The season of summer has arrived and for many, it’s a time that brings family and friends together. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, it’s a great time to “live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, and drink in the wild air.” With the summer heat steadily rising, the lakes and rivers remain in high demand.
Outdoor activities can undoubtedly be enjoyed year-round in Tuscaloosa, but there’s just something special about fishing on a sweet summer night. As we recognize National Go Fishing Day today, we are excited to share some of Tuscaloosa’s hidden gems as it relates to recreational fishing. So, bait up those fishing poles and get ready for the inside scoop on fishing in Tuscaloosa!
We recognize that one of the most frustrating parts about fishing is finding an access point, especially when you’re in an unfamiliar area. That’s why we called in an avid fisherman and TTS board member (and hotelier) Toby Wilson to give us all of his pro tips on fishing in and around West Alabama. These are some of his favorite spots to kick back, relax, catch some fish, and enjoy the beautiful views our area has to offer.
Holt Reservoir is a modest 3,296-acre lake on the Black Warrior River and is located just north of Tuscaloosa from the Holt Lock and Dam upstream to Bankhead Dam. To access this more secluded body of water you can go to Lock 15 or Deerlick ramps. This place is for the fishermen that appreciate alone time with quiet waters!
This particular lake along the Black Warrior River begins in Walker County and forms the border between Jefferson and Tuscaloosa County. The quiet, peaceful feel is very similar to that at Holt Lake. In fact, Bankhead eventually empties into it and is the second largest lake on the Black Warrior River. Be prepared for about an hour and a half commute from downtown Tuscaloosa. It’s well worth it though because the fish are plentiful in this secluded area with plenty of creeks and coves.
Of course, we couldn’t leave out one of the most popular summer spots: Lake Tuscaloosa. Renowned in the area for its year-round fishing and boating culture, this lake stretches 5,885 acres in size. The easiest access points for this lake are Binion Creek, Sharpes Landing, and Rock Quarry.
This stretch of the Black Warrior River in downtown Tuscaloosa is spectacular for fishing without having to drive very far. Riverview Boat Landing is a boat launch to access the river. The sky’s the limit with this one. Some additional activities available are boating, hiking, backpacking, climbing, and animal sightseeing!
To access this body of water from Northport the easiest way to do so is to use Oliver Lock and Dam, which is close to the old country club. One way to get there is through Airport Road where the Roll Tide trestle stands. Similar to the other bodies of water, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, catfish, crappies, and so much more are available in this river.
Be sure to watch out for barges, and make sure you have your fishing license! Don’t forget to bring your up to date boat registration as well. No fishing license? No problem. You can get your license by clicking here!
- Holt Lock and Dam: 12397 Power Plant Rd Tuscaloosa 35406
- Old Lock 15 Boat Ramp: North of Tuscaloosa on Holt Lake of the Black Warrior River
- Deerlick Ramp, located within Deerlick Park: 12421 Deerlick Rd, Tuscaloosa, AL
- Bankhead Dam: 19001 Lock 17 Rd N, Northport, AL 35475
- Binion Creek: 16553 Binion Creek Heights, Northport, Al 35475
- Sharpes Landing: 13662-13698 Sharpes Lake Road, Northport, AL 35473
- Rock Quarry: 11857 Eagle Bluff Rd, Cottondale, Al 35453
- Riverview Boat Landing: 599 7th Ave. NE, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
- Oliver Lock and Dam: Oliver Dam Road Northport Al, 35476
Black Warrior River Lock Phone Numbers (For navigation or water-level questions)
- Bankhead Lock (205) 339-1921
- Holt Lock (205) 553-1711
- Oliver Lock (205) 758-4860
For additional resources, we encourage you to check out the Black Warrior Riverkeeper!