Fishing at Natchez Trace State Park

Uncover the Fishing at Brown’s Lake

The lake has a fishing pier, bank fishing areas, and a boat launching ramp. Here are tips to catching big fish in Tennessee.

Brown’s Lake rests in scenic Natchez Trace State Park just 10 miles south of Exit 116 on Interstate 40. The lake is managed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency with trophy bass management being top priority.

The lake has a 50-foot, T-style fishing pier, bank fishing areas, and a boat launching ramp. Jon boats, life jackets, and paddles are available to rent on a first-come, first-serve daily basis. Outboard motors are permitted but must maintain a no-wake speed. The lake opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset. Please refer to the Tennessee Fishing Guide for further regulations. Park amenities also include a restaurant, cabins, and primitive camping or campsites with hook-ups.

Beginning in 2002, Florida largemouth bass were stocked to create a trophy fishery and the experimental stocking succeeded. During electrofishing surveys in 2009, agency personnel collected a 16-pound, 15-ounce largemouth bass. This fish was collected before the agency implemented the trophy largemouth bass regulation which allows five fish per day and an 18-24 inch protected length limit. Only one fish longer than 24 inches may be harvested. This regulation has piqued the interest of many local anglers and they find the solitude and beauty of the lake a comforting place to enjoy the opportunity to catch quality largemouth bass.

Largemouth bass are caught throughout the year, but the majority of the fishing pressure occurs in the spring. During this period, anglers utilize crankbaits, spinners, and jigs which produce good results in shallow water. In the fall, anglers switch to jigs and swimbaits around drop offs. This is also a popular technique during the summer period as the larger fish usually inhabit deeper water in search of cooler water temperatures. 


Explore the different fishing spots with ease.

Although the lake is only 167 acres it has produced the state record black crappie. It is not uncommon to see anglers with bass weighing more than eight pounds and stringers full of crappie. Anglers also actively seek bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie, and catfish.

White and black crappies are both present in the lake but black crappie dominates the population. You can use jigs and/or minnows while fishing shallow water in the spring; both are popular techniques. Spider rigging channels or jigging in deep water other times of the year produce optimal results. The creel limit for crappie is 30 fish per angler and there is an eight-inch minimum length limit. 

Cast a line at Natchez Trace State Park.

Redear and bluegill fishing becomes popular in late spring through the summer. Anglers use crickets, worms, and small spinners to locate bluegill beds in the summer and it is not uncommon to see anglers with coolers full of sunfish. There is not a size or creel limit for bluegill but anglers are limited to 20 redear sunfish per day.

Blue and channel catfish are also a popular choice for anglers using jugs or rod and reel. Bluegill and chicken livers are popular baits. An angler is limited to 10 jugs per boat and there are restrictions when jugs may be fished. There is not a size limit for catfish but anglers are limited to five fish per angler with a rod and reel or with jugs.

Fish from a pontoon or kayak at Natchez Trace State Park.

So the next time you want to catch that monster bass or just relax for the weekend and fish for whatever is biting, take a trip to Browns Creek Lake. Do not be surprised if catching fish becomes secondary after experiencing the beauty and relaxed atmosphere of the area.

Catch one for me in Tennessee!

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