Fishing Report – April/May: Great Crappie & Bass Fishing Now.
Crappie – The Crappie & Bass fishing is excellent right now! The Lake level rose above pool making for good navigation. Some spawning was observed on the March moon. The fish will be in the spawning cycle & very shallow. Basin Crappie will be using submerged logs & stumps for their ritual. Pad Crappie will be spawning in sandy bottom areas around old pad stems & submerged logs.
Bream – Mid April through June is the best.
Bass – Bass will be on the spawning beds & will be hugging the beds positioned on stumps, shallow logs & cypress roots. Black & blue lizards, big worms, tubes & suspending jerk baits are surefire baits for spawners.
Bluegill – will be more active as the waters warm up.
Game & Fish Magazine says “Reelfoot Lake is the top bluegill fishery in the state of TN. according to Tim Broadbent, TN. with TWRA” The average size is about 0.45 lbs. & anglers harvest between 1.5 & 2.0 fish per hour. Larger bluegills in the 0.5-0.75 lbs. range are also present.
Catfish – Some Catfish catches were reported prior to the rise. There is an unusual way to catch catfish this month. Try flipping a large minnow to the base of mid-lake cypress trees where turkeys are roosting. Catfish will be laying in wait to consume the droppings of these birds. Sounds crazy but it is true!
Reelfoot Lake is a sportsman’s paradise! Approximately fifty-four species of fish are found in its waters. The primary game fish includes bream, crappie, large-mouth bass, and catfish. Reelfoot Lake has 30 daily creel limit on crappie and no limit on bluegill. Four to seven pound large-mouth bass are fairly common. Fishing varies on a seasonal basis, but generally runs from March through mid-July and again in September and October. These are prime fishing times, but fishing is popular year-round. Reelfoot Lake’s shallow cypress field waters are recognized as one of the world’s greatest natural fish hatcheries. Game & Fish Magazine says “Reelfoot Lake has great bluegill habitat & all 4 basins of the lake provide excellent bluegill fishing.” There are numerous free public boat ramps and fishing piers conveniently located around the lake. Fishing guides can be hired to help newcomers learn how to navigate around the lake and learn more about the hot-spots. During peak months it’s not uncommon for fishermen to return with their limit of fish. Reelfoot Lake is a flooded forest – full of submerged cypress stumps. While boating on Reelfoot , expect to hit some of the stumps. You will be okay unless you are running at full throttle. People boat on this lake using 40 horsepower motors and up, but they go slow, no water skiing or jet skiing is done on Reelfoot Lake. Canoes & Kayaks can be used on Reelfoot Lake. Jon boats are used the most.See Fishing Fees & Regulations in Region 1: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency See Reelfoot Lake Fishing Guides: Fishing Guides
Best fishing seasons on the lake:
November thru April: Crappie April thru October: Bluegill, Bass