John's Journal...

Pickwick Dam, Tennessee Heaven for Fishermen with Roger Stegall, Todd Witt, Phil King, Roger Gant and Claggett Talley

Pickwick has Slabs Galore with Roger Gant

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: If you’re a multi-species fisherman, I’ve found a piece of fishermen’s heaven at Hardin County, Tennessee’s Pickwick Dam on the Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama border. Pickwick has some of the best populations of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, stripers, catfish and crappie in the country. This week, the fishermen who live and guide there will tell you why they believe this area is a fisherman’s heaven. For more than 30 years, Roger Gant of Corinth, Mississippi, has kept tabs on where crappie live on Pickwick Lake in the summer, the winter, the spring and the fall.Click to enlarge

Question: Roger, why is Hardin County, Tennessee, on Pickwick Lake one of the best places to catch crappie in the world?
Gant: Pickwick is a clear, big and pretty lake with a lot of good-sized crappie in it.

Question: Roger, how do you catch big crappie?
Gant: We catch a number of them with crankbaits in the summertime, but we primarily use a side-pulling method to troll for crappie. We fish hair jigs, either tipped with a minnow or not.

Question: How many crappie will you usually catch in a day of fishing?
Gant: When the weather’s good, and the season’s right, we generally can catch 50 to 90 crappie in a day. The fish will range all sizes, but Pickwick Lake homes a number of 1- to 2-pound crappie. WeClick to enlarge have a 9-inch length limit, and we catch a lot of crappie that will weigh 2 pounds or more.

Question: Roger, I know you’re a tournament crappie fisherman, and you fish all over the country. Why did you decide to have your guide business on Pickwick Lake?
Gant: I was born near Pickwick Lake, and I’ve always fished it. I’ve always been able to catch good numbers of crappie here. Pickwick Lake has been underestimated by most national crappie fishermen and most of the outdoor preClick to enlargess. But I’ve learned that you have to use different tactics to consistently catch crappie here than you do on most lakes. Pickwick has a lot of underwater structure that most fishermen can’t see. But if a fisherman learns to crappie fish Pickwick, he’ll learn like I have, that Pickwick is one of the best crappie-fishing lakes in the nation and one of the prettiest lakes on the face of the earth. Too, there are plenty of great places to stay and eat in Hardin County, like the Pickwick Landing State Park Lakeside Inn. So, if you like crappie fishing, and you enjoy catching lots of big crappie, come on down, and fish with us.

To contact Roger Gant, call (731) 689-5666 or (662) 293-0075.

To learn more about fishing below the dam at Pickwick, contact the Hardin County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at, or call 731-925-8181 or 800-552-3866, or visit Pickwick Landing State Park offers fishing, boating, hiking, camping, swimming and golf. Lodging includes the Lakeside Inn with over 100 rooms, cabins that sleep eight and a campground that contains 48 sites with grill and electric/water hook-ups at each site. A restaurant at the park offers delicious southern cuisine. Call 731-689-3135 or 800-250-8615 to learn more.

Tomorrow: Tons of Stripers with Claggett Talley

Check back each day this week for more about "Pickwick Dam, Tennessee Heaven for Fishermen with Roger Stegall, Todd Witt, Phil King, Roger Gant and Claggett Talley"

Day 1: Pickwick, the Land of Monster Smallmouth with Roger Stegall
Day 2: Bet on Pickwick’s Largemouth Bass with Todd Witt
Day 3: King of Cats
Day 4: Pickwick has Slabs Galore with Roger Gant
Day 5: Tons of Stripers with Claggett Talley


Entry 472, Day 4