Lakes in Alabama for Boating.

5 Best Lakes in Alabama for Boating

Written by Boatsetter Team
April 20, 2023

Alabama’s lakes offer a unique and magical experience for people looking to get to know the Yellowhammer State. From sprawling acres of crystal-clear waters to endless, scenic shorelines, Alabama’s lakes alongside our boat rentals provide endless exploration, relaxation, and adventure opportunities! To help you make the most of your Alabama trip, we’ve created a quick guide on five of the best lakes in Alabama for boating:

  1. Guntersville Lake
  2. Lake Martin
  3. Lay Lake
  4. Lewis Smith Lake
  5. Lake Weiss

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1. Guntersville Lake

Guntersville Lake, Alabama.

As Alabama’s largest lake, Guntersville Lake is a must for visiting boaters. Watersports like wakeboarding, water skiing, and tubing are popular here. Or, if you’re just looking for a calm cruise across the 69,000 acres of open freshwater, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery of mountains, forests, and wildlife (including Bald Eagles), all from the comfort of your vessel. Anglers can expect to find largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish here.

Location: Jackson and Marshall counties

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2. Lake Martin

Lake Martin, Alabama.

Since Lake Martin is manmade, it’s one of the cleanest lakes in Alabama, making it a favorite for swimmers and divers. Boaters love to hang out at Acapulco Rock Island and Chimney Rock Island to jump from the short cliffs into the water. Since clean water equals clear water, Lake Martin is also a great spot to anchor and dive under the surface for some snorkeling. Anglers can expect to catch various species of bass and catfish, and white crappie.

Location: Coosa, Elmore, and Tallapoosa counties.

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3. Lay Lake

Coosa River, Alabama.

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You’ll find Lay Lake, located just 35 minutes outside of Birmingham, on the Coosa River. Anglers flock to Lay Lake for its excellent bass fishing. The surrounding shoreline hosts various parks and campgrounds where visitors can connect with nature. Oak Mountain State Park specifically offers beautiful views of the area’s wildlife and the lake itself.

After a day of watersports, fishing, or lake lounging, cruise into Paradise Cove, where you can dock and dine at the Point Grill & Bar. They serve typical American fare and have an outdoor deck overlooking Lay Lake.

Location: Chilton, Coosa, St. Clair, Talladega, and Shelby counties.

READ MORE:  Pre-Departure Checklist for Boating

4. Lewis Smith Lake

Lewis Smith Lake, also known as the “three-fingered lake,” is a popular holiday destination in Alabama. As another reservoir, the lake holds beautiful crystal water, perfect for swimmers and divers. Anglers can catch various species here, but bass is the main attraction, drawing out crowds for multiple fishing tournaments throughout the year.

In addition to water sports and activities, the coastline hosts various campgrounds and hiking trails. Cruise, connect with nature, and dock and dine at many waterfront restaurants, all when you visit Lewis Smith Lake in Alabama.

Location: On the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

5. Weiss Lake

Weiss Lake, Alabama.

Anglers can find the “crappie capital of the world” tucked up in northeast Alabama when they visit Weiss Lake. Weiss Lake earned this nickname for its typically larger and more abundant crappie populations due to some of the lake’s unique environmental factors. In addition to various crappie and bass species, anglers can expect to catch longear, sunfish, bluegill, catfish, and freshwater drum.

While Weiss Lake in Alabama is popular for fishing, the surrounding wilderness creates a beautiful setting for visitors to connect with nature. Enjoy scenic hiking (the Cherokee Rock Village is a must!) and camping when you come ashore.

Location: Cherokee County

Keep this guide handy and browse through all Alabama boat rentals and take advantage of neat trip planning tools like Instant Book and Add-ons. Whether you’re looking to have your family fun day on the water, make a trophy catch, or simply cruise and admire nature, there’s no doubt that the best way to experience Alabama lakes is by boat!

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