Crappie –  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. Minnows and green jigs tipped with minnows or crappie nibbles were the right tickets to success. 

Catfish –   Catfish will also be more active as waters warm.  Try flipping a large minnow to the base of mid-lake cypress trees where water turkeys are roosting.  Catfish will be laying in wait to consume the droppings of these birds. Sounds crazy but true!

Bream   Bream activity will be good April – June!

Bass –   Most Bass will be on the spawning beds & will be hugging the beds positioned on stumps, shallow logs & even cypress roots. fishermen should target leaning logs and duck blinds with big bladed, slow rolled spinner baits and black/blue jig and pig combos and if an extended warming trend occurs.

Yellow Bass – Yellow bass will be on a tear, so get your light tackle ready for these diminutive little demons! Tasty eating, too.

Bluegill –  Bluegill  will pickup around April – they can be caught with crickets or small Grizzly Jigs along the cypress, studded shorelines and isolated trees. Be alert for wooly hatches on the mid lake trees as they will attract bream and other predators.

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.


We have many Resorts that offer Fishing Packages: They provide a boat, motor, bait, gas, ice, lodging & some provide meals! Visit our “Lodging Page” for a list of resorts. Our “Brochure Page” will give you an amenity chart to show what each Resort offers.
* We also have Lodges that don’t require a package deal!

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

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