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Chilhowee Lake Fishing

Waterbody Type


Surface Area

6.80 sq. km



Avg. Depth

0 ft.

Species Present

walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, trout

What You Need to Know About Fishing Chilhowee Lake

Chilhowee Lake is a shallow 1,747-acre reservoir located between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee National Forest. The Chilhowee Dam was completed in 1957, impounding the Little Tennessee River. The lake is approximately 10 miles long and parallels US 129. Accessing the water is relatively easy with several boat launches on the northern shore. Its cold/clear mountain water is ideal for trout, walleye, and smallmouth but warm enough to support largemouth, crappie, catfish, and a variety of sunfish. Current is a major factor in locating fish. Since the reservoir was constructed for water management, the TVA can pull water at any time. When the water is flowing, bait will get balled up behind current breaks, rocks, or ledges. Gamefish will all also look for places just outside the current so they can easily take advantage of food that flows by. Anglers have found success fishing along the rock banks that line the lake using crankbaits and jigs. There is also wood structure in the form of laydown trees and log jams that fish will hold on throughout the year. A great place for crappie and sunfish is at the mouth of Abrams Creek.
Chilhowee Lake Map

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