Date: January 24, 2020
Fishing Information by Phone: (615) 369-7555
The headwater elevation is 484.1 feet above mean sea level, and the tail water elevation is 398.33 feet above mean sea level.
Normal winter pool is 483.00 feet above mean sea level. Normal summer pool is 490.00 feet above mean sea level.
For weekend information and up to the hour elevations and releases, call 1-800-238-2264 press 4 then 48 for discharge and generation schedules, or visit the TVA Website.
The surface water temperature is approximately 46.9 degrees Fahrenheit.
This schedule is subject to change at any time without notice or warning.
NOTICE: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is scheduled to stock trout on Friday, February 7, 2020 at Nice Mill Dam and Friday, January 31 and Friday, February 28, 2020 at the J. Percy Priest Lake Tailwater - Dodson Chapel Access.
Please use caution near dams. Hazardous conditions may develop at any time.
Always check TWRA for updated regulations.
Crappie fishing is productive at night. In summer, crappie hang around bridge pilings, usually 10-15 feet deep bridge crossings, such as Hobson Pike and Jefferson Pike. Another good night spot should be the bluff directly across from Elm Hill Marina. During the daylight hours, crappie can be caught using crawfish colored crankbaits and trolling rigs in 10-15 ft. of water. Creel Limit: 30 Minimum Length: 10"
Small Mouth Bass hang around portion of the lake from Poole Knobs down to the dam. This area has clearer water and an abundance of rock/gravel shorelines with patches of woody cover, good habitat. Jig n’ pig combos and spinnerbaits, both in black or purple color patterns, should be good for smallmouth (and largemouth) after dark. Creel Limit: 5 Largemouth/Smallmouth/Spotted in Combination. Minimum Length: 18"
Large Mouth Bass should hit artificial baits such as crankbaits, spinnerbait, jigs, and plastic worms or natural baits such as crayfish, earthworms, and minnows. Largemouth bass hang around the upper portion of the lake (above Fate Sanders). They should be found near rocky areas, submerged logs, brush, stumps, aquatic vegetation and other structures that provide shade, security and places to ambush smaller fish. Creel Limit: 5 Largemouth/Smallmouth/Spotted in Combination. Minimum Length: 15"
Rockfish and Cherokee Bass (Striped Bass/Hybrid Striped Bass) should be suspended in the cooler water in depths of about 25 to 30 feet in the hot summer months. Prime locations are deeper areas in the upper ends of larger creek arms (like Suggs). Action can be good throughout the day using a variety of methods. Jig/Sassy Shad combos (1/4 ounce) and bucktail jigs are frequently used. Live bait anglers should have good results running flatline rigs baited with shiners. Again, low-light periods should be best. Creel Limit: 2 Minimum Length: 15"
Catfish should be caught on cut bait, liver, night crawlers, and scented baits along sharp drops and around tributary creeks after rains. Bottom fishing at night is normally good with worms, minnows, cut bait and "stink" bait. The banks that have chunk rock running shallow to deep should offer good habitat to catch catfish. They should also be found in the riprap at the dam and Hobson Pike Bridge. Creel Limit: <34" No limit, >34" 1.
Bluegill can be caught with small spinners, crickets, millworms, and red wigglers around shallow cover and structure. They should be good fish to catch off the bank. Creel Limit: None. Minimum Length: None.
White Bass should hit top water crankbaits, spoons, and small jigs (white and chartreuse- 1 inch best). White bass can be found from Hobson Pike Bridge to the dam on sandy gravel bottoms casting to the bank from the river channel. Look for shad activity. Another good bank should be straight across from the Smyrna pumping station in the lower end of the lake. Creel Limit: 15. No Minimum Length.
Tail water fishing conditions for crappie, hybrid, white bass, and others should be good during periods of generation. Please use caution near dams. Hazardous conditions may develop without warning.
Always Wear an Appropriate/Approved Life Jacket When in or Around the Water.