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Watauga Lake Fishing

Watauga Lake Fishing Pier - Rat Branch TennesseeWatauga Lake is located in north east Tennessee and is surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest. With 100 miles of winding shore line, and a surface area of 6,430 acres, Watauga Lake has plenty of room for great fishing. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) manages the states wildlife and has stocked various fish species for environmental enhancement and fishing opportunities.

The most popular species are Smallmouth, walleye, and trout. You can find a trout stocking map on the Watauga Maps page.

There are eight public boat ramps, seven marinas and two Forest Service recreation facilities. While most fishing is done by boat, there are plenty of shore fishing opportunities including the fishing pier at Rat Branch (pictured above). The Rat Branch pier is a fixed pier built in 1999.

Walleye were initially stocked in 1954 and have been stocked consistently since 1985. They are abundant and grow to exceptionally well. Seven to eight pound walleye are not uncommon.


Watauga Lake Fish Species


There are about 15 species of fish in Watauga lake most of which are listed below.
Smallmouth Bass    
Gizzard shad    
Largemouth Bass    
Spotted (Kentucky) bass    
Crappie - Black    
Crappie - White    
Trout - Rainbow    
Trout - Lake
Channel catfish
Average Length At Age - Watauga Specific
Species 1 2 3 4 5 6
Smallmouth Bass 7.3" 8.8" 12.5" 12.8" 14.7" 16.2"
Walleye 10.6" 17" 18.8" 18.5" 22.1" 22.4"
Largemouth Bass 8" 10.6" 13.5" 14.6" 16.4" 17.1"
Related Links & Resources
Watauga Lake Fish Stocking Information
Watauga Lake, Tennessee
Watauga Lake Maps
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