Size of the Lake at Gulf State Park

Lake Shelby 592 acres

Middle Lake 193 acres

Little Lake 39 acres


What species could anglers reasonable expect to catch from the pier and the Lake Shelby?

Lake Shelby:

*Redfish, Bass, Bream, Speckled Trout, and Catfish are the usual species caught. Bass fishing is tough, but people that know how to fish the lake have been successful.

*Live bait (shrimp, crickets, night crawlers) or artificial (worms, plugs or jigs)



*Flounder, Sheepshead, Pompano, Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, Blue Fish, Red Fish, Speckled Trout, Whiting, Croker are your typical fish caught, but there are several other species that are caught by experienced fisherman.

*Live bait is the most popular choice (shrimp, fiddler crabs, ghost shrimp, sand fleas, bull minnows) or artificial ( most popular: Gotcha plugs, spoons, fish bites, jigs, plugs)


What are popular/productive tactics for each (bait, tackle, time of day)?

Lake Shelby:

*Fish typically bite better in the morning or in the afternoon.

*Several different bait combinations are used to catch fish out of Lake Shelby.



*Fish typically bite better when the water temperature reaches 68 degrees. Anglers tend to be more successful early in the morning or late in the afternoon around sunset.

*Anglers use bait casting reels or open face spinning reels. There can be hundreds of different combinations to be successful with the way bait is presented to the fish. Time and experience is a key to loading up a cooler full of fish.


What, if any, special angling restrictions apply to Lake Shelby?

*All that is needed to fish in Lake Shelby is a freshwater fishing license.

Purchase a fishing license online.


Below is a picture of the creel limits

Is the water reasonably accessible by small boat (canoe/kayak) and are canoe/kayaks available from the park for rent? 

*Canoes and Kayaks are available for rental, but would be tough to fish out of due to the rough waters/wind of Lake Shelby.

Gulf State Park  is home to many types of wildlife including alligators. Please be aware at all times. Please see Wildlife Safety