Trying out new fishing spots can be just the change needed if the fishing hole you’re used to just isn’t like it used to be. Whether the fish aren’t biting, or the landscape is changing, there’s always a good excuse to find another place to fish. Here are some suggestions we caught for you.
Neely Henry Lake
11,200 acres of the Coosa River belong to Lake Neely Henry, a favorite for pro fishermen. The lake has many boat docks and piers, so anyone can find a spot to fish. As part of Alabama’s Bass Trail, Lake Neely Henry is home to both large and smallmouth bass, along with other species.
· Largemouth bass run from 12 to 15 inches or more.
· White crappie, catfish, bluegill and even alligator gar can also be found within the lake.
· Shallow fishing is available throughout the year.
Known for it’s beauty, Smith Lake is about an hour away from Birmingham and worth the drive. With 21,000 acres, the lake has an interesting past when it comes to fish. It consecutively produced world-record spotted bass for eight years.
· The deep, clear water is ideal for bass fishing, yielding striped bass.
· Smith Lake is also an ideal rainbow trout fly-fishing spot, with a full-service fly-fishing shop in the area.
· Record-setting bass have been caught at Smith Lake, weighing anywhere from 30 to 40 pounds.
For a more inland take on fishing, Ingall’s Harbor is an ideal spot in the Huntsville area. The 27 acre public boat ramp area leads to the Tennessee River that flows through northern Alabama. Nationally acclaimed tournaments have shown Ingall’s Harbor some love by scheduling competitions there in the past.
· Controlled entry points to a 1,088 linear foot floating dock.
· 10 boat simultaneous launch capability.
· Best for bass fishing, but other species such as bluegill and catfish can also be found at Ingall’s Harbor.
Madison County Lake
Located 11 miles east of Huntsville, Madison County Lake sits in Gurley, Alabama. The lake has a boat ramp and fishing pier, along with restrooms and concessions that sell bait, tackle and snacks for those looking to head out on to the lake.
· Open sunrise to sunset.
· Normal fishing licenses are required and boat rental permit are available daily for $5. Launch permits for personal boats are $3.
· Home to largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish, crappie and rainbow trout for winter fishing.
Lake Lurleen, a man-made 250 acre body of water, sits 12 miles outside of Tuscaloosa. Fishing boats, paddle boats and canoe rentals are all available to the public. Two boat launching ramps are open and gasoline motors of any size can be operated on the lake.
· Entrance station hours are from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
· Lake Lurleen has three fishing piers and carries largemouth bass, bream, catfish and crappie.
· Fishing boats are for rent for $15 per day with a $5 deposit, with three people maximum. Canoes cost $10 per hour to rent with a $5 deposit, or can be rented for $20 a day with a $15 deposit.
Black Warrior River
The Black Warrior River stretches 178 miles of navigable waters. Almost all of the river has been impounded to create reservoirs that have been made for hydroelectricity, drinking water and more. The river is a tributary of the Tombigbee River.
· Scenery along The Black Warrior River varies from bluffs to plains and more.
· The river’s watershed holds more than 100 freshwater fish species to fish from. In addition, the river has 36 species of mussels, 15 turtle species and more.
· The Black Warrior contains thousands of spotted bass per river mile.
· The Locust Fork branch of the river is the best fly-fishing spot on the river.