With a number of beautiful lakes and rivers in the region, Loudon County, long recognized as the Lakeway to the Smokies, is also known as one of the best fishing counties in Tennessee.
Fort Loudoun Lake is known for producing quality largemouth and smallmouth bass and is very popular with tournament fishermen. Fort Loudoun contains an excellent bass fishery and a very high number of big fish. Large bass are routinely collected in TWRA’s electrofishing surveys and a higher percentage of “lunkers” are found in Fort Loudoun when compared to most other east Tennessee reservoirs.
The lake is also a top choice for crappie anglers because it keeps producing year after year, while the catfishing is also top-notch (the state record 130-pound blue catfish was caught here in 1976). Among the other most commonly harvested fish in Fort Loudoun Lake are bluegill, white bass, sauger and walleye.
Fishing is a major pastime on Tellico Lake, which is home to 51 different species of fish. The Tellico Reservoir is a 15,500-acre lake that features the cooler waters from the Tellico River and Chilhowee Reservoir, making this a big draw for rainbow and brown trout, as well as walleye.
Some of the other most popular fish in Tellico include largemouth and smallmouth bass, spotted, white, yellow, striped and rock bass, channel, flathead and blue catfish, black and white crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, warmouth, paddlefish, yellow perch, and sauger.
Located in the northeast part of Tennessee, Melton Hill Lake is a 5,700-acre reservoir. Warm water discharged at the Bull Run Steam Plant keeps this area warm throughout the year, extending the growing season for many species and making this an extremely popular place to fish.
Musky, striped bass and crappie are the main focus of many fishermen but the lake also offers plenty of bass, catfish, walleye, sauger, sunfish, white bass, bluegill and paddlefish.
Watts Bar Lake has both white and black-nose crappie in great quantities. Crappie fishing starts to pick up in late February to early March and is normally strong through the first part of May
Stripers and Cherokee Bass (rock fish, hybrids, or wipers) are both available on Watts Bar Lake. Stripers in the 50-60 lb. range and Cherokees in the 15-20 lb. range are frequently caught.
Other species available in Watts Bar Lake include white bass, sun fish, catfish and sauger.
Fishing is just one of many things to do in and around Loudon County.
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