The Great Smoky Mountains a Hidden Fishing Paradise

I have been working (and visiting) the Great Smoky Mountains a lot the past couple of years. During my winding drives, I have come along some real hidden gems in respect to fishing that looks to be begging for me to pull over and start casting.

Being more of a lake/creek fisherman, I have only been fly fishing once in my life as a kid. The Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina have got me thinking about giving it a real try.

The Views of The Smoky Mountains

The beautiful view the smoky mountains offers will take your breath away. The region offers a lot of wildlife along with many streams/rivers that flow heavily giving trout fishing anglers a perfect and beautiful experience.

Depending on where you go in the Smoky Mountains, you will find many places to stay. For a fishing trip, I would suggest looking into getting a cabin.

The Fishing opportunities of The Smoky Mountains

Being that the Smoky Mountains are so large, you will find endless fishing opportunities. From rolling rivers to slow moving waterways and lakes. Here are a few I have found during my drives to customers:

Oconaluftee River

Located in Cherokee, NC, the Oconaluftee is a staple for local trout fishing. With Cherokee’s large Elk population, you never know who you will see out in the water. This stretch of river is a beautiful spot to fish or just have lunch take in the beauty.

One note to keep in mind. You will need a NC fishing license with a trout stamp. You also my need a Cherokee fishing license if you are located withing the tribal land. You can find more information on this and other regulations here.

This is the river I have been thinking about fishing. The downside for myself is, it will require new gear. Since I have do not fly fish, new fly rod, tackle and bibs are needed. I have been looking at some fishing wader reviewed and some rod/reels in my price range as of late. Hope to have everything by mid season!

Cherokee Lake

If you are more into Large Mouth or Stripped Bass, Cherokee Lake may be your spot. This whole region is known for massive lake and stripe bass. I have been past this lake many of times and planning on putting a trip together in the next year or two with my brother in-law.

Lake Cumberland and Norris Lake

So, Lake Cumberland and Norris Lake are not quite in the Smoky Mountains but close enough where they are worthy of a mention. We have fished both lakes many of times.

Lake Cumberland

Located in near the Kentuck/Tennessee border, Lake Cumberland is most widely known for Striped Bass fishing. We have caught some monsters. But, you don’t need to stick with Stripe Bass. Once you limit out,hit the Small Mouth. You can expect to pull some nice fish out of this lake. Actually, the image used on our twitter page is a Stripe Bass caught on a trip their. Here is my quick article on a Lake Cumberland fishing trip I posted back in 2013.

Norris Lake

Norris Lake is newer to our adventures. We have only been once but have decided to go back as soon as we can. Located in the same region as Cumberland, Norris Lake is located throughout many counties in Tennessee. It has a lot of creeks and rivers intertwined flowing into it.

Me with three monsters caught at Norris

Photoed above is some nice Strip Bass caught on our trip to Norris Lake. We had a great day out on the water and limited out.

Above is a beast I pulled in a mouth of a river and Norris Lake. We were located on the river and you channel going into the lake is behind the boat you see in the photo.

Other Fishing Opportunities

There are so many fishing opportunities  in and around the Great Smoky Mountains, it would be impossible to list them all. The above are just a few of the opportunities I have drove past you fished myself. If you have a trip coming up or want to plan one, I suggest googling “smoky mounting fishing”. You will find endless possibilities.

The Bottom Line

If you have never been to the Smoky Mountains, I suggest you check the area out. The mountains makes for a good family trip, tons of wildlife and endless views. Check out my review on Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, great place for a family trip with plenty of river access for fishing.

So, do you fish in the Smoky Mountains? If so, share with us places to check out!

The JTTVO J3000 Review: My New Backup Fishing Reel

I have been on the hunt for a cheap backup fishing reel over the winter. I picked up the JTTVO J3000 in hopes it will take the job. Today we are going to take a closer look at eh JTTVO J3000, cover the features and cover my initial thoughts.

Why I Picked the JTTVO J3000

As you might have guessed, JTTVO is not a well known brand and I believe can only be picked up online. Most of the time, I would have passed over a “no name” fishing reel but a couple things stuck out to me.


JTTVO J3000 diagram

Photo by Manufacture

Today, many manufactures are using plastic. I’ll never use a plastic body reel. You will just be asking for trouble out on the water. The JTTVO series fishing reels seem to built well.

  • Full metal body
  • Brass gears
  • Stainless steel shaft
  • Carbon and stainless steel drag washers

That along with the price seemed hard to beat…


Seeing the above quality parts and noticing the price is what got me to take a closer look and consider this reel. Just under $30 when I purchased, the price is a step down to most best for your buck reels (I’ll be sharing those in another post soon).

My main bass reel is not an expensive fishing reel in any regards (Okuma). But the price is still closer to $50. I wanted a second set up in case of disaster but also didn’t want to invest a lot in it. The price of the JTTVO is on point to fill my needs and not too much if it breaks.

The Satisfaction Guarantee

JTTVO claims that “we support the replacement even a full refund anytime”. As to official warranty, I’m waiting to hear back from them on that (just reached out). Many manufacturers don’t throw that out there, especially on a $30 reel. It’s good to know that if I don’t like it, I’m able to return with no issues.

My JTTVO Fishing Reel Review

So, this is my initial review of the JTTVO J3000. I will update this review once I get some good water time with it.

The company offers the following sizes:

  • J2000 (ultralight)
  • J3000 (largmouth size fish)
  • J4000 (larger fish, stripers, catfish, etc)
  • J5000 (big blues, large shovel, saltwater, etc)


I purchased the J3000 from Amazon (found here) using my prime account. Since it is fulfilled by Amazon, it was at my door in 2 days. It came double boxed.


JTTVO J3000 unboxing

I was pretty impressed with the weight, look and build.

A cool feature, the handle

JTTVO J3000 handle button to fold in handle

Besides being able to go from left handed to right handed, I noticed a nice feature that I didn’t notice before buying this fishing reel. In the above photo, you will see a button on the bottom of the handle. This is a release to fold it in.

Most other reels have a screw cap on the other side of the reel to loosen the handle allowing you to fold the handle in. I have never seen a fishing reel with a button. If they are out there, I have never seen one. This feature made my day and will be used often.


The JTTVO J3000 compared to my Okuma C-30

The JTTVO J3000 compared to my Okuma C-30

In the above photo, you see the JTTVO J3000 next to my Okuma C-30. The J3000 is larger than the Okuma but not as much as it may seem in the photo. The C-30 is on the small side of fishing reels and I say that the J3000 is the size you would expect to see on a bass rig.


The reel paired with 8LB Mono SpiderLine

I paired my new reel with some 8LB Mono SpiderLine.

Adding line

The reel lined well laying the line out as even as you can get. The smooth action of the internal parts gives this fishing reel a nice feel. No issues to report.


For testing purposes, I used a small 3/0 (1/4 oz I think) slit shot weight to test casting. Most of what I will be using while on the water will be much heavier than this. I just wanted to see how smooth the casting is and what type of control I can get out of the JTTVO J3000.

Using the 3/0 sinker, I was getting about 15 yards with a flip of the wrist. The cast is smooth and no binding or catching. Now, the rod and line have something to do with cast quality as well. I’m using a 6.5 foot medium/heavy action rod and brand new line. But I can’t complain.


I can only attest to my testing situation for now. I will share more information here once I get out on the water and bring in some pigs using this reel.

The handle has an anti-reverse system that doesn’t give anything back when your setting your hook. This is a nice feature as well. See, on some reels when you pull on the line, the reel will reverse a half inch or so. This takes away from setting the hook and puts a jolt on your line when set. When anti-reverse is used, there is no play from where your handle stops and when the line gets hit with tension.

The one thing I will say, is that when reeling in, I did hear a little noise from this reel. Not much but someone may not like that. I will also say that I went from the box to testing. A little fishing reel oil may fix this.

The Conclusion

Okay, so this isn’t the final conclusion as I will be updating this review in the next few weeks after getting some water time. We’ll say the initial conclusion for now lol.


  • Heavy duty build
  • Very smooth
  • Anti-reverse option on a cheap fishing reel
  • Looks good
  • Quality beats other reels in this price rage
  • The guaranty form the company


  • Not a well known brand (yet)
  • Possibly a little noise with tension