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Fishing Wheeler Lake

AKA: Wheeler Reservoir

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Wheeler Lake, AL

Popular Fish Species Wheeler Lake, AL

Wheeler Lake Popular Fish - Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass Fishing

As one of the top Tennessee Valley Authority Reservoirs, Wheeler Lake continues to deliver great catches of largemouth bass. Local, state and national tournament organizations hold bass tournaments year after year. Results by locals, and many of these bass tournament participants, attest to the fact that fishing for largemouth bass has been as good as advertised. A significant number of large bass also roam these waters for the added bonus of a potential lunker. Thorough fisheries management by the Outdoor Alabama has maintained a quality bass fishery for some time now. Generally speaking, when the bite is good bass often move shallow and become fairly aggressive. Any time you find them shallow and they seem disinterested in your presentations, try slowing down and use smaller, lighter baits. Use shallow crankbaits around rip rap. Around grass use worms, jigs, topwater and spinnerbaits. In deeper water, big worms, jigs and spoons are three good weapons. In winter, spend your time fishing Wheeler Lake on deeper structure where the bass spend much of their time. Smallmouth bass and spotted bass also reside here in good numbers.

Wheeler Lake Popular Fish - Crappie

Crappie Fishing

If you like catching big "slabs", you'll be glad to know that both black and white crappie reside in Wheeler Lake, with black crappie typically out-weighing white crappie. They generally school by species, but once you locate them around cover, you may catch both species due to the fact they often share the same cover. Crappie fishing is on the rise and they can be found in sizeable schools. Crappie always like cover and structure, so locate brush and vegetation. Using a fish finder can help locate schools of crappie, which tend to stack vertically around cover. Live bait and small jigs are the most common method for crappie here. In spring and fall focus on the 8 to 12 foot range. The best time to catch crappie tends to be at dawn and dusk. As the crappie move deep in summer and winter, follow points out deep, as well as find ledges near channels in deeper water.

Wheeler Lake Popular Fish - Blue Catfish

Blue Catfish Fishing

This year blue catfish are running in the big to monster size in Wheeler Lake. Most of the local guides offer catfish trips, and big blues are the favorite target. The state record is over 120 pounds, and many monster blues are caught annually. Fishing for blue catfish is most often productive during spring through summer around any kind of structure. The river end of the lake is often the area where the bigger catfish are caught. Road beds, creek channels and rocky points are all good places to begin. Use a slip sinker or Carolina rig with cut bait or other popular catfish baits. Other catfish in the lake include channel and flathead catfish.

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, black crappie, white crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, white bass, striped bass, hybrid striped bass and sauger at Wheeler Lake in Alabama.

Wheeler Lake Fishing Video

Spanning a 60-mile stretch of the Tennessee River, Wheeler Lake is a the second largest reservoir in AL. The 67,000-acre lake is located in north-central Alabama at Decatur.

Wheeler Lake, located on the Tennessee River in Alabama, is a renowned fishing destination known for its diverse fish populations and abundant recreational opportunities. Spanning over 67,100 acres, the lake offers anglers a wide variety of fish species to target.

Over 1,000 miles of shoreline invite anglers to fulfill their fishing dreams of catching bass, crappie, catfish, white bass, hybrid stripers, sauger, bluegill and other sunfish. Typical cover and structure like creek channels, ledges, brush and timber provide hiding places for the catchable fish residing here. Marinas and other resources offer amenities for campers and anglers including boat rentals and plenty of boat launch ramps for you pleasure or fishing boat. Pontoon boats, bass boats, canoes, kayaks and all types of fishing boats can get you to the schools of fish in this immense fishing paradise. A long-time site of bass tournament anglers, Wheeler Reservoir has always been overshadowed by some of the other favored Tennessee River lakes like Guntersville and Pickwick. Yet there are times it can deliver monster strings and often days of fabulous fishing for numbers. Plenty of local campgrounds, marinas, lodging and dining options make Wheeler Reservoir a great place to come for a fishing trip or a family vacation.

Bass fishing is a major draw at Wheeler Lake, with both largemouth bass and smallmouth bass being popular targets. The lake's structure, including submerged vegetation, boat docks, and rocky areas, provides excellent habitat for bass. Anglers can target bass using various techniques such as topwater lures, jigs, and crankbaits. Spring and fall are typically the best seasons for bass fishing, as the fish are more active and feeding aggressively.

Catfish are another sought-after species in Wheeler Lake, with channel catfish and blue catfish being the primary catches. Anglers can target catfish using a variety of baits such as cut bait, chicken liver, or stinkbaits. The lake's deep channels, drop-offs, and areas with structure are prime spots for catfish fishing. Night fishing can be particularly productive for catfish, as they are more active during this time.

Crappie fishing is also prevalent in Wheeler Lake, attracting anglers throughout the year. Both black crappie and white crappie can be found in the lake. Anglers often have success targeting crappie around submerged brush piles, fallen trees, and bridge pilings. Live minnows, jigs, and small plastic baits are effective in enticing crappie bites. The spring and fall seasons, especially during the spawning periods, tend to be the most productive for crappie fishing.

Sunfish, including bluegill and redear sunfish (shellcracker), are abundant in Wheeler Lake. These panfish provide excellent opportunities for both adults and children to enjoy fishing. Anglers can target sunfish using small hooks and live bait, such as worms or crickets. Sunfish are often found near shallow areas, submerged vegetation, or around structure.

Wheeler Lake is also known for its populations of white bass, striped bass, and hybrid stripers. These game fish provide exciting action, especially during their seasonal migrations and feeding frenzies. Casting or trolling with artificial lures such as spoons, jigs, or crankbaits can yield great results.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Alabama

Primary fish species residing in Wheeler Reservoir

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Spotted bass Channel catfish Blue catfish Black crappie White crappie Bluegill Redear Sunfish White Bass Striped bass Hybrid Striped Bass Sauger

Wheeler Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: NEARBY
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a popular activity on Wheeler Lake, providing anglers with the opportunity to explore different areas and access prime fishing spots. The lake offers several boat ramps for easy launching, accommodating various watercraft such as boats, pontoons, and kayaks.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Lucy's Branch Marina
Rentals: Pontoon boats
256 729-1322

Wheeler Lake Watersport Rentals
Rentals: Kayaks, canoes and pontoon boats
256 280-4390

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Barnett's Landing Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the north side of the lake, off Elk River Drive, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Cowford Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off Cowford Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Elk River Public Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the north side of the lake, at the west end of the AL State Route 2 Bridge, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Joe Wheeler State Park Boat Ramp
Located mid lake, on the north side of the lake, off McLean Drive, this is a six-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.

Limestone Creek Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off Belle Tower Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with paved parking.

Truck Trail Public Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast section of the lake, at the east end of the Point Mallard Parkway Bridge, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with paved parking.

Pleasant Grove Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, at the east end of the County Road 400 Bridge, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Wheeler Lake Public Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, at the south end of the Wheeler Dam Road Bridge, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.


Jay Landings Marina
1600 Alabama Highway 20
Decatur, AL 35601
256 350-4722

Fishing Guides On Wheeler Lake

Alabama Bass Guide - bass

North Alabama Bass Guide - bass

If you offer fishing guide services on this lake, please contact us for a free listing, to be posted here.

Fishing License

Click here for a Alabama Fishing License.

Camping facilities and RV parks are available around the lake, allowing anglers to extend their fishing trips and immerse themselves in the natural surroundings.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Point Mallard Campground - 256 341-4826

Jay Landings Marina & RV Park - 256 350-4722

Decatur / Wheeler Lake KOA Campground - 256 280-4390

B & J Campground & RV Park - 256 665-5210

Fisherman's Resort Campground - 256 810-1880

Joe Wheeler State Park Campground - 256 247-5466

Cowford Campground - 256 349-6212

Wheeler Lake AL Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Wheeler Lake
Joe Wheeler State Park
4401 McLean Drive
Rogersville, AL 35652
256 247-5466


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Wheeler Lake in Alabama.

Information about fishing lakes in Alabama

Wheeler Lake provides fishing for a wide variety of fish species in Alabama's second largest reservoir.

Fishing on Wheeler Reservoir.