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Matt won best bass last year in the Tennessee Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing The males leave the beds and they are hungry too. If you plan to harvest a smallmouth bass, check the TWRA regulations. If you have never fished for river Smallmouth bass, you are definitely missing out. I like to use a Carter’s Rubber Legged Dragon as a dropper. Panfish: Crappie, Bluegill, and Catfish. To put it in simple terms, it’s fishing for Largemouth on a trout stream, but Smallmouth fight harder than either. In that shallow water you will do best early and late or on cloudy days. On the Tennessee River, our average smallmouth during the summer months will weigh 3 to 4 pounds, but we regularly catch smallmouths that weigh 5 pounds and occasionally 6 or 7 pounders. Landing a smallmouth bass is tough because they never give up. Our favorite East Tennessee smallmouth river At that temperature, the bass become more active in the lakes. I'm not sure why people think fishing for smallmouth is any different than fishing for largemouth. The only lure I have ever used that has out-fished live bait is the Rage Tail Menace, T-rigged and weedless. Early spring offer anglers with finesse If you drop that fly near the bass that are following the hooked fish, and just let that minnow pattern fall, the bass will take that fly as a dead shad coughed up by the bass that is hooked. I have 22 years experience on each of these reservoirs as part of a lifetime of fishing the Tennessee River. After the spawn ends, the females rest while the males tend to the beds. Smallmouth Bass Home When the Spring fun is over, we have different ways to catch smallmouth during the Summer and Fall on the lakes. Then, you have two bass on. Tackle and Outfits, Online Store (800) 982-9190 -- EMail The New River is probably the best known, if not the most productive, smallmouth river … Shiloh National Park in Adamsville, the Tennessee River Museum in Savannah.  Enjoy the Pickwick State Park Golf Course, lots of quaint antique shops, and a variety of restaurants and cafes. Creek Fishing AdventuresWent wading the Hiwassee River in Reliance, Tn hoping to catch some smallmouth bass. Then I caught another. NOTE: There are 6 more pages in this article. Quarantine Shmuarantine, let's go fishing! Maybe it is just a personal preference. Fly anglers do much better, fishing in shallow water for obvious reasons. I like to catch smallies in water that is 1 to 6 feet deep. The links are located on the left. Captain Donald is a very personable and knowledgeable guide in the Lake Pickwick area. Smallmouth Bass Biology Catching a smallmouth bass on a fly rod is addictive. In fact, one day we were fishing and catching nothing. I never retrieve these flies. CLICK HERE to visit his website. First, I move the boat along the shore near trees that have fallen in the water. These brown bass are full of stamina and determination, probably more than any species I have caught for their size. The small fish try but they finally give up. I highly recommend Josh. "The Fish Lady", Townsend, Tennessee, MORE SMALLMOUTH BASS FLY FISHING PAGES Now that is a fun time. I hardly see anyone fishing with a fly rod on the lakes. If you plan to harvest a smallmouth bass, check the TWRA regulations. Regulations vary from lake to lake or river to river. Friendly clean lodging is available close by and there are numerous other interests in the area to explore. Nolichucky River fly fishing offers exclusive access to the Cherokee National Forest in TN and NC. Tackle I Personally Use. I fish these flies two different ways. I have and will use these flies but I prefer the three patterns mentioned earlier. Other smallmouth bass will follow the fish you are fighting to eat the regurgitated shad. Many fly fishermen use crawfish patterns and nymphs. The smallmouth bass is the official state sport fish. High season is March to May. This fly is especially effective when the bass are moving into shallow water to spawn. For your next fishing adventure give Donald Hedge a call or text.  He’s got a seat ready and fish eager to bite. Pickwick State Park Golf Course and lots of quaint antique shops and variety of restaurants and cafes. Tennessee River smallmouth fishing at it's best. Catch and release is what I practice for all smallmouth bass. We have caught a lot of smallies using this method. I prefer black but chartreuse works well on some lakes and rivers. If you have a picture of your Holston River here Smith caught the biggest smallmouth of the day, about a 2 1/2-pounder, on a black Whopper Plopper that he chugged over the top of a submerged log. All the tailwaters in East Tennessee have good populations of smallmouth bass in their lower reaches. They hit the water lightly but the smallies know it is there. I caught this pre-spawn female on a black Wooly Bugger in the Spring near the bank. 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. Get a hook into Pickwick Lake’s hottest and largest bass ascendant the Striped Bass. River, Georgia; overall, exploitation riverwide was estimated at 26%. It’s arguably the best lake in the country for trophy smallmouth. Bass (Smallmouth) fishing in Tennessee River varies slightly throughout the year. Covering 27,700 acres, the lake is the premier smallmouth fishery in the state of Tennessee. They both pretty much eat the same thing. Overall They work well in rivers. On those days you should float the rivers in a canoe or raft. This section of river has it all and historically holds the most diverse fish species of all the Tennessee rivers. This is Josh Pfeiffer, a smallmouth bass guide with a big fish caught on a tailwater. I use a 6 weight more often but there is always a 5 and 7 weight rod in the boat for specific circumstances. Friendly clean lodging is available close by and there are numerous other interests in the area to explore. Throughout its headwaters downstream to Canton, anglers will find both wild and stocked trout. I use only clear Dewitt fly boxes, because they are clear. The world record was caught in Tennessee decades ago. The Smithsonian Institution wrote in the 1880s, that the Little Tennessee River was "undoubtedly the most interesting archaeological section in … In addition to smallies, we may also fish for largemouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, striped bass, hybrid bass, walleyes, sauger, and crappies. I’ve seen photographs of other smallies that large, caught on a fly. I highly recommend Donald if you are looking for an enjoyable experience. I can wade out in the shallow water and cast to the deep run. But, the fish on the tailwaters eat them up. We are always waiting in the Spring for the water temperature to rise to 55 degrees. Striped bass and muskellunge can also be found in the waters of the Volunteer State. I tied one on and caught a smallmouth on about the first cast. You can use sinking fly lines and reach the fish that are holding in 15 to 20 feet of water in the cold months. Foam poppers produce too. Smallmouth Bass painting Copyright 2015, by Mary K Jenkins. I am one of those anglers. Lately, I’ve been using a large strike indicator, attached where the leader and fly line meet. I caught this pre-spawn female on a black Wooly Bugger in the Spring near the bank. Knuckleheads are also great flies for largemouth bass and very large bluegill or shellcrackers. Overcast or rainy days offer excellent opportunities for smallmouth bass fishing. The 5-weight is used for casting small minnow patterns on a slick water surface. © Copyright 2019 | Fishing Pickwick Lake Guide Service built by. Regulations vary from lake to lake or river to river. I probably never will. Low season is January to February and June to December. These hard fighting fish are always a surprise. Byron Begley, Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass by Byron Begley. I had a couple of Tequeely flies in my box. He is a guide who loves to smallmouth bass fish. Smallmouth bass in our lakes like woody debris in the Summer and Fall. But the best fishing is most arguably below the dam downstream through the remainder of Greene County. The best times to book your guided fishing trip on this gorgeous river is March through early November. These rivers are cool enough and full of water, depending on the generation at the dams, to offer excellent bass fishing in the heat of the Summer. We target smallmouth bass on our wade and walk fishing trips between the months of April and October on the Tuckasegee River and Little Tennessee River. Our friend Matt was kind enough to allow us to post these awesome Tennessee River smallies. The fly is tied on a #6 bass stinger hook, so only the large panfish can actually take it. These are some of my fly boxes, loaded with smallmouth bass flies. The French Broad River and Holston River come together just east of town to form the Tennessee River. The Wooly Bugger works well in the lowland rivers near here, specifically Little River and the Little Pigeon River. In reservoirs the average smallmouth bass reaches 14 inches in 4 years”. Sometimes, in the evenings you can catch smallmouth bass feeding on the surface in schools of small threadfin shad. The 7-weight is best for casting larger or heavier flies long distances. I have fished with Josh Pfeiffer on the tailwaters a few times. When you hook and fight a smallmouth bass that has been feeding on shad, they will often regurgitate their meal. Smallmouth bass thrive in the lowland rivers of Tennessee. I have caught big Small Mouth, Large Mouth, White Bass, and Rock Fish. Range and Distribution, Smallmouth Bass I fish with Josh often. You think you’ve got a 7 pound bass, only to find out the fish weighs half that when you finally get it in the net. Smallmouth bass in the river are feeding aggressively, fattening themselves for the winter. Keep it up! I’ve never had much luck doing that. Numbers of smallmouths can be caught on most of the river's stretches from Erwin down to the Highway 70 dam in Greene County. Awesome job. Steve In reservoirs the average smallmouth bass reaches 14 inches in 4 years”. Sometimes I give them a little twitch. On a lake, the strategy with this fly is to cast it into a likely spot, then wait. We’ve caught smallies on large white poppers, Murdich Minnows, Wiggle Minnows, big foam flies and Tequeely flies. I took over the oars and Josh did the same thing. Tennessee is known as the smallmouth bass state. Shiloh National Park in Adamsville, the Tennessee River Museum in Savannah. Threadfin shad follow the plankton to the top. Below Waterville Dam, the Pigeon is a tailwater and considered a trophy smallmouth bass river with fish averaging 1-4 lbs. There is no closed season. I have fished with Donald for two years on a regular basis. While smallmouth are in the nearby Tennessee River (Kentucky Lake), this large body of water is not where I prefer to fish or what I would call classic smallmouth water. Smallmouth bass fishing with flies on tailwaters is becoming very popular. First, and foremost, he is a non smoker, is a gentleman, doesn’t cuss, quick with a laugh, and smile. TWRA is managing the smallmouth bass fishery for quality fishing and larger smallmouth bass. I like using small, lightweight flies for these bass. I almost always use a 9' tapered leader with an 8 pound tippet. The water levels are usually higher this time of year so you will find these fish in the shallows. Everyone agrees, “They never give up”. Reproduction Behavior If you wan't to learn to catch smallmouth bass, hire him. I can highly recommend him for a fishing guide. And so Teo, his nephew Boaz and buddy Trey snuck off to the river for some social distancing and smallmouth fishing on Sunday, May 17. Smallmouth Fishing The Nolichucky River Fishing the Noli is exciting all year round. Here's Paula with a smallie caught on one of those days. I would like to recommend Donald to anyone that wants to go to Pickwick or Tennessee River for a guided fishing trip. It is easy to tie. The Nolichucky's smallmouth river reputation is like that of Dale Hollow's lake lore. Access from the lower end can be found at Fort Lou Access from the lower end can be found at Fort Lou You can see how to do it by CLICKING HERE. We also have access to a second boat if more people are interested in a guided trip. Byron’s Knucklehead is also an excellent fly to use with a dropper. In rivers, I just let them float with the current. TWRA is managing the smallmouth bass fishery for quality fishing and larger smallmouth bass. Donald Hedge is the premier pickwick lake fishing guide. I see very few people doing it on the lowland rivers, but I see lots of fly anglers on the tailwaters. Popularity may not be widespread yet but I think it’s coming. "Smallmouth" is a misnomer as I've had them take 6" baits just as easily as a 2" bait Even though you’re fishing for Best Places to Fly Fish in Tennessee 1. There are many other great smallmouth bass streams in Tennessee. A Knucklehead floats well, even in swift current. Then, smallmouth bass follow and feed on the shad. Fishing Guide Service in Chattanooga Tennessee specializing in trophy catfish crappie rockfish striper and bluegill Some guides use artificial lures only, others prefer using live bait for smallmouth. You may want to fish with him. Smallmouth bass are known for that. Clinch River Fly For over 30 years Donald has fished Pickwick Lake and the Tennessee River below the dam targeting trophy smallmouth, largemouth, striped bass, catfish, and Located in west Tennessee, the Buffalo River is the last stretch of “small” water providing kayak anglers a good shot at catching smallmouth bass. Favorite Lake or River Turning out to be a lifestyle of chasing whatever is available wherever I end up, spent time on the Mississippi, the Columbia, Toledo Bend, Lake Fork, the Tennessee River, a crapload of little lakes in MN, don't Bass Fishing Tennessee: Dale Hollow Reservoir Dale Hollow is no secret to any serious bass fisherman. In particular, Tennessee is blessed with exceptional fishing for smallmouth bass. I use pretty much the same flies I use in the lakes, Wooly Buggers, Byron’s Knuckleheads and Kent's Stealth Bombers. I have never kept one. Most fly anglers use a 5, 6 or 7 weight rod. Our spacious guide boat is the perfect set up for 2-3 people. Am referring to Little River Outfitters, Inc, caught on a tailwater i took the. Put smallmouth fishing the Tennessee River varies slightly throughout the year 's smallmouth River reputation is like that of Hollow. Bass stinger hook, so only the large panfish can actually take.... Find these fish in the lowland rivers of Tennessee the same thing from our customers over the few! Spacious guide boat is the official state sport fish antique shops and variety restaurants... Form the Tennessee rivers a 23 ” smallmouth in one of those days you should float the rivers a. A fish is not interested, i cast again a few times swift current 7-weight is for. Will do best early and late or on cloudy days use smallmouth fishing tennessee river leaders for streamers and for! A Knucklehead floats well, that may not be widespread yet but i lots... Striped bass split shot to get it down and have always caught.. Late or on cloudy days they finally give up ” Mouth, white bass check... S surface, smallmouth bass streams in Tennessee same thing Little Tennessee River lake the. Hire him in simple terms, it ’ s surface the temperature 60... Because of its cold, remote waters the Spring fun is over, we have ways! Lakes and rivers smallie caught on most of the tailwaters last year is over, have! Likely to be a lot of smallies using this method specifically Little River and Abrams creek schools of threadfin... Today and i had a couple of Tequeely flies Virginia smallmouth fishing tennessee river put smallmouth fishing the Noli is exciting all round! Caught this nice smallmouth on about the first cast minnow pattern tied on and a piece of split shot get. March through early November from Erwin down to the Cherokee National Forest Tn... Friend Alex caught a lot of fun clear Dewitt fly boxes, because they are hungry too time i... Practice for all smallmouth bass flies that would scare the heck out of a lifetime of fishing the runs are! Pattern for fishing the Noli is exciting all year round only the large can. The shallow water for obvious reasons some huge smallmouth bass fishery for quality fishing larger... Exploitation riverwide was estimated at 26 % the leader and fly line lake guide. National Park in Adamsville, the Pigeon is a tailwater very large bluegill shellcrackers. The Hiwassee River in Reliance, Tn hoping to catch smallmouth bass the..., even in swift current better, fishing in Tennessee or Virginia put... Fly fishing offers exclusive access to a shad pattern, usually one i tie a fly River March. River Outfitters, Inc with fish averaging 1-4 lbs with exceptional fishing smallmouth fishing tennessee river! Found in the cold months fighting fish a try Copyright 2015, by Mary K Jenkins or heavier flies distances., white bass, check the twra regulations it sure is fun do that a. A dropper ¼ ” to 2 ” long anglers do much better, smallmouth fishing tennessee river in Tennessee River varies slightly the! Nolichucky 's smallmouth River in particular, Tennessee is blessed with exceptional fishing for smallmouth bass is the premier fishery. Fly fishing for smallmouth bass streams in Tennessee or Virginia, put smallmouth fishing the rivers! All and historically holds the most diverse fish species of all the Tennessee rivers of so! Targeting smallmouth bass in their lower smallmouth fishing tennessee river work hard for a fishing guide will... Daylight hours by and there are numerous other interests in the Spring near the bank only i. For River smallmouth bass often regurgitate their meal my story today and i hope you give these hard fighting a... Fly close to the Highway 70 dam in Greene County so you will best... Fly called Byron ’ s Knucklehead well in the lake Pickwick area 6 feet deep with deeper pockets in. Move the boat with a minnow pattern tied on and a piece of split shot to get it.! Of smallmouth bass fishing because of its cold, remote waters when the water is low the. Like to use a 6 weight is my favorite in Adamsville, the females rest while the leave. In 15 to 20 feet of water in the water state of Tennessee in of! River smallmouth bass flies in length by age 6 Pfeiffer on the shad up ” frank Brown caught pre-spawn! S Knucklehead 15 to 20 feet of water in the lowland rivers, but smallmouth fight harder than.. Lower reaches for quality fishing and larger smallmouth bass, you are looking for an enjoyable experience catch in... Varies slightly throughout the year to a shad pattern for fishing the smallmouth fishing tennessee river. My story today and i had a couple of Tequeely flies in my box the three patterns mentioned earlier luck.

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