Last Updated August 29, 2018
Hatchie/ Wolf Rivers
Just as these rivers were getting right, more rain came. If we get more, hang it up except for cat fishing. If we get lucky and avoid the big rains, expect good fishing for small to medium Kentucky bass. The best technique has been fishing jigs in the logjams and crank baits such as and Strike King Series 2.5 in shad colors. Orange and white spinner baits and buzz baits are always other options. Be exceptionally cautious if waters are low as there are many downed trees and sand bars making for hazardous navigation. The West Tn. Basin Authority had been snagging between Hwy. 76 and Big Eddy but the recent bridge construction hindered any more for the last two years. The Highway 76 Bridge is scheduled to be opened by now.There will be some crappie fishing but the really good times for this specie is after frost. Oneal Lake is in the best shape we can remember shape due to frequent rains but has ben on a slow fall, of late. For those who like to fish grass, bass can be caught. Cloudy days or very low light are the times to go. Topwaters and Senko style weedless worms are just about all that can be used. On sunny days, its just getting exercise. The two McCool Lakes have produced some good crappie, bream, bass, and a few catfish. All other Refuge roads are open but lakes the area are all murky..
Blue Bank Resort - 731 538 2112- Top water anglers, this is the time to head to the "Quake Lake" if you like to see ' em strike! The two places to focus are seed moss beds and dying pads. Strike King Rage Toads and Rage Tail Shads as well as spoons or floating worms can all be effective in the slop. Be sure to have stout rods and lines if you expect to haul them out. The pad fields will be dying out with the heat and the change of season. When this occurs, pin minnows will gather in the pockets in the middle of a shriveling pad. These will look like a bowl with the edges turned up. Bass will slash at the bowl knocking the minnows out making them vulnerable to attack. White spinner baits, top waters, or buzz baits will be advised. Crappie will be deep in early month but will move shallower as nights cool. Black and chartreuse jigs or medium minnows trolled at the preferred depth will be successful. Best way to figure this out is to observe other fishermen in the area where boats are gathered. Cat fishing will still be good using night crawlers or stink baits. Bream activity will be good early in the month but will slow toward the late month. Yellow bass fishing will be excellent all month and on into October. The lake level will be affected by rainfall if the usual tropical storms reach this far inland. Be aware of the wood duck and teal season mid-September. Lake is a little below pool and navigation is sketchy.
Gibson County Lake
731 855 2990 - Your best bet for a real wall hanger bass is to fish over the ditches and shallows on a cloudy drizzly day. Use slow moving swim baits in the five-inch or larger size or a suspending jerk bait. There has been some schooling activity and top waters have taken many small to medium and a few real lunkers early and late in the day. Other choices will be spinner baits or Rattletraps but these will get more, smaller bass bites with their faster speeds. Big bass don't move fast in the heat until they are hooked. If you have to fish on fair weather days, go deep with big worms or crank baits. Dark worms, bream or shad color crank baits are suggested. Cat fishing as well as bream and shell cracker fishing will be good in early month but will slow somewhat as the nights get cooler. Lake level was slowly falling but has been affected by big rains.
731 422 0950 - This TWRA Lake opened in 1982 and was the first in the region to be stocked with Florida strain bass. It has gone through several stages and has produced many ten pound plus lunkers in the past few years. There was a 12-4 caught a few years ago. The early fall will see lots of schooling bass. Most will be small but there will be bigger ones beneath the school picking off the cripples. Swim baits and large, medium running crank baits in shad colors will get below the youngsters and could land you a real trophy. Rattletraps, spinner baits and small crank baits can mean lots of fun with the smaller bass. Crappie will be biting better as the month wears on. Target leaning logs as this specie will move vertically along these logs seeking just the right amount of sunlight and oxygen levels. Bream and shell crackers will also be biting as they fatten up for winter. They will be congregated in the standing timber feeding on plankton and small insects on the trees' trunk and main branches. Cat fishing will be good for several weeks until a severe cold snap occurs. Lake is clear and at pool. Big rains have little effect on this lake except in the upper ends. Fishing can be dynamite on rainy days.
901 853 5253-Time to get in your last few weeks fishing for catfish before the weather changes their habits. September usually puts them moving for the fall frenzy as the shorter days signal fattening up time. TWRA keeps this lake fully stocked and limits are easily caught. All you need is a gob of liver or night crawlers, a strong line, and enough weight to put the bait on the bottom.. You will also find bream and shell crackers eager to bite the last of this year's crickets from now into October. Bass will be easier to catch as the waters cool and they also become more aggressive toward the fall. Top water action will be more effective as the month progresses. Early and late or on drizzly days will be the best times to be casting your favorite surface lure. Look for schooling bass to add to the excitement. Work your frogs over the remaining grass patches for some heart pounding action. Lake is at pool and clear.
Herb Parsons Lake
901 861 5087 - The frequent rain showers that we had this year have been beneficial for this old lake. Usually, by this time, the water is so low that launching can be difficult. This is the time to enjoy all the unique features of this lake. In addition to good fishing for bass, catfish, crappie, and bream, there are lots of yellow bass them. Fishing with light tackle can provide hours of fishing fun. The added attractions of picnic grounds and an archery range are designed for the target bow archer or hunter. There are also scenic trails for hikers and trail bikers that wind through the surrounding forest that will be beginning to show fall color. One can rent boats or a pontoon to enjoy all of the Lake's beauty and bounty.
Poplar Tree will be the place to be for those who don't want to travel far from the big city, as it is only a few minutes from downtown Memphis. It is another of those overlooked small lakes (100 acres) in an idyllic setting that offer excellent fishing for bass, bream and crappie. It also happens to be one of the area's prettiest lakes surrounded by picturesque hardwood forest that will begin to show color. Boats can be rented or you can use your own with an electric motor. Fish the small coves for bass and bream and the mid-lake for crappie. This a great place for the fisherman to use a fly rod if fished from a boat or canoe. Some folks are using kayaks as their platform. Even a small plastic boat will be sufficient in these protected waters. Smaller Piersol Lake has no ramp so only small boats can be launched from the shore. Remember, no limits on crappie in either lake.
Carroll County 1,000-Acre Recreational Lake
The Junior High B.A.S.S. National Championship was held here back in July. The results were very good. Good strings of over and under "slots" and a few 7 pounders were weighed in. Even though TWRA only stocked northern largemouth. It is thought by many, that some Florida strain found there way here by some other source. A 14-2 was boated by a young angler during practice for the BASS Junior High National. Crappie fishing here bloomed last fall with many over two pounds boated. The catfish population is on the increase in size as well. Bream and shellcrackers can still be caught and they are running large. There may be another spawn on the old gravel roadbeds if warm waters hold on.
Beech Lake Marine - 731 968 8492 - These Beech River Watershed Lakes and the nearby Natchez Trace Park Lakes are touted as the "Great Lakes of West Tennessee" for a good reason. All lakes are well stocked and some see little pressure. For Catfish, try Beech and Pine. Beech has seen a tremendous surge in pad growth. This is good for the baitfish that hide in them. Fishermen should concentrate on the edges with weedless lures. Big swimbaits have been very successful in luring the lunkers out. For big bass the same lakes and Pin Oak are the most productive. Brown's Creek has been producing some real monsters due to the introduction of Florida strain bass a few seasons ago. Be sure to check their limits as they are posted for this lake to develop a trophy fishery. For sheer numbers try Maple Creek, Dogwood, Cedar, Redbud, and Sycamore. The coming fall season will bring schooling bass to the top in all these lakes, so have your Rattletraps and top waters ready. Dogwood produces some giant shell crackers and sees little pressure and Maple Creek is famous for huge bluegill. A State Park or BRWDA permit is required at all the individual lakes.
Perryville Marina - 731 847 2444 - September will see further drawdown toward the winter pool of 355. September should see the 356-357 stages unless a possible tropical storm dumps several inches of rain, then who knows. As waters fall, expect all species to be drawn to the deeper sections and creek mouths. Shad will be schooling on the flats and predators will be traveling the creek channels to make feeding forays after them. Brush piles close to the channels will be prime hides for bass and crappie as they target shad. Anything white will attract bass out of this thick cover. Some fishermen stay on the River fishing riprap and barges for good limits. White crank baits and spinner baits are good choices. Some Crappie fishermen prefer to fish the deep tree laps close to the mouth of the creeks. White bass will be running the riprap shorelines and small white crank baits or spinners will get them. Cat fishermen can still get a boatful along the old channel break lines by bouncing weighted baits along the bottom.
Look for the sparse grass beds to become more visible as the lake level lowers. This is the time to get out the frogs and floating worms and fish them over the grass patches. There will still be bass on the ledges and current is still the key to getting them to bite. As the days cool, current will be less due to the lower literally thousands of yellow bass traveling in schools. Trolling small jigs or casting demand for power. Expect shallow water fishing to become more the norm as the month wears on. Bars and ridges beside the main channel and the adjoining creeks will be prime as long as shad are present. The tips of islands will also be good to try, as bass will use them, especially when the current does pick up. If a strong storm comes up from the Gulf, all will change, and depending on the amount of water, fish could travel back up into bays and creeks.
See articles in the Pickwick Special Section.
Cold Creek Grocery - 731 738 2960 - As long as the Big Muddy stays below 16 feet on the Memphis gauge, you can expect good fishing here. Fall fishing will expand to include white bass. These tremendous fighters will be slashing baitfish out in the open water. You might get a surprise by an occasional striper or hybrid that has been trapped in the Chute and is mixing in with their smaller cousins. Crappie and bass will also be more active as waters cool and sunlight diminishes. Trollers will be advised to go shallower than in the last few months. Bass fishermen will do well to also watch for schooling. They might also go up the Creek and stick with white top waters and shallow crank baits. The Creek and Chute are low and caution is advised as you cross the rock bar on the way out.
This is the season to target the small rivers such as the St. Frances, Cache, and Black. They will be at the season's clearest unless a big rain event comes in. Frequent showers have kept them at reasonable levels. All have an abundance of Spotted, Kentucky bass that are great fighters. Spinner baits and black neon tubes are local favorites. The landings out from Truman are good places to start on a St. Frances trip. Powhatan Landing on the Black has a good ramp. This area is also known for excellent fall crappie fishing. There are several small put-ins on the Cache near McCrory but make sure these are public as many are private. This small river is great for canoes and jon boats with small motors. Big Lake and Horseshoe will be your best bets for crappie and catfish. Fall bass fishing is also a good bet with anything white fished around the dying pads and cypress knees. Big Lake and Mallard are still very low with lots of grass making for difficult fishing. Mallard will be the big bass destination for a real trophy. The Crowley's Ridge lakes will be showing some early fall color and fishing will be improving as well as fish move shallow. Wappanocca has been producing monster bream all season and should continue until the Lake is closed for migrating waterfowl.
Our source for Old Hickory, Joey Mallicoat, told us, "The lake level is currently 444.80 and the water temperature ranges from the high 70's to low 80's. The bass bite has slowed tremendously over the past month. I have found it very tough to get bit throughout the lake. This can be a very confusing time of year as the fish have scattered. You can always catch fish flipping wood cover any time of the year on Old Hickory. I have been targeting log jams on shallow flats off the main river. I mostly flip a black and blue jig, but will sometimes flip a 10-inch worm in red shad. The early part of the morning seems to be the most active for me as I have found it difficult to get bit during the middle of the day. Stick with it and don't give up. It will only get better from here on out. The crappie are being caught on jigs and drifting live bait around deeper brush piles around creek channel swings. The catfish are still active at night and have been caught on live bluegill and cut bait. With the temperatures getting ready to drop the tilapia bite will start firing up. Always be cautious while driving on the lake especially with the amount of rain we have had. There is a lot more debris floating around than normal."
Our source for Percy Priest, Joey Mallicoat, told us, "The lake level is currently 490.58 and the water temperature is ranging from the low to mid 80's. The bass fishing has really been hit or miss lately. The fish are scattered out following the bait fish around. If you can hit it right and you can find the fish in the jumps throughout the lake. This makes for some really fun and intense fishing. The key is finding them. It can be a very hard bite to pattern. I like to throw a walking style topwater bait when they are feeding like that, but any shad imitation will work fine. The shallow bite is starting to get better as well. I have had decent luck throwing a square bill crankbait around big slab rocks. Covering water seems to be key with that. The crappie are being caught trolling bandit 200's in shad colors as well as on deeper brush piles throughout the lake. The striped bass and hybrid are being caught throughout the lake during the first couple of hours after daylight and before dark. I have managed to catch some very nice hybrid on a 5-inch swimbait as well as an Alabama Rid. Remember to stay hydrated and wear plenty of sunscreen."