This blog will cover everything you need to know, so you can enjoy a fun day of fishing in the “Heart of Dixie!” If you’re an Alabama resident fishing from a local bank in your county, there’s no need for a license.
Alabama's residents visiting home on military leave are also exempt from having to pay for a license. Last but not least, you don’t need to buy a license if you’re fishing with an AL saltwater guide or charter.
If you’re fishing in freshwater, you’ll need to purchase a license regardless of whether you’re alone or with a guide service. If you’re planning to hop on an Alabama saltwater charter, no need to worry, your license is covered by the boat.
License TypeDurationCost for Residents for Non-ResidentPhysically DisabledSaltwater Fishing Event (up to 20disabled guests)3 Days$$100100Disabled Freshwater Fishing License(totally disabled)Annual$3.05N/Disabled Saltwater Fishing License(totally disabled)Annual$3.05N/Veteran’s Appreciation(20% disabled or more)Freshwater LicenseAnnual$3.15N/AIF you’re a non-resident member of the military stationed in Alabama, you too can get a discount on you fishing license. All proceedings from Alabama fishing license sales go towards the conservation and protection of the state’s marine wildlife, as well as education about the natural resources.
So after your purchase, you can rest easy knowing that your money is being put towards a good cause. The last thing you want is an unexpected fine because you weren’t sure which species you’re allowed to catch.
If you catch a fish that isn’t covered by your license, make sure you release it right away. For example, if you’re fishing with a saltwater license in an estuary, such as the Mobile Bay, and you accidentally hook a Black Bass, make sure you safely release it back into the wild.
A Spearfishing License gives you the opportunity to dive and recreationally or commercially target fish with a speargun in both fresh and saltwater. The funds are later used by Alabama ’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to conduct research on Tarpon.
Species Limit (per person) Black Bass (includes Large mouth, Small mouth, Spotted, Coos, Warrior, Casaba, Tallapoosa, and Chattahoochee)10White Bass15Yellow Bass15Striped Bass and Hybrids15Walleye2Sauger5Crappie30Catfish (over 34)1Bream50Rainbow Trout5Alligator Gar1SpeciesBag Limit (per person)Sheepshead10Spotted Seatrout10Redfish3Cobia2Gag Grouper2Sauger5Crappie30Flounder10Red Snapper2For more information about bagging and size limits of freshwater and saltwater species, you can visit the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website. Make sure you have a valid form of ID, either a driver’s license or passport, and your social security number.
Please note that if your fishing license has been voided, revoked, or suspended, it cannot be reprinted. If you fish with no license in the state of Alabama, you can be charged with a misdemeanor and pay a fine of $10–$25 per offense.
Alabama has a reciprocal agreement with the state of Mississippi which allows licenses from either state to be recognized in the Tennessee River and its surrounding embayments where Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee meet. You can legally fish with your AL fishing license up to the Mississippi state line or Grand Bay to the west, and the Florida state line or Per dido Bay to the east.
Only disabled veterans who are also state residents can apply for discounted fishing licenses in Alabama. However, those who want to support the state's Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries programs can make a voluntary one-time contribution and receive an embossed card-style lifetime license.
All proceedings from these licenses go into the game and fish lifetime trust fund. Now you’ve got all the information you need to hit the open waters for a fun day of fishing.
Pack your stuff, pick up a fishing license, and get ready to explore Alabama ’s vast freshwater and saltwater opportunities. Over 23 public lakes are managed by The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division.
There are a ton of other lakes, including public and private fishing destinations throughout the state of Alabama. One of the best fishing destinations in Alabama is beautiful Lake Martin, which was home to the 2018 Bass master Elite.
Every fisherman should save a trip to beautiful Lake Guntersville. You can’t forget to mention they have an awesome campground and a world-class lodge at Guntersville State Park.
Asheville Lake ranked first in both pounds-per-angler-day and bass pre-angler day and by the BAIT survey! DeKalb County Public Lake has a great variety of fishing year around.
Find channel catfish year around and enjoy a good variety of fish on this lake. February through April is a great time for Crappie, while spring through summer boat anglers often catch repair sunfish and bluegill near the bank.
The lake consists of 15,930 acre area that is 18 miles long. Located in beautiful Elmore County just north of Wetumpka, Alabama.
Pickwick Lake spans from Wilson Dam to Pickwick Landing Dam with an area of 67.34 mid and is in Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. Pickwick Lake offers 490 miles of beautiful shoreline and has some awesome fishing spots.
You can find a nice variety of fish including: Blue catfish, Channel catfish, Large mouth bass, Bluegill and Small mouth bass. Newly Henry Powerhouse and dam on the Coos River in 1996 near Anniston, Alabama.
The lake consist of 339 miles of shoreline and 129,800 acre-feet that is located in Calhoun, Torah and St. Clair counties, Alabama, US. Join a national monthly survey of anglers.
An exciting place to explore for anglers, here you’ll find a colorful variety of fish in the area, including bone fish, tarpon, and shook. Sitting south of Cedar Key is Seahorse Reef, a popular area for experienced Gulf Shore fishermen.
Covered with long and lush seagrass, Cedar Creek is considered one of the best launching points in the Big Bend area. Boasting an abundance of guides and ship captains for hire and a variety of other land and water-based attractions, Key West is an ideal destination to visit with the entire family.
A large fountain with a jumping sailfish sits in its town square, marking the centerpiece of the area’s 15 marinas ready to take out fishing and charter boat fleets. Spring is the most popular season for catching underwater treasures, as the seagrass grows wild in these months making it an ideal time to spot Redfish, speckled trout, and sleepyhead.
With over 140 vessels that cater to anglers, you have the chance to catch grouper, amber jack, snapper, mackerel, sailfish, Yahoo, tuna and even a blue marlin in this emerald Gulf of Mexico waters. Those looking for a more leisurely experience can cast a line off the pier, as this city pairs laid-back vibes with crystal clear beach areas.
It’s also a great place to go fly and kayak fishing, and if you’re with the kids, you might want to check out the chance to hand-feed tarpon at nearby Robbie’s Marina only a few miles from the park. Fly and spin angling might win you saltwater game fish, while reef fishing is ideal for reeling in snapper and grouper.
With both resorts and campsites peppered around the lake, visitors can stay overnight, as the area has plenty of guides and charters to direct you to the best spots. Here you’ll discover a city listed on the National Register of Historic Places and old fish houses that date back to the original families, where both shrimp and grouper are sold to local restaurants.
For those who rather go stargazing and appreciate the outdoors, head to Anastasia State Park to find 139 full-facility campsites that sit alongside the Atlantic Ocean. Less touristy than its South Florida counterparts, here visitors will find an underrated gem with crystal clear waters stemming from the Gulf of Mexico.
The area is famous for spotting an array of colorful redfish, flounder, tarpon and sea trout, and if you venture further offshore, it’s not uncommon to see fishermen reeling in king mackerel, blue marlin, tuna, and cobra. Located on the southwest coast of Florida facing the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota even has a handful of hotels that provide guides for hire.
Catching shook, redfish, trout, grouper and Dorado is common, while the area’s offshore activities, from its vibrant arts scene to the stunning Siesta Key beach, are sure to keep the entire family entertained. Often referred to as “The Fishing Capital of the World,” here you will discover an abundance of freshwater and saltwater hotspots to keep your vacation itinerary full, from the emerald waters in the Panhandle all the way down to the Florida Keys.
Whether you want to go deep-sea fishing or prefer to cast a line off the pier, you can catch a monster bass one day and some pan fish for dinner the next. From hand-size bluegill to monster catfish in freshwater or 5-pound sleepyhead to 60-pound amber jack in saltwater, this year’s fishing calendar has something for everyone.
Tournament angler and guide Brian Barton (email@example.com) says on an average day in January, clients have a 50 percent chance of catching one blue catfish weighing more than 50 pounds. “Some of my best fishing in winter,” Barton revealed, “is from the Wheeler Dam to Elk River, and specifically, the three submerged locks of the old Muscle Shoals Canal.
To fish the old canal system, Barton trolls between .2 to .4 miles per hour, dragging skip jack herring on a San tee rig. Pickwick Lake offers winter anglers good small mouth action along deep channels this month.
OTHER OPTIONS: For Weiss Lake crappies, trolling jigs along submerged creek channels produces good stringers. In the Gulf of Mexico this is an excellent time to catch vermilion snapper from deep water off Orange Beach.
OTHER OPTIONS: At Lake Guntersville during pres pawn, anglers who fish a bladed jig near seedbeds will catch 5-pound bass. Assistant Chief of Fisheries Damon Abernathy recommends Lake Default as a place to hook big bass.
Tournament anger Shane Powell of Dothan agrees and says anglers can catch a limit of 5 founders from beds when the fish are spawning. Sight fishing for bedding bass requires clear water, so Powell targets creeks on the south end of the lake.
He says Sandy Branch on the Georgia side holds perfect habitat and clear water to fish for bedding large mouth. Use Silly Willy swim jigs to target delicious Pompano on Gulf beaches as the fish migrate along shore.
“We opened Alabama ’s newest reservoir to fishing in July,” said Jay Shaffer, District III fisheries' supervisor. “We stocked the lake with bluegill and repair, and there is a resident population of redbreast sunfish from the Duck River when it was impounded.
Look for Lay Lake striped bass to chase spawning shad next to the shoreline in the early morning. Aggressive red snapper are so numerous on our reefs that it’s sometimes difficult to get bait to the bottom when targeting Berliners or grouper.
The top three red snapper in the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo this July all weighed more than 25 pounds. To find red snapper, use your sonar to search reefs for fish suspended in the water column.
Then anchor up current from the fish and deploy a chum bag to entice the snapper closer to the surface. An excellent bait in this situation is a 4/0 circle hook concealed in a small piece of a cigar minnow.
OTHER OPTIONS: Float trips on the Conch River above Gantt Lake often produce more than 50 large mouth bass strikes on light tackle. Ken Weathers, District IV fisheries' supervisor, reports finding Flathead weighing from 2 to 38 pounds while shocking their habitat on a lower stretch of the river.
OTHER OPTIONS: For Pickwick Lake large mouths, anglers who find a school of fish on a ledge can hook large numbers of bass. At Orange Beach, king mackerel weighing 30 pounds attack baits trolled from the surface to 20 feet deep.
AJS offer fast action and don’t hesitate to attack artificial lures or live bait. Since AJS hunt in schools and can be anywhere in the water column, 9-ounce butterfly jigs on 60-pound-test leaders provide for quick hook-ups.
Lower the jig to the reef, then lift the rod and reel as fast as possible to recover 20 to 25 feet of line. On the Alabama River, mullet fishing from sandbars is excellent this month between Claiborne Dam and Cliff’s Landing.
Good places on the lake to begin fishing are the flats 15 to 20 feet deep in the coves of Wind Creek and New Hope. Perfect habitat and low fishing pressure make Millers Ferry a top destination for Flathead catfish.
4 Eagle Claw bait holder hook tied to 8-pound-test and use enough split shot on the line to control the drift.” OTHER OPTIONS: For Logan Martin spotted bass, anglers can tempt nice fish with spinner baits, tube lures, and grubs.
“In November when water temperatures fall to about 75 degrees,” said guide Pat Trammel (www.pattrammellfishing.com), “anglers catch bigger fish and the numbers are outstanding. Trammel says you will usually find crappie 8 to 10 feet deep and holding on top of big balls of bait fish.
OTHER OPTIONS: Current breaks on structure in the Wheeler Dam tail race hold big small mouth now. On Newly Henry Shad Raps fished under and near dock lights on cool nights attract hard-hitting stripes.
The illegal introduction of blue back herring into Smith Lake has changed the way veteran stripper guide Bill Vines (www.stripefishingheadquarters.com) finds fish. To cover the water column, Vines fishes with eight baits: four on down rods, two behind planner boards, and two below corks drifting behind his boat.
Fly-fishing is more popular now than ever before, offering anglers a unique challenge and rewarding fight that they just don’t experience when using conventional tackle. The exception is the Nipsey Fork branch of the Black Warrior River, the tailgater beneath the Lewis Smith Lake dam.
The turbines pull water from the depths of Lewis Smith Lake that’s cold enough to support trout year-round in the tailgater. Since the 1970s, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division has stocked rainbow trout beneath the dam several times a year.
Whether it’s a large mouth, spotted, small mouth or stripper, any average size bass puts quite a bend in a fly rod. Sometimes referred to as the “Obama Brook Trout,” these fish sport vivid blue coloration around the throat and gills and a “chrome” eyelid.
The “fall line” (the boundary between the Appalachian Highlands and the Gulf Coastal Plain) basically splits the Casaba into two distinct sections. Still, with all the elements of its lush biodiversity, such as the “Casaba Lily,” the entire river is quite scenic and a great fishery.
Like the Coos and the Casaba, the Tallapoosa has a wide range of warm-water fare, including redye bass, as previously mentioned. A popular section of the Tallapoosa to paddle and fish is from Horseshoe Bend Military Park to Jaybird Creek Landing, just after the river runs into Lake Martin.
The entrance into Lake Martin also presents an opportunity to catch striped bass, which are typically associated with bigger water. The best time to hook up with a small mouth is after the spawn in late spring, when the action on top and shallow water is at its peak.
Overall, the best time to hook up with a small mouth on the fly is after the spawn in late spring, when the action on top and shallow water is at its peak. Saltwater fly-fishing usually conjures images of a chartered flats boat chasing tarpon or stalking tailing redfish in the marshes, and those are certainly worthwhile pursuits.
Surf fishing in the morning between the breakers and the first sandbar often yields bluefish, lady fish, whiting, hard tail jack, Spanish mackerel, and maybe even some cruising drum or redfish. If you explore any place where the Gulf connects to a back bay, such as Per dido Pass, you’ll have great access to fish.
Whatever species or type of water you prefer, fly fishermen in the South should take a close look at the dynamic waterways of Alabama as they plan their next trip. If you cast a line or catch and release, you need a fishing license.
Youth under 16 years of age (also exempt from federal duck stamp requirements). Florida's residents certified as totally and permanently disabled who possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person's Hunting and Fishing License.
Individuals who are observing or filming someone else who is fishing or hunting and who are not assisting (baiting hooks, reeling, setting decoys, calling birds, etc.) Disabled veterans or active or reserve duty military service members and their immediate family members and assistants, who are participating in a permitted outdoor recreational event, for which the Commission has issued a Military/Disabled Veteran Event License Exemption Permit to the event organizer.
A fishpond is a man-made pond constructed for the primary purpose of fishing, entirely within the property lines of the owner and with no surface water connection to public waters. Individuals who possess a Resident Freshwater Commercial Fishing License.
Florida's residents who are fishing for mullet in fresh water who hold valid Florida resident freshwater fishing license. Florida's residents saltwater fishing from land or a structure fixed to land who have been determined eligible for the food stamp, temporary cash assistance, or Medicaid Program by the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Proof of identification and a benefit issuance or program identification card issued by DCF or the Agency for Health Care Administration must be in possession when fishing. Florida's residents saltwater fishing with live or natural bait, using poles or lines that are not equipped with a fishing -line-retrieval mechanism, for noncommercial purposes in their home county (does not include fish management areas within the home county).
Benton Parrot The cold temperatures are still around but hopefully that will be improving soon! Dan Polemic Winter is here and So far, it’s not as cold as I expected.
Don McPherson It is February and Spring is just around the corner. David B. Hare January was an awesome month for big stringers of stripes on Lake Martin.
Charlie Gray Hello fishing fans! The turkey gobbled was smoked, fried and eaten and, with that the cooler days and … Dec 1st, 2019 Benton Parrot As the weather and water gets colder look for deeper holes that the fish will stack up in.
Anglers catch hundreds of brawny, beautiful and delicious species in teeming estuaries, off gorgeous beaches and in the deep blue oceans surrounding the Florida peninsula. The reasons for fishing are as varied as the species and the methods of catching them.
Or, catch bass species that thrive only in North Florida rivers such as the magnificent Suwanee, where class III rapids add serious excitement to a fishing trip on the river between White Springs and the Town of Suwanee, where the river passes through the Lower Suwanee National Wildlife Refuge, pouring out into the Gulf of Mexico. Whether it’s a red snapper caught off Destiny, speckled trout from Tampa Bay, or a mess of crappie from Tallahassee ’s Lake Alcuin, there’s not much more satisfying or delicious than eating fish you caught yourself.
Most places you can find a restaurant that will cook your catch to order. Florida ’s the place to fire up a young angler’s inner fishing fanatic.
Spring break or summer vacation are both great times for feisty, delicious easy-to-catch fish. The biggest sea trout on record came from Fort Pierce.
Captain Billy Henderson of Deep South Outfitters favors the inshore fishing on the Gulf Coast around his home waters in the Crystal River area, but he also highly ranks other parts of the state that offer excellent fishing for tarpon, speckled sea trout, redfish, shook and cobra. Henderson lists the following areas on the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts as great destinations for inshore saltwater action.
The shallow waters of the Banana River Lagoon around Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach provide plenty of seagrass flats for harboring sea trout. Large numbers of sea trout are caught annually in the Ten A Thousand Islands area of the Everglades.
Henderson lists the Chokoloskee area as a prime destination for catching redfish, shook, trout and cobra. Henderson claims the Big Bend area from Cedar Key to Homosassa has always been known for its high concentration of redfish that prefer the shelves and limestone bottom of these coastal waters.
Tarpon caught in the Crystal River area have set fly-fishing world records. The veteran guide suggests anglers can catch 100 redfish a day in September while anchoring at the bridge across the Apalachicola Bay.