The following shall be named and designated as game fish in Alabama: rainbow trout, all members of the sunfish family to include: largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, shoal, and those species formerly known as "redeye" bass, which are now known separately as Coosa, Warrior, Cahaba, Tallapoosa, and Chattahoochee bass, based on their respective drainages and the Alabama bass which was formerly known as spotted bass in the Mobile drainage; those fish commonly referred to as bream which include rock bass, flier, shadow bass, warmouth, redbreast, bluegill, longear, and redear (shellcracker); black and white crappie; all members of the temperate bass family to include: saltwater striped, white, and yellow bass and any hybrids thereof; all members of the pike family to include chain, redfin, and grass pickerel; the following members of the perch family: sauger (jack), walleye, and yellow perch.
All public streams, lakes and ponds are open to fishing throughout the year except some state-owned and managed public fishing lakes.
It is illegal to fish in public waters on or from posted private land without the owner's permission. It is illegal to fish in private waters without permission from the owners.
It is unlawful to sell or purchase any game fish from Alabama or in Alabama from another state except:
It is unlawful to fillet a fish or remove heads while fishing or to possess fillets of fish while on public waters, except when fish are being prepared for immediate cooking and consumption; provided, however, that the fish may be drawn or gutted with heads left attached.\
It is illegal to take, catch or kill, or attempt to take, catch or kill any game fish by any means other than ordinary hook and line, artificial lure, live bait, troll or spinner in any of the public waters of this State. It is unlawful to use electrical devices, explosives, poisons or firearms to take fish of any species from these waters.
It is illegal to fish trotline or snag line, set line, commercial fishing net, slat boxes or wire baskets within one-half mile below any lock, dam or powerhouse. All recreational licensed fisherman utilizing trotlines are limited to 100 hooks total. All trotlines must have a plastic or metal tag attached containing the owners name and either their address, fishing license number or phone number. Trotlines operated under commercial fishing licenses are not limited in number of hooks.
Wire baskets may be used only in certain counties to harvest nongame fish for personal consumption only. Persons holding a commercial fishing license may not fish with wire baskets. No fish taken in wire baskets may be sold or offered for sale. All game fish taken in the baskets must be immediately returned to the water. All baskets must be clearly marked with the valid wire basket license number and name of person using and owning the basket. It is illegal for any one person to fish with more than four wire baskets. Consult the Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Regulation Book or local Conservation Enforcement Officer to determine number of baskets and locations where wire baskets are legal.
Commercial or nongame fish may be legally taken by gigs or by grabbling by hand by persons possessing a valid sport fishing license.
The spearing of nongame or commercial fish solely for the purpose of sport in all waters of this state, both fresh and salt, is legal provided that the person engaged in the act of spearing is completely submerged and possesses the appropriate sport fishing and spearfishing licenses. This license is issued by the Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division, Marine Resources Division and online.
It is unlawful to take fish by snagging on the Chattahoochee River or its impoundments, the Tennessee River or its impoundments, and State-owned public fishing lakes. Further, it is unlawful to take or attempt to take fish by snagging within 800 feet of any dam on the Coosa River or its impoundments.
Bow fishing with any longbow, recurve bow, compound bow or crossbow using barbed arrows attached by line to the bow, float, vessel or shooter is legal for the taking of commercial or non-game fish.\
All species of bream may be used as bait as long as a person does not have in his possession total bream numbers in excess of the daily creel limit, regardless of size, and they are harvested legally. Other native game fish may not be used for bait.
It is legal for licensed anglers to take minnows, shad, and certain suckers from certain public waters by the use of a cast net, minnow jug, minnow basket, not to exceed 24 inches in length, 12 inches in diameter, with funnel entrance not more than one inch in diameter, dip net or minnow seine, the length of which shall not exceed 25 feet and the width or depth of which shall not exceed 4 feet for the purpose of taking shad or minnows for the exclusive use as fish bait. No seines may be used in un-impounded tributary streams and creeks. All game fish and all commercial or nongame fish taken by nets or seines must be immediately returned to the water from whence they came with the least possible injury. Dip nets may be used to land legally caught fish.
Licensed anglers may use their hands, a rake or dip net not wider than 24 inches to collect the Asiatic Clam Corbicula for fish bait.\