Lake Shelby: Gulf Shores' Natural Treasure
Located a short walk from the Gulf of Mexico and Alabama's white-sand beaches is the Gulf State Park's Lake Shelby.
This natural treasure has hosted families, fishermen and fun seekers for generations. Boy Scouts have camped around the lake, farmers markets have sold locally grown produce, and groups of all sizes and ages have enjoyed innumerable picnics under the trees. Lake Shelby is a beloved piece of the Alabama Gulf Coast landscape.
When you combine Lake Shelby with Little Lake and Middle Lake, there are nearly 900 acres of water inviting guests to swim, fish and boat or paddle. Lake Shelby is actually one of the closest freshwater lakes near saltwater on the Gulf of Mexico. But that's not all of the interesting facts surrounding this piece of coastal paradise.
Even though Lake Shelby is a freshwater lake, because of its proximity to the Gulf, saltwater intrudes on the lake and makes it home to both freshwater and saltwater fish, including largemouth bass, bream, crappie, redfish and speckled trout. You'll even find blue crab in the lake. It's been rumored that bass weighing as much as five pounds have been caught in the lake! To fish the lake, you'll need a freshwater fishing license. This can be easily purchased at the bait shop on the Gulf State Park pier for just $2 per day or $35 for an annual permit.
Lake Shelby offers a picturesque and peaceful way to spend the day when you opt to paddle around the lake. Bring a fishing kayak and drop a line, or rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak onsite. Make a day of it at the lake and bring along food to grill in the picnic area. Picnic tables and a pavilion make it easy to relax while making memories with family and friends. You'll even find a spot for Fido at the lakeside dog park, The Dog Pond!