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courtesy of TWRA

Reelfoot Lake was formed by a series of earthquakes in 1811-1812. A large area of land sank and later filled with water. This was a heavily forested area and the remains of this forest are still found beneath the lake's waters.

The lake has approximately 13,000 acres of water and the average depth is only 5.2 feet. The deepest area is only 18' deep. Due to the shallow, fertile water and the abundance of natural cover. Reelfoot Lake is one of the world's greatest natural fish hatcheries. Approximately 54 species of fish can be found in the lake.

The primary game fish include several types of bream, white and black crappie, several species of catfish, largemouth bass and yellow bass.

 Reelfoot Lake fishing varies on a seasonal basis, just like all other lakes. The bass usually start biting in March and continue until late fall. The best bass lures include spinner baits, plastic worms, spoons and topwater lures. Large, live minnows are also good. Many large bass are caught each year and 5 pound bass are not uncommon.

 Crappie usually start biting in early to mid-March in the deep water stumps. They move to shallow water in early April and the pre-spawn period is excellent. Crappie can be caught in the deep water stumps until July. Fall crappie fishing is good during September and October. Favorite crappie bait includes live minnows, jigs and plastic grubs.

Bream fishing is usually good April through June and again in the fall. The bream in Reelfoot are usually large and large catches of bream are common. Favorite bream bait include worms, crickets and jigs.

 Catfishing is good from spring to fall and any catfish bait is good. 

 Yellow Bass are found by the thousands in Reelfoot Lake. They are always hungry and strong fighters. They can be caught from early spring to late fall; they also bite well during the hot summer months. Favorite baits include jigs and minnows.

Reelfoot Lake is an exciting place to fish; you never know what you are going to catch. It is common for over 100 fish to be caught per boat during one day.

 Most fisherman do not use fiberglass boats because Reelfoot Lake is shallow and filled with stumps and logs. The most popular boats are the Reelfoot Lake boat and the Jon Boat. Larger boats can be used, but only with extreme caution. Boats are available from the state park and most private resorts for reasonable daily rates. 

 For more information call Reelfoot Lake State Park: 901-253-7756

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