Fishing in Gainesville Reservoir

Gainesville Reservoir is a run-of-the-river reservoir on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Gainesville Reservoir is located off I-59 in west central Alabama between Meridian, Mississippi, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Howell Heflin Lock and Dam impounds the Tombigbee River 8 miles north of Epes, Alabama. The 6,400-acre lake is just east of Gainesville, Alabama. The reservoir's primary uses include navigation, flood control, and recreation. Recreation opportunities include camping, hunting and boating. Ten areas allow public use and bank fishing with eight areas having boating access.

Since being impounded in 1978 by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, Gainesville Reservoir is best known for its largemouth bass and crappie fishing. There is a good abundance of largemouth bass up to 18 inches with moderate numbers of larger bass. The crappie growth in this reservoir is excellent with an abundance of 9- to 12-inch fish. Another good source of panfish in Gainesville Reservoir is bream. Bream fishing (mostly bluegill) is good from summer through fall months in backwater areas of the reservoir and around weed beds. The best fishing for all game fish species in this reservoir are in sloughs and backwater coves, around standing timber and emergent and submersed aquatic plants. The tailwater fishery below Howell Heflin Lock and Dam is excellent for catfish, hybrid striped bass, and freshwater drum. Tailwater fishing is popular with local anglers, and they are generally satisfied with their catch rates.

Bass fishing quality at Gainesville Reservoir is assessed from bass club tournament results.
If you are a member of a bass club, please consider being a part of our Bass Angler Information Team. We use information from clubs to help better manage your lakes for fishing.

Channel catfish from Gainesville Lake, Alabama.

Contact the Fisheries Section's District III office for specific questions about Gainesville Reservoir.