Is Reelfoot Lake Open for Fishing?

Reelfoot Lake is located in the northwestern corner of Tennessee and is a popular destination for fishing, wildlife watching, and water sports. The lake was formed by an earthquake in 1811 and is known for its abundant fish population. It was declared a state park in 1925 and then a National Wildlife Refuge in 1931.

Reelfoot Lake is open for fishing year-round, although specific regulations may vary from season to season or depending on the species being Targeted. The lake offers excellent opportunities for anglers of all skill levels, from beginner to expert. Some of the most popular species include largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, and carp.

In addition to recreational fishing, Reelfoot Lake also offers a wide array of activities such as boating, canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, hunting, camping, hiking trails, and swimming beaches. There are also several restaurants located along the shoreline that serve tasty local cuisine.

Fishing Regulations

Fishing regulations at Reelfoot Lake are set by the state of Tennessee and enforced by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). All anglers must have a valid fishing license when fishing on Reelfoot Lake.

The lake has two daily creel limits: one limit applies to largemouth bass while another limit applies to all other game fish species combined (including crappie). There are also special regulations for bow fishing and gigging on certain parts of the lake.

Fishing Tips

Reelfoot Lake is known for its abundance of large-mouth bass so anglers should be sure to bring plenty of artificial lures or live bait when fishing here. Fishing early in the morning or late at night tends to be more productive as fish are less likely to be spooked during these times.

Additionally, anglers should try different depths depending on what type of fish they are Targeting as different species can be found at various depths throughout the lake.


In conclusion Reelfoot Lake is open for fishing year-round with specific regulations varying from season to season or depending on species being Targeted. Anglers should be sure to obtain a valid fishing license before embarking on their journey and bring plenty of artificial lures or live bait with them when they go out onto the lake. With its abundance of large-mouth bass and other game fish species combined with its wide array of activities and scenic views Reelfoot Lake has something for everyone making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts alike!

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Emma Gibson