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Lake Weiss (pronounced "Wice") is an Alabama Power Company hydroelectric impoundment covering 30,200 acres in northeast Alabama on the Alabama - Georgia border. The Weiss Lake fishery is the major economic influence in Cherokee County, so the locals treat anglers very well. Four free public access areas and 37 privately run marinas service Lake Weiss. Campgrounds, motels and rental cabins dot the shoreline of the lake. An Alabama fishing license is needed to fish the Alabama portion of Lake Weiss (all but the very upper end), and a Georgia fishing license is needed to fish the Georgia portion of Lake Weiss.
The lake known as the "Crappie Fishing Capital of the World" has other fish to boast about these days; largemouth bass and striped bass are making a name for themselves. The largemouth bass fishery has been a best-kept secret for several years. Data collected from tournament anglers and state fisheries personnel has shown that Weiss Lake is one of the better bass fisheries in the state.
The black bass population primarily consists of 15-18 inch bass as well as abundant numbers of young growing bass. The striped bass population is dominated by 3-7 pound fish, but fish over 25 pounds have been caught. Crappie fishing was good this past spring, but there are many crappie just under the legal size of 10 inches. The upcoming fall season and next year spring crappie fishing should be excellent as these fish grow to legal size. Georgia gives their prospect for fishing Weiss Lake.
Two special fishing regulations apply to Lake Weiss:
Alabama Power Company has improved fishing by providing habitat in this lake. Coordinates of these habitat improvements are available as an Excel spreadsheet or a GPS download from www.alabamapower.com/lakes/fishdata.asp.
Fishing license information may be found at: Licenses Instant licensing is available via the Internet (2% fee), via the telephone by calling 1-888-848-6887 ($3.95 fee), or at 900 vendors and probate offices in Alabama. All youth age 15 and younger fish for free.
Bass fishing quality at Lake Weiss is assessed from bass club tournament results at: www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/where/reservoirs/quality/.
State fish management information and Alabama reservoir location, size and elevation are listed at: Reservoir Management.
Lake Weiss is in Cherokee County and adjacent cities include Cedar Bluff, Centre (their city logo includes a crappie, so you know they are friendly to anglers), Gaylesville and Leesburg. The lake is a short drive from Fort Payne and Collinsville, which are on I-59.
Information about Cherokee County from the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce is available at: www.cherokee-chamber.org/. The best way to get information from them is to go to the "Contact Us" area and e-mail them a request for information to be sent to you via mail. The Cherokee Chamber of Commerce literature lists a dozen motels, cabins and camping areas, bait-and-tackle shops, restaurants, and fishing guides. They will send you a map also.
Weiss Lake Lodge is a new motel on Hwy 68 north in Centre, www.weisslakelodge.com. Chestnut Bay is on the water in the Yellow Creek arm of Weiss Lake, www.chesnutbayresort.com. This is a series of small to medium size homes on the lake that can be rented. They have pontoon boats for rent, but not fishing boats.
Pruitts Fish Camp is located on the Cowan Creek arm of Weiss Lake, 256-475-3950, www.pruettsfishcamp.com. They rent jon boats, pontoon boats, cottages and rooms.
The State of Georgia provides information on Lake Weiss. From georgiawildlife.dnr.state.ga.us/, go to "Fishing," "Places to Fish," and then "Georgia Reservoirs Fishing Prospects." They will list a link to "Weiss" Lake.
Current water levels may be found for Weiss Dam at: http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/al/hydro.html
Lake Weiss is the beginning of the Alabama Scenic River Trail.
Contact the following fishing guide:
Terrapin Creek Lodge has a main lodge and five cabins, 918-607-4881 cell or 256-927-6175 at the lodge, 5196 AL Hwy 9 South, Piedmont, AL.
Water quality information is available from the Alabama Water Watch as a PDF file, here
Portions of Lake Weiss have a fish consumption advisory. Information on the consumption advisory may be found at the Alabama Department of Public Health Web site, www.adph.org. Consumption advisory information is found under "A-Z Contents" and looking for "Fish Consumption Advisories."
It shall be unlawful to intentionally stock or release any fish, mussel, snail, crayfish or their embryos including bait fish into the public waters of Alabama under the jurisdiction of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries as provided in Rule 220-2-.42 except those waters from which it came without the written permission of a designated employee of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources authorized by the Director of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries to issue such permit. The provisions of this rule shall not apply to the incidental release of bait into the water during the normal process of fishing.
The Alabama Water Watch has published a report on this water.
The Fisheries Section's District II Supervisor can answer specific questions about Lake Weiss by sending mail to: email@example.com.