When thinking about fishing Alabama, Lakes Guntersville, Eufaula and Pickwick are usually the first mentioned. However, there is a quiet little lake monster flowing in the Coosa River chain that is turning heads. Locals have known it for years, but the Neely Henry Reservoir in northeast Alabama has been catching the eyes of traveling anglers, and pros alike.
Near Gadsden and Ohatchee, Ala., this lake is 11,235 acres and stretches 77 miles. It sits between the famed crappie fishery of Weiss Lake and the old faithful Logan Martin Lake, which has received plenty of good notoriety in the bass fishing circuits throughout the years.
What makes this body of water unique is the different techniques required to fish it. The water flow and levels change due to the release of the dam, therefore it is important to have an idea on when the current will pick up or slow down.
If you are planning a trip to fish Neely Henry, don’t forget to diversify your gear. Neely Henry has great spotted bass fishing to go along with largemouth. Crappie and striped bass are also present, making for a change of pace.
When it comes to picking where to fish, Neely Henry creates a variety of options. You can fish grassy areas or pitch near a dock. There are also opportunities to flip near trees or pick a rocky bar where largemouth are sure to be. Just like any lake, finding the points and structure that can block the current for fish to hide is key to targeting bass.
Neely Henry has been the home of many tournaments, and maybe the most premier series in Alabama, the Alabama Bass Trail, has named it once again as a location for their 2015 circuit. This team trail has two divisions, and Neely Henry will be the second stop on March 28. It will surely produce big weights for those competitive anglers.
With the temperatures beginning to drop as fall approaches, there is a great opportunity to explore Neely Henry and its surrounding areas. Gadsden is a smaller town with big energy. Check out their First Friday’s downtown, which is filled with live entertainment, music, food vendors and classic car shows. Shops stay open late to provide something to do for the entire family.
If you miss First Friday, make it for Third Thursday! Grab your coolers, dinner and a lawn chair and join friends down by the water to enjoy music and a relaxing atmosphere. Gadsden and the surrounding communities really come together to create a variety of events that are sure to keep you and the family engaged during your entire stay.
For more information about the Alabama Bass Trail, visit www.alabamabasstrail.org. To see what events will be happening in the Greater Gadsden area, check out www.greatergadsden.com.