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Cicada Fishing

While some outdoor experiences happen every year, others occur less frequently. In this case, it’s about every thirteen years. Fly fishermen are known to try just about anything for bait to get good results. Which is why we weren’t surprised when we found out that some anglers preferred the insect many of us have come to know too well — the Cicada. The same loud, red-eyed flying bug that we swatted away, yelled at and tried to avoid is an effective bait for anyone looking for a fun day on the water. Wild Side Guide Chris Nischan takes us out on Percy Priest Lake with his good buddy Jim Mauries in search of Carp — fish that are fattening up on the noisy insects.

While fly fishing is Chris and Jim’s favorite way of using Cicadas, spinning or bait casting tackle work just as well. Largemouth and smallmouth bass, trout and catfish—all species of fish will surface to eat Cicadas. There are 2 different Cicada hatches in Tennessee…one occurs every thirteen years, the other every seventeen years. This year’s hatch occurred in middle Tennessee…some other parts of the state will experience a cicada hatch in the near future.

If your interested in fishing, either with or without cicadas, you can reach Jim at Fly South fly shop or Chris at

For more stories like this one, visit, home of Tennessee’s Wild Side. This story is from episode #2203.