Bankhead Lake Fall Fishing Report

Bankhead Lake Impounded 1916
Mid Alabama
Lake Level: Down one foot
Water Temperature; Late September – Mid 70′s (Oct. – low 60′s / Nov. low 50′s)

Fall Fishing Lake Bankhead

IBankhead Reservoir (as its actually called) or just Bankhead Lake if you prefer, is situated on the Warrior River System and is conveniently located about 20 miles south of Birmingham, Al. This very old, man made impoundment – just referred to as ,” the Warrior” by locals – is now nearing 100 years since it was first impounded many, many years ago.

When Bankhead Lake was first Impounded (back in the year 1916), it was given the name John Hollis Bankhead Dam and Lock and it was put into service backing up the 9,200 surface acres of water. Waters previously made up of the incoming Warrior River System and the Little Warrior River System. Not only did the building of this Bankhead dam flood the back waters of these two major river systems, but also as the waters rose, it flooded nearby roads, houses, bridges and farm buildings.

In addition, when the Army Corps of Engineers built Bankhead lock and dam the newly created Bankhead Lake consisted not only of inundating this huge river system and its surroundings, but it flooded many small lakes that were previously close to the old, original Warrior River channel. This flooded nearby farm ponds, incoming streams and feeder creeks. The building of this huge lake also included the addition of a newly created lock for bigger boats and barges to pass through. This new passageway soon opened these waters to barge traffic and lots of boaters and anglers that soon discovered a much bigger body of water to explore. Including loads of big bass!

When the year 2016 arrives Alabama anglers should all get together and throw a huge, Birthday party in celebration of such a fantastic bass fishery surviving 100 years.

Bankhead Lake this Fall
Yes, as many of you readers have heard me say many times before,” I grew up fishing Bankhead Lake.” It was only a few miles from my home back then located just south of Birmingham, Alabama. Not as many years as the lake is celebrating, but long enough ago when I can still remember that they rented wooden boats out of Lost Creek boat launch for $3.00 a day.

Today (just like back then), fall bass fishing is a season I always look forward to, with as much anticipation as during my teenage years, as I often reminisce in my mind some of my fantastic previous fall fishing trips to the old Warrior, usually on my way to the lake.

Its been real hot since Alabama anglers experienced three weeks of 100 plus degree temperatures in late August. The fishing slowed on Bankhead Lake as it did on every Alabama Lake, displaying 90 degree water temps. Fall is now a very welcome sight.

As waters begin to cool (beginning in late September – mid 70′s), it seems a real triggering sensation overcomes both the tenacious spotted bass and the big largemouth bass that make up this 77 mile long impoundment. These bass will invade the shallows in search of food as they are instinctively triggered to feed more and more with each cooling day and fatten up for the upcoming winter months ahead.

From Bankhead’s lower lake dam to the lakes headwaters below Smith Lake dam, there are numerous incoming feeder creeks and the incoming Little Warrior River system. These are the places anglers should explore this fall and early winter seasons. Feeder creeks can have schools of both bass species that cruise these incoming waters, from the creek mouths at the main river, often far back in the scenic woods, twisting and turning for miles and miles, all the way to the creeks headwaters.

Valley Creek for example, goes for over ten miles as it twists and turns through winding creek flats, log jams, laying trees, stumps, rock bluffs and weed lined pockets. Loads of weeds, wood cover, and rock cover, all holding bass all throughout this entire major feeder creek this fall. The same goes for the Little Warrior River System that junctions with the main Warrior River at the famous Howton’s Camp.

Topwater lures excel on this lake during the fall season and even during early winter warming trends these bass will blast a well placed topwater lure, even in water temperatures of 50 degrees! Its no wonder a big bass will blast about any offering slung their way and drug across the waters surface – Warrior River Bass will eat anything! So lures that simulate meals they are accustomed to eating will be nailed when fished among all the lakes visible weed, rock and wood cover. Cover this lake has to offer…for over 70 miles!

Explore Warrior River’s age old lake, Bankhead Reservoir, this fall season as waters begin to cool and bass go on a major feeding spree. Rig plenty of rods, not only with topwater lures like buzzbaits, frogs, rats, poppers, prop baits and zara spooks, but rig many other rods with lures like spinnerbaits, crankbaits and worms to be fished from top to bottom as well. Or call on Reeds Guide Service…first!

” Bankhead Lake’s oldest, most qualified licensed guide, fishing this lake for over 40 years.”

Remember, a guided fishing trip with Reeds Guide Service makes a great surprise gift for Birthday’s, Father’s Day, or Christmas (certificates available) or any occasion, for those loved ones that love to fish! Several boats and qualified professional guides available year round, for multiple parties and corporate guided fishing trips to any lake in Alabama.

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Good Fishin’

Reed Montgomery

About Reed Montgomery

Alabama's Oldest, Professional "Bass Fishing Only" Guide Service For Over 40 Years Fishing all of Alabama's Lakes for all Species of Bass and Striped Bass.

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