Fishing on Lake Guntersville

Waterfront Bay Cabin and Cottage Rentals at Lake Guntersville, ALVacation cabin & cottage rentals on beautiful Lake Guntersville, AL

Fishing on Lake Guntersville

Lake Guntersville is located in north Alabama between Bridgeport and Guntersville. Alabama's largest lake contains 67,900 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. Guntersville Lake fish habitat includes milfoil and hydilla weed beds from which big bass explode on topwater baits.

Boats launching from the ramps across from Waterfront BayAn impoundment of the Tennessee River, Guntersville Lake is known for its diverse fishery and abundance of aquatic vegetation. The lake is full of hydrilla, milfoil and grass, providing gamefish with an abundance of habitat. In combination with the vegetation, the lake is full of submerged stump fields that were left after the forest was cut before flooding ccurred. Guntersville Lake is a premier angling destination. Due to its robust and diverse fishery, numerous tournaments are held on the lake. There is a tournament almost every weekend, from local clubs to national trails. The lake has an extensive buoy system that all boaters should familiarize themselves with.

Lake Guntersville is 67,900 acres in size with an average depth of 15 feet and a maximum depth of 45 feet. From Guntersville Dam to Nickajack Dam, the lake measures 76 miles. A Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) impoundment of the Tennessee River, the Sequatchie River is the main tributary, followed by Town Creek and numerous smaller creeks. The deeper portions of the lake generally consist of sand, gravel and mud. The steep ledges of old stream channels consist of limestone. Most of the shoreline has a sand and gravel bottom. Heavy siltation has occurred in some creeks such as Mud, North Sauty and South Sauty. Annual winter drawdowns lower the water level about 2 feet. The TVA manages the entire 949 miles of shoreline which occupies a narrow valley between steep sloping, forested ridges. Approximately 15% of the shoreline is developed, mainly with residential housing and very limited commercial development.

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. 

Anglers fishing on Lake Guntersville, ALAmerica’s most popular game fish is the largemouth bass and many other members of the black bass family. The Alabama record was a monster lunker, weighing in at 16 lbs. 8 oz. – just imagine the fight of that hawg! When you hook a largemouth, you’d better be ready for its short, powerful runs as it tries to escape to cover. Put your skill to the test when you go for smallmouth bass; it’ll jump and fight aggressively on the surface in order to throw the hook. The Alabama record for smallmouth is 10 lbs 8 oz and for spots is 8 lbs 15 oz. Come fishing on the Alabama Bass Trail to see why we love fishing in this state.

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.

Eleven of Alabama's premier bass fishing lakes are now features in a trail designed with you in mind. Discover the hottest spots with detailed maps. Get current pro guide reports, water conditions and weather forecasts all conveniently located in one angler-friendly web site. So before you launch your boat, be sure to launch the web site.

Alabama hunting and fishing licenses are available in all sections of the State from approximately 425 special license agents in many sporting goods stores, marinas, and at all county courthouses. Licenses may also be purchased by visiting our website at 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.

For Alabama public waters are listed at:

If you would like to hire a fishing guide for Lake Guntersville, ask us for a recommendation.


Find out about local and national tournaments being held on Lake Guntersville.


What's on the end of your line?


largemouth bass
Largemouth Bass
smallmouth bass
Smallmouth Bass
spotted bass
Spotted Bass
striped bass
Striped Bass
white bass
White Bass
blue catfish
Blue Catfish
channel catfish
Channel Catfish
flathead catfish
Flathead Catfish

black crappie white crappie  bluegill redear sunfish walleye
Black Crappie  White Crappie  Bluegill Redear Sunfish Walleye
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6989 Scottsboro Highway
Scottsboro, AL, 35769
Contact Us: Waterfront Bay
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