Fishing At Wheeler Lake
AKA: Wheeler Reservoir
What 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.
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.
The purpose of this page is to deliver an overview of this lake, the fishing options, and area amenities. Our goal is to provide info to first time visitors, as well as beginner and novice anglers. We gathered details from personal experience, numerous trusted websites that each offer select bits of information, and videos of fishing activity on the lake. These websites include the Outdoor Alabama, marinas at the lake, campgrounds, boat rental agencies and others. By consolidating this information to one page it allows visitors to see the entire picture, all in one place.
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.
Primary fish species residing in Wheeler Reservoir
Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.
Wheeler Lake Amenities
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: NEARBY
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
Wheeler Lake Watersport Rentals
Rentals: Kayaks, canoes and pontoon boats
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
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
Joe Wheeler State Park
4401 McLean Drive
Rogersville, AL 35652
Fishing lakes in each state.
Wheeler Lake in Alabama.
General Fishing Info
Information about fishing lakes in Alabama
Wheeler Lake provides fishing for a wide variety of fish species in Alabama's second largest reservoir.