BEECH RIVER FISHING   Leave a comment


Beech River watershed lakes in Henderson County, TN offer fishing in a kind of quiet splendor.

The seven lakes: Beech, Cedar, Dogwood, Lost Creek, Pin Oak, Pine, Redbud, and Sycamore, contain a total of some 3,000 surface acres and over 100 miles of shoreline.   The lakes range in size from 140- to 875-acres in size.

Henderson County is just south of Interstate 40 and about halfway between Nashville and Memphis.  The lakes are along Highway 412 between Jackson and Lexington.

All the lakes have good fishing potential for such species as largemouth bass, crappie, bream and catfish.  Stocking of the lakes make summer fishing an anglers dream.  Here is a brief break down by lake of the angling opportunities.

Beech Lake

This 1,000-acre lake about 1.5 miles northwest of Lexington is about 3.5 miles in length with a dam at the south end.  Bass action picks up in June as the fish move out to the drop- offs and ledges.  Action is good all month and they begin to bunch up in July.  In August, as the water warms, night fishing on the main lake points, drop offs and deep lake points is preferable.   In September they move back to the shallows near shore.

Lure preference is crankbaits and worms on a Carolina rig.

Bream action is best in June with crickets in 3 to 4 feet or water near sandy or clay banks in the coves.  Later in the month red worms work, as do 1/32nd ounce jigs in chartreuse with black or glitter.  Vary retrieval speed and halt from time to time.  Shellcrackers will take the same presentation.  Crappie-like minnows in about 10 to 15 feet of water but they do move to about 8 foot in September.  Look for wood in the form of brush piles and treetops.  Jigs in colors like pink/white, black/red will work.

Channel and blue catfish take nightcrawler, cut bait, chicken livers and cheese during July and August.  Try bouncing the bait off the bottom of creek channel in early morning and late in the afternoon.

Pine Lake

This 500-acre lake is about 4.5 miles south of Lexington on Highway 22.  Nearly 2 miles in length, it has a dam at the north end.  Bass fishing is not great here but the pursuit of bream during June and July is very good.  They will take crickets, red worms, 1/32nd ounce crappie jigs and tube jigs.  Most fish will be on the beds or in water between two and four feet deep.  The cooler the day the more shallow, the hotter the deeper they will be found.  The same techniques will work for crappie.

Catfish will be 6 to 12 feet down and like nightcrawlers, chicken livers and cheese bait.  Early and late in the day is prime time for fishing and July is the prime month.

Dogwood and Redbud

These two lakes are 500 and 230 acres in surface area.  They are on the eastern border of Henderson County.  They run north and south parallel to one another and are undeveloped.

Largemouth bass will be near main lake structure such as points, ledges and drop offs.  Favorite baits are big worms and big crankbaits.  You will find smaller fish near the main lake ditches.  The panfish and catfish action is not as good as Beech and Pine Lake.  Bait for catfish is nightcrawlers and cut bait while panfish prefer jigs and minnows.


This 230 acre lake has no waterfront development.  It is located southeast of Lexington and just east of Highway 22 about 5 miles.

Largemouth bass are good in this lake and they like large crankbaits or plastic worms rigged Carolina-style.  Fish are usually near the deep water structure.  Panfish action is OK but not great with most fish taken near brush piles and other shallow water structure.

Cedar Lake

About 3 miles northeast of Lexington near the town of Pleasant Hill is the 140 acre Cedar Lake.  It has not shoreline development and is about a mile in length.  This is probably the best bream fishing lake in the Beech River watershed.  Bass action is slow.  Crickets, red worms, jigs and grubs in any color combination with chartreuse are the best bet.  Crappie and catfish action is slow.

Pin Oak Lake

This lake is part of the Natchez Trace State Park about 7 miles northeast of Lexington on the eastern part of Henderson County.

Bass are on drop-offs and ledges near deep water.  They move to the shallower water in late summer as the water cools.   Crappies are near brush piles located near points and will take minnows in 8 to 12 feet of water.

Shellcrackers and bream can be in the 4 foot level near the bottom and will take red worms and crickets.  Catfish are usually deep near points and like cut bait or nightcrawlers.

There are no boat restrictions on all these lakes but other site specific rules do apply.  For specific regulations contact the BRWDA office at 731-968-6191.  The office is located 9 miles south of I-40 at Exit 108, Highway 22 South near Lexington, KY.


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