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Jan 23rd, 2013
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East Tennessee Smallmouth Guides #13714699 09/29/20 01:36 AM
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RedRaiderAngler Offline OP
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Looking for recommendations on a good smallmouth guide in East Tennessee, specifically around the Gatlinburg area. Got a family vaca booked out there in early November, and my father in-law and I are looking to breakaway one day to get on some trophy smallmouth. Neither of us have ever gotten on some good sized smallies so we’re looking for a good guide. I figured one of y’all TFF’ers would have a good recommendation, so please chime in.

Moritz Chevrolet - 9101 Camp Bowie W Blvd, Fort Worth, TX - Monte Coon (817) 696-2003
Re: East Tennessee Smallmouth Guides [Re: RedRaiderAngler] #13714988 09/29/20 12:44 PM
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WOW. I lived in Chattanooga all of my life but I don't know of any "trophy" smallmouth fishing in the Gatlinburg area. There are 6# fish caught in some NC lakes close to there but reliable trophy fisheries in that area are few and far between.

Your best bet would be to get with Richard Simms in Chattanooga and fish below Chickamauga Dam. The smallmouth there are fairly reliable and 6#+ fish aren't all that rare.

https://newschannel9.com/station/people/richard-simms

https://www.sceniccityfishing.com/

Give Richard a call. He's a great guy and will shoot you straight about the current conditions.

Wish I could be more encouraging but I don't know much about the Gatlinburg area when it comes to smallmouth fishing.


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Re: East Tennessee Smallmouth Guides [Re: RedRaiderAngler] #13715148 09/29/20 02:43 PM
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I agree with Hair Jig. The best smallmouth fishing is going to be at Chickamauga. Richard is good, but the best guide on that lake since Rogne Brown retired is Dillon Falardeau. He's a veteran, incredible stick and he will flat out put you on them. Google him and you'll find his facebook page or look for him on instagram. He's just fun.

Rogne Brown is the guy that had the 49 lb bag. I fished with him twice and both times, we had over 28 lbs in the boat before noon.

Re: East Tennessee Smallmouth Guides [Re: RedRaiderAngler] #13715304 09/29/20 05:24 PM
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Yes, Dillon is GOOD. But I never took him for a smallmouth guy. Live and learn! thumb


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Re: East Tennessee Smallmouth Guides [Re: RedRaiderAngler] #13716547 09/30/20 09:54 PM
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Richard catches a lot of smallmouth below the dams on live bait (and even cut chicken breast while fishing for cats)........not so much in the lake itself or on artificials. I saw where Richard posted the other day he was putting his boat up until after January as I believe he has the duck/goose bug going on now.

Personally, if I was you and just interested in catching a bunch of smallmouth in the 2-4 pound range I would hook up with someone on the lower end of Cherokee Lake as it is within a 30 minute drive from the Sevierville area. Not a lot of 5-6 pounders to be caught that time of year (January-March, yes) but they are in there.

You could be talking of just fishing the Pigeon River near Gatlinburg for them so not sure how far you are wanting to travel from there for just a days outing.

Last edited by sll; 09/30/20 09:56 PM.
Re: East Tennessee Smallmouth Guides [Re: sll] #13716883 10/01/20 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by sll
Richard catches a lot of smallmouth below the dams on live bait (and even cut chicken breast while fishing for cats)........not so much in the lake itself or on artificials. I saw where Richard posted the other day he was putting his boat up until after January as I believe he has the duck/goose bug going on now.

Personally, if I was you and just interested in catching a bunch of smallmouth in the 2-4 pound range I would hook up with someone on the lower end of Cherokee Lake as it is within a 30 minute drive from the Sevierville area. Not a lot of 5-6 pounders to be caught that time of year (January-March, yes) but they are in there.

You could be talking of just fishing the Pigeon River near Gatlinburg for them so not sure how far you are wanting to travel from there for just a days outing.


You seem to know a lot about the area

I too like to fish for smallies and I spend a lot of time in Knoxville

Do you have any guide suggestions within an hour’s drive from west Knoxville?


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Re: East Tennessee Smallmouth Guides [Re: RedRaiderAngler] #13716952 10/01/20 12:02 PM
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I live in NE TN and consider Cherokee my home lake. We are blessed with some great lakes and some are premier SM waters. South Holston and Watauga lakes churn out some of the best SM in the south. They are predominantly SM.....probably like a 70%-30% ratio over LM. South Holston has the potential to be where the SM world record will be broken one day.

I "retired" from tourney fishing about 10 years ago and just do it for fun now so I am not really up who is guiding in a lot of the lakes now. As far as near Knoxville, Ft Loudon, Tellico, and Watts Bar all have some big SM in them. Bags of SM rarely win tourneys on those lakes though. Brad Burkhart does some guiding that way and he may be able to help you or point you to someone that is well known for those lakes.

Cherokee is about 30-40 miles from Knoxville. The lower end of that lake is chock full of SM and it is hard to beat a bag of them from November to April by going to the upper end and focusing on LM. From June 15-October 15 the SM limit is just one per person so no one focuses on them much in tourneys that time of year since their 5-fish creel can only consist of one of them. But it is one of the hottest SM waters in the Winter/Early Spring around. David Mullins does a little guiding there after duck season closes so you may check with him. Pretty boring fishing tactics get the job done that time of year though. Plan on looking at the graph all day and never making a cast, just dropping on top of marked fish in the 20-40 feet depth. Boring but effective.......20-23 pound bags of SM win tourneys there all winter long.

Last edited by sll; 10/01/20 12:04 PM.
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