6 Best Fishing Locations in Tennessee

Last Updated: 07.07.20


If you are a Tennessee resident with a newly discovered hobby for fishing, chances are that you’ve been searching for the best Tennessee fishing lakes out there.

And, because we know that the task of finding quality fishing locations is not as effortless at it might seem, we have decided to help you out by putting together a list of destinations that are worthy of your time. So, keep on reading and select the place that you like best.


Kentucky Lake

If you’ve been interested in finding the best smallmouth fishing in Tennessee, check out Kentucky Lake. If you choose to come here, you’ll be able to cast for both largemouth and smallmouth bass as well as for catfish, bluegill, crappie, and sauger.

Known as the biggest man-made lake, Kentucky Lake stands out thanks to long, easy to access shorelines. You can visit this location during the summer as well as during the winter when the ice fishing season begins.

If you come here during the summer and you want to catch bass, it is advisable that you cast early in the morning or late in the evening. When it comes to lures, you should either use topwater baits or buzz baits. Still, if you only want to target bluegill or any other panfish, it is best that you use worms or crickets as bait. Furthermore, you should start by trying to first try your bait in deep waters and then move it until you get a bite.


Reelfoot Lake

For the best crappie fishing in Tennessee, we recommend that you give Reelfoot Lake a good look. During the spring season, this location is known for having shallow waters that are rich in crappie and bluegill. Nonetheless, this lake is also a place where one could target other fish species such as largemouth bass, carp, and even catfish.

The lake was formed in the 19th century after a series of earthquakes. However, currently, the lake is considered a rare natural hatchery and it is populated by over 54 different species of fish. Still, most anglers that come here only fish crappie or catfish.

Nonetheless, this is one of the best Tennessee bass fishing lakes. In fact, this lake is populated with both largemouth yellow bass. If you want to come here to target bass, you should know that the fish start biting in March. If you decide to come here in spring, you should bring plastic worms, spinnerbaits or topwater lures as baits. Moreover, keep in mind that specimens that weigh over 5 pounds are not uncommon here.

For crappie, you should come here anytime from the middle/last part of March up until July.  Still, if you want to settle for the fall season, we recommend that you plan a trip here in September or in October. Lure-wise, make sure that you come equipped with plastic grubs or live minnows. Overall, this lake is rich in fish and a great place to try your luck, especially if you are a beginner.


Gibson County Lake

Another equally interesting location that you should have on your mind is Gibson County Lake. This body of water is considerably smaller, but it has great fishing reviews that should make any enthusiast fishermen excited about what it has to offer.

What we mean by this is the fact that this lake is known for being the home of sizeable, trophy-like bass that weighs over 11 pounds. Also, you can come here to cast for crappie, blue and channel catfish, bluegill, and red ear sunfish.

The Gibson County Lake offers year-round opportunities; the reason why so many anglers prefer it. As a plus, if you want to easily locate all the schools of fish that inhabit the lake, you can always use scanners and other devices that can enable you to get the best results out of the experience.


Center Hill Lake

Center Hill Lake is another place that you should try out, especially if you are into bass fishing, walleye or catfish. However, the lake is highly regarded especially thanks to its bass fishery. If you decide to come out here to fish, we consider that it is essential to point out that this location is a great place to catch some sizeable specimens of black bass. Still, if you choose to visit the area in spring, you have optimum chances of catching large walleyes.

If you intend to fish here, it is best that you know that there are a handful of special regulations that limit just how much one can fish here. For instance, from the first of December until the 31st of March, one cannot use/possess bait or keep any trout. Instead, all trout caught in during this period of time has to be immediately thrown back into the water.

Similar regulations have to be respected if one visits the area between April the 1st and November 30. For more information on the topic, please visit the official site made available to you by the authorities.


Old Hickory Lake

If you are searching for a lake that is ideal for a spring outing, check out the Old Hickory Lake. This lake is situated at just half an hour from Nashville, and it is liked by anglers due to the fact that it is rich in bass, crappie, and catfish.

Additionally, this is a great place to go if you are trying to find a location where you can escape during weekends. Whenever you grow tired of fishing, you can always take a break and enjoy the famous beach-like shore of the lake.


Melton Hill Reservoir

Often described as the perfect fishing destination, the Melton Hill Reservoir is another location that you should necessarily consider before you make up your mind. This place is abundant in largemouth bass, sauger, crappie, herring and many other species of fish.

According to the specialists, there are two spots where you can set up your telescopic fishing rod here. Firstly, you can opt for the tailwaters that are situated below the dam. This spot is recommended for pro fishers. In fact, this is a place where you can test your strengths by handling game fish that are known for putting up a fight.

Secondly, you can try the Bull Run Steam Plant. This is a more popular location that should be considered by the novices that still need guidance when it comes to fishing. Last but not least, we should remind you that the Melton Hill Reservoir is a great place to come to during the winter season, as this is a place where one can easily catch big crappie, bass and even spawn.


Additional info

In the end, we believe that it is fit to mention that fishing in either of these locations is prohibited if you do not have a Tennessee fishing license. For more information about how you can obtain this license, we recommend that you go online and read the information made available to you by the local authorities.

Lastly, whenever you are out fishing make sure that you are safe at all times. As a plus, you should always carry your mobile phone with you so that you can report if an accident happens.



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