Alabama Bass Trail: Pickwick Lake

3. Pickwick Lake

Third in Alabama’s Tennessee River Valley (TVA) lake chain, Pickwick spreads across 30,175 acres — 47,500 acres at full summer pool — stretching about 46 miles from Muscle Shoals to Pickwick Dam in Tennessee. 

Pickwick’s greatest draw is its superb smallmouth bass fishing. A 14-inch minimum size restriction limits harvest of smallmouth bass in Alabama waters. One of the most popular smallmouth fishing areas is the Shoals section directly downstream of Wilson Dam to the end of Seven Mile Island. Generation discharge from Wilson Dam creates a strong current here that smallmouth bass love. Upper Pickwick has produced several IGFA line class records for smallmouth.

But largemouth are also abundant, particularly downstream where the lake spreads out into vast bays. Grassy flats, river channel drops and bars produce well, with Texas rigged soft plastics, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits favored in the cover, Carolina rigs, football jigs and flutter spoons among the tops on the channel drops.

McFarland Park in Florence has hosted many major national bass tournaments and includes a campground. For more information, visit and

For more information on the Alabama Bass Trail, visit

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