Lake Frank Jackson is a 1,037-acre reservoir located on Lightwood Knot Creek within the Yellow River watershed in eastern Covington County, Alabama. This lake is part of Frank Jackson State Park, which encompasses over 2,000 acres. This park is located just off Highway 331 on the north side of Opp, Alabama. Frank Jackson State Park provides excellent opportunities for camping, swimming, hiking, picnicking, wildlife viewing, and fishing.
The park includes a two-lane concrete boat ramp. Boat launch fees are $1 per boat for adults under 62, and $0.50 per boat for seniors over 62 years old. Entrance fees for the park are $1 each for ages 12 to 61 and $0.50 each for children under 12 or seniors over 62 years old.
Anglers can only use a rod and reel or cane pole; so trotlines, jug fishing, traps, or nets are illegal. Night fishing is only allowed for campers in the park. The lake in open to boat traffic from sunrise until 7 pm.
The park enforces the following creel limits:
Bass: 6 per angler per day, 12-inch minimum length limit.
Bream: 20 per angler per day.
Crappie: 30 per angler per day, 9-inch minimum length limit.
Status of the Fish Population
Largemouth Bass – In 2008, the largemouth bass sample at Lake Frank Jackson contained a fairly abundant population of bass in the 1- to 3-pound range, some in the 4 to 6 pound range, and few from 7 to 10 pounds. The 2013 sample indicated bass are more numerous now, but the population predominately consists of smaller bass. Very few bass over 4 pounds were observed in either the spring electrofishing sample or in the anglers" creels. The sample of bass that were aged indicated they grew fast until they reached 10 to 12 inches long, then growth slowed quickly. This relates to another observation during spring electrofishing, when it was noted that 1- to 2-inch shiners were very abundant among the aquatic vegetation. However, 3- to 6-inch sunfish where not abundant. For a bass to grow quickly, they typically need forage fish at least a quarter to a third of their own length. Optimal forage fish for bass longer than 12 inches was very limited. Three bass tournaments were observed during the spring creel survey, all with winning weights 12 pounds for five fish. The biggest bass in each tournament was less than 4 pounds. Most bass anglers reported catching plenty of bass, but few over 2 pounds.
Bream – Bluegill and redear sunfish (shellcracker) are not as abundant as observed in most Alabama reservoirs, but the average size of bream in Lake Frank Jackson is large. Many large shellcracker were observed in the electrofishing sample and creel survey. This is not surprising since the abundance of aquatic plants is the perfect habitat for freshwater snails, and the sandy bottom along the banks is good habitat for mussels, two favorite foods of redear sunfish. Predators (bass, gar, bowfin, chain pickerel, crappie) consume most of the sunfish before they grow larger than 3 inches, but the small percentage of sunfish that survive grow fairly quickly and usually reach a quality size that anglers enjoy catching. This was evident in the creel survey when most bream anglers reported that they did not catch a lot of bream, but the ones caught were usually hand size or bigger.
Crappie- Fall sampling indicated that crappie abundance was much lower than the 2008 sample, but average size was larger. Anglers reported varying success during the creel survey, with most crappie caught in the 11- to 13-inch size range.
Catfish - The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division stocked 5,000 adult channel catfish in the winter of 2013 to supplement the existing population. Anglers reported good catches when targeting catfish, especially along the dam and near the campground.