Fishing in Jones Bluff Reservoir
Jones Bluff Reservoir (also known as R. E."Bob" Woodruff Lake) impounds the Alabama River between Montgomery and Selma in central Alabama. The Army Corps of Engineers built the Robert F. Henry Lock and Dam to create a 12,510 acre reservoir that provides navigation, hydroelectric power generation, and recreation. Jones Bluff is a riverine impoundment; meaning much of the reservoir is confined to the historic river channel. Its low retention time and water storage capacity often result in frequent winter and spring flooding. Locals still refer to it as the Alabama River; however, numerous creeks have been flooded, providing a wide variety of fishing opportunities.
Bass are numerous and growth is average, thanks to an abundant population of small shad. Bass fishing success and techniques in this reservoir are highly influenced by hydropower generation. Largemouth bass can be caught in backwater areas off the main river and the influence of current on their feeding activity is negligible. However, Alabama bass feeding activity is highly influenced by current and fishing for this species can be excellent on the main river when current is present. Without current, Alabama bass fishing is usually very difficult. Thus, most bass anglers opt to fish for Alabama bass on the main river channel during hydropower generation and target largemouth bass in the backwaters during periods of low flow. A tentative generation schedule can be obtained by calling the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers at 334-682-4896. Similar to the last sample, largemouth bass were more abundant in backwater areas of the reservoir in the spring 2009. Electrofishing catch rates were similar to the lake average and higher than the last two sample years. Growth and condition of largemouth bass was excellent. The oldest largemouth bass collected was age-8. Riverine sample sites in 2009 were dominated by Alabama bass. These fish are the Alabama sub-species, which typically grow faster and larger than the northern subspecies found outside the Mobile Bay drainage. The catch rate of Alabama bass during the spring 2009 electrofishing sample was faster than rates observed in 2006. Alabama bass growth and condition was excellent. The oldest Alabama bass collected was age-9.Jones Bluff Reservoir produces crappie in great numbers and supports an excellent fishery, especially in the spring. White crappie were almost four times as abundant as black crappie in fall 2005 trap-net sampling. A huge crappie spawn from spring 2005 was also confirmed and catch rates were among the highest ever documented in this reservoir. With the excellent growth rates of crappie in Jones Bluff, anglers should begin catching these fish in large numbers beginning in spring 2007. Stable springtime water levels should provide excellent crappie fishing during the next several years.Hybrid striped bass, white bass, channel catfish, blue catfish and flathead catfish also attract anglers, especially below the Henry Lock and Dam, where they are accessible from the bank or by boat. This reservoir does not stratify during summer due to almost constant flow; thus, fish can be found at varying depths throughout the year.
Bass fishing quality at Jones Bluff Reservoir is assessed from bass club tournament results.
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Contact the Fisheries Section's District II office for specific questions about Jones Bluff Reservoir.