Walker County, AL, Has Championship-Caliber Fishing
PHOTO CREDIT: Wendy Jo O'Barr
Anglers are notoriously secretive about their favorite fishing spots, always fearful that someone else will drop anchor where they want to cast. But residents in Walker County are more open than most about where they fish. That's because Walker County is full of options, from bass-filled lakes to trout-filled streams.
Walker County’s lakes, rivers and streams give anglers and those who love the outdoors a serene environment in which to relax and pass the time. Major bass tournaments held in the area put a spotlight on local lakes and give residents even more to cheer for.
Lewis Smith Lake has a surface area of 21,200 acres and is flanked on its west side by the 180,000-acre Bankhead National Forest.
The lake has hosted (and continues to host) fishing tournaments including the BassMaster Open Series and FLW Tour events. The lake is home to all types and sizes of fish, and its park features boat and cabin rentals, camping hook-ups and more.
“It's a great lake and, for the people and facilities involved in the high school tournament, there are none better,” says Norman Brown, president and chairman of the board for the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association and overseer of the area’s high school fishing tournaments. “Our whole goal is to get kids out on the water for their school and to further their education."
Lewis Smith Lake was recently featured on the popular Outdoor Channel network show Fishing University. According to Debra Talley, vice president of program development for the show, the lake was selected in part because of its outstanding fall and winter bass fishing.
Walker County Lake, spanning 163 acres, gives those who love the outdoors year-round fishing for largemouth bass and channel catfish. Seasonal fishing includes bluegill, redear sunfish and crappie.
Alabama Bass Trail Championship
Big news came for Walker County recently when it was selected to host the first ever Alabama Bass Trail Championship.
Coming to Lewis Smith Lake in October 2014, the championship will feature 250 competitors, says Kay Donaldson, Alabama Bass Trail spokeswoman.
“Lewis Smith Lake performs exceptionally well at that time of the year and really sets up as an even playing field for both North and South division competitors. Also, Walker County Chamber of Commerce President Linda Lewis and her volunteers run a first-class event,” Donaldson says.
The Sipsey Fork area of the Black Warrior River is renowned for being a popular fishing spot for rainbow trout, with water that remains below 70 degrees year round.
Every month, approximately 3,500 rainbow trout are placed into the water near the Smith Dam fishing platform. The fork also offers more than 8,000 acres of surface water for boating and other recreational activities.
Riverside Fly Shop
Riverside Fly Shop offers its customers everything they need for an enjoyable fly-fishing trip, from tackle and gear to guided tours for a half or full day looking for specific fish. Owners Brandon and Mary Carole Jackson are both avid anglers and apply their own experience and joy to the trade.
Read more about Lewis Smith Lake in Jasper.