The Alabama Bass Trail
The Alabama Bass Trail is a cooperative effort between Governor Robert Bentley’s office, the Alabama Tourism Department, the Alabama Department of Conservation
and Natural Resources, and the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association.
The Alabama Bass Trail features 13 of Alabama’s premiere bass-fishing lakes and stretches from the mountains of North Alabama south to the Mobile Delta. With a mild climate, mineral rich reservoirs, affordable lodging and dining, as well as public access to boat ramps and marinas, Alabama is a year-round destination for anglers from across the country.
Alabamians don’t claim to have invented bass fishing, but the modern bass tournament did begin in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1968 with the incorporation of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.). Those first rules for competitive bass fishing that foster the ideals of ethical angling, conservation and safety are still used today all around the world.
ESPN later purchased the organization and relocated the headquarters to Florida for several years. We’re pleased that in 2011 new owners Jim Copeland, Jerry McKinnis, and Don Logan – an Alabama native – purchased B.A.S.S. from the sports broadcasting company and moved the organization home to Birmingham, Alabama. The strong partnership of B.A.S.S. with the Alabama Bass Trail is helping us communicate the message of world-class fishing with anglers across the United States.
Conservation and education programs are integral to the trail’s goals, with an emphasis on encouraging anglers young and old to be good stewards of Alabama’s natural resources. As part of the Alabama Bass Trail, we will offer annual opportunities for communities and others to get involved improving our public waterways.
The Alabama Bass Trail and the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association have developed a service program that engages Alabama’s youth anglers. With the help of these young men and women in building artificial reefs, performing drops at designated GPS locations, and cleaning up trash during the annual water draw down, we will ensure healthy aquatic habitats and ecological systems at the lakes.
The Alabama State Parks figure to be a big factor with the Alabama Bass Trail in that five of the lakes and rivers listed have state parks on them. With the wide range of lodging and camping offered by the state parks, the paths of the two organizations should create a good partnership that ultimately provides good benefits for the State of Alabama.
One stop on the Alabama Bass Trail is Wheeler Lake. Joe Wheeler State Park is located 1 mile west of Rogersville, AL on U.S. Hwy. 72. This resort park, containing 2,550 acres, is divided by the Tennessee River, which forms the 69,700 acre Wheeler Lake in Northwest Alabama. The lodge offers 75 spacious guest rooms with rocking chairs on the balconies overlooking weddings, reunions, association or corporate meetings. Adjacent to the lodge is a full service marina with 64 transient slips and 184 permanent slips. The marina also has a fuel island and boat rentals. Within walking distance of the lodge is a 18-hole championship golf course. Facing the main river are 10 new, two and three bedroom cottages. Other facilities include a modern 116 site campground with 110 full hook-ups, picnic area with pavilion rentals, and a sanded beach area. Miles of hiking trails meander through the park. Located on the south bank of the Tennessee River near Wheeler Dam are 27 rental cabins. These brick cabins have fireplaces and are located on a bluff with a view of the river. Smaller wood cabins are scattered among the water oak and pine forest. All cabins have full kitchens and cable TV. Pet-friendly cabins are available. For lodging reservations at any of these five parks visit www.alapark.com or call 1-800-alapark.