May is prime time for lunker smallmouth bass at Pickwick Lake, which until recently was one of Tennessee’s best-kept smallmouth secrets but is now steadily gaining in popularity. Pickwick Lake is the fourth largest of eight mainstream reservoirs on the Tennessee River. Resident anglers holding a Tennessee fishing license ($21) may fish the Alabama and Mississippi portions of this lake without having to purchase another license. Gil Goss, Pickwick’s creel clerk, says, “In May, smallmouths can be found in bay pockets and on shallow gravel bars four to five feet deep, and some of the best fishing will be in waters around the Pickwick Landing State Park.” Goss suggests throwing live bait, a pig ‘n jig, a worm or spinners. Pickwick Landing is 100 miles east of Memphis on Highway 57. Contact: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Fisheries Division (901-423-5725); Pickwick Landing State Park (901-689-3129).