Best Bass Fishing in Tennessee

Angler with a small mouth bass caught in the many great bass fishing lakes in Tennessee.
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When it comes to the pursuit of exceptional bass fishing, Tennessee emerges as a haven of opportunity for anglers of all levels. With its diverse range of lakes, reservoirs, and waterways, the state boasts a reputation that’s nothing short of legendary in the angling world. From the majestic waters of Chickamauga Lake to the scenic landscapes of Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee offers a tapestry of angling experiences that caters to every fishing enthusiast’s dream. Join us as we delve into the realm of the best bass fishing in Tennessee, where each cast holds the potential to connect with the thrill of reeling in a prized catch amidst the state’s natural beauty and abundant waters.



Chickamauga Lake

Within the heart of Tennessee’s captivating landscapes, Chickamauga Lake emerges as a haven for anglers seeking an unforgettable fishing experience. Encompassed by lush greenery and surrounded by picturesque beauty, Chickamauga Lake offers more than just exceptional bass fishing – it presents an opportunity to immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature while pursuing your passion for angling. With its diverse bass species, strategic fishing locations, and stunning vistas, Chickamauga Lake beckons fishing enthusiasts from far and wide.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Chickamauga Lake:

  • Trophy Bass Potential: Chickamauga Lake is renowned for producing trophy sized bass. Anglers flock to its waters for a chance to catch a lunker and earn bragging rights within the fishing community.
  • Abundant Bass Population: The lake’s fertile waters support a healthy and abundant bass population. This increases the likelihood of a successful fishing trip, whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner.
  • Year Round Action: Chickamauga Lake offers year round bass fishing opportunities due to its relatively mild climate. Whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or even winter, you can find bass actively feeding in these waters.
  • Diverse Fishing Environments: The lake features a variety of fishing environments, from shallow grassy flats to deeper ledges and channels. This diversity allows anglers to employ various techniques and strategies for bass fishing.
  • Scenic Beauty: Beyond the thrill of fishing, Chickamauga Lake treats anglers to stunning scenic beauty. The lush landscapes and picturesque views enhance the overall fishing experience, making it a true escape into nature.

Recommended Gear: Fish Bag, Fishing Net, Fishing Rod, Sunscreen, Lures, Pliers, Tackle Box


Kentucky Lake

Stretching its arms across expansive waters, this reservoir boasts a reputation that precedes itself – a reputation as one of the premier bass fishing destinations in the United States. With its labyrinth of coves, submerged structures, and fertile banks, Kentucky Lake offers not only the promise of a bountiful catch but also an opportunity to connect with the serene beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Kentucky Lake:

  • Largemouth Bass Paradise: Kentucky Lake is renowned for its exceptional largemouth bass fishing. The lake’s extensive shallows, abundant cover, and healthy forage base create the perfect habitat for these prized gamefish.
  • Tournament Destination: The lake hosts numerous bass fishing tournaments throughout the year, attracting anglers from far and wide. Participating in or observing these tournaments adds an exciting competitive element to your fishing experience.
  • Variety of Structures: Kentucky Lake’s vast size offers a wide array of structures, including points, ledges, humps, and submerged vegetation. This diversity challenges anglers to adapt their techniques and explore different fishing spots.
  • Scenic Beauty: Beyond the fishing, Kentucky Lake treats visitors to breathtaking vistas and serene landscapes. Whether you’re on the water or relaxing onshore, the natural beauty enhances your overall fishing getaway.
  • Family Friendly Activities: Kentucky Lake isn’t just about fishing; it offers a plethora of family-friendly activities. From boating and water sports to exploring nearby parks and wildlife areas, there’s something for everyone to enjoy while visiting the lake.

Recommended Gear: Fishing Rod, Fishing Net, Fishing Reel, Tackle Box, Pliers, Lures, Sunscreen


Pickwick Lake

Pickwick Lake’s expansive waters weave through captivating landscapes, offering anglers a haven of opportunity and adventure. Known for its thriving bass populations and diverse fishing environments, Pickwick Lake has earned its place among the most coveted angling destinations in the South. From the undulating currents to the hidden coves and rocky shores, every corner of Pickwick Lake tells a story of bass fishing excitement waiting to be unraveled.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Pickwick Lake:

  • Smallmouth Bass Haven: Pickwick Lake is renowned for its exceptional smallmouth bass fishing. Anglers flock to its waters for the chance to reel in these feisty and hard-fighting gamefish that inhabit its clear and rocky waters.
  • Year Round Fishing: With its mild climate, Pickwick Lake offers year-round bass fishing opportunities. Whether it’s the peak of summer or the chill of winter, you can enjoy productive fishing outings throughout the seasons.
  • Tailwater Advantage: Being a tailwater reservoir, Pickwick Lake benefits from a consistent flow of oxygen-rich water from the dam, creating favorable conditions for bass growth and activity.
  • Trophy Potential: Pickwick Lake boasts a reputation for producing trophy-sized bass. The chance to land a true lunker keeps anglers motivated and eager to return to its productive waters.
  • Diverse Angling Techniques: From finesse techniques to power fishing, Pickwick Lake offers a range of fishing styles. Its varied aquatic structure, including ledges, drop-offs, and rock formations, allows anglers to experiment with different methods and strategies.

Recommended Gear: Pliers, Fishing Reel, Fishing Rod, Tackle Box, Sunglasses, Lures, Sunscreen


Douglas Lake

Douglas Lakes’ serene waters reflect the majesty of the surrounding landscapes, offering a unique blend of natural beauty and exceptional angling opportunities. Known for its abundant bass populations and varied fishing environments, Douglas Lake beckons anglers to embark on a journey of exploration and excitement. Whether you’re navigating the coves, casting along the rocky shores, or testing your skills in its open waters, Douglas Lake presents a canvas for unforgettable angling experiences.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Douglas Lake:

  • Topwater Action: The lake’s abundant cover and structure make it a prime location for topwater bass action. Experience the heart-pounding thrill of watching bass explode on surface lures, creating unforgettable angling memories.
  • Seasonal Crappie Docks: In addition to bass, Douglas Lake offers an interesting twist—seasonal crappie docks. These structures attract bass as well, offering a different approach to targeting bass near these hotspot locations.
  • Bass and Bald Eagles: Witness the stunning sight of bald eagles soaring above Douglas Lake as they hunt for fish. The majestic presence of these national symbols adds a unique touch to your fishing expeditions.
  • Nighttime Adventure: Douglas Lake’s tranquil nighttime environment provides a distinctive bass fishing experience. With the moon reflecting off the water and the sounds of the night surrounding you, nighttime bass fishing here becomes an unforgettable adventure.
  • Historic Mill Remnants: Explore the remnants of old mills that dot the shoreline of Douglas Lake. These historic structures add a touch of history to your bass fishing outings, offering a glimpse into the past while you enjoy the present-day angling experience.

Recommended Gear: Fish Bag, Fishing Net, Fishing Rod, Sunscreen, Lures, Pliers, Sunglasses


Percy Priest Lake

Encompassing a vast expanse of water, this reservoir welcomes both city-dwellers and angling enthusiasts to partake in the excitement of fishing without straying far from the metropolitan charm. As the sun rises over the glistening waters and the city’s skyline shimmers in the distance, Percy Priest Lake unveils its unique allure – a haven where serenity meets sport, and where every cast holds the promise of a thrilling bass catch.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Percy Priest Lake:

  • Urban Oasis: Located near Nashville, Percy Priest Lake offers a unique urban escape for bass fishing enthusiasts. You can enjoy the thrill of fishing while being just a stone’s throw away from the vibrant city life.
  • Accessible Shoreline Fishing: The lake’s well-maintained shoreline provides ample opportunities for shoreline fishing. Whether you have a boat or prefer casting from the bank, Percy Priest Lake caters to all types of anglers.
  • Seasonal Variation: From spring to winter, Percy Priest Lake experiences distinct seasonal patterns that impact bass behavior. This variation in fishing conditions allows anglers to adapt their techniques and strategies for consistent success.
  • Crappie Bonus: While bass fishing, you might also encounter crappie, adding a surprise element to your angling adventure. These bonus catches diversify your fishing experience and offer a chance to target multiple species.
  • Breathtaking Sunsets: Witness stunning sunsets over the lake’s serene waters as you reel in bass. The tranquil beauty of the sunset enhances the peaceful ambiance of your fishing trips on Percy Priest Lake.

Recommended Gear: Lures, Fishing Rod, Fishing Reel, Tackle Box, Pliers, Fishing Net, Sunscreen


Dale Hollow Lake

Renowned far and wide as a bass fishing haven, this expansive reservoir offers an opportunity for anglers to connect with nature’s wonders while pursuing their passion. From its crystal-clear waters to the intriguing underwater landscape adorned with submerged structures, every facet of Dale Hollow Lake contributes to an unparalleled fishing experience. Whether you’re casting your line along its rugged shores or exploring its hidden coves, every moment spent on the lake holds the promise of an exhilarating bass catch.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Dale Hollow Lake:

  • Crystal Clear Waters: The remarkably clear waters of Dale Hollow Lake offer a unique fishing experience. Watching bass strike lures or observing their movement in clear depths adds a visual dimension to your angling adventures.
  • Smallmouth Bass Paradise: Renowned for its exceptional smallmouth bass fishing, Dale Hollow Lake boasts healthy populations of these hard-fighting gamefish. Targeting smallmouth bass in these pristine waters provides both a challenge and a rewarding experience.
  • Abundant Crappie: Dale Hollow Lake is also a hotspot for crappie fishing, offering anglers the opportunity to diversify their catches. This abundance of crappie adds another exciting dimension to your fishing outings.
  • Scenic Beauty and Recreation: Beyond fishing, Dale Hollow Lake’s breathtaking scenery and recreational opportunities make it an ideal destination. Enjoy boating, swimming, and camping in the midst of lush landscapes, enhancing the overall enjoyment of your fishing getaway
  • Trophy Trout Fishing: In addition to bass, Dale Hollow Lake is known for its trout fishery. The chance to catch trophy-sized trout presents a unique opportunity for anglers looking to explore diverse fishing experiences.

Recommended Gear: Pliers, Sun Hat, Fishing Rod, Tackle Box, Sunglasses, Lures, Sunscreen


Center Hill Lake

In the heart of Tennessee’s Highland Rim, Center Hill Lake presents a harmonious blend of natural beauty and angling excitement. With its clear waters reflecting the surrounding lush landscapes, this reservoir offers an idyllic setting for anglers seeking both a peaceful retreat and the thrill of bass fishing. The diverse range of fishing environments, from its tranquil coves to its dynamic points and drop-offs, ensures that every fishing expedition is an opportunity to explore new tactics and techniques.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Center Hill Lake:

  • Scenic Gorge Setting: Nestled amidst the rolling hills and rocky bluffs of Tennessee, Center Hill Lake offers a picturesque backdrop for your bass fishing adventures. The stunning gorge landscape adds an extra layer of beauty to your angling experience.
  • Deep Clear Waters: Center Hill Lake is known for its deep, clear waters that harbor bass and other species. The visibility of the water allows you to observe bass behavior and tailor your fishing techniques accordingly.
  • Variety of Structure: The lake’s diverse aquatic structure, including points, drop-offs, and submerged timber, creates opportunities for versatile bass fishing techniques. You can explore different areas and adapt your tactics to the changing underwater landscape.
  • Smallmouth and Spotted Bass: Center Hill Lake is a prime location for targeting both smallmouth and spotted bass. The chance to catch these distinct bass species adds an element of excitement and diversity to your fishing outings.
  • Hidden Waterfalls and Coves: Explore the lake’s hidden gems, including secluded coves and picturesque waterfalls. These lesser-known spots offer not only great fishing but also a sense of adventure and discovery during your bass fishing trips.

Recommended Gear: Sunscreen, Fishing Net, Sun Hat, Lures, Fishing Rod, Pliers, Tackle Box


Watts Bar Lake

Tucked away within the heart of Tennessee’s picturesque landscapes, Watts Bar Lake emerges as a hidden gem for avid anglers seeking a unique bass fishing experience. Stretching across the rolling terrain, this reservoir boasts an intriguing blend of natural beauty and angling diversity. Watts Bar Lake is a true testament to the harmonious coexistence of serene nature and the thrill of reeling in a prized catch. As the gentle ripples of the water create a mesmerizing symphony, Watts Bar Lake invites you to embark on a journey where tranquility meets the exhilaration of bass fishing.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Watts Bar Lake:

  • VA Reservoir Diversity: As a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoir, Watts Bar Lake offers a distinct blend of riverine and reservoir characteristics. This unique combination results in varied underwater structures and currents, making for an interesting and challenging bass fishing experience.
  • Hybrid Striped Bass Bonus: Apart from bass, Watts Bar Lake is known for its hybrid striped bass population. Anglers have the opportunity to target these hard-fighting fish while bass fishing, adding an exciting twist to their angling adventure.
  • Hidden Historical Sites: Explore submerged remnants of old settlements and structures in Watts Bar Lake. These underwater historical sites offer a glimpse into the area’s past, making your bass fishing trip an intriguing combination of history and sport.
  • Connected Waterways: Watts Bar Lake is part of a navigable waterway system that includes the Tennessee River. This connectivity opens up opportunities for extended fishing expeditions, allowing you to explore different fishing spots and discover new angling experiences.
  • Abundance of Coves: The lake’s numerous coves, inlets, and pockets provide sheltered fishing areas. These cozy spots not only offer great bass fishing but also a sense of solitude and tranquility, creating a serene angling environment.

Recommended Gear: Fishing Rod, Lures, Fishing Reel, Tackle Box, Pliers, Sun Hat, Sunscreen


Old Hickory Lake

Just outside the vibrant city of Nashville, Old Hickory Lake offers a unique fusion of urban convenience and unspoiled natural beauty. With its expansive waters and scenic shores, this reservoir presents anglers with an exceptional bass fishing experience without straying far from the excitement of city life. As the sun rises over the city skyline, Old Hickory Lake unfolds its charm – a realm where tranquil waters meet the exhilarating pursuit of bass. Whether you’re casting your line from a boat or the shoreline, every moment spent fishing here is an opportunity to connect with both nature and the vibrant pulse of urban living.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Old Hickory Lake:

  • Urban Wilderness Escape: Despite its urban location near Nashville, Old Hickory Lake offers an unexpected wilderness escape. Enjoy the best of both worlds – the excitement of city life nearby and the serenity of nature on the water.
  • Fishing Diversity: Old Hickory Lake is home to a diverse range of fish species beyond bass. While bass fishing, you might also encounter catfish, crappie, and even sauger, allowing you to explore different fishing opportunities.
  • Historical Treasures: Explore the submerged remnants of the town that lies beneath the lake’s surface. Old roads, foundations, and even the old railroad bridge create a unique atmosphere, turning your fishing trip into a historical adventure.
  • Nighttime Bass Action: Experience the thrill of nighttime bass fishing on Old Hickory Lake. The lake’s calm waters and the cover of darkness create a different angling dynamic, making for an exciting and unique fishing experience.
  • Accessible Shoreline Fishing: Old Hickory Lake offers a variety of accessible shoreline fishing spots. Whether you’re an angler with a boat or prefer to fish from the banks, the lake’s layout accommodates different fishing styles, making it an inviting destination for all.

Recommended Gear: Pliers, Fishing Reel, Fishing Rod, Tackle Box, Sunglasses, Fishing Net, Sunscreen


Reelfoot Lake

Formed by a series of cataclysmic earthquakes, this unique lake is a true reflection of the remarkable forces that shape our world. Reelfoot Lake isn’t just a body of water; it’s a living testament to nature’s ability to rebound and flourish. It’s a haven for both wildlife and anglers alike, where the tranquil beauty of the lake’s cypress-studded waters converges with the thrill of exceptional bass fishing.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Reelfoot Lake:

  • Natural Beauty and Serenity: Reelfoot Lake’s untouched beauty and tranquil surroundings provide an escape from the bustle of daily life. Immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere while enjoying the excitement of bass fishing.
  • Fascinating Cypress Habitat: The lake’s distinctive cypress trees and submerged stumps create an intriguing underwater landscape. Bass thrive in these unique habitats, offering anglers a chance to navigate and fish amidst this enchanting environment.
  • Abundant Wildlife: While bass fishing, you’ll have the opportunity to witness a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, herons, and migrating waterfowl. This close birdwatching encounter with nature adds an extra layer of enjoyment to your fishing experience.
  • Seasonal Fishing Patterns: Reelfoot Lake’s ever-changing water levels and seasonal conditions influence bass behavior and fishing tactics. This dynamic environment challenges anglers to adapt and experiment, ensuring an engaging and rewarding angling adventure.
  • Float and Fly Technique: Reelfoot Lake is renowned for the unique “float and fly” technique used for smallmouth bass fishing. This specialized technique involves delicate fly presentations with floats, making your fishing experience here truly exceptional.

Recommended Gear: Sun Clothing, Fishing Net, Fishing Rod, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Pliers, Tackle Box


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