Just when is the good time to book a fishing vacation at Blue Bank Resort on Reelfoot Lake?  Just about anytime of the year.  But, here are some recommendations from Billy Blakely, guide at the resort.  I am listing his recommendations by species.

Reelfoot Lake is a shallow, nutrient rich lake in the northwest corner of Tennessee.

Catfish – Prime time is May through the fall.  Recommended baits include live bait, stink bait and Catalpa worm flavor dip bait by Strike King.

Crappie – The crappie action occurs to peak twice during the year.  The first is February through June and the second in September through November.  The bait of preference for most of the year is live minnows.  However, jigs can produce action in the fall.

Mostly local anglers find the best crappie around the stumps all over the lake.  As they move into the spawn period, the crappies are best found around the cypress knees (stumps in clumps of cypress).

Bluegill – This lake is famous for its bluegill population.  The best fishing comes in mid April through mid-July.  They spawn from early April to the 3rd week of May.  They are found close to the creek channels.  If there is a chop on the lake, Billy suggests concentrating on the up wind side of stumps where forage is forced by the wave action.

Largemouth Bass –  These predators are found through spring, summer and fall.  In the spring they are pursued by using jig and pig rigs and soft plastics.  During the summer local anglers move to the heavy vegetation and throw topwater baits like frogs.  In September they move to the fall patterns with it is back to the pork baits with the jig and pig.

Waterfowl –  During December and January, the outdoor action changes to waterfowl hunting.  The lake has a rich history of waterfowl hunting back to the days of market hunting.  The first birds to arrive are the divers such as wood ducks, teal, gadwall and bluebills.  Later the mallards arrive and most of the season is spent in pursuit of them.  This is a migratory flock and is dependant upon the birds’ movements.

Goose hunting action is mostly for speckle belly but some Canadas for make their way too the area.  There are not a lot of geese that make their way to Reelfoot Lake.



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  1. Cool. Reelfoot is a great fishery.

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