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The 8 Best Fishing Lakes in Tennessee

Discover the best lakes to fish in Tennessee! From small streams to large reservoirs, learn where to go for the best bass, trout, catfish, and more. Plus, find tips on the best times of the year to visit and the best gear to use.

Cherokee Lake

Cherokee Lake is located in eastern Tennessee, approximately 25 miles from Knoxville, and is 54,270 acres in size.

  • Types of Fish: Trout, bass, walleye, catfish, crappie and bluegill
  • Types of Fishing: Bank, wading, kayaking and boating
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Closest Hotels to This Lake: Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Quality Inn & Suites, Days Inn
  • Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Fisherman’s Corner, 3.7 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must follow Tennessee state regulations including obtaining a fishing license, size and amount of fish limits
  • Amenities of the Lake: Public and private boat ramps, fishing piers, campgrounds, restrooms, picnic and swimming areas
  • Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: BP Gas Station, 5.4 miles away

Dale Hollow Lake

Dale Hollow Lake is located in northern Tennessee and southern Kentucky, approximately 100 miles from Nashville, and is 27,700 acres in size.

  • Types of Fish: Trout, bass, walleye, catfish, crappie and bluegill
  • Types of Fishing: Bank, wading, kayaking and boating
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Closest Hotels to This Lake: Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn and Suites, Hampton Inn
  • Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Cedar Hill Bait and Tackle, 6.7 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must follow Tennessee state regulations including obtaining a fishing license, size and amount of fish limits
  • Amenities of the Lake: Public and private boat ramps, fishing piers, campgrounds, restrooms, picnic and swimming areas
  • Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: BP Gas Station, 7.2 miles away

Watauga Lake

Watauga Lake is located in northeast Tennessee, approximately 65 miles from Johnson City, and is 6,430 acres in size.

  • Types of Fish: Trout, bass, walleye, catfish, crappie and bluegill
  • Types of Fishing: Bank, wading, kayaking and boating
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Closest Hotels to This Lake: Comfort Inn and Suites, Courtyard by Marriott, Quality Inn and Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Watauga Store and Marina, 3.8 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must follow Tennessee state regulations including obtaining a fishing license, size and amount of fish limits
  • Amenities of the Lake: Public and private boat ramps, fishing piers, campgrounds, restrooms, picnic and swimming areas
  • Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: BP Gas Station, 10.1 miles away

Norris Lake

Norris Lake is located in eastern Tennessee and southwestern Kentucky, approximately 40 miles from Knoxville, and is 33,840 acres in size.

  • Types of Fish: Trout, bass, walleye, catfish, crappie and bluegill
  • Types of Fishing: Bank, wading, kayaking and boating
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Closest Hotels to This Lake: Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn, Country Inn & Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Sharky’s Bait & Tackle, 10 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must follow Tennessee state regulations including obtaining a fishing license, size and amount of fish limits
  • Amenities of the Lake: Public and private boat ramps, fishing piers, campgrounds, restrooms, picnic and swimming areas
  • Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: Brady’s BP Gas Station, 4.5 miles away

Chickamauga Lake

Chickamauga Lake is located in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia, approximately 20 miles from Chattanooga, and is 39,000 acres in size.

  • Types of Fish: Trout, bass, walleye, catfish, crappie and bluegill
  • Types of Fishing: Bank, wading, kayaking and boating
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Closest Hotels to This Lake: Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Hiwassee Outfitters, 12 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must follow Tennessee state regulations including obtaining a fishing license, size and amount of fish limits
  • Amenities of the Lake: Public and private boat ramps, fishing piers, campgrounds, restrooms, picnic and swimming areas
  • Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: BP Gas Station, 10.8 miles away

Tim’s Ford Lake

Tim’s Ford Lake is located in south-central Tennessee and northern Alabama, approximately 75 miles from Nashville, and is 9,420 acres in size.

  • Types of Fish: Trout, bass, walleye, catfish, crappie and bluegill
  • Types of Fishing: Bank, wading, kayaking and boating
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Closest Hotels to This Lake: Comfort Inn, Quality Inn & Suites, Baymont Inn & Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Mountain View Marina, 9.9 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must follow Tennessee state regulations including obtaining a fishing license, size and amount of fish limits
  • Amenities of the Lake: Public and private boat ramps, fishing piers, campgrounds, restrooms, picnic and swimming areas
  • Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: Exxon Gas Station, 7 miles away

Duck River

The Duck River is located in middle Tennessee and is the longest river located entirely within the state of Tennessee, with a length of 284 miles.

  • Types of Fish: Trout, bass, walleye, catfish, and bluegill
  • Types of Fishing: Bank, wading, and kayaking
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Yes, from several locations near the river
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, from several locations near the river
  • Closest Hotels to This Lake: Red Roof Inn, Quality Inn & Suites, Comfort Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Duck River Outfitters, 11.9 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must follow Tennessee state regulations including obtaining a fishing license, size and amount of fish limits
  • Amenities of the Lake: Public boat ramps, fishing piers, campgrounds, restrooms, picnic and swimming areas
  • Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: BP Gas Station, 7 miles away

Nickajack Lake

Nickajack Lake is located in south-central Tennessee, approximately 30 miles from Chattanooga, and is 11,845 acres in size.

  • Types of Fish: Trout, bass, walleye, catfish, crappie and bluegill
  • Types of Fishing: Bank, wading, kayaking and boating
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Closest Hotels to This Lake: Red Roof Inn, Quality Inn & Suites, Comfort Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Nickajack Bait and Tackle, 4.7 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must follow Tennessee state regulations including obtaining a fishing license, size and amount of fish limits
  • Amenities of the Lake: Public and private boat ramps, fishing piers, campgrounds, restrooms, picnic and swimming areas
  • Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: Exxon Gas Station, 4.3 miles away

Watts Bar Lake

Watts Bar Lake is located in eastern Tennessee, approximately 35 miles from Knoxville, and is 39,000 acres in size.

  • Types of Fish: Trout, bass, walleye, catfish, crappie and bluegill
  • Types of Fishing: Bank, wading, kayaking and boating
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Closest Hotels to This Lake: Holiday Inn Express, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Comfort Inn & Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Deal’s Bait and Tackle, 7.6 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must follow Tennessee state regulations including obtaining a fishing license, size and amount of fish limits
  • Amenities of the Lake: Public and private boat ramps, fishing piers, campgrounds, restrooms, picnic and swimming areas
  • Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: Shell Gas Station, 5.8 miles away

Tellico Lake

Tellico Lake is located in east Tennessee, approximately 25 miles from Knoxville, and is 17,080 acres in size.

  • Types of Fish: Trout, bass, walleye, catfish, crappie and bluegill
  • Types of Fishing: Bank, wading, kayaking and boating
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, from several locations near the lake
  • Closest Hotels to This Lake: Quality Inn & Suites, Baymont Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express
  • Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Tellico Fly Shop, 8.1 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must follow Tennessee state regulations including obtaining a fishing license, size and amount of fish limits
  • Amenities of the Lake: Public and private boat ramps, fishing piers, campgrounds, restrooms, picnic and swimming areas
  • Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: BP Gas Station, 7.5 miles away

Find Good Fishing Spots in Tennessee and Other Nearby Lakes on The Map

If you are looking for great fishing spots and lakes in Tennessee, the Google map below is a great place to start your exploration. You can easily zoom in and out to find the perfect spot for your next fishing adventure. From the lakes of the Great Smoky Mountains to the banks of the Mississippi River, Tennessee has plenty of excellent fishing locations for you to explore. Use the Google map to discover new and exciting places to cast your line and make sure to check out the local rules and regulations before you go!

Check the Weather Forecast for Your Next Fishing Trip to Tennessee

The weather in Tennessee is generally mild and enjoyable throughout the year, making it a great destination for sport fishing. In the summer months, temperatures tend to hover around the mid 80s with occasional thunderstorms, while in the winter months temperatures can dip down to the mid 50s. There is plenty of sunshine throughout the year and the average rainfall is relatively moderate. The humidity can get quite high during the summer months, but the overall climate is conducive to outdoor activities such as sport fishing.


Fishing Lakes in Tennessee
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