Alabama is a hot spot for fishing! Anglers have many options to catch top-quality fish in the state’s hundreds of rivers and lakes. This guide will help identify and learn about all types of fish in Alabama, including crappie and catfish.
- Catfish Species
- Crappie Species
- Bass Species
- Striped Bass Species
- Sunfish Species
- Panther Martin Species
- Walleye Species
- Carp Species
Alabama’s most popular fish is the catfish. Catfish are easily identified by their large, flat heads, two short barbels at the top of their lips, and four pairs sensory barbels around their mouth. Catfish can grow to 3 feet in length and can weigh up 35 pounds. The most common catfish species in Alabama are the Flathead Catfish, Blue Catfish and Channel Catfish.
One of the most common species caught in Alabama is the Channel catfish. It is easily identified by its silvery-colored body and deep forked tail. These fish eat mainly insects, small fish, and crustaceans. When fishing for Channel catfish, anglers use minnows, nightcrawlers and shrimp as bait.
Blue catfish are found in deeper and larger rivers throughout Alabama. These fish can grow up to five feet in length and have a unique blue-gray coloring. Blue catfish are strong predators that eat primarily insect larvae, small fish, and crawfish. To catch a blue catfish, anglers will turn to their favorite baits such as shrimp, nightcrawlers, and minnows.
Flathead catfish can be identified by its flattened head and olive green or brown sides with dark spot, as well as a white belly. These fish live in larger rivers, lakes, and reservoirs throughout Alabama, where they eat shad, herring and minnows. Flathead catfish can weigh anywhere from 5 to 20 pounds. Flathead catfish are often caught by anglers using small shiners and shad.
Crappie is another popular target species for anglers from Alabama. These panfish are easily identified by seven to eight spiny Rays on the dorsal Fin, a silvery body with scattered dark spots and a large mouth. Alabama’s most common crappie species are White crappie and Black crappie.
White crappie is silvery with a few dark spots. They have six to eight spiny Rays on their Dorsal Fin. These fish prefer shallow waters and eat aquatic insects, eggs, and small baitfish. White crappie can grow to up to 16 inches long and can weigh upto three pounds. White crappie are often caught by anglers using minnows or jigs for bait.
Black crappie are easily identified by their oval-shaped mouth and six to seven spiny dorsal radiations. They also have a dark back that fades to a lighter color on the belly. These fish eat small crustaceans and aquatic insects. Black crappie can grow to up to 16 inches long and can weigh upto three pounds. Black crappie are often caught by anglers using minnows, crankbaits, and jigs.
The Yellow crappie is a popular panfish. It has a yellowish-colored body, seven to eight spiny rays and a larger mouth that most other crappie species. These fish eat minnows and small crustaceans, and can grow up to 16 inches long. Minnows and jigs are the best ways to attract Yellow crappie to your boat.
Alabama has some of the best bass fishing anywhere in the country. Bass are easily identified by their long, elongated bodies, large mouths, and greenish colors. Alabama’s most common bass species are the Large-Mouth, Small-Mouth, and Spotted.
Large-mouth bass are Alabama’s most prized species of bass. These fish are distinguished by their longer top jaw than the bottom jaw. They can reach up to 19 inches and 10 lbs. Large-mouth bass eat mainly shad, small fish, and crayfish. Alabama’s large-mouth bass are caught by anglers using topwater baits, plastic worms, and jerkbaits.
The small-mouth bass is distinguished by its large body, bronze color and smallmouth. These fish can grow to 19 inches in length and 10 pounds, and they eat crayfish, insects, small fish, and other small fish. To successfully land Small-mouth bass, anglers use jerkbaits and topwater baits.
Because of its strength and tough fighting nature, the Spotted bass is a popular species in Alabama. These fish are distinguished by their silvery bodies and large black blotches on their sides. Spotted bass eat crawdads and small fish mainly. These fish can grow to up to 18 inches in length and 7 pounds. Anglers use crankbaits or jigs for spotted bass.
Striped Bass Species
One of the most sought-after fish in Alabama is the Striped bass. Also known as rockfish or stripers, it is one of the most popular species of fish. These fish can be identified by their silvery sides, and numerous black stripes running along their bodies. Stripers eat shad, herring and small fish. They can grow up to 8 feet tall and 50 pounds. To catch a striped bas, anglers will turn to their favorite baits such as anchovies and shad.
Sunfish are a kind of panfish that lives in Alabama’s waters. These fish are easily identified by their bright colors, dorsal spines, and distinctive dorsal fins. The most common sunfish species in Alabama are the long-ear sunfishes, redbreast, warmouth, green, and bluegill sunfish.
The Long-ear sunfish is the most abundant sunfish in the state. This species has a dark, brownish body and a bright orange-red throat. The Long-ear sunfish eat mainly insects and can grow up to 8 inches long. When fishing for Long-ear sunshinefish, anglers use worms, crickets, and grasshoppers.
The bright orange-red throat of the Redbreast sunfish and its red-brown lateral strips are what distinguish it. This species can grow to nine inches long and eats insects, larvae, crustaceans, and small fish. Anglers use crickets and worms to catch redbreast sunfish.
The Warmouth sunfish’s dark-brown body is distinguished by its bright-orange fins and lighter belly. This species can grow up to seven inches long and eats small fish and insects. When targeting warmouth sunfish, the most popular baits are worms and crickets.
The Green sunfish can be identified by its greenish-brown bodies and golden lateral lines. These fish can grow to as large as 9 inches in length and eat mainly aquatic insects. Anglers use worms, crickets, and other insect lures to catch green sunfish.
The Bluegill sunfish is easily identified by its yellow-orange eyes, dark vertical bars along its sides, and blue or black wings. This species can grow to 10 inches long and eat mainly insects and larvae. Bluegill sunfish anglers use grasshoppers, worms and crickets as bait.
Panther Martin Species
The bright colors and spotted patterns of the Panther martin species can be identified. These lures are used to catch large-mouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, panfish, and other game fish. To match local gamefish, the lures for Panther martin are available in a variety sizes and colors.
Walleye are a popular target of anglers in Alabama. These fish are easily identified by their yellowish-green bodies, sharp spines on their dorsal fins, and large eyes. Walleye can grow to a maximum of 35 inches in length and 10 pounds in weight. They eat mainly perch, walleye and shad. Minnows, nightcrawlers and jigs are the most popular baits for walleye fishing.
Alabama anglers love carp as a target species. Carp are easily identified by their flat, upturned mouth, golden color, and wide, flat mouth. Carp can grow to as large as 35 inches and 25 pounds. They eat mainly insects, worms and aquatic plants. Carp fishing is best done in spring and summer, during their spawning season. Anglers should use corn and worms as bait to catch the best carp.
Q1: Which are the most common species of catfish in Alabama?
A The most popular catfish species in Alabama is the Channel Catfish and Blue Catfish.
Q2: Which bait is best for large-mouth bass fishing?
A: Topwater baits, jerkbaits and plastic worms are the best baits to use when fishing large-mouth bass.
Q3: Which are the most common sunfish species found in Alabama?
A The most popular sunfish species in Alabama include long-ear sunfishes, redbreast, warmouth, green, and bluegill sunfish.
Q4: What is your favorite bait for Walleye fishing?
A: Minnows, nightcrawlers and jigs are the best baits for Walleye fishing.
Q5: Is Crappie an edible fish or not?
A: Crappie are edible fish and very popular among anglers here in Alabama.
Q6: Which bait is best for Striped bass fishing?
A: Anchovies, shad and lures are the best baits to target Striped Bass.
Q7: Which bait is best for Bluegill sunfish fishing?
A: The best baits for Bluegill sunfish fishing are grasshoppers, worms and crickets.
Q8: Which bait is best for carp fishing?
A: Worms and corn are the best baits for fishing for carp.
Q9: Is Spotted bass edible?
A: Spotted bass can be eaten and can be very delicious when prepared correctly.
Q10: How do you catch White crappie?
A: Using minnows or jigs to catch White crappie is the best way to do so.
Q11: What lures are best to catch panfish?
A: Panther Martin lures are great for targeting Panfish because they come in a variety sizes and colors to match the local gamefish.