Many visitors to Alabama’s beautiful beaches have no idea about the freshwater lake within walking distance from its shores.
Yet, right across from The Lodge at Gulf State Park is the Lake Shelby complex with three freshwater lakes and various fish species. Lake Shelby is 592 acres, Middle Lake covers 193 acres, and Little Lake has 39 acres.
The lakes are mostly freshwater, with species like largemouth bass, crappie, bream, and catfish available. At times, brackish water with enough salinity will migrate into certain areas and hold speckled trout, redfish, and blue crab.
Bream fishing for bluegills or redears is usually a live bait game with crickets or night crawlers, although when the fish are bedding around the full moon, fly fishing with popping bugs or spider-imitation flies can yield a nice stringer.
The rule for those who prefer catfishing is usually the smellier, the better. Grab some catfish bait at the local store or some chicken livers from the grocery store. Cast the bait out and wait for the catfish to follow the scent to your bait.
The speckled trout and redfish usually only show up for short periods, mostly in the fall when the saltwater creeps in. Try live shrimp or shrimp-imitation baits or minnow-imitation plastic grubs. Redfish will feed on the same bait and will also hit a spinner bait.