In my opinion, every kid needs to go fishing at least once in their lives – it’s family activity that makes a pretty great childhood memory.
Fishing is a great way to spend time unplugged, outdoors, and in nature. If you live here in Alabama, there are lots of options for kids who love to fish, many of which are located in Madison County. I hope this list of Fishing Holes in Madison County will inspire you to pack up your poles & bait and catch a mess of fish!
Our Favorite Madison County Fishing Holes
Brahan Spring Park Lagoon
Address: 500 Drake Ave SW, Huntsville (map)
Phone: (256) 883-3736
Located right in the middle of Huntsville, this fishing opportunity is probably the most accessible for families living in Huntsville City. There isn’t any nearby seating or shade, so be sure to bring your portable chairs & wear a good coating of sunscreen. Every June there is a city sponsored kid-friendly Fishing Rodeo and the lagoon is stocked well in preparation – you’re pretty much guaranteed a catch!
Address: 293 Ditto Landing Rd SE, Huntsville (map)
Phone: (256) 882-1057
If you’re in South Huntsville and want to get your fish on, Ditto Landing is close to your neighborhood. Bluegill, bream, and catfish make their way there from the Tennessee River. You can bank fish from the rocks, so having a boat will come in handy here if you want to get a little further out into the water. There is also a fishing pier on the west side of the marina. Look for backwater spots or ask at the Marina for their recommendations on other places to fish. Nightcrawlers are available to purchase at the Marina.
Harvest Square Nature Preserve
Address: Allyson Sadie Blvd, Harvest (map)
Phone: (256) 534-5263
Harvest Square Preserve is owned & cared for by the North Alabama Land Trust, and a great spot for first-time littler fishers. Located behind the Publix shopping Center on Highway 53, there is plenty of parking and a covered pavilion for picnic ease. There are two pond areas – Turner Pond and Terry Pond, with walking paths from the pavilion to each. We tried out Terry Pond and easily caught 4-5 little fish on cane poles there. There’s also an abundance of wild blackberries in the summer, and walking & hiking trails to explore.
Hays Nature Preserve
Address: 7153 Hwy 431 S, Owens Cross Roads (map)
Phone: (256) 427-5048
The Flint River runs right through Hays Nature Preserve, located in the Hampton Cove area. The park is located right where Big Cove Creek meets the Flint – walking trails parallel the Flint for several hundred yards and there are a dozen or more places from which you can do some fishing from the bank. There are so many fishing opportunities at Hays it’s hard to pick – I recommend exploring the trails to find your favorite spot.
Madison County Lake
Address: 2501 County Lake Road, Gurley (map)
Phone: (256) 776-4905
This 105 acre lake is stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish, crappie, and winter rainbow trout. You can fish from the bank or the pier – there’s also a boat ramp if you bring a boat or kayak along, or you can even rent one! Smaller fish are usually hanging around the perimeter of the lake, while the larger fish prefer the man-mad habitats in the middle of the lake. The bait shop carries all kinds of bait, tackle, snacks, and has clean restrooms.
Madison County Nature Trail
Address: 5000 Nature Trail Rd, Huntsville (map)
Phone: (256) 883-9501
Also known as Green Mountain, this is a great place to hike, picnic, and yes – fish! Children under 16 years of age or seniors over 60 can fish in Sky Lake Monday through Friday. A $1.50 fishing fee is charged. While you’re there be sure to look for the state’s largest and oldest Champion Winged Elm Tree that stands tall along the Trail.
Sharon Johnston Park
Address: 783 Coleman Rd, New Market (map)
Phone: (256) 379-2868
Sharon Johnston Park is located just 20 minutes from downtown Huntsville and offers fishing, camping, and swimming. Fishing permits are $1.50 and you can grab one at the Camp Host as you enter the park – they don’t sell bait, so BYO. Bring a chair if you plan on staying a while. There are covered pavilions and clean restrooms located around the perimeter of the lake. Read our full park review here.
A Word About Bait
Don’t forget it. The only bait shop on-site is at the County Lake & Ditto Landing, so be sure to bring some along – worms, crickets, and minnows work best around here. If you don’t want to dig holes in the yard, try Wal-Mart, Buster’s Bait & Tackle, Academy Sports, and Cabela’s. Occasionally you’ll find one of the convenience stores located close to a good fishing hole will carry live bait as well.
Do You REALLY Need a Fishing License?
- Alabama Residents can fish from the bank in their county of residence with hook and line (live bait only) without purchasing a license. Resident must be able to provide reasonable proof of residency while fishing – a current driver’s license should work great. So if you live in Madison County and want to fish at Wheeler, you need a license. If you live in Madison County and want to fish in a canoe in the Flint, you need a license. But if you’re on the bank, using LIVE bait, in the county of your residence you do not need a license as long as you have proof of your address on your person.
- Kids under the age of 16 do not need a freshwater fishing license, but the supervising adult does if you don’t meet the requirements above. More info here.
- You can purchase your fishing license online now! It takes about 8 minutes and you can print it out for immediate use.
Did we leave out your family’s favorite spot? Let us know in the comments!
This article was originally written in 2015 and has been updated with current information.
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Stephenie has worked with and around books and authors for over 12 years, both at retail booksellers and public libraries. She is a rare Huntsville native, mother of two high-energy boys, wife of one, and eerily addicted to community volunteering. When she's not being the Managing Editor for RCM she likes to stalk her favorite authors online, cook with way too much butter, and also manages to conduct freelance marketing and PR work.