If your looking for prime spots for big bass fishing, Bassmaster said East Tennessee is where it's at.
Three East Tennessee lakes made it onto Bassmaster's Top 25 bass fisheries for 2019.
Chickamauga Lake in Southeast Tennessee came in at #2 on the list. Bassmaster said the 'bass factory' was the best body of water in the state of Tennessee, according to its data that looks at average catch sizes, angler catch rates and number of fishing trips logged.
The Tennessee Valley Authority said they were not surprised to see Chickamauga land at #2, especially after a state record-shattering 15.3-pound largemouth bass was caught there in 2015. The TVA said the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency began a program stocking Florida largemouth fingerlings at the lake in 2000, and we're now seeing the results of those efforts.
Watts Barr Reservoir in the Loudon and Roane County area earned the #15 spot. The lake is known for being a great spot to score some nice-sized largemouth bass.
Bassmaster said while it might not be the best spot to reel in a true whopper at the moment, big bass are plentiful enough on average to ensure anglers can enjoy a nice day out on the lake and catch a limit.
The TVA said Watts Bar is a bit of a sleeper and expects it will continue to creep up the rankings in the coming years to become as legendary Chickamauga, saying the TWRA also began stocking Florida fingerlings there in 2014.
Rounding out the list at #20 was the ever-popular Cherokee Lake in Grainger, Jefferson and Hamblen counties. Bassmaster noted smallmouth bass were particularly plentiful.
"Yes, if you are looking for a lake full of 3-pound smallies, this is your huckleberry. Yes, the smallmouth here get bigger than that, but fish an entire day on this lake and you'll likely end up with your five biggest weighing 15 pounds."
Pickwick Lake on the state lines of Southern Tennessee/Alabama/Mississippi was also high on the list at #6. Bassmaster said the border fishery remains one of the best spots to catch multispecies bass in the country, with plenty of double-digit catches to be had.
This year's best bass fishing lake in the Southeast was Lake Guntersville in Alabama.
"Google any circuit that has competed on the Big G the first five months of this year and it's hard to find a winning weight less than 25 pounds -- most are closer to 30."