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Fishing in the Tennessee River

You will probably grab your pole as soon as you find out the lakes it feeds. Wheeler Lake, Guntersville Lake, Wilson Lake, and Pickwick Lake are all top fishing destinations in Alabama fed by this bountiful river. Additionally, fishing in the Tennessee River provides a unique opportunity for Alabama anglers to catch Sauger and Smallmouth Bass, two species of fish that aren't found in other parts of the state.
  • Known For

    Known for as a top sport fishing destination for in the United States, the 652-mile river starts in east Tennessee and touches 7 states along its shorelines until it joins the Ohio River.

  • Fishing Licenses and Regulations

    From south of the Pickwick Dam, an Alabama fishing license is honored. Nonetheless, the rules and regulations for that state and the body of water your fishing will apply.

    You can find more information about fishing your fishing destination by using any of the state's online resources.

  • Types of Fishing

    The best type of fishing for the Tennessee River will be influenced by which location you choose to cast a line. Below are some top fishing destinations on the Tennessee River and a popular method for catching the best they have to offer.

    Lake Guntersville

    • Guntersville Lake is home to state records for White Crappie, Buffalo Carp, and Yellow Bass. However, it's most famous for big Largemouth Bass and trophy-sized blue catfish. Cast chicken liver or cut bait near a deep water ledge or deepwater structure.

    Pickwick Lake

    • A Smallmouth Bass mecca Pickwick Lake is shared between Alabama and Tennessee. During the fall, the leaves will begin to change, but the fishing becomes more predictable. The fish will start a feeding frenzy in preparation for the winter. Cast a topwater into the current, then wait for the strike just past a rock pile or point.

    Wilson Lake

    • Wheeler Dam during the spring offers excellent fishing for Largemouth Bass. Live bait will be your best option.

    Wheeler Lake

    • The Wheeler is known around the United States for Smallmouth Bass, but it's the monster Blue Catfish that can be caught over 50 pounds, which should really get your attention.

    Many variables can make the difference between catching your daily limit in the cooler and going home empty. We recommend getting right to the point and learn from the best by hopping aboard an experienced fishing guide boat.

  • Best Season to Fish

    It really depends on the weather and the body of water you're wanting to fish, but a destination and time of year that really stands out to us is Wheeler Lake in January. Yes, it's cold, but the lake has less traffic and fishing pressure, and anytime you can catch freshwater fish between 50 and 90 pounds, that a fishing trip that needs to be booked!

    If colder weather fishing isn't for you, then purchase a Lake Guntersville half-day or full-day trip for excellent Largemouth Bass fishing during the springtime.


What feeds the Tennessee River?

The Holston River and French Broad feed the Tennessee River, which then flows into the Ohio River, as the river’s largest tributary.

What is the biggest catfish caught in Tennessee?

What are the 3 major rivers in Tennessee?

Does the Tennessee River run through Nashville?

Where does the TN River begin?

Can you fish at night in Tennessee?