Alabama’s Mobile-Tensaw River Delta

The Mobile-Tensaw River Delta can swallow you up and spin you around the first time you fish here. Its nearly 25,000 acres of water include riverine stretches, a vast marsh, huge grass flats and a maze of backwater sloughs, creeks and lakes.

Finding your way back to the ramp can be more challenging than catching bass. However, if you enjoy solitude, a rich natural environment and terrific bass fishing, put the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta on your must-fish list.

“You can fish here and never see another boat all day,” says local bass sage Jerry P. Davis, who has plied the delta for more than four decades.

The delta has three distinctly different fishing areas, Davis points out. Local anglers call them the Causeway, the Middle Delta and the River System.


“From Gravine Island south to the I-10 highway bridge is the area we call the Causeway,” Davis says.

About 12 miles in width, the Causeway is composed of shallow bays and an abundance of aquatic vegetation, mainly milfoil and eelgrass. It also has what Davis calls “an overpopulation of bass.”

At certain times of the year, you can catch 30 to 50 bass a day from the Causeway. Autumn is one of those magical times. The drawback is that most of these bass weigh less than 2 pounds. It’s a great place to enjoy fast action, but not to win a tournament.

“You’ll cull through 50 bass to get a five-fish limit that weighs 8 to 10 pounds,” Davis says. “You’ll also catch a lot of redfish and speckled trout there.”


From Gravine Island north to just north of the I-65 bridge is what local bass fishermen call the Middle Delta. The creeks and streams that feed the Mobile and Tensaw rivers lead to as many as 20 lakes scattered throughout this region.

Some of these lakes are deep; others are shallow. Some lakes teem with grass, while others have little vegetation. All of them harbor bigger bass than those in the Causeway.

“You won’t catch as many bass here, but this is where you can sack limits that weigh 15 to over 20 pounds,” Davis says.

The best fishing in the Middle Delta happens from October through April. Each lake is unique and must be fished differently, Davis adds.