Exploring Tennessee: Fishing on Douglas Lake

Meteorologist Jacob Durham is taking us on the water for boating safety and fishing.
Published: Jul. 6, 2023 at 5:43 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2023 at 5:46 PM EDT
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DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) - As temperatures continue to climb, so do the number of people out on the water. WVLT First Alert Meteorologist Jacob Durham and Photojournalist Christopher Covert spent some time out on Douglas Lake.

Douglas Lake is situated in Cocke, Jefferson and Sevier counties and extends 43.1 miles long and offers up the chance for fishing, camping and boating.

“We’ve got two campgrounds we manage here on our dam reservation,” Clay Guerry with the Tennessee Valley Authority said. “What makes this so unique is there is one here on the headwater and another campground down on the riverine side. Whichever kind of camping experience suits you more, we have whether it be on the river side or reservoir.”

For those who are more experienced campers, they offer dispersed camping, which offers limited amenities. For beginners or families they offer developed campgrounds with water and electricity.

There is a unique opportunity that you can take advantage of with the islands around the lake as well. If you go to TVA Undeveloped Lands, you can check out the dispersed recreation and it gives you the location of which islands you can camp on.

The TVA and the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency worked together to produce great aquatic habitats for the lakes and streams.

“Arguably we have some of the best trout fishing tailwaters east of the Mississippi,” Guerry said. “We do a lot of that work that actually also benefits recreation. The habitat work we do, there is more birds for bird watchers and more fish for you to catch out there on our reservoirs.”

Douglas Lake provides great fishing for beginner and experienced anglers alike, with multiple species of fish to catch.

“We have a wide variety of fish in this lake, from catfish, to two or three types of bass, crappie, bluegill, walleye, sauger,” TWRA Sergeant David Sexton said.

You’ll need the proper fishing license which can be purchased for just one day or if you plan on being there year round, they have an annual pass as well.

Boating safety is something you need to take seriously as well, as TWRA officers monitor everyone’s safety out on the water.

“Well the ones that we typically see the most violations on are people not having enough lifejackets on the boat. That’s something that we really look hard for because that is a safety violation that can save lives,” Sexton said.

Douglas Lake provides the perfect setting for making memories and has done so for many visitors over the years.

“A lot of memories with my family, standing on the bank fishing, boats, just good friends having a great time. Winter, summer fall; its just a hometown lake that we love,” said local fisherman Donnie Ball.

One thing that’s for sure is that many memories are still to be had out on the water, and will be passed down from generation to generation for those who want to get out on the water during the summer months to cool down, or for great fishing trips through the winter.