Fall is an incredible time to fish. You have mild, stable weather and water conditions, less-crowded lakes and rivers, beautiful scenery and fish that are very, very cooperative. Fall and all its great fishing opportunities are here.
It's a don't-miss time of the year for anglers; and a time when you just have to get out there and go fishing. Water temps are starting to cool at all fishing holes across the Volunteer State, but moving water still seems to be the way to go at this time. And the lower- and mid-sections of Harpeth River in Davidson and Cheatham counties, just west of Nashville, is my prime choice for the remainder of this month and for a few weeks into the next. It's a great place to visit for a solo angler or entire families.
(All photos credited to Chuck Sutherland)
Businesses around these areas provide ample opportunities for both lodging and food. Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, Tennessee, not far from the larger city of Dickson, is also within striking distance of the Harpeth, and both float and wade opportunities exist.
Public access is available to accommodate several different float trips and water depths that are ideal for canoes and kayaks.
Smallmouth, spotted, largemouth, and rock bass are very aggressive and abundant at this time of year on the Harpeth.
Good artificial baits that will draw plenty of strikes are Rebel Tracdown Minnows and Rebel Ultra-Light Crawfish as well as four-inch plastic worms. On the other hand, the best live baits of choice are stone rollers and crawfish fished on a No. 1 thin wire bronze hook.
Trout in Caney Fork
If you are a trout fisherman, another great choice for this time of year is a stretch of the Caney Fork that runs from Centerhill Dam downstream to the Betty's Island Access Area. Fishing there is great this time of year for big, brown trout, and many fishing reports indicate this well underway.
Big jerkbaits and streamers are the best baits at this time of year, especially at times of generation at the dam.
Wade fishermen are catching fish on in-line spinners and Rebel Tracdown Minnows and Crawfish, Power Bait and Trout Magnets. Fly-fishermen are successful on midge imitations, bead-head nymphs and green wooly buggers. Also note these moving waters are beginning to cool down, so you might consider bringing your neoprene waders for enhanced comfort.
Outfitters are available on the river to provide shuttles and kayak rentals.
There's no doubt, fall is a great time to go fishing in the Volunteer State, just as it is to watch football. But hey, do yourself a favor and set that digital video recorder for game time so you can get out there and enjoy fishing now, and replay the game later.
And hey, don't forget - as always - to catch one for me…in Tennessee!