Regional Reports-South

Reelfoot Lake

Ducks and deer are distant memories as hunters once again become anglers and turn their attention to one of the most abundant species of fish in Reelfoot Lake: the crappie. Ample forage along with sandy bottoms and submerged structure provide crappies all they need for successful reproduction. There is no size or bag limit on crappies or bluegills in the lake, which fisheries biologists with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency estimate holds more than 1,350 pounds of fish per acre. Minnows under corks work best for cruising shallow areas during the April spawn. Lower Blue Basin on the southeastern end of the lake is popular and productive. Crappies may be caught in water as shallow as two to three feet, especially around downed treetops. A limber nine-foot rod, a light line and a bucket of minnows are all you need for drifting over the cypress trees lying on the lake's silty bottom. Contact: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Fisheries Division (615-781-6575); Jeff Riddle, guide, Blue Bank Resort (877-258-3226).