TIMS FORD LAKE “HIDDEN SECRET OF THE MID-SOUTH”
Tims Ford Lake is considered one of the most picturesque lakes in Tennessee and is
regarded by many as one of the top Smallmouth Bass Fishing and recreational lakes in the
Southeast. This reservoir is located on the Elk River in South Central Tennessee and consists
of just over 14,200 surface acres of water.
Area anglers become excited when thinking about angling Tims Ford from September to
Early June because we know what lurks in the lake, Trophy Smallmouth Bass, Giant Crappie,
Stripe Bass and Walleye. Mid-September to late May is one of the best times of year to hook a
monster Smallmouth Bass and to catch some of the biggest fish of the year. Over the summer
months it all about night fishing.
Tims has a reputation for huge stringers of Smallmouth Bass, especially in late spring, this
is confi rmed every year on the first Saturday in April as anglers fishing the annual Tims Ford
Bass Classic will normally need a five fish limit weighing 20 to 26 pounds mainly smallmouth
to win. In 2009, Tims Ford play host to the Ultimate Match TV Series…While there are many
ways of catching Tims Ford bass, most anglers usually stick with proven tactics such as Jigs,
Carolina Rigs and Crankbaits. Tims is a deep-clear reservoir for the most part with a hard rock/
gravel bottom for the most part. Anglers should look for flats that range in depth of 10 to 17
feet near a drop; it helps to have transition area made of chunk rock and gravel running along
on the bottom. I tend to find these kinds of places on round points, just in side of creeks and
along the main lake.
Tims Ford Lake host an exceptional amount of Crappie ranging from 12-19 inches well
above the 10 inch minimum length. Winter and spring months produce the best results as
anglers target them around docks and tree tops as the winter drawdown takes place. With
the size of Black Nose Crappie we are catching on Tims Ford, I don’t see the current state
record of 4 pounds 4 ounces lasting much longer.
Although not native to the waters, one of the most sought after fish is the lake is Stripe Bass.
Thanks to the TWRA, Tims has a good population of Stripers (both Striped and Cherokee).
Many anglers target them by trolling both artifi cial and live bait.
Last but certainly not least, is Tennessee’s “other” world record fish…Walleye! Yes, many may think the world record Walleye may have come from parts
north of here, but Tennessee currently holds the world record for Walleye of 25 pounds. Anglers in pursuit of these toothy water based critters can find
them by trolling deep running crank bait or drifting night crawler harnesses around one of the many islands throughout the lake.
When visiting Tims Ford, I highly recommend staying at Tims Ford Marina. They have fifteen fully furnished cabins and 29 RV sites. The Hard Dock Café
is open daily for lunch, dinner and supplies. If you wish to be closer to town Winchester has several great hotels that are within a mile or so of the lake, not
to be forgotten, Twin Creeks Maria and Resort is currently under development on Dry Creek point at the Winchester City limits. Another little secret of the
area and the terrific Trout fishing that can be found just below the Tims Ford Dam on the Elk River. Let’s Go Fish’n Y’all…Capt. Jake Davis
The Tims Ford Bass Club is the only Club in the State of Tennessee to have
their own clubhouse. For information about the bass club call 931-224-7140.
Captain Jake Davis,
Mid South Bass Guide
Capt Jake Davis is a USCG Licensed professional shing guide/Professional Angler on Tims Ford
Lake. Capt Jake has sh all over the world and currently is a freelance writer for several outdoor
and angler publications. To reserve your “Day on the Lake” visit www.midsouthbassguide.com or