The Alabama River and Tombigbee River are major waterways that flow through Alabama’s Black Belt. There are countless opportunities for fishing for largemouth bass, spotted bass, crappie, catfish, striped bass and white bass. Rivers in the Black Belt include these Alabama waterways: the Alabama River, the Tombigbee River, the Pea River, the Chattahoochee River and the Choctawhatchee River.
Lake Eufaula, officially named Walter F. George Reservoir, has been proclaimed the “Bass Fishing Capital of the World.” The reservoir extends from the Walter F. George Dam at Fort Gaines, Ga., northward to Phenix City. Since this lake is shared by Alabama and Georgia, a fishing license from either state can be used when fishing Lake Eufaula. Bass, catfish and crappie are the most abundant catches at Lake Eufaula. Contact the District IV Fisheries Office at 334-347-9467 with questions about the fish population at Lake Eufaula.
Millers Ferry Reservoir, officially known as William (Bill) Dannelly Reservoir, is located in Wilcox County near Camden. There are numerous public access areas on the 17,200-acre reservoir created as an impoundment by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1969. Both largemouth and spotted bass are considered excellent at Millers Ferry. The reservoir consistently produces bass of 3 pound or larger. Channel and blue catfish are frequently targeted by local anglers and blue catfish of more than 30 pounds are not uncommon.
Aliceville Public Fishing Reservoir is sometimes called Pickensville Lake by local anglers and is best known for its largemouth bass and crappie fishing. The 8,300-acre reservoir approximately 12 miles northeast of Aliceville is formed by the Tom Bevill Lock and Dam, located a mile southwest of Pickensville just off Alabama Highway 14. There are two public access areas with bank and boat access and one user fee boating access area. Since October 1993 there has been a 9-inch minimum length limit on crappie. Currently 9- to 12-inch crappie are abundant in this reservoir.
Barbour County Public Fishing Lake is a 75-acre lake located 6 miles north of Clayton in Midway. Bass fishing is good year-round with the largest fish usually caught from February through April when they are near the bank. Bluegill and redear sunfish are caught by bank and boat anglers from late spring through summer. Catfish are caught year-round, but summer and late fall months are the best. Clean public restrooms and concessions are available, including a wide variety of fishing tackle, live and artificial baits and other fishing supplies.
Crenshaw County Public Fishing Lake, a 53-acre lake located 5 miles south of Luverne off U.S. Highway 331, has an accessible fishing pier that makes it easy to reach deeper water without using a boat. There are clean public restrooms and concessions are available, including a wide variety of fishing tackle, live and artificial baits, and other fishing supplies, along with drinks and refreshments. Call 334-335-2572 for more information.
Lake Harding is a Chattahoochee River impoundment located on the Alabama-Georgia state line east of Opelika. It’s also known as Bartlett’s Ferry Reservoir. The 5,860-acre reservoir was constructed by Georgia Power Company. Both Alabama and Georgia fishing licenses are recognized for all Lake Harding waters. The bass fishery is predominately largemouth bass, but spotted bass are also common. Crappie are produced in good numbers, especially in the spring.
Lee County Public Fishing Lake is located 6 miles southeast of Opelika (9 miles east of Auburn). The 130-acre lake provides bass fishing year-round with the largest usually harvested from February through April when they are near the bank. Bluegill and shellcracker (redear sunfish) are caught by bank and boat anglers from spring through summer. Catfish are caught year-round, but the best times are during the summer. Night fishing is offered one day per week June through August. Crappie fishing is best February through May and August through November.
Pike County Public Fishing Lake is a 45-acre lake located 5 miles south of Troy off County Road 39. The lake is populated with bass, crappie and catfish. There is no daily permit required and private boats may be launched at no charge. There’s a handicap-accessible fishing pier that makes it easier to reach deeper waters without a boat. The lake, open daylight until dark daily, also has a picnic area with grills. For more information, call 334-347-9467.
The Robert G. Wehle Nature Center, near Midway in Bullock County, is located on 25 acres of rolling hill country. It is designed to enhance the appreciation for conservation and an understanding of man’s relationship with the environment. A large pond provides opportunities for scheduled fishing events. Get more information on nature programs and fishing opportunities by emailing the State Lands Division at DCNR.WLCCMidway@dcnr.alabama.gov.