Last Updated August 9, 2018
What a typical July we had. The intermittent rainstorms and hot weather made predicting these small rivers a good guess at best. Here's hoping August will be normal. Traditionally, this month is a dry, hot month, barring the inland surge of a Gulf hurricane. Should the conditions be right, expect excellent fishing for small bass, and lots of eating size catfish. The Hatchie will be near bank full one day and fall at an amazing rate to be almost marginally navigable very quickly. The low water of late has also exposed many trees in the channel making the use of small boats a necessity. Beware when running. When the water falls lower be prepared to pull over sandbars or logs if you plan on going any distance. Anglers who have been on the rivers, reported catching good numbers of channel cats on rod and reel. Bass anglers report spotted bass size is better and pretty good numbers.
Cold Creek Grocery -731 738 2960-The Big Muddy has been in and out of the chute several times this year making for sporadic fishing. Bass fishermen should watch for runoffs after rains from small ditches for the best results. Crappie anglers are experiencing some results than the previous years as they troll medium minnows over the stump fields. Bream fishing and catfishing up in the Creek is also scheduled to continue to be very good in August. Chute is clear but has been flooded and rains have muddied the Creek. The River stabilized below 16 feet on the Memphis gauge, so all fishing should improve quickly.
Sportsman's Resort- 731 253 6581-The Lake is a little below pool and should remain so unless big rains big rains occur. The old spillway has been leaking. August is a prime month for catfish and any of your favorite methods will get' em. Bluegill can be caught by fishing 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. Crappie will be slow but persistent anglers can still score by slow trolling the deeper basins. Bass fishing has been only fair all year. We encourage everyone to practice catch and release and don't keep the fish out of water over a few minutes. Your best bet is to go on days that are cloudy and drizzly. Use spinnerbaits or crankbaits in white and chartreuse and creature baits fished along the shady south shore. The one specie that will be going strong in August is the abundant yellow bass. These will be all over the lake and travelling in schools. Some anglers prefer to hand pole along the shady shoreline with small black Grizzly jigs tipped with wax worms. Others head to the pad fields and work the edges with Beetlespins, These are great fighters on light tackle. Last TWRA sprayed certain sections of the Lake in order to control the vegetation. Some anglers regretted the action saying the frog bite was affected.
Pickwick Dam tailrace action has been sporadic due to the maintenance of he hydroelectric systems and heavy rains upstream. As of late, there has been average generation but a few gates opened after upstream rains. Fishing in the boils has been slower than usual as has been the striper run. Bass anglers fishing the Tennessee River downstream have been doing fair using white jigs, crank baits, and yellow tail minnows.The best fishing has been on the rip rap banks from Shiloh to Savannah. There are several methods mentioned for taking stripers in the last issue that will be useful when conditions improve. Catfishing has also been good for eating size channels downstream.
Gibson County lake
731 855 2990-Lake is falling very slowly but is still higher than previous summers. Bass in the ten -pound range have been landed recently including a couple over. The big ones are coming from the deeper channels on big swimbaits, twelve inch worms, jigs, spoons, and crankbaits. Fishing over the submergent grass with Flukes, jerkbaits, and spinnerbaits will usually catch more numbers. Other choices will be top waters early and late and Red Eye Shads over the grass. Some schooling has been reported. Top waters can be used to catch these when they break the surface when they are chasing minnows. There are some deeper holes in the grass that are fairly clean and act as holding areas where the mid size bass tend to hang out and ambush passing baitfish. Catfishing will be going strong and a gob of night crawlers is hard to beat. Fish the log jams dotted around the deeper waters for these. Shellcrackers will also be a sought after specie as they grow up to two pounds here. They bed up on sandy humps and the sides of creek channels. Crappie will be slow but die-hard locals still manage to scratch out a few in the brush tops in mid lake.
901 853 5253- Clear water has some folks shying away from this lake. If you can catch a cloudy day it, like all other similar lakes in the Mid South, bass fishing can be dynamite in high summer. Reports are that the grass has begun to burn off this month. Frogs, buzzbaits, and floating worms are the choices for this condition. Deep running crankbaits and dark ten-inch worms are good choices for clearer conditions. Work these along the tree lined channels and points. Catfishing is the main activity at this TWRA Lake in the hot summer. Many folks use jugs during the week for good limits of whisker fish. Others use rod and reel baited with prepared bait or nightcrawlers. The decreased limits have taken some pressure off the bluegill population as they recover from years of over harvesting. Crappie will be slow until early fall. Rental boats are available as well as the latest info at the store.
Herb Parsons Lake
901 861 5087- This is the time for yellow bass at this oldest TWRA lake. Take all you can catch as they were never stocked here by the Agency and have overpopulated. Most any method will catch these feisty fighters. Small jigs, spinnerbaits, even crankbaits, or spoons can be trolled or cast for good results. There's always the possibility you may catch any number of other species as well. This is a great way to introduce a youth to the thrill of fishing. Bass fishing is early and late in August. Buzzbaits , minnow imitators, and dark plastic worms are always the favored choices. As the day proceeds, fish deeper logs and tops nearer the channels. Bream and shellcrackers will be deeper and will still bed up on into early Fall. Catfishing will be going strong as well. Water will be low for a couple of months so take care while motoring.
This is the most overlooked crappie hotspot in the area. Folks who want to run their big motors cannot here. Fact is, only trolling motors are allowed but that's all one needs to catch 'em as they suspend in the deeper waters near the old channel. A good LCR will help but is not necessary due to the small size of the lake. At a little over one hundred acres, it can be thoroughly covered in a few hours. Since crappie were not stocked in this lake, there is no limit on number or size. There is also exscellent bream and bass fishing here. Bassin' is early and late along the dam, the deeper south shore and points where brush lines intersect.
731 422 0950- This is another lake where the fair weather bass fisherman has a tough time in high summer. Cloudy, drizzly conditions will turn 'em on in the shallows whereas a sunny day will mean going deeper. Low light conditions or windy days could mean a real wall hanger for some lucky angler. Two over twelve have been officially caught here and one topping that was reported. Big baits and a high degree of patience mean a better chance of big fish. Large worms, jigs, and deep diving crankbaits fished along the old channels and the riprap areas are prime techniques for the lunkers. Bream and big catfish will still be targeted species in the hot August weather. Bream will still bed and catfish will be most anywhere. Some fly hatches will occur that will draw fish to the stumps and overhanging tree limbs. Lake is at pool and clear.
Beech Lake Marine-731 968 8492-. For those who had rather fish early than late, target shallow points next to deep water. Grass beds will also be prime areas. Watch for schooling bass. There have been occasions when the large bass school here as they chase shad minnows. Rattletraps, spinnerbaits, and poppers have all been effective when this happens. Otherwise, stay along the channels and drops with jigs, large worms, Carolina rigs, or crankbaits. Don't overlook the smaller, nearby lakes. Catfishing and bream fishing in all the area lakes will be good especially around fly hatches. Maple's Creek is especially good for bluegill in and around the pad fields. Crappie will be slow for several weeks.
Perryville Marina-731 847 2444- Savvy anglers are trying for crappie around the boathouses right there in the harbor. Many anglers were limiting by fishing this area. Others were fishing the creek mouths with good results. Bass fishermen were also doing well at creek mouths by fishing top waters early and divers as the sun rose along the river shore. All the slow current made for some challenging conditions that will, hopefully improve. By far the most popular fishing was and will be for catfish for the next few weeks. This is when the white cats show up. Fish livers, cut shad, guts, or nightcrawlers at the old channel break for some great fun and lots of eaters. Bream will be visiting the numerous fly hatches this month.
August will be the month that will see the beginning of fall drawdown. Little by little TVA will draw water levels to winter pool over the next few months. This will have some effect on all fisheries and, combining with hot temperatures, will mean fishing deeper for bass and crappie. Deep, bottom bumping bass lures such as large worms, spoons, jigs, and crankbaits will be the order of the day for larger fish. The exception will be when they are chasing shad early and late around grass and duck blinds or if a sudden rise occurs with the influence of a Gulf hurricane that may dump several inches of rain. Traditional hot August weather will also mean heavy generation at Kentucky Dam that will concentrate baitfish and predators on bars, humps, ledges, and island points. Catfishing will be excellent on the main channels. Jump fishing for white bass will be as well with larger bass species beneath the school. Fly hatches around shorelines and bridge pilings will draw in small baitfish and their predators. Night fishing under the bridges with floating lights will be at its zenith in August. One positive effect of the drawdown will be the exposing of grass beds. This should make fishing them much easier. Floating worms, swim baits, or weedless top waters will be advisable. Crappie fishing will be good for those who fish the deeper ledges with slow moving jigs or minnows.
Heavy rains muddied some rivers in early July. The weather patterns of this summer have been unusual with periods of dry, hot days punctuated by deluges of several inches of rain during passing thunderstorms. The best bet to take advantage of these conditions is to find moving water that is not too muddy. Rivers such as the Spring and Little Red are least affected by these floods and atmospheric changes. Lakes such as Horseshoe have several small feeder streams that provide some run-ins that will concentrate fish in stained and slightly cooler water. Shade is a big factor in this lake, whether be around pads, docks, cypress trees. The lakes on Crowley's Ridge will stratify making it an early and late situation for most species except catfish and bluegill.
Carroll County 1,000 acre Recreational Lake- -The good news is that most of that stringy grass that was such a nuisance has died off with the hot weather. Bass fishermen are catching good numbers with an occasional lunker on top waters early and late. There is some schooling going on in mid-day. Offshore humps and roadbeds are the places to go later in the day as well as on creek channels. The key is to find the old culverts where creeks passed under the old roads. Crappie fishermen are still trolling over these same places at depths of 10-12 feet. Bream fishermen should look for good action as another full moon occurs on the 19th. Look for hard bottoms in shallow water for these. Places where old roads intersect the shore are prime. Lots of 2-6 pound blue and channel catfish are being caught on the bottom using worms, as well as being caught by bream fishermen using crickets. Parts of the lake are designated fishing only and the recreational boat traffic has not been much of a hindrance in the other parts. There are two beaches and a picnic area.
Our source for Dale Hollow, Bobby Gentry, told us, "Fishing during hot weather can change things a lot. The bass are holding around 20- to 25-feet. Jigs on points and dark spinner baits have been working late afternoon and night. Water temps are 89- to 90-degrees. Seven-inch strawberry worms Texas-rigged are catching some nice fish on ledges. Thanks and good fishing." Call Bobby anytime at 279-427-0419 or look on Facebook for Bobby Gentry Dale Hollow Lake Fishing. You can also visit his website at www.bobbygentry.com.
Our source for Old Hickory, Joey Mallicoat, told us, "The water level at the time this forecast was written was 444.80 and the water temperature was ranging from the low- to mid-80s. It's hot! The bass fishing has been relatively slow. The fish have started to scatter and can be caught on a multitude of baits, but the big bites have been few and far between. I've had some success throwing a popping frog around weed beds off the river channel first thing in the morning. Once the sun gets high in the sky I will start flipping boat docks with a black and blue jig as well as a plastic creature bait. The key has been to cover as much water as possible. The more boat docks I can flip the better. The flathead catfish are still being caught on jugs using live bluegill. The key depth has been 8-10 foot of water so set your jugs accordingly. The crappie bite has slowed down tremendously as well. Trolling 200 Bandits in crappie colors will always pick off a fish or two. Remember to stay hydrated and stay alert while driving the lake."
Our source for Percy Priest, Joey Mallicoat, told us, "The water level is currently 490.40 and the water temperature is ranging from the mid 80's to the low 90's. The bass fishing has been decent considering the hot weather we have had. I have found large schools of 14- to 16-inch bass busting schools of bait during the first hour of daylight. This has made for some incredible fishing trips! I like to throw a walking bait into the schools of fish which are visible busting out of the water. This typically happens in low light conditions like the first hour of daylight, but if you're lucky and catch an overcast day you can catch them like that all day long! When the bass aren't in the jumps I have had great success targeting the 10-12 foot range with smaller crankbaits and football head jigs. The key has been to find the bait fish and typically they bass are not far behind. I expect the bass to start spreading out and becoming more unpredictable. The catfish are being caught on jugs with the best baits being live bluegill and cut skipjack. Crappie are being caught on jigs and live bait on deep brush throughout the lake. Remember to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen."