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Fish Pickwick and Wilson Lakes

Fish Pickwick and Wilson Lake Tim Hortons home water. Bass, Crappie and Cat Fishing World ClassPickwick and Wilson Lakes are teaming with fish and the Muscle Shoals area has become one of the hottest destinations for anglers in the Southeast! (“What the heck, one of the best in the entire U.S!”)

Pickwick Lake and Wilson Lake, created within a twisting stretch of the Tennessee River in northwest Alabama and northeast Mississippi, offer an array of the most popular species of fresh-water game fish, including tournament-sized largemouth and smallmouth bass, striped bass and crappie.

You’ll also discover catfish of legendary size! These lakes are sanctioned by several professional tournament circuits. (Read more in our Tournament News)

Anglers tell us that Pickwick is in top form, with numerous 10-pounds-plus largemouth bass and 7-pounds-plus smallmouth bass being caught this year. Wilson is also good in condition and producing plenty of big bass. Big crappie and catfish are also being caught on both lakes.

These lakes, created by the Tennessee Valley Authority, provide a diverse fish habitat. A deep river channel centers each lake and the submerged terrain, once bottom lands and rugged bluffs, creates a challenging course. You’ll enjoy the chase, but best of all, you will enjoy the catch!

Colbert County, on the south side of the Tennessee River and its world-class lakes, offers lodging that caters to anglers and their families. Throughout the cities of Sheffield, Muscle Shoals, and Tuscumbia, Alabama, you’ll find appealing tourist attractions, parks, recreational opportunities including golf, and everyone’s favorite – food! Restaurants in the Muscle Shoals area feature all sorts of dining experiences from the most informal cafés with home-style cooking to fine dining that is second-to-none.

There are plenty of public boat ramps where anglers can launch their boats for free and hotels that have outside plugins for recharging boat batteries. We are a fisherman's paradise.

We invite you to come to fish and while you’re here, we want you to have fun.

Pickwick and Wilson lakes ranked among America’s best


Local anglers tout Pickwick and Wilson lakes as two of the best places in the country to fish for largemouth and smallmouth bass.

A leading fishing website agrees. In its listing of the top 100 bass lakes in America, ranked Pickwick 15th and Wilson 45th. California-based is one of the most popular outdoor and travel websites. Noted outdoor writer Mike Pehanic compiled the listing of top lakes after consulting professional anglers, bass tournament organizations, and veteran outdoors journalists.

Tennessee River bass fishing guide Cameron Gautney of Muscle Shoals, was not surprised Pickwick and Wilson were listed among the top bass lakes in America.

“There are some lakes where you can catch big largemouth and others where you can catch big smallmouth. At Pickwick and Wilson you can catch both. You might catch a 7-pound largemouth and then catch a 5-pound smallmouth on the very next cast,” Gautney said.

Pro angler and outdoors television personality Tim Horton, of Muscle Shoals, also sings the praises of Pickwick and Wilson lakes. “They are amazing lakes. Pickwick is right there at the top of the best lakes in the country and Wilson is close behind.”

Guntersville Lake was ranked atop the list, with Lake Okeechobee in Florida, Clear Lake in California, Falcon Lake in Texas and Lake Erie/Niagara River in New York and Ontario rounding out the Top 5.

Gautney said Wilson and Pickwick lakes should have been ranked higher in the listing.

“In my opinion, Pickwick should have been one of the top three lakes on the list,” Gautney said. “Wilson and Pickwick are underrated. I have guide trips all the time where the people I take out are blown away by how good the fishing is on Pickwick and on Wilson.”

Brian Barton, a Tennessee River fishing guide from Muscle Shoals, said the Shoals’ reputation as a great place to fish for bass, catfish, and crappie is far-reaching. “I get calls and e-mails from people all over the country who say have heard how good the fishing is here and they want to come fish Wilson and Pickwick.”

In 2013, ranked Pickwick Lake 18th in a listing of the Top-50 crappie lakes in the country.

Susann Hamlin, executive director of Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau in Tuscumbia, said the listings bolster Wilson and Pickwick lakes reputation for being great places to go fishing. She said fishing is a major tourist attraction for the county.

“These lists confirm what we have said all along, our lakes are some of the best places on Earth to go fishing,” Hamlin said.

For more details about fishing opportunities on Pickwick and Wilson lakes, call the Colbert County Tourism at 256-383-0783.

Local anglers tout Pickwick and Wilson lakes as two of the best places in the country to fish for largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Tim Horton Fishing Report

Timmy Horton’s tips for Pickwick Lake

Pickwick Lake in northwest Alabama belies the notion that all good things must come to an end. Completed in 1938, the bass fishing in this storied 47,500-acre Tennessee River reservoir is better than ever.

Bassmaster Elite Series tournament angler Timmy Horton was a fishing guide at Pickwick before he became one of the top bass pros in the country. He still fishes Pickwick often and is astounded by what the lake is producing.

“Last spring you had to have 30 pounds to have a shot at winning any bass tournament here,” Horton says. “A 20-pound limit no longer gives you bragging rights at Pickwick.”

Electrofishing by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources found that Pickwick’s largemouth bass were fatter than bass from other Alabama reservoirs in 2008. That was a harbinger of better things to come. Read More


Fish Pickwick and Wilson Lake