Unlocking Alabama’s Fishing Season: A Complete Guide to Start Reeling in the Perfect Catch

When does fishing season start in Alabama?


Fishing enthusiasts in Alabama eagerly await the start of fishing season each year, as it marks the perfect time to cast their lines and reel in some prized catches. In this blog post, we will provide you with all the essential information about when fishing season begins in Alabama, ensuring you can plan your fishing trips accordingly.

The official opening date

The official opening date for fishing season varies depending on the type of waterbody and fish species you are targeting. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) is responsible for setting these dates every year based on scientific research, population assessments, and other factors.

Freshwater Fishing Season

For freshwater anglers, it’s important to note that there isn’t a universal statewide opening day for all lakes, rivers, or streams in Alabama. Instead, the ADCNR divides inland waters into different zones:

Zones 1 & 2:

Zone 1 comprises counties located above Montgomery County (excluding Pickens County), while Zone 2 includes counties south of Montgomery County along with Pickens County.

– For most waterbodies within Zones 1 and 2: Fishing season typically opens on February 10th.
– Exceptions:
– Lake Eufaula: Opens earlier than other waters within Zone 1; usually around January 1st.
– Barbour County Public Lake: Opens later than other waters within Zone 2; usually around March 15th.

It’s crucial to stay updated with any changes or specific regulations by visiting the ADCNR website or contacting local authorities before planning your freshwater fishing trip.

Public Fishing Lakes:

Alabama offers numerous public fishing lakes throughout the state that follow their own designated schedules regulated by ADCNR. These lakes usually open earlier in the year, around mid-February or early March.

Mobile Delta:

The Mobile Delta, an expansive and unique freshwater ecosystem, has its own fishing regulations. The season opens on April 1st and closes on November 30th each year.

Saltwater Fishing Season

Alabama’s coastline along the Gulf of Mexico provides excellent opportunities for saltwater fishing enthusiasts. Similar to freshwater fishing, there are specific dates set for different fish species:

Red Snapper:

Red Snapper is a prized catch among anglers. The ADCNR announces separate opening days and closing dates for recreational Red Snapper seasons each year based on federal guidelines.

It’s crucial to stay updated with the latest announcements from ADCNR or visit their website before planning any saltwater fishing trips to ensure compliance with all rules and regulations regarding bag limits, size limits, and other restrictions.


Fishing season in Alabama offers a thrilling experience for both freshwater and saltwater anglers alike. By understanding the various opening dates across different zones and following proper regulations, you can make the most out of your fishing adventures throughout the state. Remember to always prioritize safety while enjoying this exciting outdoor activity!