SUP Your Fishing Game: Tennessee's Hidden Paddling Gems!

Tennessee, renowned for its stunning landscapes and waterways, offers anglers a diverse array of fishing destinations. From serene lakes nestled in the mountains to winding rivers that cut through picturesque valleys, this state is a fishing haven for enthusiasts of all levels. Prepare to be captivated by the lure of the waters as we delve into the best places to SUP fish in Tennessee.

Key Highlights:

  1. Diverse Fishing Destinations: From mountain lakes to scenic rivers, Tennessee offers a wide variety of SUP fishing spots.
  2. Target Multiple Species: Anglers can catch bass, crappie, trout, and more.
  3. Seasonal Fishing Opportunities: Optimal fishing times vary, offering year-round angling adventures.
  4. Record Catches: Several locations boast record-breaking catches, highlighting the potential for trophy fishing.
  5. Scenic Views: Beyond fishing, paddleboarders can enjoy breathtaking natural landscapes.
  6. Accessibility for All Levels: Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned angler, there's a spot for you.
  7. Conservation Areas: Many locations promote environmental preservation, providing a sustainable fishing experience.
  8. Community Engagement: Join local SUP and fishing communities for shared adventures and tips.
  9. Wildlife Encounters: Paddleboarding in these areas also offers close encounters with local wildlife.
  10. Safety and Regulations: Information on safety practices and fishing regulations to ensure a responsible angling experience.

1. Center Hill Lake.

Nestled amid the rolling hills, Center Hill Lake provides an idyllic setting for fishing. Anglers can target bass, crappie, and bluegill here. Opt for crankbaits and soft plastic lures to entice these species. The record catch stands at a whopping 12-pound largemouth bass, caught in May 2019. Spring and early summer are prime times to explore this fisherman's paradise.

2. Douglas Lake.

With its serene beauty, Douglas Lake is a prime spot for SUP fishing. Bass enthusiasts will rejoice here, with largemouth and smallmouth bass as the primary targets. Spinnerbaits and jigs work wonders in attracting these elusive predators. The record catch, a remarkable 9-pound, 15-ounce largemouth bass, was reeled in during the balmy days of June.

3. Percy Priest Lake.

Percy Priest Lake's urban charm adds a unique twist to your fishing adventure. This location is a crappie haven, and jigs tipped with minnows are irresistible to them. The record crappie catch, weighing in at 3 pounds, 14 ounces, was hooked in April 2020. Spring and fall are the favored seasons here.

4. Cherokee Lake.

Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Cherokee Lake is a picturesque destination. Largemouth and striped bass are the sought-after catches here. Cast jerkbaits and swimbaits to allure these predators. The record striped bass catch, an impressive 55-pound specimen, was hooked in November, showcasing the allure of late fall fishing.

5. Kentucky Lake.

Kentucky Lake's expansive waters offer boundless fishing opportunities. Crappie, catfish, and bass thrive in these waters. Live bait such as minnows and nightcrawlers prove irresistible to the abundant fish. A colossal 44-pound, 4-ounce catfish holds the record, caught in the heat of July. Spring and early summer are the best times to experience the lake's bounty.

6. Old Hickory Lake.

Old Hickory Lake, embraced by verdant landscapes, beckons with its serene charm. Catfish and bass are the stars of the show here. Chicken liver and stinkbait are the go-to baits for catfish, while spinnerbaits entice bass. The record catfish catch, a hefty 51 pounds, was captured in the sultry days of August.

7. Watts Bar Lake.

Watts Bar Lake's quiet allure is a haven for fishing aficionados. Catfish, crappie, and bass populate these waters. For catfish, dip baits prove their worth, while crappie favor jigs. A colossal 72-pound catfish holds the record, establishing Watts Bar as a must-visit for catfish enthusiasts. Spring and fall are the prime seasons.

8. Pickwick Lake.

Pickwick Lake, nestled along the Tennessee River, boasts an array of fish species. Smallmouth and largemouth bass, as well as sauger, are the prized catches here. Crankbaits and jigs are the favored lures to tempt these fish. The record sauger catch, weighing 5 pounds, was reeled in during the brisk days of February.

9. Norris Lake.

Glide Angler Fishing paddle board

Surrounded by the lush Appalachian Mountains, Norris Lake is a tranquil haven. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are abundant here. Swimbaits and plastic worms prove effective in enticing these species. The record smallmouth bass catch, a remarkable 11 pounds, 15 ounces, was hooked in the crisp days of October.

10. Nickajack Lake.

Nickajack Lake, renowned for its diverse aquatic life, offers a mix of fish species. Largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish are the primary targets. Live minnows and nightcrawlers are reliable choices for bait. A colossal 112-pound catfish holds the record, showcasing the lake's incredible potential. Spring and summer are the favored seasons.

11. Dale Hollow Lake.

Dale Hollow Lake's breathtaking landscapes provide a stunning backdrop for fishing adventures. Smallmouth bass and rainbow trout are the main attractions here. Jerkbaits and swimbaits prove irresistible to these predators. The record rainbow trout catch, weighing 14 pounds, 8 ounces, was reeled in during the cool days of November.

12. Tims Ford Lake.

Tims Ford Lake's crystal-clear waters beckon with their allure. Smallmouth and largemouth bass, as well as crappie, thrive here. Jigs and crankbaits are excellent choices to tempt these fish. The record crappie catch, a remarkable 3 pounds, 8 ounces, was hooked in April, setting the stage for a springtime fishing escapade.

13. Reelfoot Lake.

Reelfoot Lake's distinctive beauty and abundant wildlife make it a unique fishing destination. Crappie and bluegill are the stars of the show. Jigs and live bait, such as minnows and crickets, are irresistible to these fish. The record crappie catch, a notable 5 pounds, 3 ounces, was captured in the enchanting days of May.

14. Chickamauga Lake.

Chickamauga Lake's expansive waters provide ample opportunities for fishing adventures. Bass enthusiasts will be delighted by the presence of largemouth and smallmouth bass. Swimbaits and jigs are top choices for luring these predators. The record largemouth bass catch, an impressive 15 pounds, 3 ounces, was hooked in February, highlighting the lake's winter potential.

15. Melton Hill Lake.

Melton Hill Lake's scenic beauty and diverse fish population make it a hidden gem. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are abundant here. Soft plastics and swimbaits are excellent choices for enticing these predators. The record smallmouth bass catch, weighing 6 pounds, 5 ounces, was reeled in during the vibrant days of April.

16. Boone Lake.

Boone Lake's tranquil waters provide a peaceful fishing experience. Largemouth and smallmouth bass, as well as crappie, are the main targets. Crankbaits and jigs are effective choices for luring these fish. The record crappie catch, weighing 4 pounds, 4 ounces, was hooked in May, heralding the arrival of spring.

17. Fort Loudoun Lake.

Nestled along the Tennessee River, Fort Loudoun Lake offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are the main attractions here. Spinnerbaits and jigs are reliable choices for enticing these predators. The record smallmouth bass catch, weighing an impressive 7 pounds, 10 ounces, was reeled in during the invigorating days of October. Fall and early spring provide the ideal conditions for a remarkable fishing experience.

18. Barkley Lake.

Barkley Lake, stretching across Tennessee's western border, is a haven for anglers. Catfish, crappie, and bass thrive here. Chicken liver and jigs are reliable options for luring these fish. The record catfish catch, weighing 106 pounds, was captured in the sultry days of July. Spring and summer provide an optimal fishing experience.

19. Watauga Lake.

Nestled in the Cherokee National Forest, Watauga Lake's scenic beauty is a treat for the senses. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are the primary attractions. Crankbaits and jigs are effective in enticing these predators. The record smallmouth bass catch, weighing 6 pounds, 5 ounces, was reeled in during the serene days of June.

20. South Holston Lake.

South Holston Lake's crystal-clear waters and mountainous backdrop create an enchanting setting. Trout, including rainbow and brown trout, are the prized catches here. Spinners and flies are the favored choices for luring these species. The record brown trout catch, weighing 28 pounds, 12 ounces, was hooked in March, heralding the arrival of spring.


paddleboard in lake
Photo Credit: Rusty's Kayak & Paddleboard

Tennessee's waterways offer an unparalleled fishing experience for SUP enthusiasts. From the serene beauty of mountain lakes to the expansive waters of the rivers, each location presents a unique opportunity to connect with nature and reel in impressive catches. Whether you're drawn to the thrill of landing a record-breaking fish or simply savoring the tranquility of the waters, these 20 destinations ensure an unforgettable fishing adventure. thank you for taking this tour of the best spots for sup fishing in Tennessee with us.

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