US Army Corps of Engineers
Nashville District

Fishing

Dad and son fish at Dale Hollow Lake

Fishing Opportunites at Dale Hollow Lake

Dale Hollow Lake is renowned for water purity as well as fishing. In addition to yielding the world record Smallmouth Bass, Dale Hollow has produced many outstanding catches of other fish. Fishing licenses are required in both Kentucky and Tennessee. A reciprocal fishing agreement provides for sport fishing licenses from either state to be valid in the Wolf River, including Illwill Creek, beginning at the state line as it crosses the Wolf River at its mouth where it joins the Obey River.  Creel limits and other regulations of the state where the license was issued will apply.  Special permits are required in each state for trout fishing.  Check state laws for complete information.  Licenses may be purchased at County Clerk's offices, marinas and many other commercial establishments in each state.

For further information contact:

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

218 Genesis Road
Crossville, TN 38555
(1-800-262-6704)

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

#1 Game Farm Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
(1-502-564-3074 or 1-800-858-1549)
 

Record Fish Taken On Dale Hollow Lake 

Species     Rec. Wt.
Smallmouth Bass*  11lbs. 15 oz. 
Largemouth Bass  11lbs. 1 oz. 
 White Bass 4 lbs. 2 oz. 
Rainbow Trout (tailwaters)  14 lbs. 8 oz. 
Brown Trout  26 lbs. 2 oz. 
Cutthroat Trout  0lbs. 6 oz. 
Walleye  18 lb.s 8 oz. 
Muskellunge (Muskle)   43 lbs. 0 oz.
 Blue Gill 2 lbs. 7 oz. 
 *World Record  

 Best Fishing Times for Dale Hollow Lake

1- Best   2-Good   3-Fair   4-Poor

Species  Jan. Feb. March   April  May  June July  Aug.  Sept.  Oct.   Nov.  Dec.
Smallmouth  3 2 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 1 1
Largemouth  3 3 2 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 1 2
Spotted   1 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 1 1
Walleye   2 4 3 2 1 1 1 2 3 3 1 1
Rainbow  1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 2 1
 Lake Trout 1 4 3 2 2 1 1 1 3 3 3 1

 

Fishing Tips

Dale Hollow Lake is home of the world record Smallmouth.  More trophy smallmouth have been take from this lake, than any body of water in the world.  Dale Hollow's deep clear water holds many trophy largemouth and spotted bass.  Spots over 5 lbs. are caught every year.
 

Smallmouth

Spring
Fish will be moving shallow as the water warms.  Fish leadhead jigs with grubs, sassy shad, or gitsits.  Fish crankbaits when fish are shallow, top water after spawn.

Summer
Fish will move deep as the water warms.  Best fishing is at night with black lights, around weeds and close to creek and river channels.  Fish spinnerbaits with pork, fly and rind, and soft plastic baits.  (Hoot-N-Nanny) some top water early and late.

Fall
Fish will move shallow as the water cools back down.  Shale banks and 45 degree banks will hold the most fish.  Leadhead jigs with grubs, crankbaits, and Silver Buddy, works best.

Winter
Smallmouth move deep as the water gets cold.  River and creek channels or fast drop-offs should be close to where you are fishing.  Silver Buddy, tail-spinner, spin-rite, Fly and Rind, and jig and pig will be the best baits.

Largemouth & Spotted

Spring
Cast backs of creeks and hollows close to cover with crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jig and pig, and plastic worms.

 
Summer
Throw surface and bussbaits early and late during the day.  Night fishing in the weeds or on bluff banks with jig and pig, plastic worms and spinnerbaits.

Fall
Same as spring when fish are shallow.  Vertical jig with spoons under large schools of shad when deep.

Winter
Fish bluff banks with Silver Buddy, and jig and pig.  When shad are suspended, vertical jig with spoons.

Walleye

Spring
Under windy conditions cast crankbaits and grubs shallow.  When water is calm troll
crankbaits 12 to 20 feet deep.

Summer
During the day troll walleye rigs and crankbaits 15 to 30 feet deep on flats.  Big fish caught at night vertical jigging spoons on drop-offs.

Fall
Calm day, vertical jig spoons, extremely deep on flats or long points.  Windy days, cast Silver Buddy 20 to 40 feet deep on points.

 
Winter
Fish live bait, very slow around river, and creek channels or vertical jig spoons on steep drops.

Trout

Spring
Troll or cast spoons, spinners, or shad type crankbaits shallow.

 
Summer
Day: Downrig spoons or Rapalas 30 to 70 feet deep for Rt 70 to 90 feet for Lt.

Night: Fish corn or worms, at the dam or along the bluff banks.

 
Fall
Troll or cast spoons or Rapalas around the huge schools of shad for Rt.

Downrig 40 to 70 feet with spoons for Lt.

Winter
Troll shad crankbaits 10 to 20 feet for Rt.

Spoons 20 to 70 feet for Lt.

In addition to yielding the world record Smallmouth Bass, Dale Hollow has produced many outstanding catches of other fish.  Fishing licenses are required in both Kentucky and Tennessee.  A reciprocal fishing agreement provides for sport fishing licenses from either state to be valid in the Wolf River, including Illwill Creek, beginning at the state line as it crosses the Wolf River at its mouth where it joins the Obey River.  Creel limits and other regulations of the state where the license was issued will apply.  Special permits are required in each state for trout fishing.  Check state laws for complete information.  Licenses may be purchased at County Clerk's offices, marinas and many other commercial establishments in each state.