Reservoirs & Flowages

When planning a flowage or reservoir fishing trip, you will need to find out if a reservoir fishing permit is required for the waterway you intend to use. Learn more about reservoirs and flowages in this section.

Flowage and Reservoir Fishing

Most reservoirs and flowages have been formed by the addition of a dam to a riverbed or creek bed. Since fish are most often found in areas of structure or where there is a change in water depth, topographic maps or video sonar of the terrain are useful when trying to determine where to fish in these types of waterways.

Reservoir Game Fish Species

A variety of freshwater game fish species can be targeted when on a reservoir fishing trip. Reservoir fishing for trout, such as rainbow trout and brown trout, is an ideal activity for families and beginning anglers since trout are usually eager to bite regardless of whether live bait or lures are being used. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie and perch are other game fish species that are often found in reservoirs or flowages. Be sure to check the state's fishing regulations to see which species are legal to catch based on the time of year and waterway.

Reservoir Fishing Tips and Tricks

There are different types of fishing techniques that you can use when reservoir fishing. The type of technique will usually depend on the species of fish you are targeting, but there are some general tips and tricks that you can keep in mind when fishing a reservoir or flowage

  1. Check your state fishing regulations to see if a reservoir fishing permit is required to fish a specific waterway or to fish for a particular species.
  2. When deciding on the reservoir you want to start with, do a bit of research to determine which has the most structure and fish habitat. Look for drop-offs, islands, peninsulas, weed beds, inlets, shoals and rock piles.
  3. Find the areas within the reservoir that contain structure using a topographic map or sonar and fish those areas thoroughly.
  4. If you are fishing an older waterway, concentrate on docks and piers that are closer to shore. Largemouth bass will often move to shallower waters when deeper structure deteriorates or if holes and ledges cover with silt.
  5. When reservoir water levels drop, during the drier months of the year, focus your fishing efforts on the creek channels.
  6. Fish brush, weeds and points close to the shoreline for crappie using small tube jigs.
  7. During the summer months, plan to fish early in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are cooler and the sunlight isn't as bright.

To learn more about stream and river fishing visit in our next section.