The day use section of Mitchell State Park or the canal both provide access to Lake Mitchell. Over 2,000 acres of the lake’s 2,580 acres are covered with an abundance of aquatic cabbage vegetation. With a few fishing spots between 20 and 22 feet deep, more than 95% of Lake Mitchell is less than 15 feet. Anglers that fish in Lake Mitchell often catch walleye, pike, crappie, and panfish.
A well-liked spot for camping, fishing, and boating is Mitchell State Park. The park offers a fantastic chance to see a variety of species and is located between Lake Mitchell and Lake Cadillac. The two lakes are connected by a historic canal that passes through the park. Don’t forget to stop at Mitchell State Park’s Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center.
What is Lake Mitchell all about?
Centrally-located in the metropolitan area of Alabama, Mitchell Lake (also known as Lake Mitchell) is located 45 miles from Montgomery and 55 miles from Birmingham. When the Mitchell Dam was built in 1923, it dammed the Coosa River, resulting in the creation of this 5,850-acre lake. The fifth reservoir in a series of six on the Coosa River is named Mitchell Lake after the President of the Alabama Power Company from 1912 to 1920.
The lake, which was built to serve central Alabama with hydroelectric power and flood control, is today well-liked for pleasure and weekend getaways. The second-oldest of the 14 hydroelectric facilities operated by the Alabama Power Company is Mitchell Dam. An all-year-round fishing area next to the dam with parking, bathrooms, picnic tables, and a picturesque viewpoint.
Public boat ramps and a number of marinas that dot the 147-mile coastline provide access to Mitchell Lake. Higgins Ferry on the west side and Barrett’s Fish Camp on the east are two well-liked boat launching. In addition to bluegill, redear, sunfish, black crappie, white crappie, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, threadfin, and gizzard shad, fishermen may anticipate success at this well-known bass fishing lake. With the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division routinely stocking the lake with hybrid striped bass, Mitchell Lake is one of Alabama’s top 10 bass fishing reservoirs and likely remain so for some time.
Fishing is usually successful in the spring and autumn. Fishing at night is great in the summer. Fishermen may check to see if their catch is a record at the tournament weigh-in station that is located at the Higgins Ferry Access location. The Mitchell Lake Home Owners and Boat Owners Association, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Alabama Power Company collaborated to build the facility in an effort to reduce the death rates of fish after release.
Read: Is Traveling A Hobby? The Ultimate Guide To An Exciting Way Of Life Learn about the Downsides Of Traveling As A Hobby
Things to keep in mind before visiting Lake Mitchell
It is forbidden to stock or transport any fish, mussels, snails, or crayfish into Mitchell Lake or any other public waterway while you are fishing.
Mitchell Lake offers a variety of activities besides fishing. Hunting, boating, water skiing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, animal, and bird watching, and picnics are some activities that outdoor enthusiasts might engage in. Camping, a bathhouse, a free boat launch, a swimming area, and a playground are available at Higgins Ferry Park. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, don’t miss River Church’s Sunday services at the Tombaugh Pavilion. ATV/off-road motorcycle enthusiasts may go fishing at Minooka Lake, hike on picturesque overlooks, and camp in rustic settings at Minooka Park in Chilton County.
For those looking to make Mitchell Lake their permanent home for a week, a month, or a lifetime, there are several vacation rentals and real estate options available. Mitchell Lake is a great destination for a vacation because of its wealth of natural beauty, mild temperature, and near proximity to major cities. Mitchell Lake offers activities for all interests, whether you choose to fish, relax on a veranda while seeing animals via binoculars, or just unwind with a cold beverage.
History of Lake Mitchell
The artificial reservoir known as Lake Mitchell, which is just a short distance from the city center, was constructed in 1928 to provide the city of Mitchell and the surrounding region with drinking water and a recreational area. Over the years, generations of families have utilized and appreciated the water, but there has also been a continuous reduction in the quality of the water. A project to minimize the sediment and nutrient loading that enters the lake was developed as a result of a water quality assessment study that was finished in 1997. Although Lake Mitchell is no longer Mitchell’s source of drinking water, it still offers locals and tourists a range of outdoor recreational options.
Fishing in Mitchell Lake
Lake Mitchell, a 5,850-acre impoundment on the Coosa River with 147 miles of coastline, is situated immediately off I-65 and ten miles straight east of the city of Clanton in central Alabama. Many fishermen like spending time at the Lay Dam tailwater region near the upper end of the lake, which has easy access for bank fishing. An quantity of debris left behind that Alabama Power impounded in 1922 provides as fish habitat. The forage and sport fish populations in Lake Mitchell are both highly dense. The lake was built to manage flooding and provide hydroelectricity to central Alabama, but it has since become immensely popular for a variety of recreational activities, including boating, swimming, and fishing.
Access to Mitchell Lake is made possible through a number of private marinas, public marinas, and private boat ramps. Higgins Ferry on the west side of the lake and Barrett’s Fish Camp (launch charge) on the east are two well-liked boat access points, however other private marinas on the lake also have boat ramps. Lake Mitchell topographic charts are available at nearby marinas and sports goods shops.
What fish can you find in Lake Mitchell?
The Alabama spotted bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and black and white crappie are the most prevalent sport fish in Lake Mitchell. Channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish are three common non-game fish. There are two main forage fish species: threadfin and gizzard shad. Overall, Lake Mitchell’s fish population status has not altered since the 1980s. This fishery’s potential is limited by low early life survival and significant fish mortality during their first winter, similar to many other productive impoundments. Important sport fish species like black bass and crappie, however, grow at rates that are typically close to the state average. Since Lake Mitchell has stayed very stable over the past 20 years and often rates among the top 10 reservoirs in the state for bass fishing, the majority of fishermen are quite delighted with the fishing there.
Bass sample in the spring of 2010 showed that Lake Mitchell had a lot of largemouth and Alabama spotted bass of good size. Largemouth bass seems to be getting more prevalent than spotted bass, and this trend could persist. The population of spotted bass was particularly outstanding since the majority of the sample consisted of huge fish in excellent physical shape. Both species of black bass grew at above-average rates. The number and pounds of bass caught by anglers in events in which BAIT was a participant were greater in 2010 on Lake Mitchell than ever before.
To evaluate the health of the population, samples of crappie were taken in the autumn of 2010. The Mitchell Reservoir’s crappie fishery depends on the yearly production of year-classes that range from mild to robust. Year-classes of moderate size were generated in 2007 and 2008, and it looked that 2010 was similarly noteworthy. These year-classes should begin to join the fishery by autumn 2011. Mitchell Reservoir had great crappie growth and health, which was considerably above normal compared to comparable reservoirs in Alabama. The Mitchell Reservoir crappie fishery no longer included a significant amount of white crappies since the number of those fish looked to have declined.
Beginning in 1980, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division stocked a variety of sport species into Lake Mitchell, including walleye, hybrid striped bass, striped bass, and Florida largemouth bass. At the moment, the Division carries hybrid striped bass.
Fishing experience in Lake Mitchell
Although spring and autumn are the most fruitful seasons, nocturnal catfish and bass fishing may still be quite successful throughout the summer. Because they prefer shelter, largemouth bass are often captured by fishing in or close to thick water willow stands that develop along the shore. The structure-oriented spotted bass may be captured in a variety of habitat types, such as points, humps, ledges, rock heaps, and vegetation.
Willow-leaf spinnerbaits in white or shad color patterns, topwater chuggers and walking baits in shad hues, hard and soft plastic jerk baits, and Carolina-rigged centipedes or finesse worms in different shades of green are also common bass lures. Higgins Ferry has a lot of bass tournaments, with night tournaments often occurring throughout the week and day tournaments typically occurring on the weekends. During the spring, shallow woody debris is where crappie often concentrate, and live minnows may be used to catch them. Crappie may be caught by trolling light-weight jigs topped with live minnows during the winter months when they typically stay in vast schools suspended just below the surface in open water.
Bluegill, shellcracker, and other sunfish species are widespread and often seen in shallow coves, weedy areas, and backwater sloughs. When pursuing bluegill, live crickets or small beetle-spins are your best bets. Although it is still outstanding throughout the summer, bluegill fishing is often at its finest around the first full moon in May. The groups of circular depressions in shallow water regions shielded from wind and wave action are indicative of bluegill spawning locations. During the summer, spawning activity peaks around the full moon. In shallow coves in the late spring, shellcrackers may be caught with redworms fished on the bottom.
On Lake Mitchell, “jug-fishing” is another highly used technique for catching catfish. The jugs are often rigged with chicken liver, nightcrawlers, or sliced shad and left to float down the river slightly above the bottom with the stream. The greatest time to catch catfish is in the early summer.
Bass clubs now have access to a tournament weigh-in facility at the Higgins Ferry Access Area. The Lake Mitchell Home Owners and Boat Owners Association, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Alabama Power Company collaborated to build this facility. The post-release mortality of fish may be reduced by managing them properly during weigh-ins.
Reminders for important considerations
Lake Mitchell. Few Coosa River Lakes get as little daytime fishing pressure throughout the summer as Mitchell Lake. In fact, Mitchell Lake probably has more fishermen fishing at night than during the day.
The headwaters of this little lake on the lower Coosa River System, located just below upper Lay Lake Dam, provide good fishing. It was inundated in 1923. Spotted bass, largemouth bass, white bass, hybrid bass, and even enormous striped bass are drawn to the current, baitfish, and chilly water. Always generates feeding fish during the first few hours of water production and just after the water is shut off.
All of these species engage in some schooling here, and lures like rattletraps, crankbaits, spoons, grubs, lead tail spinners, and top waters may deceive the majority of these ferocious feeders. Bring a lot of lures since the river may be rapid and you can lose some of them to the rocks below.
A group of islands may be found 1-2 miles below the upper Lay Lake dam. At their top and lower extremities, these islands contain fish and break the stream. Both spotted bass and largemouth bass may take shelter in the weed beds, blowdowns, stumps, and rock formations that make up the uneven banks of these islands.
Hold the boat forward into the stream while you drift backward while experimenting with spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and topwater lures. Due of the inconvenience of trolling to the bank to retrieve suspended lures, accurate casting is essential. Mitchell Lake, like Lay Lake, is overgrown with weeds, and many of the lake’s residents make these oxygen-rich retreats their year-round homes, particularly in the summer when weed growth is at its heaviest. Keep these facts in your mind and get the best possible fishing experience.