John's Journal...


Bassing On Reelfoot

EDITOR’S NOTE: Blue Bank Resort on Reelfoot Lake near Tiptonville, Tennessee, is in high gear in the fall, with anglers catching plenty of crappie, catfish and bass every day. Billy Blakely is the resort manager/chief guide and has been guiding on Reelfoot for 23 years.

QUESTION: How is bass fishing during the fall on Reelfoot Lake?

BLAKELY: There are some good, average-sized bass in Reelfoot Lake. The mouths of ditches and areas of lily pads are where the baitfish school-up at this time of year. We fish these areas with Strike King spinner baits, knowing we can cover a lot of water and catch numbers of bass quickly.

QUESTION: What color spinner bait are you using?

Click to enlargeBLAKELY: I like to use either a black-and-white combination or plain white at this time of year in the fall. On an overcast day, I prefer black-colored baits. On bright days, I prefer white-colored baits. I let the conditions of the day determine the color of bait I use.

QUESTION: What kind of retrieve do you give the spinner bait?

BLAKELY: I’m usually smoking it, reeling very fast. I’ll almost put a wake on the water I fish this bait so fast.

QUESTION: What do you consider to be a good-sized bass in Reelfoot Lake?

BLAKELY: We catch quite a few 6-and-7 pound bass at this time of year. The biggest I have ever seen came from Reel Foot weighed 9 pounds, 2 ounces.

Click to enlargeQUESTION: How big a bass will you catch if you fish for three days on Reelfoot Lake?

BLAKELY: You should expect to catch bass that weigh anywhere from 3 to 6 pounds.

QUESTION: Where do bass fishermen come from who fish on Reelfoot Lake?

BLAKELY: We have fishermen who come from Osceola, Florida, to Evansville, Indiana, and all other points on the compass. This lake is different. There aren’t any jet skiers, water skiers or cabin cruisers at Reelfoot because there’s too much structure under the water. The lake is strictly for duck hunting and fishing. Reelfoot is a throwback to the olden days. Not only is it full of trees and logs; it also has cypress trees growing in it. The lake was formed by earthquakes in 1811 and 1812. The series of earthquakes caused the Mississippi River to run backwards for three days. When the lake was created, all the fish from the Mississippi River were poured into Reelfoot. Because of all the structure in the lake, you have to have fishing line that’s tough, Click to enlargebecause it will come into contact with stumps, logs, roots and grass. You really need a highly abrasion-resistant line like Mossy Oak Fishing Line. We discovered that we can depend on Mossy Oak Line to bring the bass to the boat, even when they hide in a tree top or deep in the lily pads.

You can call – 1-877-Blue Bank or visit to learn more.


Check back each day this week for more about BILLY BLAKELY ON REELFOOT LAKE

Day 1: How To Fish For Crappie On Reelfoot Lake
Day 2: Jug Fishing
Day 3: Bassing On Reelfoot
Day 4: Ducks
Day 5: Cast And Blast



Entry 324, Day 3