Fishing the Valley

Come to the Tennessee Valley where the waters are clean and the fishing is good. If bass is your bag, we’ve got some of the best lakes in the country, including Bassmaster favorites Chickamauga and Guntersville. But if it’s trout you’re after, you’ll find monsters of the species in our mountain streams and the tailwaters below TVA’s dams. Browse through the collection of stories below for the inside line, and get hooked on Valley fishing.


Where the Sport Fish Are

We surveyed our own lakes to measure populations of three species of black bass — largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass — as well as black and white crappie. Here's what we found where.

Trout Fishing the TVA Tailwaters

Like to fish, but bass aren’t your bag? Try the more meditative art of trout fishing. Here’s a Q & A guide to where and how to safely fish for trout in the Tennessee Valley.

An App for Anglers’ Advantage

Join with savvy anglers and download the TVA Lake Info app, and learn to work with the Tennessee River system’s currents. It’s an essential tool for every tackle box.

Big Ones Below Norris

The tailwater below Norris Dam offers outstanding trout fishing and perfect conditions for paddling—and A.D.A. access to boot. Fun for everyone!

Creating Family Fishing Traditions on TVA Lakes

From trophies worthy of hanging on the wall to the simple joys of a bluegill on a little girl’s line, TVA lake fishing creates memories that cross generations. PLUS: 10 family-friendly destinations for fishing from the shore.

Casting a Wide Net

TVA joins with TWRA to help fund the Etnier Ichthyology Endowment at the University of Tennessee in support of funding research on and improving aquatic diversity among the fishes of Tennessee.

Lake Sturgeon Make a Comeback

This ancient fish, once extinct in the Tennessee River system, has made a comeback thanks to a savvy reintroduction initiative by TVA and its partners.

The Secret Ocoee

There’s more to the Ocoee River than world-class whitewater rafting. We caught up with an experienced guide to find out what other secret adventures the Ocoee has to offer.

Catch Those Carp!

TVA is working with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to promote fishing of Asian carp to reduce populations of this invasive species in the Valley’s reservoirs.

Why Did the Trout Cross the Road?

Because TVA and its partners made it possible by restoring a stream beneath a bridge in Unicoi County, Tenn., to more natural conditions, opening up miles of habitat for native brook trout.

Fish are Having a Ball on TVA Lakes

TVA and TWRA are joining forces to create fish habitat in the Valley’s reservoir system by adapting an innovative technology originally created to help regenerate coral reefs in salt water.

Kids Playing Hooky

Here's how to fish with kids—to help them be successful, keep them safe and get them hooked for life on one of the Valley's most popular summertime sports.

Fast Current Changes Grass Game on Tennessee River

TVA lakes are known for their aquatic weeds — a.k.a. grass — a real attraction for bass and those who are out to catch them. But due winter's rushing waters, the growth patterns have changed this year.

Fishing for Scholarships

Valley-based Bethel University broke new ground by offering scholarships for bass fishing athletes. Now it’s a collegiate fishing powerhouse.

Best Bass Lakes are in the Valley!

Don't take our word for it — Bassmaster has listed Guntersville Lake as the second best bass fishing destination in the entire nation, and Chickamauga Lake as number 6.

In addition, here's their list of the best bass lakes in the Southeast:

1. Guntersville Lake
2. Chickamauga Lake
6. Pickwick Lake
15. Watts Bar Lake
19. Wheeler Lake
20. Cherokee Lake

Angler's Aquatic Plant ID

Developed by fishermen for fishermen, this plant-by-plant guide gives you all the information you need to understand when aquatic plants are most productive, where they grow and how to fish them.

Boosting Oxygen in the Tennessee Valley Tailwater

TVA cares for the creatures who live below its dams, and has devised several good ways to add dissolved oxygen to the tailwaters to enrich aquatic life. WATCH: The story of Jeff Ogden, whose job it is to protect life downstream of TVA's dams.


It’s always a good time for fun on the Tennessee Valley’s lands and waters. Not sure where to start? We have you covered! Check out some of the best recreational activities on our reservoirs. While you’re enjoying the lakes, trails, picnic areas and campgrounds, share your own stories and photos on Instagram using #TVAfun.

River Neighbors Newsletter

Get the all the latest news and inside information about recreation on TVA public lands and lakes.

Lake Info App

Lake Info Splash Screen

Want your lake info to go? Download the TVA Lake Info app, an easy-to-use resource for operating on and around reservoirs and dams in the TVA region. Available for iPhone and Android devices.

Tennessee Valley Uncharted Logo

Fishing for trout? Ride along with Erick Baker as he gets a personal fly-fishing lesson on this segment of Tennessee Valley Uncharted. Bass more your bag? Go behind the scenes at the Bassmaster tournament (and look at our giant fish tank!) with TVA’s fish whisperer Shannon O’Quinn in this special TVU segment.