Fish and Fishing in the Mobile Delta
The Mobile Delta consists of approximately 20,323 acres of water just north of Mobile Bay. Second only to the Mississippi River Delta in size, the Mobile Delta is an environmental showplace that is 30 miles long and 12 miles wide. It covers more than 200,000 acres of swamps, river bottomlands and marshes. Congress named the Mobile Delta a National Natural Landmark in 1974; fewer than 600 sites have received that honor. The Alabama Environmental Council considers the Delta as one of "Alabama's Ten Natural Wonders." Formed by the confluence of the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers, the Mobile Delta is a complex network of tidally influenced rivers, creeks, bays, lakes, wetlands, and bayous.
Since the Mobile Delta empties into Mobile Bay, it is a productive estuary with numerous species of fresh and saltwater fish. The Bartram Canoe Trail is a unique way to see the Delta; a map of the Trail is available from the Lands Division. The Mobile-Tensaw Delta and W. L. Holland Wildife Management Areas and Upper Delta Wildlife Management Area offer hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities for those utilizing the Delta. Anglers enjoy the Delta because of the good fishing and because of the natural beauty of the marsh and the cypress and tupelo gum forests.
Largemouth bass fishing success in the Delta is good year-round and many anglers are successful even during the coldest winter months. Delta bass anglers have good success whether they fish the grass beds of the lower Delta or rivers and streams of the heavily-timbered upper Delta. Anglers have good luck using crankbaits, plastic worms, or live shrimp.
Sampling during the spring of 2007 in the Upper Delta above I-65 revealed that there was an adequate spawn of largemouth bass in 2006. Catch rates of 2007 spawned bass were higher than the 2006 sample, despite drought conditions. The abundance of stock-size bass (8 to 12-inch) in 2007 was above average. Currently, anglers may find reduced numbers of 12 to 15-inch bass. This size group of bass is strongly influenced by the 2004 year-class which suffered heavier than normal mortality due to drought conditions and Hurricane Ivan effects. However, good recruitment of the stock-size group of bass should allow for improved numbers of 12 to 15-inch bass during 2008.