CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Winter time for many anglers means an extreme slow down in their fishing activity, but for anglers willing to brave the winter elements now is the time for some of the best smallmouth fishing of the year in the tailwaters of the Tennessee River System.

Heavy current, cooler water temperatures and an abundance of baitfish in the waters just below the dams provide anglers with an excellent opportunity to catch smallmouth bass during the winter months from Watts Bar to Pickwick. Grubs, tubes, spinnerbaits, as well as drifting live bait are the preferred methods for fishing in the fast current below the dams.