When thinking about “Big Fish” lakes, it’s hard to sit down and start listing them without including Lake Chickamauga. Lake Chickamauga is always at the top of the list when it comes to big bass lakes. For the last several years, it is always ranked in the top-10. Whether it be the state of Tennessee, the fish and wildlife agencies that spend a tremendous amount of capital to keep the lake as pristine as possible, or the local anglers who do everything possible to protect it; Lake Chickamauga is always cranking out the numbers and continues to get better every year. Make sure to read to the end to see How Revital Outdoors Premium CBD Products may help anglers fishing Lake Chickamauga.
Part of the reason the Lake Chickamauga is so dominant the way it is, is its massive population of forage. When thinking about big threadfin shad, or a common shad, or a big bluegill; Lake Chickamauga always has healthy populations of baitfish. Therefore, the largemouth bass in Lake Chickamauga are big and have such good genetics to grow as big as they do.
Like any other big largemouth bass lake in the country, the wintertime is an exceptional time to go out fishing. There’s something about the cold water, and the amount of daylight during the day, that just make fish feed the way they do and get huge. If you look at the past fish catches on lakes that are connected to the Tennessee valley, or known for very healthy largemouth, you will always notice the largemouth bass being of bigger size in the winter. Also, like many lakes in the country, Lake Chickamauga also has a good population of crawfish. Crawfish are nothing but protein and a growth hormone to big largemouth bass. So, long story short, Lake Chickamauga just has it all to produce the biggest bass in the country.
Finding the Right Pattern
Finding the right pattern and the right areas that hold big largemouth in Lake Chickamauga or relating to is very similar to other lakes in the country in the winter. Long main lake points, secondary points, transition areas into notorious spawning flats, and areas that bump against the river channel, will hold big populations of largemouth bass. Again, think about the entire lake being frozen, and which areas will thaw out first as it warms up. That is going to be the areas of the lake that hold the most heat, which in turn is going to hold the most fish. Because Lake Chickamauga has such a predominant amount of current flowing through it, the current actually acts as a warming agent to the water, so therefore the areas that are closest to the river channel will hold a little bit warmer water. And fish generally relate to these areas this time of year. So, if anglers get into areas that is close to the river channel and has big chunk rock or a bluff wall, this is like a gold mine for big largemouth bass. Between the current and the chunk rock holding heat, it’s just going to have a very good population of fish in Lake Chickamauga.
Selecting Your Bait
When it comes to bait selection, anglers are going to want to relate to the big shad that live in Lake Chickamauga. The Alabama rig is notorious on Lake Chickamauga for catching big largemouth bass. During the wintertime and early spring tournaments, it’s not uncommon to see every bass boat deck loaded down with at least 1 or 2, maybe even up to five different variations of the Alabama rig. In the early days of the Alabama rig, back in 2012 and 2013, Lake Chickamauga served as one of the testing grounds to the first developers of the Alabama rig. Soon after that, anglers were making their own Alabama rig, and some making them to feature up to a dozen or more swimbaits. It started to get out of hand with the amount of bait anglers were putting on the Alabama rig, and the different variations that they were building. That is why many states, such as Tennessee, have guidelines on the specific Alabama Rig that anglers can throw. Also, tournament organizations such as Major League Fishing, have restrictions on the number of hooks, swimbaits, and blades that an Alabama Rig can have. For Major League Fishing, the rule is no more than three hooks, five baits, and 2 spinnerbait blades. Besides the Alabama rig, other baits like a flutter spoon, a big single swimbait, and crankbaits are a great selection for Lake Chickamauga in the winter time. Also, anglers are catching good fish throwing jigs. But relating to the shad is the best bet for catching big largemouth bass in the wintertime. For crankbaits, anglers see a lot of success on both shad pattern crankbaits and crawfish pattern crankbaits. Anglers will just have to adjust to the different weather and figure out what the fish are really feeding on. So, it’s not uncommon to see an angler with a couple different variations of shad pattern crankbaits, and a couple different variations of crawfish pattern crankbaits on the deck of their boat.
Lake Chickamauga is also full of grass, like most lakes in that area. The grass doesn’t relate too much to the wintertime pattern for fish. However, if there is a prespawn area, and an area relating to the river channel, that also has a good population of grass; those things add up to holding a good population of largemouth bass.
Lake Chickamauga should be on the bucket list for all anglers. Many anglers have caught their personal best largemouth bass on the Chickamauga, or even take yearly vacations with their family there just to go fishing on Lake Chickamauga. It’s an absolute angler’s paradise that’s full of big fish that can create the best memories. Also, in Daytona, Tennessee is Daytona Boat Dock & Tackle which is one of the best bait shops in the country. They have a great selection for anglers and can even offer guide recommendations for the first time anglers who want to have a great day on the water.
So, if you’re looking to have a fun tournament, or catch an abundance of huge largemouth bass, be sure to check out Lake Chickamauga.
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