lake cumberland

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 of the outdoors.

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, or 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!

2013 Lake Cumberland Fishing Trip

Lake Cumberland Map

In just about 2 months my buddies and I will be taking our yearly fishing trip down to the beautiful Lake Cumberland. This large lake is known for all kinds of good fishing, but we go strictly for Strip Bass.

With parts of the 65,530 acre reservoir over 200 foot deep, it is set up to be able to support a healthy population of large strippers along with many other type fish. Lake Cumberland is man made and was created for flood control and power production. The Dam was built in 1952. By doing this, Lake Cumberland has turned into a fishing dream for people like me.

We usually rent a cabin at Jamestown Marina and get a guide from there though, we might venture out ourselves this year. Guide service is pricey, but not too bad if 5 guys go and split the cost. We are learning the lake pretty well, guides are recommended for newcomers to the lake.

At Jamestown, you will find cheap cabins, a hotel and every size boat you can think of. Heck, one guy has a full size helicopter on boat and flies it around the lake. Houseboats and pontoons can be rented.

Once loaded up, we head out before the sun comes up and bottom fish for strippers. You can quickly catch your limit if you know the lake and know where to go and when. After the sun comes up we usually change over to large and smallmouth bass fishing until mid afternoon when we pack it up and head out to eat and relax for a while. We are back on the boat before dusk for our evening fishing. We usually troll the waters trying to limit out a strippers again to finish off the night.

After a day and a half of fishing, we take the 2nd part of the day to filet our catches and pack with dry ice for the trip home. Worn out and a lot of good stories to tell, we head home and wait until the next trip is made, remembering, storytelling, and planning.

And that my friend is how I see our 2013 fishing trip to Lake Cumberland to look as well. Keep an eye in the forum for pictures once we get back.


Keep you lines wet and stay safe.