Best Striped Bass Fishing in Alabama

School of striped bass in Alabama's waterway.
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Alabama offers bountiful waters teeming with striped bass, commonly known as stripers, that provide recreational anglers with year-round fishing opportunities. These hard-fighting fish can be found in high numbers and significant sizes within the state, particularly in the Coosa River system where conditions are right for stripers to thrive. With their migratory patterns, striped bass often congregate near dams and in the tailwaters where the water is cooler and baitfish are abundant, presenting optimal fishing spots for you to cast your line. When targeting striped bass in Alabama, timing is essential. The spring and early summer months bring peak fishing conditions as stripers are actively feeding during their spawning runs upriver. Yet even during the heat of summer and the cooler winter months, you can locate stripers by adjusting your tactics and fishing in deeper waters. Lake Martin, Lewis Smith Lake, and the Tennessee River are prime destinations for robust striped bass fisheries, where setting out with live shad or artificial lures could yield your next trophy catch.



Lewis Smith Lake

Lewis Smith Lake, known for its clear waters and scenic views, is a prime spot for striped bass fishing in Alabama. This deep reservoir boasts numerous inlets and channels, ideal habitats for striped bass.

When fishing in Lewis Smith Lake, spring and fall are the most fruitful seasons for catching striped bass. During this time, the fish are often found in shallower waters, making them more accessible.

Tactics to Consider:

  • Trolling: Use deep-diving crankbaits along the channels.
  • Live Baiting: Shad is an effective choice; keep it lively to attract attention.
  • Topwater Fishing: Morning or late afternoon can yield thrilling strikes in the right conditions.

Top Spots on the Lake:

  • Ryan Creek: Known for its deep water and structure where stripers tend to gather.
  • Rock Creek: Provides a mix of shallow and deep areas with vegetation.

Fishing Licenses are required, and you can purchase them online or from local vendors around the lake. Always check the current fishing regulations for size and bag limits to help conserve the striped bass population.

To improve your odds:

  • Use a fish finder to locate schools of striped bass.
  • Keep a tight line; striped bass are known for their strong fight.
  • Be patient and adapt your technique as necessary based on weather and water conditions.

Lake Martin

When you’re pursuing striped bass in Alabama, Lake Martin is a choice fishery that merits your attention. Nestled in the heart of Tallapoosa, Elmore, and Coosa counties, this 44,000-acre reservoir is known for its clear water and healthy bass population.

Fishing Spots:

  • Wind Creek State Park
  • Kowaliga Bridge
  • The Ridge Marina

Techniques:

  • Trolling live shad
  • Casting topwater lures during dawn and dusk
  • Jigging with spoons near deep structures

Best Seasons:

  • Spring: Pre-spawn activity peaks in shallow coves.
  • Summer: Pursue deeper waters as bass retreat from the heat.
  • Fall: Look for surface feeding frenzies as bass fatten up for winter.
  • Winter: Target striped bass with live bait in deeper channels.

Use your fishfinder to locate schools and depth changes, as striped bass often migrate toward the dam and river channels for cooler waters and abundant forage. If you have a boat, you’ll have better access to prime locations throughout Lake Martin. Shore anglers can enjoy productive outings at public piers and along accessible banks.

Lake Weiss

Located on the Alabama-Georgia border, Lake Weiss is renowned for its excellent striped bass fishing opportunities. Your chances of catching striped bass, known locally as rockfish, increase here due to the lake’s diverse aquatic habitats. Known as the “Crappie Capital of the World,” Weiss also provides a home for sizable striped bass.

Prime Fishing Locations

  • Powerhouse Lake Area: Near the dam, capitalizing on the deeper, cooler waters.
  • Little River: A hotspot, especially where there’s current.
  • Chattooga River: Provides a natural environment with less fishing pressure.

Bait and Tackle Tips

  • Use live shad for the most effective natural bait.
  • Consider topwater lures during early mornings or late evenings for an exciting catch.
  • Stay equipped with heavy tackle as striped bass are known for their strength.

Best Time to Fish: Striped bass fishing peaks in the spring and fall months. Early morning and late evening hours offer the best bite, aligning with the fishes’ feeding times.

Remember, striped bass are most active in areas with current or structure, so focus your efforts on such spots. With tactical consideration of location, bait, and timing, your chances of a rewarding catch at Lake Weiss are promising.

Neely Henry Lake

Center console boat on lake Neely Henry as the sun goes down.

Neely Henry Lake, located in northeast Alabama, is known as a prime destination for striped bass fishing. Spanning over 11,000 acres, this reservoir on the Coosa River boasts robust populations of striped bass that attract anglers from across the region.

Seasonal Patterns:

  • Spring: Target the shallows for pre-spawn fish.
  • Summer: Fish deep water where stripers retreat for cooler temperatures.
  • Fall: Locate schools chasing shad in creeks.
  • Winter: Explore the river channel for consistent action.

Effective Techniques:

  • Trolling: Slow-troll live shad or use artificial lures along channel edges.
  • Casting: Employ topwaters or swimbaits during active feeding times.
  • Jigging: Drop spoons or jigs in deeper water where fish congregate.

Baits and Lures:

  • Live Shad
  • Bucktail Jigs
  • Deep-diving Crankbaits

Key Fishing Spots:

  • Dam tailwaters: for high-oxygen areas attracting stripers.
  • Creek mouths: hot spots during seasonal migrations.
  • Main river channel: reliable year-round habitat.

Lake Guntersville

Lake Guntersville, sprawling across 69,000 acres, is Alabama’s largest lake and a premier location for striped bass fishing. Nestled in the Appalachian foothills, you’ll find this reservoir teeming with aquatic life, which provides the perfect habitat for striped bass.

When targeting striped bass at Lake Guntersville, consider the season. Spring is the peak season as stripers chase shad near the surface, giving you a thrilling top-water experience. In contrast, fall offers hearty feeding as bass prepare for winter, making it another excellent time to fish.

Key Fishing Spots:

  • Town Creek: Known for good catch rates.
  • North Sauty Creek: Offers sheltered coves.
  • Siebold Creek: Attracts baitfish and, consequently, stripers.

Bait and Tackle:

  • Live Bait: Shad or skipjack herring.
  • Artificial Lures: Swimbaits and jerkbaits mimic natural prey.
  • Rod and Reel: Medium-heavy to heavy action rod recommended.

Fishing Techniques:

  • Trolling: Cover large areas with depth control.
  • Cast and Retrieve: Focus around structures and inlets.

For successful outings, familiarize yourself with local regulations and consider reporting your catches for conservation efforts. Keep in mind that Lake Guntersville is subject to Alabama state-wide fishing regulations, and obtaining a proper fishing license is mandatory.

Wheeler Lake

Wheeler Lake, a notable reservoir on the Tennessee River, offers impressive opportunities for striped bass fishing in Alabama. Positioned between Rogersville and Huntsville, this lake provides a diverse habitat suitable for stripers.

Seasons:

  • Spring: Peak season for large stripers.
  • Summer: Night fishing is optimal due to cooler temperatures.

Techniques:

  • Trolling with live shad can yield substantial catches.
  • Casting soft swimbaits near structures proves effective.

Hotspots:

  • The tailwaters of Wheeler Dam.
  • Swirls and eddies near the main river channel.

Equipment:

Logan Martin Lake

When searching for striped bass at Logan Martin Lake, you’re exploring a renowned hot spot stretching along the Coosa River in central Alabama. The lake covers 17,000 acres and offers a diverse habitat perfect for striped bass. The deep channels and abundant shad draw large stripers, especially in the cooler months.

Key Fishing Spots:

  • Clear Creek: Renowned for its depth and clear water, an ideal area for striped bass.
  • Riverside: Near the dam, the currents create conditions that attract stripers.

Fishing Techniques:

  • Live Baiting: Using live shad can increase your chances, as it’s the natural prey of striped bass in Logan Martin Lake.
  • Trolling: Cover more water by trolling with deep-diving lures to mimic the movement of baitfish.

Seasonal Patterns:

  • Spring: Striped bass move to shallow waters to spawn.
  • Summer: Fish deeper waters where temperatures are cooler.
  • Fall: Look for stripers in mid-depth ranges as they follow schools of shad.
  • Winter: Target deep water near channels where stripers retreat for consistent temperatures.

Check the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for any specific size or bag limits and ensure you have a valid fishing license. With patience and the right technique, Logan Martin Lake can be your gateway to an exceptional striped bass fishing experience.

Lay Lake

When you’re targeting striped bass in Alabama, Lay Lake should be on your list. This 12,000-acre reservoir, located on the Coosa River, has a reputation for producing quality striped bass, among other species.

Location: South of Birmingham
Known for: Quality striped bass fishing

Seasonality:

  • Spring: The pre-spawn period brings active feeding, with prime fishing near the dam.
  • Summer: Look for stripers in deeper waters.
  • Fall: As water temperatures drop, stripers move into shallower areas.
  • Winter: Slower activity, but patient anglers can still find success.

Fishing Techniques:

  • Trolling: Deep trolling with live bait or artificial lures is effective.
  • Casting: Use topwater lures during low light conditions.
  • Live Baiting: Shad or herring can entice larger fish.

Tips:

  • Use electronics to locate schools of stripers.
  • Focus on depth changes such as drop-offs and river channels.
  • Monitor water temperatures, as stripers prefer certain temperature ranges.

Cahaba River

When targeting striped bass in the Cahaba River, it’s important to note the seasonal patterns affecting their behavior. In the spring and fall, striped bass migrate upstream, providing exceptional fishing opportunities.

Key Locations:

  • Bibb County Glades: Ample cover for bass.
  • Perry Lakes Park: Access to deeper pools.
  • Old Cahawba: Historical site with promising fishing spots.

Best Baits:

  • Live shad
  • Artificial swimbaits
  • Topwater lures

For optimal success, focus on fishing during early morning or late evening hours when Striped bass are most active. Employing heavy tackle is recommended to handle the potential size of the fish in these waters.

Coosa River

The Coosa River is a premier destination for striped bass fishing in Alabama. Known for its robust striper population, you’ll find an abundance of fishing opportunities along its banks.

Best Times to Fish: Striped bass activity in the Coosa River picks up in the spring and lasts through the fall. You’ll have the best success during the early morning or late evening hours when the fish are most active.

Locations:

  • Lay Lake: Noted for sizeable stripers, especially near the dam.
  • Logan Martin Lake: Offers excellent springtime fishing in creeks feeding into the river.
  • Lake Mitchell: Known for good summer fishing prospects.

Tactics to Consider:

  • Live bait such as shad or herring proves effective, especially when used near drop-offs and channels.
  • Topwater lures can elicit exciting strikes during early and late hours of the day.

Equipment Tips:

  • Heavy-duty rods and reels are recommended as stripers put up a strong fight.
  • Use line ranging from 14 to 20 pounds to withstand the abrasion from rocks and structures.

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