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Tennessee River Report from The Scenic City

Richard Simms
April 29, 2009
Chattanooga - Freshwater Fishing Report

Crappie fishing remains excellent on Chickamauga Lake near Chattanooga, Tenn. Normally it should have slowed down by now, but great catches continue to be reported on a variety of patterns... jigging deep water docks and brush while some folks trolling are still finding fish.

Bass fishing has also been very good. Water temperatures are in the mid-60's and bass are spawning, but lots of great catches are being reported from folks sight fishing, cranking or using plastics... but the majority of the best catches are coming from shallow water right now.

Catfishing reports have varied. It has been slow on the lakes, however folks fishing the tailwaters have been doing excellent. Success there however is highly dependent on TVA generation schedules, and schedules have slowed down dramatically with no rain, and TVA's effort to bring lakes to full summer levels. Still, it appears that a catfisherman's best chance of success will be in the tailwaters.

Click to Enlarge Photo

(l-r) Daniel Mires and Steve Rushing with a 50 lb. blue cat caught on the Tennessee River near Chattanooga, fishing with Guide Richard Simms of Scenic City Fishing Charters, Inc.

In the Nickajack Tailwater excellent white bass catches have been reported and some rockfish. Some anglers prefer fishing jigs although the majority of the more successful folks are catching threadfin shad with cast or dips nets and fishing with live bait.

Below Chickamauga Dam the spotted bass bite has turned on big time with some catches of more than 100 fish per day reported. They are not big... most will be 11 to 14 inches... but they are feisty and fun. Tube jigs, spinner baits or crank baits fished around the rip rap (rocks) will be the most productive.

Bluegill and shellcracker fishing hasn't really kicked in yet. Everything seems to be a bit "delayed" this year. But as the water warms you can bet the bluegill and shellcrackers will be showing up in big numbers soon. If you're smart, you'll be there and be the first to know.

Target Species:

catfish, crappie, bass

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Fishing guide service in Chattanooga, Tennessee, home of the Tennessee Aquarium. Specializing in trophy catfish... excellent seasonal fishing for crappie, stripers, bluegill, smallmouth and largemouth bass.

Contact Info:

Scenic City Fishing Charters, Inc.
Phone: 423-894-3684
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