Bankhead Lake Fishing Report Guide

Bankhead Lake Fishing Report Guide

Hey there, fellow fishing enthusiasts! If you’re looking for a great fishing spot in Alabama, you’ve got to check out Bankhead Lake. It’s a hidden gem that offers some of the best fishing experiences in the state. Nestled in the heart of Alabama, Bankhead Lake is a fantastic destination for anglers of all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, there’s something here for everyone. Let’s dive into what makes this lake so special.

Bankhead Lake Fishing Details

Bankhead Lake is part of the Black Warrior River system, and it’s known for its beautiful scenery and abundant fishing opportunities. Here’s a quick rundown of the lake’s key details:

  • Water Surface: Approximately 9,200 acres
  • Shoreline: About 443 miles
  • Average Depth: 35 feet
  • Max Depth: 71 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 255 feet above sea level
  • Location: Central Alabama, in Walker and Jefferson counties
  • Coordinates: 33.4572° N, 87.2150° W
  • Accessibility: Easily accessible via multiple public boat ramps and marinas
  • Type of Lake: Reservoir, part of the Black Warrior River system
  • Lake Amenities: Public boat ramps, marinas, picnic areas, camping sites, and hiking trails

Bankhead Lake offers a variety of amenities that make it a perfect spot for a weekend getaway or a long fishing trip. The lake’s extensive shoreline provides plenty of spots for bank fishing, and the numerous boat ramps make it easy to get out on the water.

Types of Fish in Bankhead Lake

One of the best things about Bankhead Lake is the diversity of fish species you can catch here. Here’s a look at some of the most popular fish you can expect to find:

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are plentiful in Bankhead Lake. These fish are typically found in areas with plenty of vegetation and structure, such as fallen trees and submerged brush piles. Look for them in shallow waters during the spring and deeper waters during the summer.

Spotted Bass

Spotted bass, also known as Kentucky bass, are another common catch. They tend to prefer rocky areas and can often be found near underwater ledges and drop-offs. Spotted bass are known for their aggressive strikes and can provide a fun challenge for anglers.


Crappie fishing is a favorite pastime at Bankhead Lake. These fish are often found around submerged structures and in deeper waters. They tend to school up, so once you find one, there’s a good chance there are more nearby.


Catfish are abundant in Bankhead Lake, with channel catfish being the most common. They can be found in various parts of the lake, often in deeper holes and around underwater structures. Night fishing for catfish is particularly popular here.

Bluegill and Sunfish

Bluegill and other sunfish species are plentiful and can be found throughout the lake, especially in shallow areas with plenty of cover. These fish are great for beginners and kids, as they are relatively easy to catch.

Striped Bass

Striped bass, or stripers, are another exciting species to target in Bankhead Lake. They are often found in deeper waters and can be caught using live bait or artificial lures that mimic their natural prey.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle for Bankhead Lake Fishing

Choosing the right bait and tackle can make all the difference when fishing at Bankhead Lake. Here are some recommendations to help you get started:

Largemouth Bass

  • Baits: Live minnows, plastic worms, and crayfish
  • Lures: Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and topwater lures
  • Tackle: Medium to heavy spinning or baitcasting rods with 10-20 lb. test line

Spotted Bass

  • Baits: Live shad, nightcrawlers, and crawfish
  • Lures: Jigs, soft plastics, and swimbaits
  • Tackle: Medium spinning rods with 8-15 lb. test line


  • Baits: Live minnows and small jigs
  • Lures: Tube jigs, curly tail grubs, and small crankbaits
  • Tackle: Light spinning rods with 4-8 lb. test line


  • Baits: Chicken liver, cut bait, and stink baits
  • Lures: Catfish jigs and dip bait rigs
  • Tackle: Heavy spinning or baitcasting rods with 15-30 lb. test line

Bluegill and Sunfish

  • Baits: Worms, crickets, and small insects
  • Lures: Small spinners, jigs, and flies
  • Tackle: Ultralight spinning rods with 2-6 lb. test line

Striped Bass

  • Baits: Live shad and herring
  • Lures: Large swimbaits, bucktail jigs, and topwater plugs
  • Tackle: Medium to heavy spinning or baitcasting rods with 15-30 lb. test line
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  • ✅ Purpose and Size: These grubs for fishing attract a wide variety of fish including trout, crappie, panfish, bluegill, bream, roach, carp and more. Using grub fishing lures that imitate worms offers many advantages over live worms or minnows. These crappie lures are equipped with an optimal size hook and a rubber grub. The hook dimensions are 10 mm wide and 25 mm long, and the length of the larva itself is 22 mm.

Best Fishing Spot Locations at Bankhead Lake Fishing

Bankhead Lake is full of great fishing spots, but here are some of the best locations to check out:

Rock Creek

Rock Creek is a well-known spot for largemouth and spotted bass. The creek offers plenty of structure, including fallen trees and submerged rocks, making it a prime location for bass fishing.

Blue Creek

Blue Creek is another fantastic spot, particularly for crappie and bluegill. The shallow, weedy areas provide excellent cover for these fish, making it a popular destination for anglers.

Lock 17

Lock 17 is a great spot for catfish and striped bass. The deeper waters and strong currents attract these larger fish, making it a challenging but rewarding spot to fish.

Bankhead Dam

The area around Bankhead Dam is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, particularly for striped bass and catfish. The dam creates a variety of water conditions, from calm pools to fast-moving currents, attracting a diverse range of fish species.

Crooked Creek

Crooked Creek is a hidden gem for bass fishing. The creek’s winding channels and plentiful cover make it an ideal spot for targeting largemouth and spotted bass.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations for Bankhead Lake Fishing

Fishing at Bankhead Lake can be a rewarding experience with the right approach. Here are some tips and recommendations to help you make the most of your trip:


  • Early Morning: The best time to fish is often early in the morning when fish are most active.
  • Evening: Late afternoon and early evening can also be productive times, especially for bass and catfish.

Weather Conditions

  • Overcast Days: Overcast days are typically better for fishing, as fish are more likely to be active and feeding.
  • Calm Waters: Calm, clear waters can make it easier to spot fish and cast accurately.

Seasonal Patterns

  • Spring: Spring is a great time for bass and crappie fishing as these species move into shallower waters to spawn.
  • Summer: During the summer, fish often move to deeper, cooler waters. Focus on fishing early in the morning or late in the evening.
  • Fall: Fall can be an excellent time for bass fishing as fish feed heavily in preparation for winter.
  • Winter: Winter fishing can be challenging, but catfish and striped bass can still be caught in deeper waters.


  • Casting: Accurate casting is key, especially when targeting bass around cover and structure.
  • Trolling: Trolling can be effective for striped bass and crappie, allowing you to cover more water and find active fish.
  • Drifting: Drifting with live bait is a popular technique for catfish, allowing your bait to move naturally with the current.

Bankhead Lake Fishing Reviews

Here are some positive reviews from anglers who have enjoyed fishing at Bankhead Lake:

  1. “Bankhead Lake is my go-to spot for bass fishing. The scenery is beautiful, and the fishing is always great. I highly recommend it!” – John D.
  2. “I had an amazing time fishing at Bankhead Lake. The crappie were biting like crazy, and the kids had a blast catching bluegill. We’ll definitely be back!” – Sarah M.
  3. “If you’re looking for a place to catch big catfish, Bankhead Lake is the spot. We caught several huge ones on our last trip. Highly recommended!” – Mike R.
  4. “The fishing at Bankhead Lake is fantastic. We caught a variety of fish, and the lake is so peaceful. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy nature.” – Emily S.
  5. “Bankhead Lake never disappoints. The bass fishing is top-notch, and there are plenty of great spots to explore. A must-visit for any angler.” – Tom W.

Top-Rated Closest RV Parks, RV Resorts, and Campgrounds for Bankhead Lake Fishing

If you’re planning to stay overnight near Bankhead Lake, here are five top-rated RV parks, RV resorts, and campgrounds:

1. Hidden Cove RV Resort

  • Features: Full hookups, swimming pool, fishing dock, boat rentals
  • Amenities: Laundry facilities, restrooms, showers, Wi-Fi
  • Hookups: Water, electric, and sewer
  • Distance to Lake: 10 miles

2. Blue Creek Campground

  • Features: Waterfront sites, boat ramp, fishing pier, picnic areas
  • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, playground
  • Hookups: Water and electric
  • Distance to Lake: 5 miles

3. Lakeside Landing RV Park and Marina

  • Features: Marina, boat slips, fishing dock, swimming pool
  • Amenities: Laundry facilities, restrooms, showers, Wi-Fi
  • Hookups: Water, electric, and sewer
  • Distance to Lake: 8 miles

4. Bankhead National Forest Campgrounds

  • Features: Scenic sites, hiking trails, picnic areas, fishing spots
  • Amenities: Restrooms, fire pits, picnic tables
  • Hookups: None (primitive camping)
  • Distance to Lake: 15 miles

5. Smith Lake Park

  • Features: Boat ramp, fishing pier, swimming pool, playground
  • Amenities: Laundry facilities, restrooms, showers, Wi-Fi
  • Hookups: Water, electric, and sewer
  • Distance to Lake: 12 miles

Bankhead Lake Fishing Summary

Bankhead Lake is a fantastic destination for anglers of all ages and skill levels. With its beautiful scenery, diverse fish species, and excellent amenities, it’s a place where you can enjoy a relaxing day on the water or a fun-filled weekend camping trip. Whether you’re after largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, or any of the other species found in the lake, Bankhead Lake offers something for everyone. So pack your gear, bring your family and friends, and get ready for an unforgettable fishing adventure at Bankhead Lake.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Bankhead Lake Fishing

1. What is the best time of year to fish at Bankhead Lake?

The best time to fish at Bankhead Lake depends on the species you’re targeting. Spring and fall are generally excellent for bass and crappie, while summer is great for catfish. Winter fishing can be productive for catfish and striped bass in deeper waters.

2. Are there any fishing tournaments held at Bankhead Lake?

Yes, Bankhead Lake hosts several fishing tournaments throughout the year, particularly for bass fishing. Check local listings and fishing clubs for upcoming events and details.

3. Do I need a fishing license to fish at Bankhead Lake?

Yes, a valid Alabama fishing license is required for anyone aged 16 and older. Licenses can be purchased online or at various retailers throughout the state.

4. Are there boat rental facilities available at Bankhead Lake?

Yes, there are several marinas and boat rental facilities around Bankhead Lake where you can rent boats, kayaks, and other watercraft.

5. Can I fish from the shore at Bankhead Lake?

Absolutely! Bankhead Lake has plenty of accessible shoreline for bank fishing. There are also designated fishing piers and public access points where you can cast your line from the shore.

And there you have it, folks! Everything you need to know about fishing at Bankhead Lake. I hope this guide helps you plan your next fishing trip. Tight lines and happy fishing!

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Best Fishing Bait, Lures & Tackle

Here’s some of the best fishing bait, fishing lures and fishing tackle Bankhead Lake Fishing Report Guide: