Built in 1943, Douglas Dam, and consequently Douglas Lake, was built to control floods and provide hydroelectric power. Damming up the French Broad River created the lake that’s now a popular water sports destination just miles from Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg. The water in Douglas Lake comes from the French Broad River and Nolichucky River, bringing cool waters from both North Carolina and Tennessee for days of fun water activities.
The lake and its shores (550+ miles) provide plenty of room for play, from kayaking and canoeing to boating and fishing. In summer, it’s a great place to cool off from the sun. Just above Douglas Dam, find a picnic area, boat ramp (open all year), and a beach where you can swim and relax. For more information about Douglas Lake, you can call 1.800.TVA.LAND.
Fishing at Douglas Lake
Fishing is an ever-popular outdoor activity in the Great Smoky Mountains, with cool mountain streams and rivers flowing through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and in surrounding areas. Douglas Lake provides even more fishing opportunities, with a wide variety of fish making their home there.
Douglas Lake is best known for crappie and largemouth bass, but a day of fishing there might also bring you white bass, black crappie, sauger, spotted and striped bass, walleye, flat head catfish, blue cat, channel catfish, red horse, bluegill, and red breast sunfish. In fact, Douglas Lake has been named among the top 5 crappie fishing lakes in the U.S. and among the top 10 in the U.S. for largemouth bass.
At Douglas Lake, many of the fish are able to maintain their own habitats. Over the years, however, enhancements have been made to create better fishing for anglers. You can check out the map below to find where the habitat enhancements are.
While summer is great for kayaking, swimming, and paddle boarding, fishing on Douglas Lake is great almost any time of the year. Try for largemouth bass in April and May, crappie from November to May, sauger February and March, and bluegill from April to October (TWRA). Or if you want to head out at night, June through August is great for bass and crappie. Enjoy a nice day on the water as you cast a line and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful surroundings.
Water Activities at Douglas Lake
Beyond fishing, Douglas Lake offers water fun for the whole family. You can play around with a pontoon boat, have a relaxing day sunbathing on a party boat, bring your kayak or canoe and paddle around, or try a paddle board for a fun and peaceful day on the water!
Want more information about fishing spots, public boat access, and streams in the area? Check out this map for a detailed view of the Douglas Lake area.
Douglas Lake Outfitters
If you’re not traveling with your own equipment, you can always rent what you need. From kayaks to luxury boats, find everything you need at the local outfitters by Douglas Lake.
Smoky Mountain H2O Sports
At H2O Sports, they have something for everyone. Rent boats, Wave runners, Jet Skis, Sea Doos, kayaks, 4-person paddle boats with shades, and 150 HP pontoon boats that are ideal for waterskiing and wakeboarding! Whether you want an exciting day on the water or a relaxing day on the lake, you’ll find what you need at H2O.
If you’re looking for luxury on the water, you’ll find it here, too. Rent the Bentley pontoon boats with Bimini sun shades or the fuel-efficient Yamahas and get tubes and banana boats to go along with them. And with 25 years’ experience, they can get you started for a fun day, even if you’re a beginner on the water.
1955 Chestnut Hill Road
Douglas Lake Marina
Between the pontoon boats (4, 6, 8, and 12-passenger), bass boats, speed and ski boats, skis, tubes, and kneeboards, you’re sure to find what you need for a fun day on Douglas Lake.
1199 Highway 139
The Point Resort & Marina
The full-service (and clean water certified) marina at The Point offers everything you need for a day on the water. You’ll find a store, restaurant, internet access, wet and dry slips, bathrooms and showers, and of course, boat rentals for the day.
122 Boat Dock Drive
Mountain Cove Marina
Not far from exciting Pigeon Forge in the Great Smoky Mountains, the Mountain Cove Marina has pontoon boats, Jet Skis, and paddle boards at the Billy Lush Board Shop. They’re open spring, summer, winter, and fall, so you can get out on Douglas Lake anytime you’re here.
1590 Dyke Road
Providing pontoon boat rentals and John boat rentals, Swann’s Marina is located in Dandridge, Tennessee on Douglas Lake.
2515 Swann’s Marina Road
Wake Board Boat Rentals, TN
Also servicing Gatlinburg is Wake Board Boat Rentals of TN, where you can spend a day on the water with water skis, surf boards, tubes, wake boards, and of course, boats to pull them with.
10525-D Kingston Pike
Smokies Angling Adventures
At Smokies Angling Adventures, you can take guided fishing trips, rent pontoon boats, rent bass boats, and get tons of information about fishing at Douglas Lake (and in surrounding areas).
Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, TN
865.933.3140 or 865.661.5107
Gator Point Marina
Just 30 minutes from Pigeon Forge, Gator Point Marina is conveniently located near all the other fun of the Smoky Mountains. They have a variety of rentals to choose from, including pontoon boats, a 25-foot party barge with couches, fishing and touring pontoon boats, and plenty of amenities on all of them. There are also slip rentals available, with daily, weekly, and yearly rates available.
1809 Gator Point Road
865.908.4000 or 800.749.1957
Smoky Mountain Guides
As one of our Cabins For You partner attractions, Smoky Mountain Guides offers great deals to our guests. On top of that, they have tons of guided tours, including fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains. If you’re not in the mood for fishing, enjoy wildflower hikes, interpretive history walks, and specialty trips like Adventure Photography and Waterfalls + Wine.
Cabins after the Lake
Take a break after a day on Douglas Lake in a cozy mountain cabin. Charming Pigeon Forge cabins offer comfy couches in front of big screen TVs, fireplaces for cool nights, rec rooms with games for more fun after the lake, and even private indoor pools if you just can’t get enough of the water!
We also have beautiful Gatlinburg cabins that are loaded with places to play and relax, along with tons of conveniences like washers and dryers, fully equipped kitchens, and Wi-Fi to keep you connected. Book online or give us a call at 800.684.7865 to book your perfect place after a day on the water!