Ever Wanted To Fish Dale Hollow, Home Of World Record Smallmouth Bass?

Dale Hollow  Forecast Contributor – Will Schibig, Region III Creel Clerk.

Bass- Fishing is great. Conditions have stabilized after the cold front, and the fish have remembered what they’re supposed to do. You can catch all black bass species either up shallow or suspended off the bank. Largemouth can be found on structure in the backs of creeks where there is an inflow of warm water. Smallmouth can be caught on creek points and gravel banks in 10 to 20 feet. Fishing slow with jigs or power fishing with blade baits, swimbaits or jerk baits are catching lots of brown fish. The biggest limits are still coming from the lower end with live-imaging sonar and Damiki rigged flukes. These fish will be suspended in the back halves of creeks and pockets around baitfish.

Crappie- Fishing is great. The crappie fishing has been excellent since February. The best fishing is taking place in the back quarter of major creeks on the upper end. Fish are being caught by trolling/spider-rigging jigs around the creek channel, using minnows on brush, and utilizing live-imaging sonar to target individual fish. Fishing on the main Obey River has slowed down some, but it’s still an easy way to catch some keepers around brush with minnows and jigs.

Reservoir Conditions: Water temperature average 54 degrees, with the upper end closer to 58 degrees. 60+ degree water can be found in the backs of major creek arms and the Wolf River arm, especially after a warm rain. Water clarity from Lily Dale downstream to the dam is still clear, 12-15’ visibility. On the upper end of the reservoir water can be more turbid (~4-6’ visibility). Reservoir elevation is slowly rising and is currently sitting at 646 feet. Dale Hollow Dam isn’t drawing as much water as recent weeks, currently averaging 900 cfs per day. Fish are starting to return shallow after moving out from the cold fronts. Anywhere you can find the 60+ degree water, those bass and crappie are going to be heading to the bank.

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