MAY 7, 2020

Alabama: Guntersville State Park Getting Back to Business

With the state gradually re-opening and returning to normal business for most who are not in the “at risk” categories, outdoors opportunities are also opening up statewide.

Sone Kornegay, General Manager at Guntersville State Park, reports that though they are awaiting word from the Governor on the restaurant and lounge, everything else in this beautiful 5,900-acre mountain park remains open.

“Our campgrounds, chalets and cabins have been packed,” says Kornegay. “It seems everyone wants to get out of the house, especially on the weekends. Golfing and boat rentals are booming. The hotel lodging is slow, but starting to pick up since the other lodging is sold out. The park is packed on the weekends with hikers and bicycle riders and even the zipline is staying busy.”

The park also has one of the best boat ramps on the lake, close to quality fishing spots in the mid-lake area, though the road out to the facility from the town of Guntersville, S.R. 227, is windy and steep.

It’s also a pleasant spot for families thanks to the sandy swimming beach, and mornings and evenings there are usually nearly tame whitetail deer roaming near the campgrounds, providing an interesting wildlife attraction as well.

You don’t have to have your own boat to fish around the park, either. The Town Creek Fishing Center is lakeside, near the mouth of Town Creek on Highway 227 just a couple miles from the park entrance. Bass boat rentals are available for as low as $130 for a half-day, pontoon boats for as low as $180 for a half-day, plus gas.

They also rent canoes and kayaks, starting at $48 for a half-day.

Ethanol-free gas is available at the dock of the store, and is accessible by water. The Center has an assortment of artificial and live fishing baits, fishing licenses, drinks, snacks, ice, and camping supplies.

There’s also a large primitive camping area here, right on the lake shore. Flush toilets are available, and there’s also a boat ramp.

The area is noted for wade-fishing, particularly in June and July as shad fry gather in this area by the millions, luring in everything from largemouths to stripers, crappies and perch. Tiny jerkbaits about 2 to 3 inches long match the hatch and turn on the bite.

The shores also turn out plenty of keeper-sized bluegills, particularly in May and June as mayflies hatch, fly and then fall on the surface, providing another chow line. Any small fly or bug in a tan or dun color draws strikes. Bluegills are also known to spawn around the small island just off the shore here.

For those with boats, the ledges of Town Creek are frequently productive of keeper-sized largemouths as fish that have spawned gradually work their way back out of the creek toward the main lake. Many of the bass released after tournaments at the state park docks are thought to move out to these drops shortly before heading to other feeding areas, as well. Jigs and crankbaits are usually the best bet, though there’s an occasional topwater bite at dawn.

The 227 bridge is another well-known spot for bass moving out of the creek in spring, and also frequently holds keeper-sized crappies, best caught on live minnows fished a few feet off bottom.

For details on Guntersville State Park visit https://www.alapark.com/parks/lake-guntersville-state-park

For details on Town Creek Fishing Center, visit https://www.alapark.com/parks/lake-guntersville-state-park/boat-rentals