Chickamauga Dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. The dam is owned and operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority, which built the dam in the late 1930s as part of a New Deal era initiative to improve navigation and bring flood control and economic development to the Tennessee Valley. The dam impounds the 36,240-acre (14,670 ha) Chickamauga Lake and feeds into Nickajack Lake. Chickamauga Dam is named for the Chickamauga, a politically-detached branch of the Cherokee whose chief village was located just north of the dam site during the 18th century.
The lake elevation on 4/28/2013 was 681.3 feet. This elevation is slightly below summer pool. The current surface water temperature is around 70 degrees on average. Crappie anglers are catching limits easily. The best opportunity for catching crappie may be behind us. Most crappie are starting to move out into water that is deeper than in previous weeks. 12 feet of water may be the optimal depth to catch crappie at present. Brush will increase the odds of finding a few fish. Tightlining and trolling are techniques being used most often. Minnows and jigs are equal opportunity offerings. Bass anglers are casting almost every bait designed for shallow areas with good results. Many bass are spawning and for some the job is over. Areas adjacent to the shallows such as ledges or points are areas that may be holding post-spawn and pre-spawn fish. White bass and striped bass are being caught in the tailwaters while using jigs or crankbaits. Catfish are shallow and can be caught on various baits typically used for catching catfish.
The lake elevation on 4/13 was 680.3 feet. This elevation is midway between summer and winter pool. The water surface temperature was in the lower 70’s in some areas in the afternoon. Some bass are spawning. Bass anglers are catching several large bass in various patterns while using different techniques and bait. Some very shallow bass are being caught and a few bass remain situated in deeper water adjacent to ledges leading into shallow water. Lipless lures, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and jigs are being used by most anglers. Generally after the spawning begins some spawning fish can be located for the next 45 days or so. Crappie anglers are enjoying really good times right now. Many anglers are catching limits of crappie in shallow water and in the deeper areas leading into the same. Jigs and/or minnows are being used for bait. Casters are catching many fish, but the most efficient method for catching numbers quickly is trolling. White bass are being caught on the upper end of the lake by those anglers using jigs or crankbaits for bait. Some catfish are being caught by a few anglers using the typical baits associated with catching catfish. Most catfish being caught are being caught in the river.
The lake is at winter level. The surface water temperature early Saturday morning was forty-two degrees. Crappie anglers are catching plenty of fish using a variety of patterns. Most anglers are finding crappie along steep creek banks near brush or rocks. Minnows are being used more than jigs by the majority of anglers. Catfish are being caught by main lake anglers that are using shad for bait. Many baits can be used to catch catfish, but those that use shad seem to catch the biggest fish. Some white bass are being caught in the upper portion of the reservoir by those anglers using grubs for bait. Many large bass continue to be caught. Chickamauga Lake is a very special fishery right now for those that enjoying catching bass. Anglers have an opportunity to catch a bass over ten pounds. I guess that has always been the case, but now it can become a reality easier than any other time in recent memory. This lake possibly has never been this good before. This past week a tournament coming out of Dayton Boat Dock took forty-four pounds and some change to win. That is nearly a nine pound average. Many anglers are throwing the "rig". Ledges adjacent to flats near main lake water would be a good location to begin the search.
Surface elevation has dropped since last report. Tailwater anglers in the area below Watts Bar Dam are catching a few striped and white bass. Jigs and swimbaits are the lures used most often. Live bait is the better alternative. Catfish are being caught in selected areas on the normal baits generally associated with catfish angling. Bass are being caught in most areas of the lake. Topwater baits are being used by many anglers in or around the grass beds. Crankbaits and jigs are being used in areas upstream to catch largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. Stump lined ledges are target areas for upstream anglers. Crappie anglers are catching fish around community hole docks while using jigs. Open water bay areas seem to be the most productive crappie water. Crankbaits are becoming more common for crappie as more and more anglers widen their angling techniques. Bluegill are being caught while using worms around rocky areas along the river or creek banks. A few sauger are being caught.
The lake is full and stable. The surface temperature is in the mid eighties. The lack of current has the bite for all species more difficult than one might expect. Kentucky anglers that spent several days fishing for catfish last year during this same time slot were catching as many as one hundred catfish a day. This year they are catching less than ten. Deep bass are not as dependable because the bass really do not position themselves as they might during normal times with current. Some bass are being caught along the bank. Plastic worms are the most used lure by most anglers.
The lake is nearly full. The water temperature is above 70 degrees.
Bass are congregating on secondary points on the lower end and can be found in greater numbers in the mid lake along banks where the water depths are 4 or 5 feet deep leading into the shallow pockets. Some bass are still spawning. A bass weighing 9 pounds 15 ounces was recently weighed in in a Dayton tournament. Creature lures are a good choice. Other lures can be used. Fish your strengths for positive results.
The lake is at winter level, but up from previous levels. 55 degrees is the warmer hours surface temperature. Cooler air temperatures in recent days has cooled the lake. Bass were caught in recent days along river flats and primary creek flats on many baits. The most popular bait being tossed is the "rig". Crappie are being caught shallow in the sloughs and along the river bank. Minnows and jigs were being used for bait.
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