10 Remote Lakes in Alabama to Fish and Swim

Sunset on Wilson Lake Alabama
© Cade Landers/Shutterstock.com

Written by Lev Baker

Updated: July 12, 2023

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In Alabama, there exist plenty of lakes to fish and swim, awaiting both avid anglers and enthusiastic swimmers! While Alabama may not boast an abundance of lakes, the ones it does have are worth exploring. They offer the perfect escape during those hot summer days.

Nestled amidst breathtaking landscapes, these remote lakes offer peaceful escapes from the bustling world. Whether you seek the thrill of casting your line into crystal-clear waters or desire to take a refreshing dip under the warm Alabama sun, these 10 remote lakes are an absolute must-visit.

An overview of 10 Remote Lakes in Alabama for Fishing and Swimming.

1. Guntersville Lake

Aerial overhead view of marina and campground at Jackson County Park on Lake Guntersville in Scottsboro Alabama.

Guntersville Lake is one of the best lakes in Alabama to fish and swim.

©Carl Banks Photography/Shutterstock.com

Lakes in Alabama offer an exceptional experience for fishing and swimming enthusiasts, and one standout destination is Guntersville Lake. Situated in North Alabama, this expansive lake spans an impressive 69,000 acres and stretches across 75 miles. The lake’s popularity stems from its abundance of recreational activities, including boating, hunting, fishing, camping, and even eagle-watching.

Swimming is equally enticing at Guntersville Lake, and visitors can relish the refreshing waters at the beach located within Lake Guntersville State Park. The sandy beach is meticulously maintained daily and serves as a welcoming refuge for families seeking a delightful swimming experience. From sunrise to sunset, visitors can bask in the sun and cool off in the crystal-clear lake.

For avid anglers, Guntersville Lake is a true paradise. The lake boasts an array of fish habitats, such as Milfoil and Hydrilla Weed beds, where anglers can witness the thrilling sight of bass exploding on topwater baits.

While largemouth bass remains the most sought-after catch, the lake also offers excellent angling opportunities for bluegill, bream, redear sunfish, sauger, crappie, longear sunfish, and catfish. With such diverse options, anglers of all preferences can find their perfect spot.

2. Lake Martin

Island view on lake Logan Martin in Pell city alabama

There are snakes and

alligators

in Lake Martin, so be careful!

©Riley Camp/Shutterstock.com

Lake Martin, a remarkable 39,180-acre reservoir situated along the Tallapoosa River, boasts an impressive 700 miles of scenic shoreline. Unsurprisingly, Lake Martin holds the title of Alabama’s most popular recreational spot, drawing in hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.

Known for its pristine waters, Lake Martin provides a safe and enjoyable swimming experience. While exploring Lake Martin, be aware that certain areas of the lake might be inhabited by snakes and alligators. Therefore, it’s wise to exercise caution during your visit. For those seeking a popular swimming spot, Acapulco Rock Island is a favored choice among visitors.

With a plethora of private boating access areas and marinas, Lake Martin offers abundant opportunities for boating enthusiasts. Additionally, numerous public facilities are available, ensuring accessibility for all. 

Fishing enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise, as the lake is abundant with various fish species. From the frequent catches of large crappie to the plentiful stripers, bream bass, and catfish, Lake Martin provides an angler’s dream come true. With such an extensive water body, exploring and finding your perfect fishing spot can be an exciting adventure.

3. Lake Jordan

Lake Jordan Alabama

Jordan Lake in Central Alabama spans 6,800 acres with a 188-mile shoreline.

©iStock.com/bjray1

When it comes to fun in central Alabama, Lake Jordan takes center stage. Spanning 6,800 acres with an impressive 188 miles of shoreline, this lake has become a beloved destination for fishing tournaments, aquatic events, and memorable family outings, solidifying its status as one of Alabama’s favorite lakes.

The Jordan-Bouldin shores boast a wealth of recreational developments, both public and private, exceeding 20 in number. Around the Bouldin Lake area, you’ll discover campgrounds and inviting swimming spots. The area also has numerous picnic areas and playgrounds along both shores. While Lake Jordan was initially built for flood control and hydroelectricity supply, it has since emerged as a popular hub for boating, swimming, and fishing enthusiasts alike.

When it comes to fishing on Lake Jordan, boat fishing takes the spotlight. Bass fishing reigns supreme, with the Coosa River spotted bass and largemouth bass often exceeding an impressive 18 inches in length. However, this haven for fishing enthusiasts is not limited to bass alone. You’ll also find redear sunfish, bluegill, black crappie, channel catfish, white crappie, blue catfish, threadfin shad, flathead catfish, and gizzard shad thriving in these waters.

4. Lewis Smith Lake

Lewis_Smith_Lake

If you want to swim and fish in a remote lake in Alabama, check out Lewis Smith Lake.

©Quintaped / CC BY-SA 4.0 – Original / License

Lewis Smith Lake stands out as a remote oasis in Alabama with its clean and inviting waters. Spanning an impressive 21,200 acres, it is the deepest lake in the state.

There’s no need to hesitate when it comes to taking a refreshing swim. For those seeking a perfect spot, Smith Lake Public Park offers a small beach, playgrounds, restrooms, grassy areas, a campground, and a delightful pool with lifeguards on duty (for a fee). Families will especially enjoy the thrilling spiral waterslide that promises endless fun.

When it comes to fishing, Lewis Smith Lake presents a rewarding challenge for anglers of all skill levels. The lake boasts excellent fishing opportunities, with a variety of fish species to target. From the prized spotted bass to largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, striped bass, and channel catfish, anglers have plenty of options to explore. Whether fishing from the bank, pier, or boat, there are several full-service marinas available, offering rentals and all the necessary provisions for an unforgettable boating and fishing experience.

5. Pickwick Lake

pickwick lake al

A huge reservoir spanning 3 states, Pickwick Lake has sandy beaches.

©Brian Stansberry / CC BY 4.0 – Original / License

Pickwick Lake, spanning across Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi, is a remarkable 43,100-acre reservoir. While the lake primarily serves flood control, hydropower generation purposes, and navigation, it also offers numerous recreational opportunities.

The charm of Pickwick Lake includes three inviting sandy beaches, perfect for sunbathing and taking refreshing dips in the clear waters. These beaches provide an ideal setting to pack a picnic and spend a delightful day with family and friends. 

In Tennessee, the southern part of Pickwick Dam houses Pickwick Lake State Park, a sprawling 1,400-acre park. This picturesque destination boasts a golf course, a marina, fishing spots, scenic picnic spots, swimming areas, and a captivating 2.8-mile hiking trail.

For avid anglers, Pickwick Lake is an absolute paradise. The lake offers exceptional fishing opportunities, with a particular focus on smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and catfish. Anglers have even reeled in prize-winning specimens of these species. Furthermore, impressive sizes of crappie and sauger can be found, adding to the excitement and satisfaction of a fruitful fishing trip.

6. Wheeler Lake

Wheeler Lake in Decatur Alabama

Wheeler Lake attracts 4 million visitors yearly.

©Stan Reese/Shutterstock.com

Nestled in the Mountain Region of northern Alabama, Wheeler Lake reigns as the state’s second-largest lake, boasting an impressive expanse of 67,100 acres. It’s no wonder that this picturesque destination attracts over four million visitors each year, eager to explore its abundant recreational offerings.

Wheeler Lake provides the perfect setting for a delightful combination of boating and swimming adventures. As you cruise along the shimmering waters, basking in the warmth of the sun, you’ll be irresistibly drawn to drop anchor and dive into the refreshing depths for a quick cool-down session.

Joe Wheeler State Park stands as a gateway to a multitude of activities, including swimming, fishing, an 18-hole championship golf course, a marina offering boat rentals, tennis, and invigorating hiking trails.

Anglers flock to Wheeler Lake from all corners of the country, drawn by its unique combination of largemouth bass, spotted bass, smallmouth bass, and white bass. Additionally, common catches include bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie, catfish, longear sunfish, and sauger. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting out, Wheeler Lake offers endless opportunities to reel in the perfect catch.

7. Logan Martin Lake

Island view on lake Logan Martin in Pell city alabama

Logan Martin Lake is a great place to fish for spotted bass, bluegill, channel catfish, and more.

©Riley Camp/Shutterstock.com

Situated in east central Alabama, Logan Martin Lake presents a captivating 15,263-acre reservoir renowned for its popularity among fishing, boating, and outdoor enthusiasts. While the primary purposes of the lake include flood control and power generation, Logan Martin Lake has firmly established itself as a cherished vacation spot for locals and visitors alike.

Embark on a day of aquatic adventure by either renting a boat from the local marina or launching your own vessel. As you set sail, the choice is yours whether to bring a delightful picnic or indulge in the offerings of a lakeside restaurant. After satisfying your hunger, explore the various coves or find the perfect spot to drop anchor and enjoy a refreshing afternoon swim.

Fishing enthusiasts will find Logan Martin Lake both exciting and promising, as it is renowned as one of the premier spotted bass fishing lakes in the entire country. The lake boasts an impressive array of fish species, including spectacular bluegill, channel catfish, striped bass, blue catfish, saltwater stripe, crappie, hybrid bass, flathead catfish, largemouth bass, redear sunfish, longear sunfish, and white bass. With such a diverse range of fish, anglers are bound to have thrilling and rewarding fishing experiences.

8. Weiss Lake

Views of Weiss Lake from Lookout Mountain near Leesburg, Alabama

There are plenty of opportunities to swim and fish at Weiss Lake in Alabama.

©Shackleford Photography/Shutterstock.com

Weiss Lake, situated in northeastern Alabama near the Georgia border, proudly holds the title of the “Crappie Capital of the World,” making it an exceptional destination for anglers and families seeking outdoor adventures. With its stunning scenery and a plethora of activities, such as boating, fishing, and water sports, Weiss Lake offers something for every nature enthusiast.

The tourism industry in Cherokee County benefits greatly from Weiss Lake, generating an estimated $200 million in revenue. In addition to its renowned fishing opportunities, the lake is a popular spot for waterskiing, sailing, swimming, boating, and jet skiing. Visitors can access the lake through public entry points and private marinas, while a variety of accommodations ranging from campgrounds and cozy cabins to comfortable motels cater to different preferences.

While Weiss Lake is famous for its white and black crappie, it also offers exceptional largemouth bass fishing. Anglers can also find healthy populations of white bass, spotted bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, striped bass, longear sunfish, hybrid striper, freshwater drum, redear sunfish, and channel, blue, and flathead catfish.

9. Neely Henry Lake

H Neely Henry Lake  Alabama Aerial

There are opportunities for water sports, fishing, and swimming at Neely Henry Lake.

©Tracy Burroughs Brown/Shutterstock.com

Neely Henry Lake encompasses an impressive 11,200 acres, offering a haven for boating, fishing, and various recreational activities. During winter, it’s important to note that water levels on the lake are typically one to two feet lower than in the summer, so caution is advised when navigating through shallow areas.

The opportunities for enjoyment on Neely Henry Lake are abundant. Whether you prefer exploring the waters by boat, kayak, canoe, or jet ski, the lake provides a remarkable experience. You can fish, swim, or simply bask in the serene surroundings. For a more leisurely vacation, consider renting a boat or bringing your own to fully embrace the lake’s charm, as its extensive 339 miles of shoreline invite exploration and discovery.

Neely Henry Lake boasts an array of natural and man-made features that create ideal habitats for its diverse fish population. Largemouth bass, striped bass, spotted bass, and white crappie thrive in the lake’s waters. To ensure compliance with regulations, it’s important to obtain an Alabama fishing license before casting your line.

10. Wilson Lake

Sunset on Wilson Lake Alabama

The beautiful waters of Wilson Lake beckons visitors to fish and swim.

©Cade Landers/Shutterstock.com

Wilson Lake has long been celebrated as the “Smallmouth Capital of the World,” captivating outdoor enthusiasts with its abundance of boating, hiking, fishing, and natural beauty. This beautiful lake in Alabama spans across 15,500 acres.

With its numerous marinas and boat ramps, visitors can easily embark on thrilling adventures across the 15-mile stretch of Wilson Lake. Whether it’s cruising on a boat, gliding on a jet ski, or exhilarating water skiing, the possibilities for aquatic enjoyment are endless. The lake’s scenic surroundings offer over ten miles of trails, perfect for hiking, biking, and bird watching, while camping facilities nearby provide opportunities for immersive outdoor experiences. And let’s not forget about swimming, as Wilson Lake invites you to indulge in its refreshing waters.

Alongside the renowned smallmouth bass, anglers can also find largemouth bass, stripers, crappie, spotted bass, catfish, white bass, bluegill, yellow perch, and hybrid stripers. Whether casting from the shore or utilizing the convenient fishing pier with handicapped access, there are ample spots to reel in your next catch.

Best Season for Swimming and Fishing in Alabama

While the best season for swimming can be up to the individual to decide, many believe the best season is during the warmer months of June, July, August, and September. You can enjoy a refreshing swim in Alabama’s lakes during these months. These summer months provide the perfect temperatures for a delightful dip in the water.

When it comes to fishing, spring (March-May) is the best season in Alabama’s lakes. As the water warms up, anglers have an excellent chance to catch crappie, largemouth bass, and bluegill. Knowing the right time, location, and techniques to target these fish will lead to a successful fishing adventure. 

Summary of Remote Lakes in Alabama to Fish and Swim

LakeTypes of FishLocation
1Guntersville LakeLargemouth bass, bluegill, bream, sauger, crappie, sunfish, and catfishMarshall County
2Lake MartinStripers, bream bass, crappie, and catfishCoosa, Elmore, & Tallapoosa Counties
3Lake JordanBass, crappie, catfish, bluegill, and gizzard shadElmore County
4Lewis Smith LakeBass, bluegill, crappie, and catfishCullman, Winston & Walker Counties
5Pickwick LakeBass, crappie, sauger, and catfishColbert County
6Wheeler LakeSunfish, bass, sauger, bluegill, and catfishLauderdale County
7Logan Martin LakeSunfish, bass, catfish, and crappieSt. Clair & Talladega Counties
8Weiss LakeBass, bluegill, sunfish, catfish, and freshwater drumCherokee County
9Neely Henry LakeLargemouth bass, striped bass, spotted bass, and white crappieEtowah County
10Wilson LakeYellow perch, bass, hybrid stripers, bluegill, crappie, and catfishLawrence, Colbert & Lauderdale Counties


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About the Author

Lev is a writer at AZ Animals who primarily covers topics on animals, geography, and plants. He has been writing for more than 4 years and loves researching topics and learning new things. His three biggest loves in the world are music, travel, and animals. He has his diving license and loves sea creatures. His favorite animal in the world is the manta ray.

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