The fishing season is open year round on Watts Bar Lake. The best fishing time usually starts in early March and lasts through October. The lake is typically at summer pool (741 Ft above sea level) by May 1st and stays at that level until after November 1st. In November the lake will slowly drop back to winter pool (4 to 6 ft down) and remain at the lower level until spring.
Black Bass are plentiful in Watts Bar Lake with both largemouth and smallmouth bass available. Bass begin moving around in early March as the water temperature creeps out of the 40’s. As the water temperature passes into the 60’s bass will find their bedding areas and are usually on the nest with the full moon of April.
Topwater and shallow fishing works well until the temperatures move into the upper 70’s. Night fishing for bass is popular in the summer months with the water temperature in the low 80’s. As fall approaches, temperatures cool and bass move up from their deeper summer homes. September and October are great productive months to be on the lake looking for bass.
Watts Bar Lake has both white and black-nose crappie in great quantities. Crappie fishing starts to pick up in late February to early March and is normally strong through the first part of May. As the water warms, crappie will drop into deeper water and can often be found at night while using lanterns over the water. As the lake cools in the fall, Crappie will move back up into shallower water. Recent years have yielded big crappie, reminiscent of the 70’s with many anglers catching their limit at every outing.
Stripers and Cherokee Bass (aka. Rock Fish, Hybrids, or Wipers) are both available on Watts Bar Lake. Stripers in the 50-60 lb. range and Cherokees in the 15-20 lb. range are frequently caught. There are independent fishing guides for hire should you need this service. Visit www.ajsguideservice.com for more information.
Other species available in Watts Bar Lake include White Bass, Sun Fish, Catfish and even Sauger (first cousin to the Walleye). A fish cleaning station is available for those who wish to take some home to eat or while you’re visiting Arrowhead Resort. Arrowhead Resort carries live bait as well as a selection of artificial tackle best suited for Watts Bar Lake.
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