Cherokee Lake


Morristown, TN
United States United States
36.2243, -83.3505
Depth (average):
28 Feet
30,300 Acres

Cherokee is a fertile Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoir containing 30,300 surface acres and 393 miles of shoreline. Fish densities are greater than in many other Tennessee reservoirs due to the high fertility level. There is a prolific forage base of threadfin shad, gizzard shad, and alewife. The primary game fish species are the three black bass species, striped bass, Cherokee bass, crappie, walleye, sauger, sunfish, white bass,flounder and catfish. The reservoir thermally stratifies in the summer and the warm oxygenated surface water can not mix with the cold water below. As the summer progresses, respiration by organisms and decay of detritus slowly depletes the cold water of oxygen. During most summers and in many locations, oxygen levels below 30 ft can become too low to support most fish species. This is especially true for mature striped bass and walleye which need cold, oxygenated water to survive. These fish seek out refuge areas until the surface water becomes cool enough in the fall to mix with the rest of the lake.


Striped bass - During the late fall and early spring many move upstream to the John Sevier Steam Plant. Year round, but especially in the summer when dissolved oxygen levels are low, the lower section of the reservoir from Macedonia Hollow to the dam is hard to beat. Live shad or large shiners with single hook, sinker, and greater than 15 lb. test monofilament is a well-used method. One-ounce white doll flies with 6-inch plastic trailer, Red Fins or Little Mac plugs, Sassy Shads on 1-oz lead head, Zara Spooks, white Slug-gos, and jigging spoons are also used. Largemouth bass - The highest catch occurs in March and April when the water warms and bass move to shallow water to spawn. Some popular tackle are Silver Buddies, Carolina-rigged plastic lizards, 4-inch plastic worms, crankbaits, Shad Raps, Rapalas, Rat-L-Traps, spinner baits, buzz baits, and many more. Smallmouth bass - They move to clay and gravel points in the spring. Fish live bait on the bottom, Carolina-rigged lizards, or cast firetiger or shad colored Shad Raps, Rapalas, and Rebels. Crappie - Fish in coves near fish attractors, brush piles, or downed trees in the early spring or late fall. Small minnows, plastic grubs, flies tipped with minnows, and small crankbaits work best. Walleye - The best season is from January through May when they concentrate upstream near the steam plant. Best caught with small flies tipped with minnows, Rooster Tail or June Bug spinners, plastic grubs, and hair doll flies.

Spot Access:
Boat Ramp, Parking (car/truck), Parking (boat/trailer), Picnic Area, Power Boats Allowed, Swimming Area, State campground, Shore fishing access, State picnic area, Camping, Restrooms, Beach, Fly Fishing, Floating, Bait shop on site, Marina
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Map for 36.2243, -83.3505
New Fishing Report

Fishing Reports

Cherokee Lake Fishing Report 11.16.12

  Cherokee Lake Fishing Report: 11 /16 / 2012   Check us out at: !!!   Water temps 54 to lower 60`s in the afternoon. Water color ranging from stained in the upper regions of the lake to lightly stained on the lower sections.   Bass:   The fishing is fair to good with bass hitting best mid morning through the rest of the day.  We are catching fish anywhere between 2 to 15ft deep right now.  One da...

Cherokee Lake Fishing Report 08.07.12

  Cherokee Lake Fishing Report: 8 /7 / 2012   Check us out at: !!!   Water temps 83 to upper 80`s in the afternoon. Water color ranging from stained in the upper regions of the lake to lightly stained on the lower sections.   Bass:  The fishing has been fair this past week with some Largemouth & Smallies  being caught, with some nice fish in the 3 to 5lb range.  This week lures varied from small to...

Cherokee Lake Fishing Report 07.13.12

Water temps 85 to upper 80`s in the afternoon. Water color ranging from stained in the upper regions of the lake to lightly stained on the lower sections.  Bass:  The day time fishing has been slow to fair this past week with a nice Largemouth & Smallie being caught occasionally in the 4 to 6lb range. Lures varied from large deep diving crankbaits and swim baits.   To plastics, either Carolina or Texas rigged.  A lot of fish came in the 15 to 25ft range,...

Cherokee Lake Fishing Report 04.10.12

  Cherokee Lake Fishing Report: 4 /10 / 2012   Check us out at: !!!   Water temps 66 to mid 70`s in the afternoon. Water color ranging from stained in the upper regions of the lake to lightly stained on the lower sections.   Bass:  The fishing has been great overall the past 3 to 4 weeks with some nice Largemouth & Smallies being caught, with some nice fish in the 4 to 6lb range, with an occasional 7lber. &n...

Cherokee Lake Fishing Report 04.12.10

On Cherokee Lake the water temps are ranging from 61 to 64, with some creeks or coves being almost 70 late in the afternoons. The water is fairly clear on most of the lake. This past week we have caught some nice Bass on Topwaters, Carolina Rigs and Texas rigged lizards & brush hogs in the pockets and secondary points in the creeks and coves. Some of the better fish, Bass & Crappie have already bedded, but there will be fish bedding for the next few weeks. Look for feeding activity...

Cherokee Lake Fishing Report 02.25.10

Water temps are ranging from 40 to 48 degrees, with the water on the lower end slighlty stained and gets more so the farther up the lake you go. We have been catching some fish on crankbaits and jerkbaits shallow from Mid-Lake up, with jigs, silver buddies and drop shot rigs still producing most of the better fish in the 15 to 20ft range. We`ve caught some good Smallies and the fishing should break loose anytime now if this weather will settle down a little. Good Luck with your fishing, ww...
Capt. David Berry / Smokies Angling Guide Service /
over 7 years ago (01/12/2010)

Cherokee Lake Fishing Report 01.12.10

Fishing for Smallies has been good the last 2 weeks on Float-N-Fly, Jigs and Silver Buddies off Points with sharp drop-offs and 45 Degree banks. We have mainly been fishing from the Gilmore Dock Area to the Dam on the Lower end, with fair to good results on Nice Smallies caught on Float-N-Fly and Hair Jigs.
Smokies Angling Adventures
over 7 years ago (09/28/2009)

Cherokee Lake Fishing Report 09.28.09

Cherokee, Douglas & Norris Lakes Report This week we had clients out on all 3 lakes and the Bass bite was fair. The biggest fish all week was about 51/2 lbs with some good Smallies caught on topwaters and cranks. The heavy rains we had yesterday might mess them up for a day or 2. But after this front passes. I look for the Fall bite to start cranking up as the water cools. In the upcomiong weeks the topwater and crankbait bite should get going good. The fish this week came on topwa...
Smokies Angling Adventures
about 8 years ago (03/03/2009)

Cherokee Lake Fishing Report 03.03.09

The Bass are being caught on shallow crankbaits and jigs in less than 10ft. Mostly from Mid lake up river, with some good catches showing up. Can still be tough depending on fronts, but some good fish are being caught. Stripers and Hybrids from 25E bridge upstream has been slow to fair with an occasional 20+. Trolling umbrella rigs in 15 to 40ft depending on where their at day to day. Fishing should really start heating up in 2 to 3 weeks. Get the gear ready and get out there, the heavy female...



Bass, Largemouth (Micropterus salmoides)


Bass, Smallmouth (Micropterus dolomieu)


Bass, Spotted (Micropterus punctulatus)


Bass, Striped (Morone saxatilis)


Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)


Crappie, Black (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)


Crappie, White (Pomoxis annularis)


Flounder, Summer (Paralichthys dentatus)


Sauger (Stizostedion canadense)


Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum)




East Tennessee Guide Service

We will provide all equipment necessary to make your day on the lake a success. We provide rod, reels, tackle, and a life vest. We do not provide extra clothing or rain gear.
Rogersville, TN, United States United States

Smokies Angling Adventures Guide Service

Enjoy an East Tenessee fishing adventure like no other! We offer year round guided fishing trips on some of East Tennessee's premier lakes & streams with professional guides. Specializing in Largemo...
Sevierville, TN, United States United States


There are no lodges specified for this fishing spot.


There are no tournaments associated with this fishing spot.