Fishing in Wilson Reservoir
Wilson Reservoir is located in northern Alabama near the towns of Florence and Muscle Shoals. The reservoir extends upstream for 15 miles to Wheeler Dam and covers 15,500 acres.
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and catfish are targeted most often by anglers on Wilson Lake. During the spring and fall, smallmouth bass congregate in the tailwaters of Wheeler Dam. Most anglers drift live threadfin shad, locally called yellowtails, in the swift current for trophy smallmouths.
Other species that congregate below Wheeler Dam are hybrid and striped bass in the spring, sauger in the winter, and blue catfish and channel catfish during the summer. This area is very popular with both boats and bank anglers. A fishing platform directly below the dam is convenient for bank anglers.
Channel catfish are fast growing, reaching a harvestable size in two years. Flathead catfish reach a harvestable size in 3.6 years.
Visitors to the overlook at Wilson Dam will find a new pier, built to improve fishing access, especially for people with disabilities.
Bass fishing quality at Wilson Reservoir is assessed here.
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.
Contact the Fisheries Section's District I office for specific questions about Wilson Reservoir.