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Madison County Public Fishing Lake

Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division logo

MADISON COUNTY
STATE PUBLIC FISHING LAKE,
near Huntsville, Alabama

Allen Smallwood, Manager
2501 County Lake Road
Gurley, AL 35748
(256) 776-4905

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This 105 acres lake is located 11 miles east of Huntsville in Gurley, Alabama.

Directions: From Huntsville, take U.S. Highway 72 east for 5 miles, then left on Ryland Pike Road for 6-1/2 miles (through Maysville) to County Lake Road, right 1 mile to Madison County Lake.

big Madison County Lake bass
This big largemouth bass was caught in April of 2009.

ALL INFORMATION SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.
Madison County Lake is normally open Sunrise to Sunset as follows:
February 1 – Tuesday before Thanksgiving: Open 6 days a week, closed on Wednesday.
Friday after Thanksgiving – December 29: The lake is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, except Christmas; and trout fishing is available for a $5 daily permit. (Fishing for rainbow trout begins the day after Thanksgiving, and trout are stocked again in December and in January. Fishing license requirements apply in addition to the daily Madison County Lake permit.)
Call the manager at (256) 776-4905 to verify the schedule before making the trip.

Fishing:
Largemouth bass fishing is good year-round, with the biggest usually caught from March through May when they are near the bank. Anglers are encouraged to keep bass shorter than 14 inches to improve the growth of the remaining bass.
Bream, bluegill and redear sunfish (shellcracker), are caught most frequently by bank and boat anglers from late spring through summer.
Channel catfish are caught year-round, but the summer through late fall months are best.
Crappie fishing is best from late February through March. A strong 2013 year class will be entering the fishery, and these fish should exceed a length of 9 inches by April 2014.

Rainbow trout are stocked in a 1-1/2 acre area of Madison County Lake. Trout season opens the Friday after Thanksgiving. Trout also stocked in December and January, and fishing may remain good through March.
The rules of what may be kept are posted at each lake. Before fishing, check to see what types and sizes of fish may be kept.

Facilities: Clean public restrooms and concessions are available, including a wide variety of fishing tackle, live and artificial baits, and other fishing supplies, as well as drinks and refreshments. An accessible fishing pier makes it easy to reach deeper water without using a boat. Boats, electric motors, and batteries are also available for rent. A launching ramp is available for anglers with their own boats. Boats may have an outboard motor attached, but anglers may not use the outboard motor, only the trolling motor.

Licenses, Permits and Boat Rental

Normal Fishing License Requirements Apply to Anglers Age 16 or Older
or a Wildlife Heritage License Works
Fishing licenses are not available at Madison County Lake, but they may be purchased at other retailers, Probate offices, via Internet or over the telephone.
 
Daily Fishing Permit Required in Addition to License for Angler Age 12 and Older $3.00
Boat Rental Permit (Daily fishing permit also required.) $5.00
Launch Permit for Personal Boat $3.00
Boat Package (Boat Rental, Battery, Paddle, PDF) (Fishing permit not included)  

Rental Equipment

 
Life Preserver (PFD) (Boater required to have own PFD or rent PFD.)  
Anchor  
Paddle  
 Trolling Motor  
Battery  

BAIT

 
Worms (big red worms and night crawlers)  
Crickets (half tube - approximately 50)  
Crickets (full tube - approximately 100)  
Toughie Minnows (fathead minnows) (dozen)  
Rooster Liver  

Regulations (partial list; complete regulations are available in the current regulation book and the "Alabama Game, Fish, and Wildlife Law Book"):

(1) Any person 12 years old or older must have a valid daily fishing permit in possession to fish. No child younger than 12 years old can legally be left unaccompanied by an adult.

(2) The daily creel, possession and size limits for each species are posted at the lake.

(3) Fishing is limited to daylight hours, or as specified by the lake manager.

(4) Swimming and wading are not allowed.

(5) Fish taken from the lake must be carried to the lake manager, who will count and weigh them.

(6) No method other than hook and line with natural or artificial bait may be used to take fish from a State Lake. Taking, or attempting to take, fish by any other means is not allowed, including but not limited to: snagging, snatching, trot lines, set hooks, limb lines, jug fishing, spear, or bow and arrow.

(7) Anyone launching a boat at a State Lake must have a valid launch permit and fishing permit.

(8) State fishing license requirements are in effect and fishing licenses may be purchased at State Public Fishing Lakes.

(9) A person fishing shall upon demand exhibit his catch, fishing permit, and fishing license to any Conservation Officer, concessionaire, or other agent or employee of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for inspection.

(10) No species of fish shall be stocked in the state-owned public fishing lakes. Live minnows used for bait shall be limited to goldfish minnows (Indiana minnows); golden shiners (shiners) and fathead minnows (toughies or tuffies) and no minnow, either dead or alive, shall be released from a minnow bucket or other method.

This information is subject to change without notice. Additional information and rules about the lakes are available from the lake manager, the Alabama Fisheries Section at (334) 242-3471, or Matthew Marshall. The Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries intensively manages the 23 state lakes totaling 1,912 acres.

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