Tims Ford Lake

Tims Ford Lake: A Winter Retreat for Perfect Tennessee Fishing

Bill Dance unlocks the secrets of getting wintertime smallmouth bass at Tims Ford Reservoir.

Winter on Tims Ford Reservoir can be a fine time to go out and catch some wintertime smallmouth.

Tims Ford State Park in Winchester, Tennessee (All photos courtesy of Tennessee State Parks)

With water temperatures in the 40's, small, lower profiled artificial baits with a slow presentation is generally the preferred method. The Charlie Brewer "Whirly Bee" may be the best artificial bait out there for winter time smallies on Tims Ford Reservoir. Parallel the banks with these, and hang on!

Other similar baits such as small jigs, Beetle Spins, hair jigs with small grubs or creature baits work great as well. If fish are holding in deeper water, blade baits, spoons or a Little George may be another good option. Productive sites on the reservoir include the Lost Creek area all the way up lake to the 5-mile marker. Here many of the fish are being caught in coves, even toward the backs of these coves where baitfish may be holding. The smallmouth bass fishery at Tims Ford Reservoir is managed with an 18-inch minimum length limit and a creel limit of no more than five black bass per day in any combination. 

The wintery waters sparkle at Tims Ford Reservoir

Tims Ford has got an abundance of beautiful size smallmouth and these fish are truly one of the gamiest around. A special species, an aristocrat in the angling world and we Tennesseans have some of the top spots in the world, like Tims Ford, to fish for them, and that's whether you want to catch a lot of 4 pounders or one in that famed 10-pound range. The fish are smart; they didn't reach such a caliber by being foolish. I promise you, after the fight, you'll wonder which one of you won the bout!

Fishing on the lake at Tims Ford

They're a special fish in Tennessee and we are mighty blessed to have such great places to fish for them in our home state!

Come visit us and see what you think.

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