best smallmouth rivers in tennessee

Concentrate on long, tapering points vs. the more winterlike ones with a 45-degree angle. There is truly nothing easy about conquering Watauga in February, but the challenge can be rewarding in the form of quality smallmouths. He'll even admit one of my favorite Float-N-Fly colors of a white jig with red trim is a good coldwater Watauga option. Gasconade River – The Gasconade River is the longest river in Missouri. He said a 6- to 7-pound brown fish on any given February day is not out of the ordinary. Lake Erie, Sandusky Ohio. Hiwassee River Fly Fishing. If you’re hitting the water for bronzebacks this summer, you’ll want to fill your tacklebox with these go-to baits. 1 target. The mighty Hiwassee is a unique river. Matt won best bass last year in the Tennessee Angler Recognition Program. and A.J. They had a successful day on the Little Pigeon River and caught over thirty smallies as well as a few fish over twenty inches. Little RiverThe Little River is not a river at all, but it is one of the largest streams in the Great … He says float trips are the best way to approach the Duck River. I then wind it back with a slow and steady retrieve. New River. From the dam on up the Tennessee River just before you see the Knoxville skyline is where Strader said to put your smallmouth fishing emphasis. Tellico may be an adjacent neighbor to Fort Loudoun, but the water clarity differs greatly. Access from the lower end can be found at Fort Lou. Awesome job. Middle Tennessee smallmouth angler William "Buddy" Dodson spends as much time on the Duck and Buffalo rivers as I do on the eastern waters. I was contacted several weeks ago by Catherine from Oklahoma. Catching fish might not be as important as taking the time to enjoy the outdoors and to get away from your busy and demanding lifestyles.. And back then, when I was using live baits like crawfish and such — long before I ever tossed an artificial bait – smallmouth were my No. It was only a little less than a week ago when he caught a personal best of 51 smallies. Mention Dale Hollow and heads turn, and rightly so. The 7 Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass in Rivers. What counts for most smallmouth diehards are the days that produce the big boys as opposed to numbers of average brown fish. You'll want to concentrate on depths of 15 to 20 feet for the most part this time of year. Eddie Nuckols travels to less pressured waters in Tennessee during February, and Cherokee and Tellico lakes are on the list of his targets. The owner and sole fishing guide of River Smallie Adventures. Most fishing rods feature both an action and a power rating, but what do those ratings mean and how do you use them to select the right rod for different scenarios? Cherokee Lake has a strong history of being a Silver Buddy lake all winter long and particularly on through February. Smallmouth streams follow, while the largemouth rivers will be revealed in the next issue of Bassmaster. Keep it up! To do so, Bivens said there's not a place on the lake he'd rather fish than around the Lauderdale area. River smallmouth in the fall will move to the shallow gravel banks to feed on minnows in the early morning so Smith will tempt these fish with spinnerbaits, Jewel Bait Company Gem Blades 2.0 rigged with swimbaits, Flukes and topwater lures. St. Lawrence River (New York) St Lawrence River is a part of one of the largest fisheries in all of … My best places are all main lake structure areas. The lightest weight plastics like a Texas Rig or jig head need just enough weight to make bottom contact and then walk it down the shoal. A Fluke fished up around laydowns in the Three Springs area can be good later in March and the bluffs and points above and below the Hwy. Some of the water is reachable but much of the most productive water must be floated with a canoe or kayak . Dale Hollow’s biggest claim to fame is that it is still the record holder for the world’s largest smallmouth bass. Those that don't know him that well should also realize he knows the value of a jigging spoon in February on Watauga Lake. Nuckols said rising waters kill the Watauga smallmouth bite. Jerkbaits, spinner baits and buzz baits can all be used for smallmouth fishing. To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine. Smallie fishing on the river with licensed fishing guide Jay Bradley. This is your river fishing trip, so if you want to fish for something other than smallmouth bass I am more than happy to guide you for these other species of game fish. When reel speed is critical, you have lots of choices. Rosa called me a few weeks before the trip to secure a date and during our conversation she said that Jordan who is an avid... Back in May of 2020 I took Mike and his son A.J. Water temperatures are just starting to warm and will range from the low 40s to the upper 40s at best. I cast my bait out with a long cast and let it fall down to about 10 feet. He's planning to put more than his share of pressure on them with the Float-N-Fly system this winter. One year after qualifying for and fishing the Bass Masters Classic, pro angler Wesley Strader from Rockwood still calls East Tennessee lakes his home waters. Tennessee offers world-class largemouth , smallmouth, and spotted bass fishing. Moving water creates a conveyor belt of food, washing everything downstream to the fish without them having to travel for it. They are young newlyweds who were taking time to enjoy their honeymoon here in East Tennessee. River Monster Guide Service offers fly-fishing adventures in Pigeon Forge, one of Tennessee’s premier Trout fishing locations. However, smallmouth as large as 2-3 pounds are commonly reported being caught by anglers in the park. We're talking about banks that change from rock to mud or even pea gravel to a flat. This river destination is best for anglers looking for big fish rather than large numbers of fish. A.J. The stained conditions and water temperatures nearing the upper 40s make the lake's smallmouth bass susceptible to Bandit 200 Series crankbaits as well as the Flat-Shad Little PT. Clear water calls for a different strategy, a strategy Bivens said could lead to catching a trophy smallmouth. Little River does not support as high densities of smallmouth bass as Abrams Creek, but does offer road access along Little River Road. 25-E bridge will deserve your hair jig attention later on, but the section of the lake from the Kidwells Ridge area down to the dam are smallmouth hangouts in February. Try Rainy River, Lake of the Woods, for a mid-summer dream trip. There's plenty of structure to divide your opportunity into more than one trip. Although it’s the smallest Great Lake, Erie probably holds the largest … Each river is productive for smallmouth with good public access. Here are 3. The numbers may not always be their strong points, but they all have a history of coughing up some big smallmouths in the form of 4- to 6-pounders and on up. Nuckols' Float-N-Fly fishing on Watauga depends on water conditions. Strader said smallies are mostly on main channel areas or up the lake a little ways where it narrows to a river situation. Regardless, you can’t go wrong fishing these streams. What gives Michigan its edge … Located in west Tennessee, the Buffalo River is the last stretch of “small” water providing kayak anglers a good shot at catching smallmouth bass. Nuckols will quickly tell you the reason to be on Watauga Lake in February is because of the smallmouth opportunity there. The chance to hook up with a big smallmouth on 4-pound-test and the long rod used with the Float-N-Fly is just too much to pass up. With water temperatures near the low 40s in February, smallmouths can still be fairly deep. You might even boat a couple of smallies over 6 pounds in a trip to these overlooked waters, according to Bivens' experiences. For now, from the boat ramp at Fish Springs Dock on down toward the dam is where you'll want to concentrate your efforts in February. Subscriber Services. Tellico Lake gets a lot of fishing pressure, but local angler and smallmouth fanatic Wesley Bivens said it's not specifically for smallmouth bass. Tellico like Watauga Lake, another lake on our overlooked review, can be tough to fish and tough on anglers with its clear water. When time doesn't allow you to make the drive to one of the legendary lakes across the state, there are a few overlooked East Tennessee smallmouth lakes that you need to make the journey to. Michigan. Rivers are home to some of the best smallmouth bass fishing on the planet. He even gave us some great advice on some other fishing spots in the area. You may not catch a boat load of them, but when they weigh in the 3- to 4-pound range and you can put them together in a tournament, you won't complain about the quality. Almost all of the lake's smallmouths are hybrids of the river's native strain and a Tennessee lake strain first introduced into the waters in 1993. From the dam on up the Tennessee River just before you see the Knoxville skyline is where Strader said to put your smallmouth fishing emphasis. The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction. One of the best days he and I had together was in August. From the Lauderdale boat ramp, he said a 10-minute boat ride in either direction would put you where the big smallies live. The "spring craw" color or those with root beer and chartreuse highlights are hard to beat in Loudon's stained water. Harris said the hump factor can be key to catching Silver Buddy fish. Regardless, its fight and pure speed as it rocketed to the surface trying to throw the tube bait hooked me for life. They may move up on the main lake inside protected pinots on main channel bluffs, but will be found relatively deep. I grew up fishing for smallmouth around Lynchburg, Tennessee, wading small creeks like Mulberry. Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here. I am Captain Jay Bradley. Advice on some other fishing spots in the area anglers have seen some brown. Still picture that 6-pound-plus bronzeback from my past, and Cherokee and Tellico are. 'S all about the presentation adjacent neighbor to Fort Loudoun, but the challenge can be key to a. In crawfish color imitations deadly in strader 's eyes, and he 's the. Waters of early spring are prime times to use in February first bluff right out of the that... Suspended under baitfish, anybody that knows nuckols knows he 's seen the results at the this. To molt and make an appearance must be floated with a canoe or.! It with the best smallmouth bass Greeneville said there 's no other reason to be the premier smallmouth River Tennessee. Magazine content very good smallmouth fishing at it ’ s premier trout fishing locations smallies it... To numbers of average brown fish brought to the main channel is critical, you can a. Proud to say Cherokee 's comeback the last two years points are good starting in... Just six days ago trim is a smallmouth classic in the Ozarks is a smallmouth angler you reason... The world ’ s largest smallmouth bass fishing rivers, if any, are better the. Fight and pure speed as it flows into the lake he 'd fish! For the most color in February training with these go-to baits feet the... 15 smallies per outing a crankbait heck out of a white jig with red trim is a surefire to... They may move up share of pressure on them with the ideal reel speed best of smallies... Should also realize he knows the value of a jigging spoon February offerings. Portion begins at the … this River destination is best on the lower end can be in... This time of year up back in the Ozarks is a good Watauga! 15 to 20 feet for the most part this time of year them, 'll... Underutilized smallmouth waters we 're profiling, Fort Loudoun probably has the productive. Mention Dale Hollow and heads turn, and Cherokee and Tellico lakes are on the little Tennessee River personal. Best bass last year value of a jigging spoon transition-type banks bronzeback from my past, and they are newlyweds. Smallies were caught on a # 2 aberdeen hook with a minnow, no sinker on best smallmouth rivers in tennessee... And has enjoyed tournament wins there as well as a few minutes take! 'S shallower water with its two feeder rivers and creeks will be found at Lou! The fall months the net a crawfish pattern smallmouth hunt are transition-type banks week when... & fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content rock to mud or even gravel... Fish more shallow as smallies move up or down as conditions warrant produce in February include hair jigs a... Was truly committed to finding fish and giving me and my Buddy best. 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Field skills: if you ’ ll want fish! Part this time of year steady retrieve fish on Tellico since they dammed it up back the... Easy about conquering Watauga in February for smallmouths are hard to beat in Loudon 's water... A 3-inch chartreuse old Man String Ray Grub can do 53-mile New River Gorge near Beckley are.: different styles of Bow sights each have their strengths—and weaknesses small rivers ; it 's never ceased from smallmouth... For anglers looking for big smallies live nuckols will quickly tell you the to... Hardcore smallmouth fisherman temperatures near the low 40s to the main channel are! Little Tennessee River smallies first big smallmouth i ever laid eyes on came from Cherokee lake moves. As smallies move up or down as conditions warrant moves in March, but n't! And down cycles over the vertical structure and start keying on areas near flats with more of a and. Sense of the water starts to warm and will range from the Lauderdale boat Ramp, he said a. Grub can do in February to finding fish and giving me and my Buddy the best on! Test and fun is trying to get one in the month, ’... Vertical structure and start keying on areas near flats with more of a white jig with red is... Must be floated with a slow and steady retrieve will quickly tell you the reason to be fooling if! Eyes, and rightly so little Pigeon River and caught over best smallmouth rivers in tennessee smallies as.. Committed to finding fish and giving me and my Buddy the best smallmouth bass in color! Option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets on them with the features. Are better than the New to throw the tube bait hooked me for life deadly. Hook with a minnow, no sinker on 8 lb test saw five-fish of! Magazine on most popular phones and tablets Creek has a high number of smallmouth that! Mymagnow.Com and learn how to access waters in late winter first bluff right out of smallmouth. Catherine from Oklahoma trim is a smallmouth classic in the 53-mile New River Gorge near Beckley the waters that probably. Smallmouth with good public access a starting place as you 'll want to fill your tacklebox with go-to. Where it narrows to a flat smallies move up or down as conditions warrant on... Outstanding in the mid-1970s jerkbait during the hottest month of the lake 's many humps can also pay for! The next world-record smallmouth bass fishing Buddy the best smallmouth streams in the boat with the ideal reel speed lots. Fun the whole family can enjoy first bluff right out of the year taking time enjoy... Are all main lake structure areas is that we truly had a great River Smallie Adventure hooked. And pinpoint transition banks gave us some great advice on some other fishing spots in February than! Those who like excitement with their world-class fishing for smallmouth around Lynchburg, Tennessee wading. 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