douglas dam
Douglas Dam Know More about the Water Levels
August 14, 2023
douglas dam
Douglas Dam Know More about the Water Levels
August 14, 2023

Fishing In Douglas Lake

As we specialize in fun on the Douglas Lake waters near Dandridge, TN, we wanted to share some collected information on the other “fun-on-the-lake” thing that makes Douglas Lake a popular destination: 80’s movie trivia underwater!

Ha ha ha… ok, really, here’s all you need to know about fishing at Douglas Lake with sources at the end:

Fishing Info

“Douglas Lake is rated as one of the top 10 in the country for Bass Fishing and in the top 5 for Crappie Fishing. The lake covers about 34,000 surface acres and fishing is good generally year round. Fish species inhabiting the Douglas Lake include, Bass, Crappie, Catfish, and Bluegill. The best early season action occurs in April and May, with October, November, and December being prime time for late season fishing. During the summer months of June, July & August, action can be excellent at night, fishing for Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, & Crappie.

For Bass, Carolina Rigs & Texas Rigs are very productive. Douglas Lake has some cover, but structure fishing is the key to this fishery. Night fishing, is best on calm evenings using buzz baits or large spinner baits. Any area with dock lights or nights of the full moon can be especially productive.

For Crappie, try tightlining or trolling minnows around main channel and creek channel flats or fishing the available cover in the area.

The key access points for Douglas Lake are located in Sevierville, and Dandridge, Tennessee and include; Mountain Cove Marina, Light House Marina, Gator Point Marina, The Point Marina, & Swanns Marina.

Come to the Smoky Mountain Region and enjoy the great fishing East Tennessee has to offer. Other lakes in the area you might want to fish while visiting include Cherokee or Norris lake, which offer great smallmouth bass fishing from October thru April, or fishing at night during the months of June, July and August.

One of the most productive waters in east Tennessee. Largemouth bass draw the most attention. Douglas Lake also contains healthy populations of catfish, crappie and bluegill. 30,400 acres.”

Types Of Fish At Douglas Lake


Smallmouth bass stocking: 2013 – 10,000; 2012 – 2,000; 2009 – 10,400; 2006 – 2,500; 2005 – 7,650
Douglas has one of the best largemouth bass fisheries in east Tennessee due to excellent reproduction and outstanding growth rates. The largemouth fishery is in such excellent condition there has been no reason to impose a size limit. There is, however, a daily creel limit of five-fish in combination with smallmouth.

Because the Douglas smallmouth population is limited, the TWRA implemented a very protective one-fish per day, 20-inch minimum length limit in 2003. This regulation along with stocking should help improve the density of the fishery.


White crappie stocking: 2009 – 182,520; 2008 – 36,090; 2007 – 15,000; 2005 – 15,000
Crappie are normally very abundant and extremely popular with Douglas anglers, but their numbers have declined somewhat during the past several years. There is a minimum size limit of 10-inches with a 15-fish daily creel. The TWRA has constructed a crappie rearing pond on Henderson Island to produce fingerlings for Douglas during years of poor natural reproduction.


Sauger Stocking: 2013 – 92,071; 2011 – 195,838; 2009 – 53,432; 2008 – 60,134; 2007 – 27,883; 2006 – 27,883; 2005 – 54,000
Sauger and walleye provide a seasonal fishery and each spring, both species make spawning runs up the French Broad River. These fish are prized for their taste and very few legal sauger or walleye are released. Natural reproduction can normally maintain these fisheries, however, the TWRA closely monitors these populations and hatchery-reared fish are stocked if numbers become low.

A new regulation went into effect on March 1, 2008. It is a five-fish per day limit of walleye and sauger in any combination. There is no length limit on sauger, but only one may be 16-inches or longer. The minimum length limit remains at 15-inches for walleye.


White bass are a schooling fish that can provide some exciting fishing when they make spawning runs up the French Broad River in the late winter. They are a short-lived species (4-6 years), and the population can fluctuate greatly. There is a 15-fish daily creel limit with no size restriction.


Anglers can expect to find channel, blue, and flathead catfish in Douglas. Catfish feed more by taste than by sight and their natural foods include crayfish, worms, fish, insects, decaying animal matter, and mollusks. Spawning takes place when surface temperatures approach 75-degrees; rocky ledges and cavities are the preferred spawning habitat.

Only one 34-inch or longer catfish may be harvested per day. There is not a harvest limit for catfish under 34-inches.


Largemouth bass – March through June. Spinner baits in chartreuse or white and Carolina-rigged lizards are good. Other popular lures are Rattle Traps, DD-22’s and electric red worms. Concentrations of largemouth bass have been observed in the creek channels after the water has been drawn down in the fall.

White bass – January through April. White bass make a spring spawning run to the headwaters of the reservoir. The Leadvale area is a good place to fish. White spinners (Rooster Tails), grubs and small flies are all effective. Good white bass fishing can be found on the lower end of the reservoir during the summer months. The lures listed for the early spring spawning run are also recommended for the summer.

Crappie – February through early May. Fishing points and brush is effective, but many crappie are caught trolling. Small flies (usually two per line) tipped with minnows (good colors are white, chartreuse, blue and green) and small tube jigs can be fished over brush and trolled. Small crank baits (chartreuse and orange) are also good trolling lures. Flat, Muddy and McGuire creeks would be good areas to look for crappie.

Sauger – January through April. Sauger make a spring spawning run to the headwaters of the reservoir. Good fishing takes place from Point 18 to Walters Bridge as fish move upstream. The most effective tactic is to bounce large red or orange flies off the bottom.”

fishing douglas dam

Fishing Providers In Our Area

Smokies Angling Adventures – Guide Service, Boat Rental
3520 Dockery Drive
Mascot, Tennessee 37806-1108
(865) 661-5107

East Tennessee Guide Service – Guide Service, Fishing Equipment
544 Whispering Horse Trail
Rockford, Tennessee 37853
(865) 310-5521

Lakeway Bait and Tackle Shop
1055 Douglas Dam Rd
Kodak, Tennessee 37764
(865) 401-2645

Rimmer Sporting Goods – Fishing Equipment
1060 Highway 92 S
Dandridge, Tennessee 37725-4736
(865) 397-9303

Bucks-N-Bass – Fishing Equipment
664 East Meeting Street
Dandridge, Tennessee 37725-5001
(865) 397-6455

Nathan Mountain Outdoors Hunting and Fishing Guide Service
1096 C H Rankin Rd
White Pine, Tennessee 37890
(423) 726-0240

Bass Pro Shop – Fishing Equipment, Boating Equipment
3629 Outdoor Sportsmans Place
Kodak, Tennessee 37764
(865) 932-5600

Douglas Lake Market
501 Highway 25 32,
White Pine, Tennessee 37890
(865) 761-0032


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