Reed Montgomery

Impounded 1966

Lake Level: Full Pool

Water Temperature: Upper 80's



Many anglers have had trouble navigating the lower end of Neely Henry Lake for years. That is, until the water authorities cleared out the standing timber years ago and navigation, became a matter of just following the newly marked channel.

Today, the only hazard to look for when running the lake's lower end for the first time, are floating logs, and other boaters or jet skies, and you will see plenty of the "livelier" of this threesome, when out this summer. Especially from the mid-to-lower lake.

Starting at the lakes lower end, around Neely Henry dam, it is basically a straight shot right up the lake. Almost. This run, due north, is bordered by small cuts and pockets and many, major feeder creeks, situated along deep, river bends. The first feeder creek is on your left as you navigate up the lake, Bridge Creek. Then a small pocket and next is Shoal Creek, all on your left, heading North, up the Lake.

On your right, traveling the first few miles up the lake from the dam, are only a few small pockets and lots of deep water, bordering rocky, bluff-type banks. The next bend to your right, will lead you due East, right into the mouth of several pockets lined with piers and boat houses, all on the Eastern side of the lower lake.

There are also several marinas in the back of these adjoined pockets, with Hwy. 77. Crossing along a rip-rap lined causeway. *Note: Many bass are released in this area, all throughout the summer months in both day and night tournaments, held out of the marinas found here.

As the old river channel swings again and leaves this area, it makes another sharp bend and borders the mouth of Beaver Creek, loaded with fish-holding cover of all kinds. Weeds, stumps, brush piles, points, lay downs, piers, boat houses and rock bluffs, show the versatile angler many choices this summer in Beaver Creek.

A mile past Beaver Creek, heading up the lake, and the huge pocket on your right (about one mile) is actually named Greens Creek. Although it only goes for a short distance from the main lake, there are lots of piers, a marina, and Hwy. 77 that crosses the back of Greens Creek, with a rip-rap lined causeway.


As you travel up the lake you will begin to notice how wide it gets in the next bend, in the mouth of Canoe Creek. Many anglers without a map or navigation knowledge, get lost here. Looking to your left is Canoe Creek, the biggest feeder creek on the lake, taking a right, at this creek and main lake junction, will continue you North to the lake's upper section.

Red and green creek channel markers will safely take you up in Canoe Creek, to a bridge. Then go slow in the creek backwaters. Or you can follow the River channel markers in this area, but navigate with caution, when leaving the main channel. This is where all the standing timber was in year's past, before they cut it 5 feet below the water line. But still, stumps are all along the flats bordering this area.

The lake straightens out and again begins to head North as you leave Canoe Creek and its make another sharp bend north. Leaving Canoe Creek and going straight across the lake due East, will take you up in a smaller feeder named, Broughton Springs Creek. This small, unnoticed creek, has plenty of piers, boat houses, weed beds, and laydown trees, plus stump flats and plenty of brush-filled side pockets, to explore this summer.

Traveling up the lake, you will see a few small islands, most of which are on your right. This is a stumpy flat along the shallow side of the main lake and good for fishing day or night. Navigation is marked along the left side of the lake with channel markers for about 5 miles. Just before you get to Hwy. 77 bridge that crosses the lake, is Buck's Island Marina with boat repairs and parts. Also other marinas and gas can be found here in this mid lake region, before continuing to the upper lake.


Leaving Hwy. 77 crossing at midlake, and heading upriver, you will immediately notice the lake will begin to narrow, to more of a river-type appearance. There are several weed and wood cover laden pockets to explore here, and loads of main lake flats, all covered with washed-in trees, laying logs, brush and other wood debris. Navigating the middle of the lake, is suggested.

This midlake region, like the lower lake, will also show lots of company this summer, from the hoards of summertime party goers. About 5-6 miles above Hwy. 77 bridge crossing, the lake will again make another sharp, hard bend heading due north. This is know as Minnesota Bend, the deepest part of this upper lake region, with water depths over 70 feet deep.

Just past this deep, rock bluff Minnesota Bend, heading upriver, on your right about a mile, is Honey Creek. Its easily identified with a small island situated right in the mouth. This is a flat, backwater creek.

Continuing on up the lake, will show a few islands, another river bend, and then a bridge that crosses the lake. This is just after you go past some electrical towers in the mouth of Big Wills Creek. Of which is an excellent creek in this upper lake region, for both day or night fishing this summer.

Big Wills Creek has lots of rip-rap rocks found around two bridges, near the creek mouth. But use caution, after going under the first Big Wills Creek bridge. It is deceiving, looking deep, but with only a few feet of shallow, stump-fillled flats. Idling the boat is suggested here.

Right past Big Wills Creek mouth, heading upriver, is Hwy. 759 bridge crossing. Then on your right is famous, Gadsden City Boat Launch, where many bass tournaments are held weekly, year round. Again, many released bass, can be re-caught, when working this area near the city launch.

Leaving Gadsden City launch and heading upriver (where the lake is crossed by two bridges), the Lake narrows to a more river-type appearance. Neely Henry Lake, then continues North, twisting and turning among the scenic hillsides, for another 30 plus miles of River.

You will see rock bluffs, logjams, laydown trees, small islands, another bridge crossing and many small pockets and creek mouths, to explore this summer in the headwaters of Neely Henry Lake, often far from the summer crowd.

"Be safe, and be courteous to other boaters, this Summer on Neely Henry Lake."

*To learn more about Neely Henry Lake, including seasonal fishing tips and lure suggestions, go to: and click on "Fishing Tips" on the cover page. Also see "links" and "lake reports" there, for more on fishing and navigating this lake and other Alabama Lakes this summer.

Good Fishin'

This report provided by;

Reed Montgomery

Reeds Guide Service (205) 787-5133

"Over 40 Years Fishing Alabama for Bass and Stripers"



Fish Species: Bass
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Reed Montgomery

About The Author: Captain Reed Montgomery

Company: Reeds Guide Service

Area Reporting: All Alabama Lakes

Bio: Captain Reed Montgomery a Birmingham, Alabama native Guides on all of Alabama\'s Lakes for all species of Bass. Alabamas Oldest Professional Freshwater Guide Service For Over 40 Years. Website

(205) 663-1504
Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Reed Montgomery