Loaded With Smallmouth

Reel ‘Em In!

Dale Hollow is known for many things: houseboating, clear water, rustic beauty. But Dale Hollow is known most for one thing: fishing. And that fishing can be narrowed down to a particular kind – smallmouth bass – and for good reason.

Not long after its impoundment, Dale Hollow’s reputation as a fishing hotspot started to grow. That reputation reached worldwide proportions way back in 1955, when David Lee Hayes landed the world- record, 11.9375-pound “smallie” from the Kentucky side of the lake. Hayes’ world- record has survived a great deal of scrutiny through the years and stands undisputed as the biggest-ever smallmouth landed.

Record catches for other species

But don’t think smallmouth bass fishing is the only type Dale Hollow is recognized for, or still heavily visited for. The lake, and the Obey River directly below it, has held multiple records for other species through the years. Dale Hollow once held the state record for lake trout (12 pounds, 13 ounces), while the Obey River below Dale Hollow Dam once produced a state-record rainbow trout (14 pounds, 8 ounces) and brown trout (26 pounds, 2 ounces). Those marks have fallen through the years, but the brown trout and rainbow trout former records.

Dale Hollow still holds the Kentucky muskie title (43 pounds). If you’re looking for big fish, this can be the place. If you want to fish for something else, there’s largemouth and Kentucky bass, walleye, crappie, drum and a variety of other species to choose from.

The National Fish Hatchery that stocks waters around the entire Southeast with rainbow trout is located on the Obey River. The Obey is also directly stocked from the facility.

Obey River Campground Fishing

Obey River Campground Fishing

The Corps of Engineers operates a very popular campground right beside the Obey River, located only about four miles from Celina. The campground has almost everything a camper could want. It stays filled to capacity during most of the vacation season. “People come to...

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TWRA Tennessee Fishing Guide

TWRA Tennessee Fishing Guide

Tennessee’s 2022-23 fishing regulations are now in effect and anglers are encouraged to obtain the new Tennessee Fishing Guide now available at locations throughout the state, on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website and on the TWRA “On the Go App.” Hard...

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