Old Hickory Lake primed for double duty in Music City Division - Major League Fishing
Old Hickory Lake primed for double duty in Music City Division
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Old Hickory Lake primed for double duty in Music City Division

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Venerable Old Hickory Lake is primed for June 15 BFL action.
June 5, 2024 • Joel Shangle • Phoenix Bass Fishing League

Tennessee’s Old Hickory Lake is a popular bass fishing and recreational boating lake. It’s an annual stop with Major League Fishing and will host two Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Music City Division events in a single weekend. The first is scheduled for June 15, and the following day will be another separate event, a rescheduled tournament due to flooding in May on Clarks Hill. This gives anglers two shots for the win on the legendary fishery in a single weekend.

Tournament details

Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Music City Division

Old Hickory Lake

Gallatin, TN

June 15

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About the fishery

Formed by the Old Hickory Lock and Dam on the Cumberland River, Old Hickory is a winding lake that stretches nearly 100 miles long. It was created when the dam was completed in 1954 and has been a popular fishery ever since because of its close proximity to the Nashville metropolitan area.

Cookeville, Tennessee’s, Adam Wagner has an astounding 16 wins with Major League Fishing; three have come on Old Hickory in Phoenix Bass Fishing League competition. He’ll be fishing both events and says the lake is fishing well from top to bottom, so there will be many potentially productive areas to fish.

“It’s a typical river lake with a lot of shallow shoreline cover, but you also have shallow ledges away from the bank and deeper structure as you get down the lake,” Wagner said. “In the creeks, you have shallow docks, wood to fish, and a lot of rock throughout the lake. It’s got a little bit of everything.”

One additional type of cover is relatively recent for Old Hickory: aquatic vegetation.

“The milfoil has started to grow well and we haven’t had that until about the last three years,” Wagner said. “That could also be a player in these events.”

Tennessee pro Adam Wagner expects good fishing on Old Hickory for June 15 and June 15 BFLs.

What to expect

Wagner says that Old Hickory Lake has historically been known for tough fishing, but it has picked up in recent years, and local team tournaments are producing solid weights. He expects the same for the BFL events.

“It’s fishing well right now, and a recent local team tournament took almost 19 pounds to win. There were quite a few stringers between 15 and 18 pounds,” Wagner said. “Of course, that’s a team with two anglers, but it should be close to those weights for our events. I’m guessing it will take 17, maybe 18, to win and 13 pounds to get paid at both.”

The lake sets up well for power fishing and Wagner said a handful of baits should shine.

“Buzzbaits and swim jigs are always good this time of year,” he said. “You’ll also see fish caught with a big crankbait on the offshore ledges and some will catch them flipping beaver-style baits on shallow wood and docks.”

The June setting of the event also opens up the possibility of several different techniques being used, each of which Wagner said could be the winning approach.

“That’s the great thing about Old Hickory; you can fish however you like to catch them and find some fish,” he said. “You can fish on the edges of the shallow willow grass in the mornings and flip it in the afternoon,” he said. “You can also get out on the deep ledges, fish docks, or target the shallow wood in the creeks. There’s so many things you can do and they’ll all give you a shot to win.”