Fishing at Douglas Lake TN: Guide to a Great Smoky Mountains Angling Spot

Douglas Lake Fishing Smoky Mountains Newport TN

With abundant lakes, rivers and creeks, eastern Tennessee could be considered a fisherman’s paradise.  If you query locals where are the best places to drop a line, you’ll probably get as many different answers for “secret” spots as people you ask. Even the Great Smoky Mountains National offers its share of favorite fishing areas.

If you’re not exactly sure where to go, just head to Douglas Lake, a 40-mile long body of water created from the damming of the French Broad River and its tributaries, the Nolichucky and Pigeon Rivers. Our Smoky Moutain bed and breakfast inn is just at the eastern end of the lake near a lowland called Irish Bottoms.

History of Douglas Lake TN

The Tennessee Valley Authority, a government agency established by Congress in the 1930s to help the region recover from the Great Depression, constructed the Douglas Dam relatively quickly – just a little over a year’s time.

This project provided much-needed employment for the local residents, hydroelectric power for the towns and farms, and flood control of the river.  While the electricity is its main purpose today, the lake itself is one of the area’s recreation hotspots, with plenty of water sports and yes, fishing.

License to angle

Make sure you have a valid Tennessee state fishing license. Residents and non-residents of the state require different types, so be sure to check the state government page.

Read it carefully, because there are twenty-one different types for residents. They’re easy to obtain – just go to any sporting goods or hardware store, boat dock or county clerk office, or get it online.  Here’s more information about what’s required to get a fishing license.

What to catch and when at Douglas Lake

Look at a map of Douglas Lake, and you’ll see it has an exceptionally jagged shoreline.  That means you’ll have many options to find your own quiet spot to angle.  But just to make sure you’ll get a good catch and not end up frustrated, check out this post for the types of fish common in the lake and their best locations and times of the year.  This Smokies Angling Adventures’ page goes into more detail about fishing by season.

Some of the fish you can try to snag on your line include black bass (both largemouth and smallmouth, the latter of which have length limits, so take heed if you catch them), crappies, walleye, sauger, white bass (which have a daily creel limit) and catfish.

How to access the best fishing

You can certainly fish from the shores of Douglas Lake, but to maximize your chances of a plentiful catch, consider renting a watercraft.  You can head into different areas of the lake, including one of the many coves that you could probably claim as your own.  H2O Sports and Swann’s Marina rent out pontoons and other boats and are close to Christopher Place.

Another option is to sign up for a guided fishing trip, which will take out the guesswork of finding the best angling spots and offer plenty of camaraderie for the day’s outing.

No matter what you do for your day of fishing, come stay at Christopher Place, your Smoky Mountains resort, to relax at the end of it. Get in touch with us and reserve your well-deserved getaway.