In June we began looking for a fishing trip that would be different from the usual bass, crappie, and catfish excursions we normally book. While wacthing YT videos I stumbled upon Brian Barton. The video was titled " live bait fishing " At first it seemed like any other fishing trip but after going to Brian's webpage I found that it appeared a little different. Was it ever. I never dreamed of a fishing trip where we caught fish non stop and some nice ones at that. We caught smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass, white bass, stripers, sauger, channel catfish, blue catfish, drum, and a gar. We caught everything in the river!!! Don't remember how many he told us we caught but it must have been 50 or 60. If you've never have been " live bait " fishing give Brian a call. It's the best fishing trip we have ever had. Brian is honest and busts his hump to make sure you're catching fish and your gear is right. Best damn fishing guide we ever fished with.

Ron Smith


Fishing with Brian was the absolute best trip I've ever had. My wife and I fished a half day trip and it was amazing. We caught 33 fish with most of them being nice bass, stripe, and blue catfish. Brian was so much fun to converse with. His knowledge of the areas Indian, river, and music industry is amazing for a fishing guide. It was a history lesson as much as a great fishing trip. If we ever get down to north Alabama again we will fish with Brian. He's the only guide of many I've used that apologizes for only catching 30 fish in four hours fishing. I've had many all day trips where we only caught a few.

David G.

Columbus, OH

My son said, "Dad let's go catch some catfish." So I did some research, called around and booked 2 seperate one day trips with Brian Barton. All I can say is absolutely awesome. We caught lots of fish, and had lots of action both days and one day hooked and landed a monster 62 pound Blue Catfish - truly a fish that we will remember forever. Brian is a great guide, a quality person and now a wonderful friend to me and my son. And we will be fishing with him for many years to come. Give him a call. He will treat you fair, do what he says he will do, his equipment is top notch and can put you on fish better than anyone I know.

Howard Cannon

Chelsea, AL


Can't say enough about our trophy cat fishing trip with Brian Barton. He is first of all a class act individual not to mention an exceptional fishing guide. We scheduled Brian for a half day trip with big expectations but feeling optimistic being it was our first time. Man were our expectations met and then some. Needless to say it was the best day cat fishing we've ever experienced. We brought home over 300lb of eating size fish not to mention the 15lb, 22lb, 25lb, 48lb, and 50lb monster blues we caught and released. If your looking for a affordable trip of a lifetime, give Brian Barton a call.

Thanks Brian, we will be back!

John Dixon and Kyle James

-Lawrenceburg, TN


Because of our son Dillion's deep love for fishing, specifically cat fishing, my husband Randall and I began a web search for a guided tour. We had heard that Alabama was one of the best places to catfish so we came across Brian right away. From the first phone conversation we knew that this was the guy we wanted. Brian was polite, informative, and accommodating. He is a great Christian guy absolutely perfect for family fishing fun, not to mention he knows his stuff. From the moment we stepped on his boat we felt right at home. We enjoyed every second of the gorgeous glistening Alabama waters, warm sun, beautiful blue herons, and other wildlife which was all around us. How was the fishing? Way beyond anything we could have expected! The fish were on! Dillion caught 133 pounds of catfish and one half day trip, including a 35 pound fish, a 24 pound catfish...not bad for an 11-year-old from rural West Virginia. He was running in circles trying to man multiple rods at the same time! It was super exciting! And the next day doing was able to reel in his personal best catfish ever, a beautiful 44 pound blue cat! So if anyone out there is on the fence thinking "Is it worth a trip?"I say absolutely yes! It was definitely worth our eight hour trip from West Virginia. We wanted to make some memories with our son who is growing up way too fast and we were able to do just that! Thanks again Brian Barton for helping us do that and what little boy doesn't dream about catching 40 to 50 pound catfish or greater? We hope to see you again this summer


Randall, Tammy, and Dillion May

-Wayne, WV


I have had an interest in big catfish now for several years, but my personal best remained at about 18 to 20 pounds. Having met Brian Barton at Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA), a writing event for outdoor writers, I decided to line up a trip with him on Wilson Lake in Alabama. I had already heard from others that he was an excellent guide.

Surprisingly, when we met up for the trip, one of the first questions he asked me was, “What is your personal best catfish? We are going to try and beat it.”

With that positive attitude Brian proceeded to explain the morning’s activity. He had gone out the day before and put plenty of fresh skipjack in the ice chest so we went straight to one of his favorite spots. His long experience on the lake gives him the knowledge of where to go under given conditions. There was no wasting time looking for fish.

He has all the best equipment on board his roomy and comfortable Custom built War Eagle 2170 Blackhawk boat, including B’n’M Poles, Daiichi Hooks, Driftmaster Rod Holders and Vicious Fishing Line. Humminbird Side Image Sonar and a Minn Kota trolling motor put us in position to catch fish.


The best part of fishing with Brian is his all out determination and passion to catch fish for his clients. No stone is left unturned. I guess I would call him a detail man.

When we put it all together that morning, fresh bait, the best equipment and a dedicated guide, the result was several catfish including my personal best blue catfish. The big blue pulled the scales to 62 pounds. After careful handling for photos the monster was released for another lucky angler to catch some day.

Given our success with the catfish I asked Brian if we could experience some of the different species he targets. Accommodating as always, Brian asked, “How about some smallmouths and stripers from Pickwick?” So that was our target for day two.

Once again Brian delivered. I caught my PB striper, weighing 14 pounds. Not necessarily that big by striper standards, but my best ever and great fun on light tackle. Brian suggested that I should come back at a better time of the year if I wanted to catch a bigger striped bass. I intend to do just that.

With two targeted spices in the bag, not literally, because all fish were released alive, we started looking for another fish that had eluded me over my life. I had caught smallmouth bass before, but only one here and one there. When Brian thought the time was right we left the striper fishing and headed for his smallmouth haunts. We caught spotted bass, largemouth bass and more smallies than I had ever caught before.

You should not be surprised to hear that I recommend Brian Barton highly as the man to call when you need your next fishin’ fix.

Ron Presley

I met Brian Barton about two years ago at the Rockpile boat ramp in Muscle Shoals.  I had heard how he was one of the best at catching catfish and smallmouth bass below Wilson Dam so I began to ask him questions about how to catch fish. He took about thirty minutes of his time to explain techniques, locations, and different rigs with me that day. I started doing the things he told me, but was still not catching the fish like he was. I finally booked a half day trip one afternoon with him in late April. We went straight to the dam to dip shad for catfish. We used shad guts for bait and caught fish as fast as we could reel them in. Brian tried to keep three rods in the water but the fish were biting so quick he couldn't keep them baited and fish off the hook. After catching a 120 quart cooler full of catfish in less than two hours TVA flushed the barge lock meaning we had to leave our fishing spot.  He asked me if I would like to catch a bass while they emptied the lock. We went back to the dam and dipped about a dozen six to eight inch live shad. We went in front of the dam where the current wasn't moving and cast out the shad with no weight. Within 45 minutes we had used all the shad and caught 8 bass. The largest was 6 pounds and all the others were 3 to 4 pound smallmouth. I have been back several times since and tried the same thing and still can't catch them like he does. He's the best multi species guide I have ever fished with hands down.
Wayne R.
Franklin, TN

I went on a live bait trip with Captain Brian last week. It was the best fishing trip I have ever been on. We caught largemouth and smallmouth bass, stripers, catfish, drums, and white bass. We caught 89 fish total on our trip. Most fish were 2 to 3 pounds each and had some bass over 5 pounds. My biggest catfish was 19 pounds. I had two big stripers hooked over 20 pounds. If you want fast fishing action and catch a lot of different fish you need to go fishing with Captain Brian. I will be going back next spring for some trophy smallmouth action.
Jack B.
Lincoln, Nebraska

 I have fished the Tennessee river below Wheeler and Wilson dam for over 30 years. I am very comfortable saying Brian knows the river as well as anyone guiding now. He is a safe licensed and insured captain. You will catch fish if you fish with Brian. We just spent 2 days with him. He was early each day. Fishing was slow because of the cold front but we still had 22 bass as well as many stripe, catfish and drum. The big 5 bass weighed 19.5 pounds. We had easy 100 pounds of fish total counting all the stripe, catfish and drum. The big smallmouth was over 4 pounds and largemouth about the same not quite as good as last year but still a very decent trip.

Jim C

My wife Elaine and I wanted to take a day and do some fishing in Alabama during a short trip we took there during the first of November.  After finding Brian Barton Outdoors on the internet and talking to him on the phone, we decided that his live bait trip was just what we wanted.  Weather the day before our trip was not good, but fishing day was better.  We met Brian at the ramp and took off to get bait with a cast net.  Then the fishing began.  Brian used his knowledge of the river to find fish for us.  The target species did not cooperate well, but that didn't mean we didn't catch fish.  We caught fish during every drift or anchor spot.  We caught catfish, crappie, white bass, drum, smallmouth, and my wife won't let me forget the 6 1/4 lb. largemouth that she caught.

We really enjoyed our time on the river.  Brian's boat is very comfortable to fish from.  He worked hard to keep us baited up and in the right spots to catch fish.  He is a very interesting guy and conversation was easy.

We highly recommend a trip with Brian.  We have decided that we would like to take another trip with him next year.
The Wilson's

My 12 year old son and I went fishing with Brian in late July this year. My son had never caught a fish over 3 pounds and has not been fishing very long. When I contacted Brian he said the big fish bite was really slow and fish were not biting real well at the time. We decided to go anyway and Im glad we did. My son caught a 24 pound catfish within an hour of us starting and hung another one that Brian said he was sure was 40 pounds or bigger by the way it pulled. The fish got tangled and got off after my son fought it for a few minutes. We caught several more nice catfish and brought some home for supper. I've never fished much but I can't imagine anyone trying any harder to catch fish than Brian did. He was constantly explaining what we were doing and why we were doing it. He offers a catfish class that my son and I plan on taking next spring. I went and purchased some of those BNM rods he uses and some other catfish gear he recommended. I can't wait to get started catfishing. It was the most fun I have ever had fishing and my 12 year old caught a fish bigger than most adults have caught, including me. Thanks Brian for a great trip and we look forward to our next outing.
Mark G.

 My son Dylan and I came up for a short evening fishing trip with Brian and we both caught the biggest fish we have ever caught along with a large number of other very good fish. Brian knows the river and the fish very well and is also just plain fun to hang out with. We have been fishing all our lives and learned a lot and caught our biggest fish in only about 3 and a half hours. I would definitely recommend him to anybody who just wants to catch some eating size fish or a trophy or to just learn more about fishing the river.  We will have some pictures and some video of our trip soon on our Facebook page "Southern Outdoor Adventures". And you can follow us on twitter. "SouthernOutdoorAdven".

David Self

We want to thank you for a great day of fishing. I know it was the most fish we have ever caught in one day and also some of the biggest. When we plan another fishing trip you will be the one we will charter. I would like to try "Jug" fishing.

Thanks, Fred and Sue Kiker

My son Dylan and I came up for a short evening fishing trip with Brian and we both caught the biggest fish we have ever caught along with a large number of other very good fish. Brian knows the river and the fish very well and is also just plain fun to hang out with. We have been fishing all our lives and learned a lot and caught our biggest fish in only about 3 and a half hours. I would definitely recommend him to anybody who just wants to catch some eating size fish or a trophy or to just learn more about fishing the river. We will have some pictures and some video of our trip soon on our Facebook page "Southern Outdoor Adventures". And you can follow us on twitter. "SouthernOutdoorAdven".

Thanks, David Self

We want to thank you for a great day of fishing.

I know it was the most fish we have ever caught in one day and also some of the biggest. When we  plan another fishing trip you will be the one we will charter. I would like to try "Jug" fishing.
Thanks, Fred and Sue Kiker

OH MY GOSH! 15 fish totaling 326 Pounds of Monster Catfish in 2.5 Hours. On April 16th, at 4:00PM I arrived at the Pickwick lake boat ramp. Brian had the boat in the water waiting for me so I jump in the giant flat bottom in search of some catfish. We started off by catching some skipjack for bait for the first 20 minutes or so. Then we preceded “Cat Daddy Shores” . Soon after putting my hook in the water, I latched onto what turned out to be a 70 pound catfish; the biggest cat I have ever landed. Before we left the “Shores”, we had landed 2 more fish over 50 pounds, 2 close to 40 pounds and several other 20 plus pounders. We reeled them up and left the fishing “Shores” just before 7:00PM. So, 2.5 hours of fishing for a total of 326 pounds of catfish was unbelievable to me. It was not only the biggest fish I had ever caught but also the most pounds on one trip. And Good Golly, it was all done on this short afternoon trip. Another part of the trip that was really nice is - all I had to do was fish. Brian furnished all the equipment (all of it better equipment that I would purchase for myself), cut all the bait, put it on the hook, netted the fish and helped with the pictures. If you want to have a super fun day of fishing, give Brian a call. Thanks again Brian for a TREMENDOUS afternoon of fishing.
Robby Rutherford

Early November 2012, a friend and I chartered a day cat fishing trip with Brian. Although I own a fishing boat and have fished for many North American species, I also am aware of my limitations and experience fishing for large Tennessee River cat fish. Choosing to charter with Brian proved to be the correct option. Additionally, taking a buddy worked out well as Brian's boat is certainly large enough for 3 people and the shared cost was less. 
After driving over from Huntsville, we met Brian just north of Wilson Dam. He was already in the water and ready to go. 
During the initial booking discussions, Brian was very open and straight forward as to what to expect, especially relative to size fish I wanted to pursue. After stating I was interested in fish 25# and larger, he said that while that size range would reduce the total number of fish we could expect to catch, we should be successful. Were we ever!  Between my buddy and I, we caught 12 total ranging from 8# to 42# with several in the 15-25 range and 3 over 25#. It was a day I will never forget!
I plan to charter with Brian again in late summer of 2013 and go after a cat fish in the 75+ range. 


I've fished with a lot of guides over the years, and for a great time catching some big fish on some great water, I can't think of any guide who did a better job for me than Captain Brian Barton.  This fully trained and qualified  U.S.Coast Guard approved guide showed me on a recent trip how to rig for big catfish, how to fish for them, and how to play them when they were hooked.  Captain Brian is polite, patient, and he knows his fish and his water.  I recommend Captain Brian Barton to any angler who wants to have a great fishing trip on some fantastic North Alabama waters- I'm making plans for my next trip with Captain Brian Barton right now.  
Ed Mashburn
Outdoor Writer

 I really had a great time on our catfishing trips. The first thing I noted was how well organized the boat was. You had everything we could possibly have wanted, but it was inconspiciously stored and never in the way( I have diabetic neuropathy in my legs and sometimes my feet don't go to exactly where I think they will) so I appreciated the open boat layout.

I also had never fished with someone who caught fresh bait before. Fishing the Sabiki rig for skipjack and watching you cast a net for shad were both new experiences for me.
Your extensive knowledge of both Wheeler and Wilson lakes- down to knowing the location of boulders, shelves, and holes- helped us to catch a bunch of 5 to 10 pound cats.
You freely shared your expert knowledge with me, making it possible for the angler to not only catch fish that day, but to be able to replicate the trip at some future time.
I always believe that you should use the best equipment you can afford. Your choice of BnM rods, Vicious line, and Daiichi hooks is as good as any I know. It appeared you worked hard to assure we would have a successful day on the water- and we did. Feel free to use me for a reference anytime.
Blessings and good fishing!
Clay Richardson

I have been catfishing my whole life and regularly catch 30 plus pound cats. Most of my fishing has been on rivers like the Tombigbee and the Black Warrior rivers. I wanted someone to show me a little about fishing on bigger bodies of water like Wilson Lake. The first half of the day he showed me several techniques to use and also how to find areas to fish and identify fish with electronics. In the evening we moved to Pickwick and he showed me how to walk bait in the swifter current below Wilson Dam. While on Pickwick I landed a 45lb blue cat that was a personal best until 5 minutes later when I got a 50lb blue. Brian was very easy to spend a day on the water with and more than willing to answer any questions I had even on other species. When I take another guided trip it will definitely be with Brian.


I fished with Brian Barton last fall and the conditions were terrible. A cold front had just passed and the fishing was terrible. Brian fished every spot he could think of in our half day of fishing and we only had two bites and caught no fish. Since he has a no catch no pay policy he offered to carry me fishing agin and the second trip was totally opposite. We only fished for a little over three hours and caught 23 blue catfish that weighed 240 pounds. The biggest fish I had ever caught before that day was 13 pounds on rod and reel. I caught a 41,24,and 18 pound fish along with many more 10 to 15 pound fish. This was the fastest catfish action I have ever experienced for fish this size.