Welcome to our Dale Hollow Lake Fishing Home Page

Dale Hollow Lake is a beautiful lake located on the Kentucky / Tennessee border.  The lake is surrounded by beautiful scenery and miles of shoreline.  It is a wonderful tourism area with plenty of accommodations, houseboats, warm weather, tons of water and some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the country.

Dale Hollow Lake is home of the world record smallmouth bass that weighed 11 pounds and 15 ounces. Largemouth bass, crappie, muskellunge, walleye, catfish, gar, and trout are also available.  The majority of the fishermen come here for the world class smallmouth bass fishery.


Primary Species of Fish


Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass & Spotted Bass

The primary species of fish here on Dale Hollow Lake are bass.  Smallmouth bass are known as king of this lake, however, you can find plenty of largemouth bass and spotted bass here too.  It’s a big bass destination with trophy potential, especially for smallmouth bass.


Secondary Species of Fish


Walleye, Muskie, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Catfish, Crappie & Bluegill

Walleye and sauger are possible here to go along with crappie, muskellunge, catfish and trout.  The majority of anglers come here for the world class smallmouth bass fishery though, so don’t be surprised if you are one of the few anglers on the lake targeting other species of fish.


Deep Water Fishing


Dale Hollow Lake is a very deep lake with clear water.  In the spring, anglers have good success fishing shallow water for a variety of fish since they move into spawn.  However, from summer through winter, anglers do a lot better here by fishing deeper water.


Use Light Line in the Clear Water


Using lighter line is key here to get more bites.  The clear water makes it easy for fish to see to see your line, so try downsizing your line and you can also use fluorocarbon leaders.  Most of the anglers that do real well here will use line in the 6 to 8 lb test range.


Catch Big Smallmouth Bass


Dale Hollow Lake has good numbers of bass, but it is known for producing some very large smallmouth bass.  Because of the deep, clear water this lake can be tough to fish, however, there are some really big bass in Dale Hollow Lake.  When you combine the longer growing season with special smallmouth bass regulations, plus lots of baitfish, you get a trophy smallmouth bass fishery.  The world record smallmouth bass was caught here and it weighed 11 lb and 15 oz.  It is not uncommon to hear of smallmouth bass in the 5 to 7 pound range and there are bigger bass swimming in this lake too.


Good Multi-Species Fishery


Dale Hollow Lake is known mostly for its tremendous smallmouth bass fishery, however, there are so many other fish to catch.  If you choose to use lures at work for multiple species of fish you can easily catch smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass to go along with panfish and more.  Just make sure you are willing to fish a little deeper because most of these fish will be suspended offshore in the summer and fall.


Current Plays a Major Factor Here


The current can play a big role in how well you do when fishing on Dale Hollow Lake.  When the dam is releasing water, there will be more current up in the lake.  While you may not see a lot of current back in some of the creek arms, you will be able to notice some current if you are fishing out on the main lake.  Smallmouth bass love having some current and they will usually stack up on current breaks where baitfish are present.  You can still catch a lot of fish here when the lake is low and the current is low, however, when you have some current, it can really help position a variety of fish species, but especially the smallmouth bass.


Fish the Creeks


There are so many creek arms on Dale Hollow Lake that anglers have lots of options to fish here even when it’s windy.  While the creek arms may be the best in the spring when fish move shallower to spawn, there is plenty of deep water in these creeks to hold fish in the summer and fall too.  Fish the cover in these creek arms such as rocks and wood.  There are plenty of nice drop offs too so a lot of times you’re going to be fishing fairly close to the shoreline while still fishing deeper water.


Fish Below the Dam – Obey River


The Obey River Tailwater is a 7 mile stretch of the Obey river that runs from the Dale Hollow Lake Dam and the Cumberland River.  This stretch of river is stocked year-round with rainbow trout and brown trout.  This river can fluctuate greatly based on the dam release schedule.  It is a narrow river with high banks, so water depths can go from shallow to over 10 feet deep pretty quick when water is being released.  The river is shallow during non-release periods, but it is still better to be fishing from a boat versus using waders.


Fish the Main Lake


Lots of fish will transition to the main lake after the spawn.  In the summer and winter, anglers usually do well targeting suspended fish off of and around main lake points.  Don’t rule out some of these main lake shorelines in the spring in the fall either.  When the fish go deep though, it can be a challenge to find the schools of suspended fish out on the main Lake without good electronics.


Fish the Points


Dale Hollow Lake has tons of main lake points and secondary points in the backs of the creek arms.  If you just want to fish points, you can easily run and gun and target points all day long.  There will be some fish relating to points here year round, so water temperature will play a big role in whether or not you’re in the back of the creeks or out on the main lake.  Because this lake has so much deep water, it won’t be hard to find points that drop off quickly into deeper water.  There are so many good points to fish.


Fish the Rocks


Dale hollow lake has lots of rocks, so plan on fishing plenty of rocky bottom while here.  Smallmouth bass love the rocks, but because there is not a ton of vegetation here, you’ll find plenty of largemouth bass around the rocks too.


Fish the Shorelines


The shorelines look great around the lake.  You’re going to find a lot of rock, some wood and nice drop offs.  Because the lake is so deep, most anglers will just go along a shoreline and start fishing.  Well you’re going to miss a lot of those suspended fish in the summer and winter by just beating the bank, you can still catch plenty of fish  because there’s good access to deep water so close to the shore.  In the spring and fall though, anglers do usually report much better fishing up against the shorelines.


Fish the Wood


There is plenty of wood to fish on Dale Hollow Lake.  From the down trees to the flooded bushes to the brush piles, you have lots of options.  The flooded bushes and timber are usually great spots for targeting largemouth bass while the deeper brush piles will usually hold good schools of crappie and other panfish.  If you find some lay downs long a steep bank, you will most likely find some smallmouth bass and spotted bass too.