Take your choice! If you fish and like diversity, this is the place to go. Whether it’s a mighty river, a slow-moving stream, a large reservoir, or a jon boat size lake, all are here for you to visit and enjoy. The problem is which to choose.
Let’s go from small to large: If you have a small boat or canoe, you still have a choice. On Highway 69, a couple of miles south of Decaturville, there is a decent ramp where you can launch directly into the lower Beech River. At this point, the river is only a few yards across but is a great fishery. Local anglers catch bass, bream, crappie and catfish with relative ease. There are lay downs that can hinder navigation so go slow and fish thoroughly in this small water environment. The river empties into a large bay noted for crappie and bass in the month of April. High water does affect the river, which sometimes can affect the fishery.
If it’s big water you prefer, the lower Beech River has about five miles of fishable water before it empties into the Tennessee River at Perryville. It is a labyrinth of coves, cuts, and backwater sloughs that can keep you very busy on a full day of fishing. This section contains all types of cover from stump fields and rock shelves to riprap and buck bushes. Take your choice according to the seasonal migration patterns.
If it’s a small lake you seek, there are several. On the Natchez Trace Park’s Maple Creek, Brown’s Creek and Cub Lakes are all less than 200 acres. Cub is 58 acres and can be fished from the shore, the piers, or by renting a park boat. Private boats are not allowed. Maple Creek is 90 acres with a ramp large enough for any fishing boat. It is known best for its giant bluegill fishing.
Brown’s is 167 acres and has been stocked with Florida strain bass in hopes of developing a trophy fishery. TWRA shocked up a 16-pound-plus largemouth three years go that would have been a new state record had an angler landed it.
Each lake has its own regulations and limits on fish and lake use. Nearby Cedar Lake is only 140 acres, is quite shallow and has a great bream and bass population. Most bass run small but an occasional lunker does appear. At 235 acres, Redbud is also noted as a terrific bream and shellcracker lake.
Dogwood Lake is 500 acres but, due to its remote location and very steep ramp, sees little activity. This a super shellcracker lake and anyone with experience at fishing redworms for this species can have a ball. It is not unusual to catch some weighing more than a pound. There are big bass here but many small ones due to lack of pressure.
Pin Oak, at almost 700 acres, is also in the park and is widely touted as a big bass lake. This is one of the most scenic with many coves surrounded by hardwood forests.
There is a lodge along with villas, restaurant, picnic grounds, camping, and a swimming beach. In summer, expect several pleasure craft from mid morning to dark. Savvy fishermen can take advantage of this, as stained water caused by wave action can bring fish up very shallow. There are ramps at both ends of the lake.
South of Lexington are two other great lakes. Sycamore is the smaller at 230 acres making it easy to fish and figure out. It has produced bass over 10 pounds but sees light pressure. If you like fishing grass, this is the place for you because mats get thick in the summer. Details of this “Hidden Place” are in this issue. Across Hwy 22 lies Pine Lake at 500 acres. This lake has many residences on its shore. Many have boat docks and houses making a different scenario for fishermen. Brushpiles have been placed near many of these structures and provide abundant cover for all species. This lake is noted for huge bass, catfish, and tons of small crappie.
Finally, we come to the King of all the Lakes, Beech. At 875 acres, Beech is noted for lunker bass, large catfish, good size crappie, and excellent bream. Its deep channels, ledges, humps, and underwater points are a structure fisherman’s dream. Fishermen have placed hundreds of brushpiles adding to the cover for game fish. This is a popular tournament destination as well as recreational boating. There are two beaches, picnic areas, restrooms, camping facilities, boat slips and marina.
If you desire even bigger waters, the mighty Tennessee River is only a few miles to the east. At over 160,000 acres, Kentucky Lake stretches from Pickwick Dam to Kentucky Dam, well over a hundred miles. If you like water, The Beech River area has an endless variety to suit most any desire.