Fishing the Fifty

My Quest to Fish All 50 States

Alabama - March 2018

For my annual out-of-state trip in 2018, I headed back to Alabama to fish Smith Lake with Mike Walker (  I had attempted to return to Alabama in January 2016 and February 2016, but was snowed out each time.  My timing was only slightly better in March 2018, as I was narrowly able to out-drive an extremely rare late March snowstorm that brought record snowfall to northern Virginia.  Unfortunately, Alabama did not escape the freak weather and a tornado outbreak and massive cold front dropped the temperature 15 degrees below average, which slowed the bite considerably.  Fighting 20 - 30 MPH winds, Mike and Brian persevered and put me on some good spots.  I managed a 32-inch striper, a 34-inch striper, and a 38-inch flathead.

Alabama's trophy minimums are larger than Virginia's for blue catfish and striped bass, so, while happy with the 38-inch flathead, I assumed it was not a trophy because Virginia's minimum is 40 inches.  I was very surprised and pleased to discover upon my return to Virginia that the Alabama Master Angler Award minimum for a flathead is only 38 inches, making my flathead a quite unexpected trophy.  This meant that Alabama became the 37th state in which I have caught at least one trophy.

My 38-inch trophy flathead

Clarkson Covered Bridge

32-inch striper

34-inch, 23-pound striper