any anglers chasing spotted bass.

Rig up with a soft plastic lizard or worm and cover more water while slowly motoring along the forested shoreline.

Waxahatchee Creek offers a more diverse look into bass fishing here at Lay Lake, with largemouths and spotted bass recorded caught around the docks and islands of the system of channels.

Reed Creek is an excellent location to angle if the river is unusually choppy, and anglers will find plenty of inlets and docks to cast crankbaits or spinner baits under in search of hungry lunkers. 

To the north, Kates Branch boasts a heavily populated but still fishable shoreline. Anglers will find small sandbars, an island, and a handful of coves lined with docks, making it a prime location to angle from just a short boat ride from the docks at Bozo Fishing Camp. 

Anglers looking to target largemouths exclusively might stick to Peckerwood Creek, which snakes its way off the main channel a little farther to the north. Featuring a myriad of trees overhanging the bank and plenty of docks, this is a bucketmouth haven where anglers can fish nice and slow, filling up an ice chest in no time.

Topwater frogs work magic here, and beneath the overhanging trees, anglers are almost guaranteed a surface strike worthy of the cover of Field and Stream.

Lake Mitchell

Size: 5,850 acres

Location: Central Alabama

Bass Species: Spotted, largemouth, striped

Beneath the Lay Lake Dam, at the upper end of Lake Mitchell, the Coosa River’s striper population is some of the best in the state, but boat anglers have a decent boat trip from Higgins Ferry Boat Ramp to ply these waters.

Instead, some shore fishing is available off County Rd 794 near the dam’s tail waters, where bottom rigs with cut bait or minnows will yield both stripers and large catfish.

Where the river branches around Ware Island, you’ll find some fair spotted and largemouth bass along forested shores. Still, with the stiff current from the dam just upriver, the black bass fishing is better farther downstream.

Below Gilchrist Island, the current slows as it backs into the main reservoir. As a result, anglers will start to see an uptick in black bass activity in locations such as Cove Branch and Clay Creek.

These small creeks have undercut banks and overhanging trees, perfect ambush sites for these green and black predators. Cove Branch also features several docks that produce solid largemouth beneath their pilings. 

Hatchet Creek and Bird Creek are on opposite sides of the river. Both are just a short boat ride from Higgins Ferry Boat Ramp, which is an excellent launch site for boating anglers on Lake Mitchell.

Anglers will find the black bass bite at its finest in these creek areas.

Bird Creek, on the west side, offers docks and overhanging trees for anglers to try their luck with spinnerbaits.

On the other side, the larger Hatchet Creek area provides a maze of channels, coves, and cuts that twist their way into the Coosa Wildlife Management Area.

If you’re a fan of crankbaits, you can cover plenty of water in the channel system off of Hatchet Creek and likely pull in a limit of spotted and largemouth bass. 

Blue Creek is your last stop before the next dam, and the striped bass catches around here are fantastic. Anglers will find a strong current, deeper water, and Blue Creek Camp Marina nearby for a quick launch.

Lake Jordan

Size: 6,800 acres

Location: Central Alabama

Bass Species: Spotted, largemouth, striped, hybrid 

This lower Coosa River reservoir offers a fine blend of hybrid, striped, spotted, and largemouth bass a quick drive north of Montgomery.

Jordan Lake actually features two major bodies of water.

The main lake backs up from Jordan Dam on the Coosa. However, a channel diverts some water southwest into a basin above Bouldin Dam. That dam spills water into a canal that rejoins the Coosa downriver to form the Alabama River.

A good place to start your fishing on Jordan Lake is around Weoka Creek, a popular series of coves, docks, and islands for largemouth bass several miles up the lake from Jordan Dam.

Anglers can launch from Lake Jordan Marina and motor into the creek in search of spotted and largemouth bass swimming amidst the submerged structure. Boats also can go deeper into Pinkston Creek, where the spotted bass are a dime a dozen.

Jordan Lake State Boat Ramp (Rotary Landing) is your bass boat launch if you want to target the dam, diversion, or Sofkahatchee Creek.

The latter creek runs under old and new US Hwy 231. This winding creek system has a few docks on the front end, but the deeper you go, the better the bass fishing gets.

With plenty of overhanging trees, two bridges, a few sandbars, and a couple of coves, Sofkahatchee Creek is a tucked-away black bass heaven that few anglers visit. 

Instead, most anglers opt for the main dam or diversion, which yields plenty of striped and white bass, a handful of monster largemouth, and, perhaps surprisingly, paddlefish. 

The main dam is a great opportunity to troll with imitation shad swim baits or deep diving crankbaits.

Here, anglers had better set their drags right because anglers have caught more than a few monster stripers off the Lake Jordan Dam.

The diversion tells a slightly different tail. With plenty of coves and rock shore lining leading up the diversion canal, the waters are thick with spotted bass, and the stripers aren’t far behind.

Anglers can pick up a few largemouths around docks on the northern side of the diversion pool, but anglers will catch striper and spotted bass in large numbers along the eastern shoreline of the diversion’s rocky banks.

If you motor all the way up to beneath Lay Lake Dam, there aren’t many hot bass fishing locations though anglers can try Chestnut Creek or Proctor Creek, which can produce decent largemouth bass.

Further downstream, the black bass angling picks up in locations such as Big Branch and Shoal Creek, but this location doesn’t yield the same numbers as some of the lower-lake spots we’ve already discussed.

Instead of targeting specific fishing holes like other locations along the Coosa River, it’s best if anglers pick a shoreline and troll it, fishing into the many small cuts and creeks that dot both shores. 

Spinnerbaits are a hot commodity here, but soft plastics rigged weedless will get you into those hard-to-reach backs of creeks and coves where lunkers lay up waiting to ambush shad and minnows.


Alabama has a wide variety of excellent fishing lakes, and with many bass species, the opportunities here seem endless. From backwater county lakes to reservoirs covering tens of thousands of acres, anglers can catch bass all over the Heart of Dixie.

Before heading out searching for your next trophy lunker, purchase your fishing license and check all local and state regulations. As always, good luck, and stay safe out on the water.

Bass Fishing Techniques and Tips

Now you have an excellent idea of where to catch bass in Alabama, and some pretty strong ideas of how to do it, it’s time to up your game another notch with our complete guide to bass fishing techniques and tips.