Tennessee’s 12-Month Fishing Calendar
“Planning where to go for the best in Tennessee fishing is like getting paid to eat candy,” says author and fisherman Vernon Summerlin in his Tennessee Sportsman article, “Tennessee 12-month Angling Planner.” “Like a candy store,” says Summerlin, “Tennessee’s variety of fishing makes anglers drool.”
Smallmouth -- Upper Center Hill Lake Tips: Cast to the bluffs and slowly swim 1/9 ounce leadheads with a white or chartreuse curlytail after letting it fall about 10 feet.
Smallmouth & Walleye -- Watauga Lake
Crappie -- Bedford Lake
Cherokee Bass -- Boone Lake Tips: During the day, fishing the midsection of the lake. Start casting at the mouths of the feeder creeks and work the shallows with a slow retrieve.
Walleye -- Tims Ford
Smallmouth -- Norris Lake
True Bass -- Pickwick Tailwaters Tips: Troll crankbaits with the current from the dam downstream for 500 yards. For more fun, troll streamers on a flyrod from downriggers.
Crappie -- Reelfoot Lake
Largemouth Bass -- J. Percy Priest Lake
Crappie -- Kentucky Lake
Tips: Use a strong pole with a 14-pound-test line and light wire, No. 1 hook. Stout line will bend your hook and pull free. Pliers will reshape your hook.
Smallmouth Bass -- Dale Hollow Lake
Largemouth Bass -- Williamsport Lake
Largemouth Bass -- Cumberland River Tips: Experts suggest using mono instead of braided line because mono catches more fish when identical cranks are trolled. They think it may be the different sounds the mono makes.
Bream -- Kentucky Lake.
Cherokee Bass -- Cherokee Lake.
Black Bass -- Nickajack Lake Tips: Look for the rocky valleys and ridges of the river bottom for smallmouth in June, using electronics to help find and pattern fish on structure.
Bream -- Browns Creek Lake
Rainbow Trout -- Chilhowee Lake
Catfish -- French Broad River Tips: Fish in deep holes and along channel drops. If you don’t get a bite within 20 minutes, move. It doesn’t take long for cats to smell and find your offering.
Smallmouth Bass -- Dale Hollow Lake
Striper -- Old Hickory Lake
Striper -- Old Hickory Tailwaters Tips: Drift 5-inch skipjack on a 3/0-circle hook on a three-way or Carolina rig from the boils down stream to the boat ramp. The current will determine how much weight you need.
Largemouth Bass -- Herb Parsons Lake
Largemouth Bass -- Watts Bar Lake
Smallmouth Bass -- Watauga Lake
Tips: Above Butler Bridge, vertically jig brightly colored spoons over humps that have steep and gentle slopes or creek channels beside them.
Rainbow Trout -- Holsten River
Smallmouth River -- Nolichucky River
Blue Catfish -- Cumberland & Tennessee Rivers Tips: Drift the edge of a drop with night crawlers on a three-way rig from a creek mouth downstream 100 yards, or anchor and set rods with worms or cut bait.
Wild Trout -- Smoky Mountain Streams
Crappie -- Normandy Lake
Largemouth Bass -- Reelfoot Lake Tips: There must be some baitfish activity in the area for bass to be active. Find the bait and cast a spinnerbait, covering all breaks and cuts in the vegetation.
Muskies -- Great Falls Lake
Crappie -- Chickamauga Lake
Crappie -- Lake Barkley Tips: Begin fishing with 1/8-ounce chartreuse jigs in the lock and drift with the current downstream. Once you find crappie, fish similar cover and/or structure.
Smallmouth Bass -- Fort Loudoun Lake
Sauger -- Melton Hill Lake
Used by permission of author. Vernon Summerlin is the co-author with Doug Markham of The Complete Tennessee Angler, available autographed, post-paid from Vernon Summerlin, 5550 Boy Scout Road, Franklin, TN 37064
Generating Schedules are subject to change without notice. For Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) generating schedules, call: 1-800-238-2264.