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Guide To Fishing At South Holston Lake

AKA: South Holston Reservoir

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What to fish for...

Fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, bluegill, redear sunfish, rock bass, warmouth and white bass at South Holston Lake in Tennessee.

South Holston Lake, TN

Located in the northeast corner of Tennessee, South Holston Lake is a scenic boating and fishing lake with magnificent views of the Appalachian Mountains which run parallel to the lake. This 10,000 surface-acre reservoir is home to quality bass fishing. Annually, South Holston Reservoir makes the Bassmaster Top 100 bass lakes in the USA. This clear-water lake is less fertile than others in the area, so the numbers of bass is fewer, but the quality of both largemouth and smallmouth more than makes up for it.

South Holston Lake, nestled in the mountains of northeastern Tennessee, is a pristine fishing destination that offers anglers an abundance of fish species, picturesque scenery, and recreational opportunities. This 7,580-acre reservoir, formed by the South Fork Holston River, provides excellent fishing for both locals and visitors alike.

South Holston Lake is well-known for its exceptional trout fishing. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout, making it a haven for trout anglers. Fly fishing is particularly popular on the lake, with anglers casting their lines in the clear, cool waters. The lake's deep pools, riffles, and submerged structure provide ideal habitats for trout. Anglers can also target other popular fish species such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and walleye, adding to the variety of fishing opportunities on the lake.

Crappie, walleye, trout, catfish, bluegill and other sunfish also reside in the lake. The cool, clear water makes for an ideal trout and walleye fishery. Marinas, boat launches and campgrounds are scattered around the lake. Launching boats, canoes and kayaks is easy making access to fishing areas a breeze. There are plenty of places to fish from shore all around the lake. Because part of the lake is in Virginia, check VA and TN regulations before fishing. Also be aware of significant draw downs of water in winter, often lowering the water level 30 feet or more.

Boating on South Holston Lake is a favored activity, thanks to its expansive waters and breathtaking mountain views. Anglers and boating enthusiasts can launch their boats from public ramps and explore the lake's many bays, coves, and channels. Boaters can enjoy leisurely cruises, engage in water sports activities, or simply relax while taking in the scenic beauty of the surrounding hills and forests.

Camping facilities near South Holston Lake provide visitors with the opportunity to extend their stay and fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. Campgrounds offer amenities such as campsites, picnic areas, and restroom facilities. Camping near South Holston Lake allows anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to make the most of their fishing adventures and enjoy the tranquil ambiance of the lake and its picturesque setting.

South Holston Lake's combination of excellent trout fishing, stunning mountain scenery, and camping facilities make it a sought-after destination for anglers and nature lovers in Tennessee. Whether you're casting your line for trout, exploring the lake's hidden coves by boat, or camping under the starry sky, South Holston Lake provides a serene and memorable experience that celebrates the beauty of Tennessee's natural landscape.

Fishing Boats For Rent In TN

Primary fish species residing in South Holston Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Spotted bass Channel catfish Blue catfish Black crappie White crappie Walleye Rainbow trout Brown trout Lake trout Bluegill Redear Sunfish Rock Bass Warmouth Sunfish White Bass

South Holston Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: NEARBY
Bait & Tackle: NEARBY
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Fishing Boat Rentals

Laurel Marina
Rentals: Pontoon boats and runabouts
423 878-3721


Friendship Resort & Marina
Tennessee 37620
423 878-3128

Lake View Dock
992 Lakeview Dock Rd
Bristol, TN 37620
423 878-4331

Laurel Marina
191 Shady Ford Rd
Bristol, TN 37620
423 878-3721

Painter Creek Marina
766 Painter Creek Rd
Bristol, TN 37620
423 878-5775

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

421 Bridge Boat Ramp
Located mid lake, at the east end of the South Holston Lake Bridge, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and plenty of paved parking.

Little Oak Campground Boat Ramp
Located in the campground, in the southeast corner of the lake, this is a single-lane, concrete ramp with gravel parking.

Public Boat Ramp
Located in Sullivan County Observation Knob Park, mid lake, on the west side, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and lots of paved parking.

Whitaker Hollow Park Boat Ramp
Located in the northeast corner of the lake, this is a single-lane, concrete ramp with paved parking.

Click here for a Tennessee Fishing License.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Cherokee Trails Campground - 423 391-0118

Cochran's Lakeview Campground - 423 878-8045

Camper's Cove Campground - 423 878-9341

Little Oak Campground - 423 735-1500

South Holston Lake, TN Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Lake Video

Contact Information

South Holston Lake
TWRA - South Holston Lake
423 587-7037


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South Holston Lake in Tennessee.

Trout and walleye fishing in northeast TN.

Fishing at South Holston Lake, in Tennessee.