Fishing at Yates Lake, Alabama
Water released from Lake Martin is cool and infertile, which dictates the character of Yates and Thurlow Reservoirs. The cool water results in a shorter growing season for fish in Yates and Thurlow. Low fertility means that shad, the main forage of game fish, are not as abundant in Yates and Thurlow as in many other Alabama reservoirs. In spite of these points, fishing in Yates and Thurlow is often quite good, mainly because these reservoirs are relatively unknown outside the local area.

Bass fishing is very popular at Yates and Thurlow. The fishery includes both spotted bass and largemouth bass. Other species of angling interest include: striped bass, white bass, black crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish. Large striped bass prefer cool water, so these fish can often be found in the upper end of Yates Reservoir, below Martin Dam. This is one of the best locations in Alabama to have a chance to catch a striped bass exceeding 40 pounds. Yates and Thurlow also have a reputation for producing large redear sunfish (shellcrackers) and bluegill.

Access to Yates Reservoir is available at the Yates Dam Park, maintained by Alabama Power Company, which includes a boat ramp, parking and picnic tables. Travel north from Tallassee on Elmore County Road 44 (North Ann Street) for three miles to the entrance road to Yates Dam. A more primitive ramp is located close to Martin Dam, off Alabama Highway 50, on the west side of the reservoir. This provides quick access to the Martin Dam tailrace, but be careful, the upper end of Yates Reservoir is shallow and rocky.
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