Banks, AL Fishing: Angler’s Gateway to Southeast Alabama Freshwater Fishing

Catch bass, sunfish, and more in Southeast Alabama, via the small lovely community of Banks in Pike County.

Banks, AL Fishing: Angler’s Gateway to Southeast Alabama Freshwater Fishing
Banks, AL Fishing: Angler’s Gateway to Southeast Alabama Freshwater Fishing
Team Guidesly

November 17, 2022, 6 min read

Updated on November 14, 2022

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Banks is a small, sparsely populated community in the central part of Pike County in southeastern Alabama. It was first settled in 1827, one of the earliest areas to accommodate settlers in the state. Named after a local family, it unofficially became acknowledged as a locale when it was included on the Alabama Midland Railroad line in 1890, with a stop at an area east of Troy. It soon had its general stores, a drug store, and a cotton gin. Four years later, it became officially incorporated. By the early 1900s, more cotton warehouses began sprouting up.

Banks is situated east of Pike County’s county seat, Troy. Pike County originated from areas of Henry County and Montgomery County in 1821 and continued to change until 1897, as the nearby counties of Barbour, Crenshaw, and Bullock were formed. It got its name from a New Jersey explorer, Gen. Zebulon Montgomery Pike, who was responsible for mapping a great area of the Louisiana Purchase’s southern region. 

Banks and the rest of Pike County are part of the East Gulf Coastal Plain region, a physiological section that makes up 60% of the entire state. This part of Alabama was incredibly fertile in the early 18th century but was also very early on depleted. Only after the Civil War did local farmers learn how to fertilize their soil, turning the area into an agricultural spot. They started with cotton and soon diversified into other crops and livestock.

Pike County has two significant rivers flowing through and near its boundaries, contributing to its richness as a community. The Conecuh River runs through the county from northeast to southwest diagonally. The Pea River, the Choctawhatchee River’s biggest tributary, is on the county’s eastern border. While Banks does not have rich fishing spots, it provides easy access to the rest of the county’s productive angling hotspots and a host of other reliable fishing areas in southeast Alabama.

Banks Fishing

anglers, lake, lake fishing

Anglers looking for fair freshwater fishing opportunities in Southeastern Alabama can find them on surrounding Banks. Pike County Lake is one reliable waterbody open 12 months a year, six days a week from sun-up till sun-down. Located a few miles south of Troy, Pike County Lake is a 92-acre public fishing lake owned by the state and managed by Pike’s county seat. It dates back to 1951 but was closed for renovations for four years. Today, anglers can enjoy the use of modern facilities on the lake. It has an ADA-compliant fishing pier, a boat ramp, and bait and tackle shops for your fishing convenience. It also has free Wi-Fi, restrooms, and snack concessionaires. If you want to fish the lake on a boat, you can take your pick at their rentals which offer Jon boats, trolling motors, batteries, and other boat essentials. Some fish you can catch here include largemouth bass, redear sunfish, and bluegill. The lake has strict daily creel limits on bass and bream and does not charge for the fish you catch, as long as you don’t exceed the limits. Watercraft use on the lake is strictly for anglers.

Situated between Pike County and Barbour County as a kind of border, the Pea River is formed from the merging of the small streams draining from the beaver swamps of Bullock County that drain. It flows through the surrounding counties of Dale, Coffee, and Geneva and into the Choctawhatchee River. As a typical coastal river in the region, it has experienced some damage from poor watershed management and storm flooding. Parts of the river suffer from siltation. Stretches of the waterbody can get shallow because of erosion. 

The river, despite its problems, remains a popular recreational area. It is a favorite spot for small flat-bottom boats and canoes. Anglers can likewise enjoy leisurely fishing in the waterbody. Coffee County, a few minutes south of Pike County, has several sites where anglers can launch their canoes to fish in the river. The longest stretch is from the Weeks Bridge to the Elba boat ramp, where anglers can cast rooster tails to catch spotted bass, redbreast sunfish, and longear sunfish. If you prefer to use a motorboat, the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries ramp at Elba Park, five miles upstream of the dam, offers access to a part of the river that’s deeper with a slower current. It is popular among anglers for its largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, and bullhead catfish. 

The Pea River is home to the threatened gulf sturgeon. They used to be harvested commercially in the river until their numbers were depleted. After plenty of hard work, the state has given the sturgeon a comeback. The protected fish can now be seen near the Geneva junction.

The Sepulga River is another coastal river relatively near Pike County. It is considered a subdrainage of the Conecuh River. Because of its size, it feels more like a creek. Over 97% of its watershed is heavily forested, becoming one of the state’s lushest and cleanest river systems. Anglers love to fish in the river because of its prime scenery, though its clear waters can be challenging. It is home to a range of freshwater fish species, including largemouth bass, Alabama spotted bass, warmouth, bluegill, and shadow bass. 


Top 10 Fish Species in Banks, AL

The top fish species found in Banks, AL, are largemouth bass, spotted bass, bluegill, channel catfish, redear sunfish, shadow bass, warmouth, bullhead catfish, redbreast sunfish, and gulf sturgeon.

Seasonal Fishing

Fishing can be enjoyed all year round in Alabama, so your productivity depends on the type of fish you’re after. The region is also prone to severe storms, so it’s always best to check the weather forecast before planning your trip for your safety.

Bass fishing is a passion here in Alabama and can be done in almost any waterbody in the state, including those within the Pike County area. Bass can be caught all year round but are best targeted in spring and fall. 

Catfish species likewise abound in Alabama. For flatheads, late summer to mid-fall seems to be the best period, while channel catfish are best caught in early spring. 

If you don’t make it in time for your target catch, you can always rely on catching some bluegill or bream, which are around in many of Pike County’s waterbodies all year.

Seek Unique Attractions and Enjoyment near Banks

Banks and Pike County offer wonderful recreational activities, from impressive historic sites and beautiful outdoor areas to uniquely exciting activities.

1. Book a Fishing Charter

Want to make the most of your Alabama inshore fishing experience? Confidently explore the area with the expert guidance of a master captain. Booking a fishing charter is the most advisable way to enjoy any fishing trip, whether you’re an expert or a novice. 

Expand your Alabama fishing tours by looking into other charters outside your zone. For inshore and offshore fishing trips in Orange Beach, you can book the services of Reel Fishin’ Charters and Ocean Cat Charters. Hooknup River And Lake Guide Service in Dadeville is at your service for crappie fishing trips. If you’re keen to fish in Mobile Bay, find fishing charters in Mobile, Alabama, or book a guide that covers the territory, like Water Walker Fishing

2. Enter the Battlefield

Enjoy a busy, fun time at The Battlefield, a unique outdoor laser tag field in Troy that looks and feels like a Civil War battlefield, with bunkers, fox holes, and machine nests. 

3. Immerse in Art and History

Visit Johnson Center for the Arts, a haven for local Alabama artists housed in a classic-revival-style post office circa the turn of the century. It is adjacent to the city’s Historic Town Square, so you can enjoy a quick history tour after viewing the revolving exhibits in the art space.

Fish in Banks and beyond.