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. Southern Sporting Journal labels Lake Guntersville as one of the six best largemouth bass lake to fish in the winter.

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.

Our bait recommendations

Here's the baits that our Pros love for this lake.