Navigation Home - AA-Fishing Lakes Fish

Bass Fishing In Tennessee

Pick A LakePick A SpeciesPick A State

Guide to fishing for spotted, redeye, smallmouth and largemouth bass in Tennessee lakes, rivers and streams.

By Rick Seaman

Bass fishing At Daybreak

Tennessee Bass Fishing

Bass fishing in Tennessee is a beloved pursuit, cherished by anglers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. Few experiences rival the thrill of hooking into a largemouth or smallmouth bass, making it a timeless pastime that transcends cultural boundaries. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice angler eager to learn the ropes, mastering the art of bass fishing can be immensely rewarding. That's why this page is dedicated to offering invaluable insights and tips on bass fishing, providing a comprehensive guide on everything from bass fishing techniques to essential bass-catching strategies. Whether you're seeking advice on selecting the perfect lure or honing your casting skills, we're here to equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel on the water. Dive into our wealth of information to discover the secrets of successful bass fishing and unlock the full potential of your angling endeavors.

2024 Bass Fishing Favorites

Largemouth Bass Fishing In Tennessee

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are the most abundant, and most pursued bass in Tennessee. They are available in most warm-water lakes in the state, they tend to thrive in most water conditions and grow to bragging size in relative short order. Often called big mouth bass, or wide mouth bass, they are savvy predators that feed on most things that live in their territory. Bass in the 5 to 10-pound range are common in Tennessee. The state record largemouth bass is over 15 pounds.

Finding & Catching Bigmouth Bass

Anglers can target big mouth bass in various lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Spring and early summer are typically the best seasons for targeting largemouth bass as they are more active and feeding in the shallows near shoreline cover. Start with topwater baits, as they cover the water most efficiently. Reaction baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits are the next choice. For finicky bass, plastic worms and jigs may entice a bite as you can move them very slowly around cover. In the heat of summer and the cold of winter bass move to deeper water, usually following the baitfish. Jigs, drop shot rigs and spoons are a good approach for bass holding in deep water. Vary your retrieve speed and action to find what the bass like today!

The state is home to several renowned bass fishing destinations, including Kentucky Lake, Chickamauga Lake, and Percy Priest Lake. Anglers targeting largemouth bass often focus on areas with submerged structures such as weed beds, fallen trees, and rock formations. Spring and fall are prime seasons for largemouth bass fishing, as these fish become more active and move to shallower waters to feed.

Smallmouth Bass In Tennessee

Smallmouth Bass

Tennessee is also known for its fantastic smallmouth bass fishing. While smallmouth bass don't grow as large as their cousin the largemouth, they make up the difference with tenacious fights. Known for long battles and spectacular jumps, smallies grow fat and strong but rarely exceed ten pounds. Their range and locations are often with or nearby the largemouths. The state record smallmouth bass is over 11 pounds.

Rivers like the Caney Fork, the Hiwassee, and the Clinch are renowned for their trophy-sized smallmouth bass. These fish offer a thrilling angling experience, known for their strong fights and acrobatic leaps. Smallmouth bass can also be found in lakes and reservoirs, including Dale Hollow Lake and Norris Lake. Anglers targeting smallmouth bass often use lures such as crankbaits, jigs, and topwater baits. Spring and fall are considered prime seasons for smallmouth bass fishing, as they are more active during these times.

Spotted Bass Fishing In Tennessee

In addition to largemouth and smallmouth bass, Tennessee is home to other bass species that provide exciting fishing opportunities. Spotted bass, often referred to as Kentucky bass, can be found in various lakes and rivers in the state. These fish exhibit characteristics of both largemouth and smallmouth bass, offering a unique angling experience.

Redeye Bass Fishing In Tennessee

Redeye bass, also known as Coosa bass or Alabama bass, are native to the Tennessee River system and provide a thrilling challenge for anglers. These fish prefer clear and rocky waters and can be found in rivers such as the Hiwassee and the Little Tennessee.

Whether you're targeting largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, or redeye bass, Tennessee offers a wealth of fishing opportunities for bass anglers. The state's diverse waterways and abundant bass populations make it a premier destination for those seeking thrilling bass fishing adventures.

Bass fishing basics video.

2024 Best Bass Fishing Lakes In Tennessee

If you like to fish for bass, you'll love Tennessee. Every major lake in the state is loaded with quality bass including Carroll County Thousand Acre Recreation Lake, Boone Lake, Calderwood Reservoir, Center Hill Lake, Cheatham Lake, Cherokee Lake, Chickamauga Lake, Chilhowee Lake, Cordell Hull Lake, Dale Hollow Reservoir, Davy Crockett Lake, Douglas Lake, Fort Loudoun Lake, Fort Patrick Henry Reservoir, Great Falls Lake, J Percy Priest Lake, John Sevier Reservoir, Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, Melton Hill Lake, Nickajack Lake, Normandy Lake, Norris Lake, Ocoee Lake, Old Hickory Lake, Parksville Reservoir, Percy Priest Lake, Pickwick Lake, Reelfoot Lake, South Holston Lake, Tellico Reservoir, Tims Ford Lake, Watauga Lake, Watts Bar Lake and Woods Reservoir. Bass can also be found in smaller lakes rivers and ponds throughout the state.

Fishing Boats For Rent In TN

Bass In Tennessee

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 15 lbs 3 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz*

State Record: 11 lbs 15 oz*

Spotted Bass

Spotted bass

World record: 9 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 6 lbs 1 oz

Redeye Bass

Redeye bass

World record: 8 lbs 12 oz

State Record: 1 lbs 15 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 bass fishing lures for Tennessee this year

When bass are shallow, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and top water lures are the most productive. As they move deeper, worms and jigs are among the top producers.

Chickamauga Lake turned out the state record largemouth bass.

The state record smallmouth bass was pulled out of Dale Hollow Lake.

Chickamauga Lake delivered the state recore spotted bass.

Parksville Reservoir was home to the state recore redeye bass (coosa).

Bass fishing book

Catch big bass!

Bass are one of the most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere. Join us in our endeavor to offer information about bass fishing on your favorite bass lake in Tennessee.

Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on local lakes in the Volunteer State.

Visit the Bass Knowledge Center for additional, valuable information about bass and bass fishing.


Bass fishing information by state.

AL Bass Fishing AR Bass Fishing AZ Bass Fishing CA Bass Fishing CO Bass Fishing CT Bass Fishing DC Bass Fishing DE Bass Fishing FL Bass Fishing GA Bass Fishing HI Bass Fishing IA Bass Fishing ID Bass Fishing
IL Bass Fishing IN Bass Fishing KS Bass Fishing KY Bass Fishing LA Bass Fishing MA Bass Fishing MD Bass Fishing ME Bass Fishing MI Bass Fishing MN Bass Fishing MO Bass Fishing MS Bass Fishing MT Bass Fishing
NC Bass Fishing ND Bass Fishing NE Bass Fishing NH Bass Fishing NJ Bass Fishing NM Bass Fishing NV Bass Fishing NY Bass Fishing OH Bass Fishing OK Bass Fishing OR Bass Fishing PA Bass Fishing
RI Bass Fishing SC Bass Fishing SD Bass Fishing TN Bass Fishing TX Bass Fishing UT Bass Fishing VA Bass Fishing VT Bass Fishing WA Bass Fishing WI Bass Fishing WV Bass Fishing WY Fishing
The lifecycle of bass

The more you know about the seasonal migration of bass, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit Tennessee bass fishing lakes. Visit the bass fishing page for more in-depth information about bass activities.