Bassmaster magazine is recognized as a global leader for news about bass fishing, including which lake in Alabama is the best place to fish for the immensely popular game fish.
In its 2017 listing of the top bass lakes in the Southeast, Pickwick was ranked highest in Alabama, beating out popular fishing destinations such as Guntersville Lake and Logan Martin Lake.
The 50-mile long lake has a surface area of 47,500 acres, that covers portions of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. An Alabama fishing license allows anglers to fish in the waters of all three states on Pickwick Lake. Numerous boat ramps provide easy access to all areas of the lake.
Pickwick Lake features a variety of habitat for fish including swift water, grassy flats, deep offshore ledges, rock bluffs and gravel-covered points. Pickwick Lake is one of few lakes in America where anglers can catch trophy-sized largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. Monster-sized blue catfish, giant striped bass and big crappie and bream can also be caught. During the winter months, sauger fishing is popular, especially in the swift water downstream of Wilson Dam. Winter is also a great time to fish for big largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Interesting Facts About Pickwick Lake
- Several smallmouth bass in the 10-pounds range have been caught on Pickwick Lake over the years and many noted anglers – including Bill Dance – are convinced a smally larger than the current world record of 11 pounds, 15 ounces is swimming right now in Pickwick Lake.
- Anglers with a valid Alabama fishing license can also fish in Mississippi and Tennessee waters on Pickwick Lake.
- The Alabama state record for sauger of 5 pounds, 2 ounces was caught March 5, 1972 on Pickwick Lake – in the tailrace of Wilson Dam – by William F. Huntley of Athens.
- The Alabama state record for muskellunge (which is no longer stocked in Alabama) of 19 pounds, 8 ounces was caught Dec. 31, 1972 on Pickwick Lake – in the tailrace of Wilson Dam –by Steve Leatherwood of Haleyville
What the Pros Say About Pickwick Lake
- “Pickwick Lake is awesome. Bass fishing on Pickwick is absolutely on fire. Lots of big largemouth and big smallmouth are being caught.”
-- Tim Horton, Bassmaster Elite Series angler and outdoors television personality, Muscle Shoals
- “Pickwick has been amazing. It is fishing the best that I have ever seen it. People are coming all from all over the country to fish Pickwick.”
-- Cameron Gautney, Tennessee River fishing guide, Muscle Shoals.
- “The great thing about Pickwick is if the catfish aren’t biting, you can switch tackle and fish for striped bass or you can fish for largemouth and smallmouth or fish for crappie. You can catch something every time you go out on Pickwick Lake.”
-- Brian Barton, Tennessee River fishing guide, Muscle Shoals.
Brian Barton Outdoors
Capt. Brian Barton
Specializing in trophy catfish trips and livebait fishing for smallmouth and striped bass
Shoals Bass Guides
Capt. Cameron Gautney
Specializing in electronics and trophy smallmouth bass
Crappie Connection Guide Service
Capt. Brad Whitehead
Specializing in crappie and livebait fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass
Davis Whitten Fishing
Specializing in trophy smallmouth and largemouth bass
Capt. Davis Whitten
Bait & Tackle
Gray’s Tackle Shop
2813 Jackson Highway
Shoals Outdoor Sports
1605 U.S. Highway 72
1010 E. 2nd St.
517 Avalon Ave.
Muscle Shoals, AL