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Lake Guntersville is located in north Alabama between Bridgeport and Guntersville. Alabama's largest lake contains 69,100 acres and stretches 75 miles from Nickajack Dam to Guntersville Dam. Free boat ramps and private marinas dot the lake's perimeter. Fishing, boating, camping, hunting and eagle watching are popular sports in the area. Eagle watching centers on Guntersville State Park and the dam during the winter, though some bald eagles stay all year. Guntersville Lake fish habitat includes milfoil and hydilla weed beds from which big bass explode on topwater baits.
Though most noted nationally for large bass, Lake Guntersville is home to quality angling for a variety of fish. Historically, about two-thirds of the anglers on Guntersville target largemouth bass, although bream (bluegill, redear sunfish, and longear sunfish), crappie, sauger and catfish attract their fair share of anglers.
A 15-inch minimum length limit for black bass was implemented on 1 October 1993, to restrict harvest of small, fast growing bass. This minimum length limit has been changed to apply only to largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Sample data from 2004 revealed that the regulation has performed well over the past 11 years. Our samples not only revealed more largemouth bass greater than 15 inches than previous samples, but fish were more robust. Condition of largemouth bass between 12 and 24 inches has consistently improved each sample since 2001, and is higher than it has ever been since the Fisheries Section began sampling this reservoir. A summary of bass club tournament data on Guntersville is available.
Bream fishing is excellent throughout the lake, especially during late spring and early summer. Crappie fishing is best during the spring and fall, but night fishing in the summer around bridge pilings can be productive.
Sauger and a few walleye run upstream during the winter and early spring, and anglers catch sauger within the reservoir at bridge crossings and below Guntersville Dam. Catfish angling can bring big surprises; several blue catfish over 80 pounds have been taken from Lake Guntersville.
Fishing license information may be found at: www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/license/. Instant licensing is available via the Internet (2% fee), via the telephone by calling 1-888-848-6887 ($3.95 fee), or at 900 vendors and probate offices in Alabama. All youth age 15 and younger fish for free. The extreme upper end of Guntersville Lake is in Tennessee.
Bass fishing quality at Guntersville Reservoir is assessed here. If you are a member of a bass club, please consider being a part of our Bass Angler Information Team. We use information from clubs to help better manage your lakes for fishing.
State fish management information and Alabama reservoir location, size and elevation are listed at: www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/where/reservoirs/.
Information from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is provided at lakeinfo.tva.gov/ and at www.tva.gov/sites/guntersville.htm and navigation maps at www.lrn.usace.army.mil/opn/TNRiver/ or through TVA, https://maps.tva.com/, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 1-800-MAPS-TVA, fax 1-423-751-6216, or write 1101 Market St., Chattanooga, TN 37402-2801. Boaters may use TVA's locks to go downstream to Wheeler or upstream to Nickajack.
Lake Guntersville State Park is recently renovated: lodge, restaurant, motel, cabins, chalets, campgrounds, golf course, beach, hiking trails, etc. See a video of the Guntersville State Park. Read what the Huntsville Times says about Guntersville State Park at www.al.com/parks/parks.html. Buck's Pocket State Park (camping) and Cathedral Caverns State Park are nearby.
Contact the following fishing guides:
Regional information may be found at the north Alabama regional tourism site, www.northalabama.org/, call (800) 648-5381, or e-mail email@example.com. For motels, resorts, lodges, cabins, bed-and-breakfasts, RV parks, marinas, and camping accommodations, look in the "Stay" Section.
Guntersville State Park is a favorite place to stay in cabins, chalets, motel or camping accommodations.
Local tourism is found at: Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourism.
For camping, try Guntersville State Park at www.alapark.com/LakeGuntersville/
How to lock-through Guntersville Dam.
No fish consumption advisories have been issued for most of Guntersville Lake. The Tennessee River at the Alabama-Tennessee state line has a fish consumption advisory as does Willows Creek. Information on the consumption advisory may be found at the Alabama Department of Public Health Web site, www.adph.org. Consumption advisory information is found under "A-Z Contents" by looking for "Fish Consumption Advisories."
It shall be unlawful to intentionally stock or release any fish, mussel, snail, crayfish or their embryos including bait fish into the public waters of Alabama under the jurisdiction of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries as provided in Rule 220-2-.42 except those waters from which it came without the written permission of a designated employee of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources authorized by the Director of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries to issue such permit. The provisions of this rule shall not apply to the incidental release of bait into the water during the normal process of fishing.
The Fisheries Section's District I Supervisor can answer specific questions about Guntersville Reservoir at Keith.Floyd@dcnr.alabama.gov.