Lake Guntersville: Everything You Need to Know Before Your Next Fishing Trip

It’s time to talk about the fishing opportunities at the largest freshwater lake in Alabama—Guntersville Lake! Guntersville Lake fishing is among the top treats for professional and seasoned anglers because of the abundance of various fish species and ideal temperature conditions. 

Moreover, fishing at Lake Guntersville is perfect for using any rigging system that comes to your mind, including Texas, Ned, Drop Shot, Carolina, and Alabama. On top of that, you can experiment with different lure types and colors to attract some trophy-sized giants like the blue catfish and the largemouth bass.

In this article, we’ll submerge beneath the 69.000 acres of water surface to find the angling gems of Lake Guntersville. Hold tight to your tackle boxes—it’s time to dive in!

Overview of Lake Guntersville

Lake Guntersville’s been attracting professional and seasoned anglers, trollers, and schoolers for years! You can find Lake Guntersville in North Alabama, between Guntersville and Bridgeport. 

It is set between two Dams—from the Guntersville Dam to the Nickajack Dam. It stretches for 75 miles and covers 69.100 acres of water surface, making it the biggest lake in the state. The lake’s depth can vary from 1–60 feet depending on the location.

Water Clarity

The clarity patterns can alter depending on the seasonal and temperature conditions. Generally, the lake is clear and is ideal for largemouth, smallmouth, bluegill, walleye, catfish, and other species which prefer clear and clean waters. 

In fact, every fishing report for Guntersville Lake states there’s exceptional clarity of the water near Waterfront Bay. However, there are less clear waters found near the dams.

Water Temperature

The water temperature of Guntersville Lake usually varies between 29F and 90F. However, it can sometimes go even below 20F. During such colder months, the various fish species hover up the water column, and you can catch them with Texas or Carolina rigs

The best to fish and hang around Lake Guntersville is May and June. It gets even more exciting because the various bass species, such as the largemouths, smallmouths, and Alabama bass, are most active during these two months (their post-spawning season).

Where to Fish on Lake Guntersville?

Some of the best places to go to Guntersville Lake fishing are the following:

  • Siebold Creek
  • Town Creek
  • South Sauty
  • North Sauty
  • Brown’s Creek

Other popular locations for Lake Guntersville fishing are the Trail of Tears, Short Creek, and the beach complex.

Lake Guntersville Fishing: What to Expect

As we’ve mentioned, fishing in Lake Guntersville is quite popular among Alabama’s professional and seasoned anglers, and there are several reasons for this. 

Abundance of Fish Species

You can target and catch numerous fish species native to Alabama’s river systems, lakes, and creeks. For example, you can target freshwater species, such as largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass. But that’s not all—there are other kinds, too, like blue and flathead catfish, black and white crappie, walleye, and sunfish.

At Lake Guntersville, you can also target various fish species in different water and seasonal conditions at creeks, shores, and near the dams. Lake Guntersville fishing will allow you to experiment and fish near structured areas, freshwater creeks such as Siebold Creek and Brown’s Creek, and around Guntersville Dam and Nickajack Dam. 

Fishing Tournaments

If you read the fishing report Guntersville Lake, you’ll be amazed by the number of annual tournaments. There, you can find professional anglers from all over the United States competing to catch the largest bullhead catfish, bass, or walleye. 

Up until now, the largest bass that anglers caught weighed an astounding 15 plus lbs. Guntersville Lake holds two additional angling records—the 4 lbs crappie and a yellow bass weighing 2 lbs.

Seasonal Fishing

The trick with Lake Guntersville fishing is that you can take advantage of every season. For instance, if you want to fish in spring and fall, you can easily target smallmouths and largemouths. 

On the other hand, if you prefer to fish during the summer, you can go after the monstrous blue and flathead catfish. Winter is also great for fishing at Guntersville because you can use drop shot or Texas rig combined with your favorite lures, such as live baits and soft plastics.

The Fish Species of Lake Guntersville

The fishing report for Guntersville Lake can give us all the answers on the various fish species hovering above the water bed of the 69.100 acres of water. As we’ve mentioned, the seasonal and temperature conditions are optimal for the spawning of the different fish species, providing them with food and shelter year-round. 

The most populous Guntersville fish species are bass, crappie, bluegill, sunfish, drum, rainbow trout, carp, and gar. But these are not all there is! Following is a brief analysis of the most abundant fish species in Guntersville Lake.

The Guntersville Bass

Largemouth bass is one of the most populous fish in Guntersville Lake. It can grow between 6 and 10 inches per year. They populate almost all water areas of Guntersville Lake—from the damns to the creeks. In the summer, the yellow, white, spotted, and striped bass populate the shallower areas, while in the winter, you can target them around the dams and on the banksides. The best time to fish for trophy-sized bass is April to May!

Fishing Lake Guntersville for CrappieThe Guntersville Crappie

Lake Guntersville fishing for many, is all about the crappie! You can find black and white crappie for which there aren’t any restrictions on the daily catch and creel. Moreover, you can target them anywhere on the lake. The record crappie caught is 5 pounds, meaning you can easily target some trophy-sized crappies near the creeks and the channels. On top of that, you can catch this fish in almost any season.

The Guntersville Catfish

The catfish at Guntersville Lake can grow up to 50 inches if you know where to target it and how to catch it. For example, the easiest way to target the blue and flathead catfish is by throwing your baits in the shallower water areas, such as the main river channel and near the Nickajack Dam. The best way to catch them is by using lures and baits such as soft plastics and live baits. The best time to fish for catfish here is summer—between July and September.

The Guntersville Bluegills

Lake Guntersville fishing gives you a chance to catch bluegills as well—as one of the most populous fish species hovering above the weed beds. The best time of the year to catch them is in May, and the best locations are the places with the least number of anglers. The main reason for this phenomenon is that the bluegill is an intelligent fish that can easily remember and detect the already-used lure types, so it will try to avoid them at any cost.

The Guntersville Sunfish

Fishing Lake Guntersville is also popular because of the sweet but challenging treat for professional anglers—the Guntersville sunfish. You can target six sunfish specimens at Lake Guntersville: longear, redear, green, redbreast, bluegill, and warm-mouth sunfish. All of them prefer shallower water areas and weeded beds. Their diet mainly consists of snails, insects, plankton, and worms, so the best lure you can use is live bait or soft plastic worms.

The Guntersville Carp

Fishing Guntersville Lake is nothing without the carp! The two most abundant carp species at the lake are the common and grass carp. They prefer more vegetative areas and shallower waters, where you can target them by using drop shots or Texas rigs. Furthermore, top-water and crankbaits may be the best choice for initiating strikes by common and grass carp.

The Guntersville Gar

Brace yourself for the biggest fish at Guntersville Lake. Anglers who were fishing at Guntersville Lake say the gar can grow up to 300 cm or 120 inches! The best locations to catch gar are around the sunken debris and the weeded water beds. You can use live bait to catch it, such as worms, frogs, snails, and shiners, but you can also use poppers. The fishing report for Guntersville Lake tells us that three main Gar types live in this lake: longnose, shortnose, and spotted gar.

The Guntersville Rainbow Trout

Last on our list of popular and challenging fish specimens is the rainbow trout, which regularly populates the water areas rich in aquatic plants and plankton. The rainbow trout tolerates all water conditions, and you can target it around the channels and creeks. It usually grows up to 120 cm, and you can use light-to-medium action rods to catch it. 

The Best Time to Go Fishing at Lake Guntersville

Honestly, there’s no one best time to go to Guntersville Lake fishing because every season has its temperature and water characteristics optimal for different fish species. For example, you can target the red drum, blue catfish, or spotted bass during summer, while the best time to go fishing for largemouth and smallmouth is spring and fall.

To help you understand when you can visit Lake Guntersville for a fun angling trip, we’ve detailed all seasons and the fish you can expect to catch then.


The Guntersville Lake summers can be quite hot and ideal for drum and catfish spawning. During this time of the year, you can use live bait and poppers to attract as many fish as possible. 

The most alluring Lake Guntersville fishing for summer fishing is shallow water angling, schooling, and trolling. Moreover, during summer, you can use Texas rigs with soft plastics or poppers for maximum effect.


During fall, you can target the most abundant and intriguing bass species—the smallmouth and largemouth. However, fall is also a great period for other fish species, such as the rainbow trout, drum, spotted, striped, white, and yellow bass. 

You can use medium-to-heavy or heavy-action rods and rigs like the Texas, Carolina, or Alabama rig. The best places to fish at Lake Guntersville during fall are near the dams and the creeks.


Sauger, walleye, and bluegill should be on your bucket list if you go for winter fishing in Lake Guntersville. These fish are most active and aggressive between December and March because of their feeding and spawning patterns. 

Moreover, you can use floating rapalas, jigs, spinnerbaits, rubber worms, and jerk baits. They are most effective during this time of the year, and you can combine them with medium or light-action rods.


Out of all the seasons, spring might be the top time to go Lake Guntersville fishing! Although we said there isn’t one, we can’t deny that this one is the optimum for both fish and anglers. During spring months, the weather is mostly sunny and breezy, allowing you to plan the perfect picnic day around the lake, only made better with a couple of hours of fishing.

As for the fish, this time of the year, the water temperature starts to heat, and the bass is entering the post-spawning season. In the spring, you can expect to catch largemouths, smallmouths, striped, yellow, spotted, Alabama, and white bass. 

Nonetheless, other fish species are also active during this period, such as catfish, sunfish, bluegill, and crappie. To top it all, spring is the time of the year when you can combine all types of rigs, rods, and lures. 

Tips & Tricks for Fishing Lake Guntersville

As you know, fishing in the US has restrains depending on the state and place. The same goes for Lake Guntersville, as it is subject to several restrictions and size limits. Moreover, different gear is efficient during different parts of the year. 

That’s why we’ve separated some tips and tricks for Lake Guntersville fishing that will surely make your trip more pleasant. Here is what you need to be careful of:

  • Guntersville lake fishing with jigFishing licenses and limits – If you want to fish at Guntersville Lake, you should get an Alabama state (daily, weekly, or annual) fishing license. You will also have to keep an eye on the various restrictions per fish species. For instance, you can catch only 15 largemouths in a daily creel.
  • Baits and rod – Before you go to Lake Guntersville fishing, equip your tackle box with Texas, drop shot, and Alabama rigs. You can also take at least two rods—light and medium-to-light ones.
  • Lures and baits – Choose the right angling lures (color, size, weight, and length) for targeting particular fish, as not all species go for the same one.
  • Learn more about the species – Go into depth and learn about the various species, their spawning and feeding patterns, and their most active periods of the year. This way, you can know where to find them and when.
  • Learn the different locations – As mentioned above, learn what fish roam in what Guntersville locations, like creeks, submerged logs, channels, dams, and near the coastline.
  • Equip your tackle box according to the seasonal conditions – Each season has its most active fish and best places to angle. Equip your tackle box according to those conditions.
  • Utilize your skills & learn new ones! Use your trolling, schooling, or angling skills in the best way possible, and always try to improve them and learn something new.

Final Words on Fishing Guntersville Lake

Guntersville Lake is the largest lake in Alabama, stretching at more than 69.000 acres of water surface. With this said, almost any fish species that pops into your mind is present and living in the lake. However, knowing that is not enough—you should learn more about each fish to know what to prepare in your tackle box.

Fishing at Lake Guntersville can prompt you to use different rigs, like the Texas lure or drop shot, and multiple others, such as crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and poppers. The only aspect you should be careful about is acquiring an Alabama state fishing license and following the specific rules and regulations on the daily catch based on different species.


What is the best month to fish in Guntersville?

The best time to fish at Lake Guntersville is late winter and early spring when almost all the fish species are active and biting. That being said, the best month for angling would be March or May—depending on the year’s weather.

Where is the best fishing on Lake Guntersville?

The best fishing on Lake Guntersville is combination of bank fishing and boat fishing. You can do it near the Guntersville Dam and Nickejack Dam and at Brown’s and Town’s Creek, including South and North Sauty. Here, you can fish for almost any fish species that comes to mind.

What fish are biting on Guntersville Lake?

Considering how big this lake is, there are all kinds of fish—from bass and catfish to trout, drum, carp, gar, sunfish, and many more. However, the most aggressive and biting fish are the smallmouth, striped, and spotted bass.

People Also Ask

What is the record fish in Lake Guntersville?

The biggest fish caught at Lake Guntersville is a largemouth bass weighing 14.50 lbs. The second best is the 5 lbs smallmouth bass

Are there bull sharks in Guntersville Lake?

Bull sharks are not typically found in Guntersville Lake. Bull sharks are primarily known for their ability to tolerate freshwater and can occasionally venture into brackish or freshwater environments, including rivers and estuaries. However, Guntersville Lake is a reservoir in Alabama that is predominantly a freshwater body of water. It is extremely rare and highly unlikely for bull sharks to inhabit Guntersville Lake, or be seen at Mountains Lake Resort.


  1. Syaak

    Great information, one day I want to fish Lake Guntersville. Look forward to reading more content in this area!

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