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Last Updated June 4, 2018

Tennessee

Hatchie/ Wolf Rivers

As we go to press, both are on a fall following the flood which put them back out of the banks and very muddy. Catfishing was good on the high water with trotlines and limb lines catching lots of eating size channels. Some were baiting up with catalpa worms for the best results. Others were using crawfish or cut shad. The Refuge lakes are open. Excellent bream fishing should be on tap.. Early morning hours will be the best time to go. Bass fishing in the rivers has been sporadic with the weather playing a big part. As summer sets in, expect low water and better conditions, but small boats will be the only way to go. High water of the last years has put many trees in the channel. Gibson County Lake-731 855 2990- June will be an early and late situation that means topwater bassin' over the grass beds or plying the deep holes and channels with large worms or crankbaits. Watermelon colors are best for worms and shad colors for the cranlbaits. The one specie that will be active and grow to unusually large size is the redear sunfish, better known as shell cracker. For some reason, this variety of sunfish has reached the two-pound mark at this lake. Most folks use red worms fished on the bottom. Once you locate a bed, it means constant action. Look for sandy bottoms near the timberlines. Cat fishing will also be red hot along with the weather. Night crawlers or stink baits are favored. Fish them on the bottom around the exposed logjams. The lake is still much higher than it has ever been and navigation is easy. Remember that there is a no wake zone in most of the lake.

Glenn Springs Lake

901 835 5253 - Hot weather means hot cat fishing here. That's for what this TWRA Lake is famous. Rod and reel and jugs can be used all week except jugs are prohibited on weekends and holidays. Catfish Charlie and night crawlers are popular as are catalpa worms when you can find them. The slime will be burning of as the weather heats up but the underwater coon tail moss will still be something to contend with. This will present different challenges to the bass fishermen who like to chunk frogs and weightless worms. A favored technique is to use Carolina rigged lizards in shade of green with long leaders to put them above the grass. There will be some top water activity early and late. Poppers and frogs will be effective. Bream, shell crackers will be targeted by those folks wishing for some tasty sunfish. Pier fishing can be productive for these.

Herb Parsons Lake

901 861 5087 - It's Cat fishing time at Herb. This is the time of year when the hot weather provokes the cats to get hot, too! Just get a gob of night crawlers, a rod and reel, a lawn chair, and a cooler full of cold drinks and enjoy the southern summer catching those tasty, whisker fish. You can choose to go by boat, too. You might use that boat for bream and yellow bass that are also abundant. Try a fly rod and popping bug or ultra light to be sporting for these smaller species. If you are going for bass, early and late will be the tome to go. You should use top waters or Rapala minnows fished around points and plastics in the tops and lay downs. Black or purple are always good colors for the plastic, here. Crappie will be very slow.

Shelby Forest

Poplar Tree Lake, at around 100 acres is amazing as it produces excellent bream action all season, even when it's hot. This is probably due to being very deep and clear. If the bream are not in the coves, they will be bedding on the points, just a little deeper. This is another good lake for fly fishers who use a small boat, canoe, or kayak. Crappie can also be caught all season by trolling the deeper channel in mid lake. Use minnows or the favored smoke colored curl tail grub on an eighth ounce lead head jig. Bass will bite early and late on minnow lures or small poppers. The south, shady shore is a good place for real lunkers and on up in the day due to its proximity to very deep water.

Cold Creek

Cold Creek Grocery - 731 738 2960 - Seems the "Father of Waters" just won't give us a break as it continues to rise and fall in and out of this old chute. The good news is that, according to Frances at the store, the fishing for all species should be the best it has been in several years. Topping the list would be bream fishing that has been not good, but great! Folks are also catching good bass, crappie, and catfish. Fishing in the nearby lakes as such as Champion and Heathright Pocket has also picked up. Frances reports some of the biggest bream she has ever seen have come from these small lakes. Good to hear such a positive report. Summer has traditionally been good here as the cooler water brought in by the floods seems to bring a late spawn and shad schools will be abundant. Favorite baits for bass are spinner baits in white, crank baits in blue and white, and blue worms.

Beech Lakes

Beech Lake Marine - 731 968 8492 - The heat is on and so are the pleasure boaters at some of these lakes. You must go early at Beech, Pine, and Pin Oak if you want to enjoy peace and quiet as you fish. The alternative is to go at night but check the gate schedule at Beech first or you could get locked in. For those who go, fish points that have grass or head to the pad fields in the back of Beech and use buzzers, Senkos, or flukes for bass. As the day progresses, move to the deeper ledges and humps with a Carolina rigged watermelon lizard. Deep diving crank baits are also an option. Shad colors are preferred. Another option after the jet skies get going is to fish the mud line created by the wave action. Bass will suspend just inside the murky water and attack anything that swims by in the clearer water. The more secluded lakes such as Cedar, Dogwood, Sycamore, Redbud, Brown's Creek, and Maple Creek offer good opportunities for excellent fishing for most species. Dogwood is especially noted for big shell crackers.

Lake Graham

731 422 0950 - The bream and shell cracker bite will last until late October but seems to be better around the full moon. There was a good bite on in May. The store, says the beds now are much deeper, like ten or twelve deep. Cat fishing can be dynamite in the hot summer with shad guts and prepared bait being best. Crappie will be slow until early fall. Bass fishing has slowed due to the heat and extremely clear water. Those anglers that prefer shaky heads and small worms can catch lots of under slot bass along the deeper, shady banks before the sun gets high. If you can find grass beds, you can catch bass on weedless worms or top waters worked over the mats. Like many of our lakes, the high water has slowed the growth of grass this year.

Carroll County 1,000 Acre Recreational Lake

The grass is beginning to top out and bass fishing is heating up. Topwaters are really good early in the day. A lake favorite is the frog colored Tiny Torpedo. Lots of small to medium bass will be hitting especially when bugs are flying about. The Larger bass will be biting large 10-12 inch worms fished on the outside edges of grass and along the old road beds. The big bream for which his lake is noted, will be schooling in the grass beds and will be spawning on the full moons all summer. Look for clear spots in the grass and on old gravel roadbeds. Catfishing will be picking up all over the lake. You can't beat the old nightcrawlers for these. Lake is clear and at pool. Check the rules at the office.

Perryville

Perryville Marina - 731 847 2444 - Now that summer pool has been reached, things should stabilize, barring another flood. Bass fishing will be more toward the main channels and creek mouths. Top waters early, crank baits and jigs as the day progresses are good choices. Spotted bass can always be found around the barges moored to the shore. Riprap areas will hold a variety of species, from white bass to an occasional sauger. White crank baits in small sizes can yield results. Cat fishing on the main channel is the mainstay in the summer. The forty-foot depths at the old channel are the places to start with night crawlers or cut shad. Watch for willow fly hatches on the river and back in the creeks. These will draw all species to the feast. If you see birds flitting in the trees near the shore, best check it out for the flies. A recent club tournament was won by fishing the fly hatches.

Reelfoot

Sportsman's Resort (731 253 6581) June is a great time for these area resorts. The good news is that most offer reasonbly priced rooms. The best news is that the fish still bite. Cat fishing is great from shore or boat. Yo-yos are also good for those who like to catch them by that means. Others choose blocking or jugging. Bream still can be caught around trees that have "wooly" hatches. Some will bed up, only deeper than in May or June. Crappies can still be caught while trolling the deeper waters in the Basins with medium minnows. Bass fishing can be the best all year if you catch it right. Fish shady shorelines with white spinner baits or crank baits. The ice storms of year ago put many limbs down under the cypresses providing new cover. Buzz baits can draw them out of this cover as long as there are minnows present. There will also be bass activity around the pad fields where flukes, Senko style worms, and spoons will be good choices. Seed moss or duckweed will also attract minnows and bass. You might have to do some searching for the bass as they tend to follow the minnows but when they are located, you can be well rewarded. The very best time to go is on a dark, drizzly day. Yellow bass will be another target. Use small black Grizzly jigs tipped with wax worms and tight line them along the shady shorelines. The Washout can be good is summer as it has waters that reach the forty foot mark. The fish will be holding near these deep areas but only from around six feet on up. Buzz baits early, plastics, and crank baits later on will catch them.

Northeast Arkansas

The Delta area is famous for its hot weather cat fishing and bream. Lakes such as Horseshoe, Brandywine Chute, Storm Creek, and Big Lake are known for giant bream and catfish. If you can stand the heat, you can catch a sack full. If you want to fish cooler water, go to the rivers. Usually, this time of year, the St. Frances will clear significantly and is a great place to catch a bunch of Kentucky, spotted bass. Spinner baits and tubes are local favorites. The Black River is another very productive stream that not only harbors a good bass population, but also crappie and catfish. The lakes on Crowley's Ridge are open to the public and operated by the Arkansas Game and Fish always provide excellent fishing due to the management policies of the Agency.

Pickwick Lake

Bass fishing is "crazy" with more bass being caught than anyone can remember. Catches of fifty to one hundred bass have been reported. Most are small but, if you can catch the current flowing, the big ones will be stacking up on the humps and ledges next to deep water. The grass has been sparse due to all the cold weather but should be topping out this month. This is excellent cover and should also be checked, especially at early light when poppers are advised if shad are being chased. Later in the day, deep running crank baits and large worms in shades of green seem to be best. Also, shaky heads and grubs may be effective on the humps and ledges. Bright, hot days will concentrate the fish whereas cloudy days will scatter them. Fishing right after a summer downpour can be really good. Just watch for shallow activity near run ins. Don't overlook the frequent fly hatches that occur. Bream, sunfish, and shad minnows will be attracted to these and the bass will follow. Night fishing is in full swing in July due to the oppressive heat and pleasure craft activity in the daytime. Fish the same areas you would in the day.

Kentucky Lake

Steve McAdams (731 642 0360) Bass fishing in June means lunkers on the ledges and a good current to concentrate them. Deep diving crank baits, large worms, jigs, and spoons that will get down to them and stay in the strike zone are a must. The near record catch of Kevin Van Dam in June a few years ago was in a large part due to his side imaging sonar, which enabled him to detect schools of large bass on ledges and humps. Electronics are becoming more and more crucial as anglers fish the depths during hot summer. For those who prefer to remain shallow, fish can be caught. Crappie can still be caught in the summer. Again, proper use of electronics can mean success. Deeper channels and humps are going to be the places to find them. Bluegill will be bedding all summer along shorelines and points. Watch for the fly hatches that will attract all species. Catfish will be moving out to the main channel ledges. Night fishing with lights near the bridges is a very popular activity in July as it is very productive and enables anglers to avoid the extreme heat and pleasure craft disturbance.The recent BASS and FLW Tour events four day totals for the winners were 80 and 100 plus pounds for the winners. No doubt, the Asian carp have had a negative effect on the fishery as fewer small bass were caught. There are still large fish to be caught.

Old Hickory

Our source for Old Hickory, Joey Mallicoat, told us, "The water level is currently 445.07 and the water temps have reached the high 70's and low 80's. The bass fishing has been fairly tough after the spawn has taken place. I have been catching most of my fish on deep creek channel points dragging shakey head worms. I like to use a Zoom Magnum Trick worm in Redbug paired with a half ounce head. They seem to like the worm dragging the bottom rather than hopping. Ive had decent luck on a Strike King 5xd in sexy shad as well. The fish are still aren't as aggressive as they should be, but if you put your head down and cover the high percentage areas you will run into a group of them eventually. The crappie are being caught on deep channel swings. The swings with cover on them have been producing better. Any type of fallen tree or sunken brush has been the key. With the amount of rain we have had there is a lot of floating debris on the lake. Always use caution when navigating the lake."

Percy Priest

Our source for Percy Priest, Joey Mallicoat, told us, "The water level is currently 489.70 and water temps ranging in the low to mid 80's. It has been unseasonably hot and it has pushed the bass to their summer time haunts. I have had much success fishing deep diving crankbaits on offshore structure in 15-20 feet of water. The bass have been feeding heavily on shad. My favorite bait is a Strike King 6xd in Tennessee Shad. If I cannot get the fish to fire on the crankbait I will typically throw a Carolina rig with a Zoom Z craw on the back. If the Carolina rig does not work I will slowly work a football head with a crawfish trailer. Slowing down can really be effective when the fish are deep. The night fishing for bass should start heating up as well. For this I like to target shallow flats near deep water with a black spinnerbait. The topwater action can be awesome at night as well and for this I like to target the same areas, only I throw a black buzzbait to get them going. The crappie have schooled up on deep brush piles as well and have been caught on jigs and minnows. Remember to pay attention while on the water. The warm weather brings out all of the pleasure boaters and has the lake more crowded than normal."

 

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