Scenic City Fishing Charters expands to 6 guides


Scenic City Fishing Charters has announced a major expansion of its services with six licensed guides to serve anglers who wish to explore the riches of the Tennessee River in the Chattanooga area.

In business since 2006, Scenic City Fishing Charters offers guided fishing trips for large and smallmouth bass, trophy catfish, crappie and occasionally other species.

Chickamauga Lake has been declared one of the best bass fishing lakes in the United States in recent years, thanks in large part to an aggressive Largemouth Bass storage program in Florida by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. .

The Tennessee River has also historically been known as a “catfish factory,” producing blue catfish averaging between 5 and 10 pounds, with catfish weighing 50 pounds and over always a possibility.

In addition to a state guide license, all fishing guides who operate in navigable waters in the United States are required to hold a United States Coast Guard captain’s license. It is a very arduous and expensive process. Scenic City Fishing Charters is one of the few guide services in the Southeast region with six fully licensed guides available, making it one of the largest fully licensed professional fishing operations in the state of Tennessee.

Captain Richard Simms is proud to be supported by Captain Sam Simons, Captain Ben Hayes, Captain Ty Konkle, Captain Joe Jellison and Captain Chris Peters.


Born in Chattanooga, Captain Simms began his conservation career as a game ranger for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency before becoming a wildlife photographer and public relations manager for TWRA. Children came and the desire to return to Chattanooga, leading to a second career as a professional broadcast reporter for WTVC-TV NewsChannel 9 and freelance outdoor writer. Captain Simms created Scenic City Fishing Charters in 2006, guiding part-time at the start. He left his career at WTVC in 2014 to devote himself full time to the profession of guide.

“Scenic City Fishing Charters is truly a labor of love for me,” said Captain Simms. “The town of Chattanooga and the business leaders have done a tremendous job developing our riverside. But our desire is to get people out of the mainland and put them on the water. It’s one thing to see giant fish in the Tennessee Aquarium. It’s a whole different experience. to see one at the end of your line. “


Captain Ben Hayes is the main traditional bar guide (using artificial lures) for Scenic City Fishing Charters. He caught his first bass at the age of six. Chickamauga has been his home lake for almost thirty years and he says it has been very exciting to see it become one of the most beautiful bass lakes in the country. Captain Hayes enjoys helping others catch Big Bass, guiding all angler skills … from mom and dad taking their young children on their first bass fishing trip, to seasoned tournament anglers.


Captain Simons is a part-time teacher and guide when he is not in class. His peers in education call him “the fishing teacher”. He and Captain Simms became friends in 2009 when they teamed up on one of Captain Simons’ student outings, rewarding top performing students with a fishing trip. Soon after, Captain Simons decided that guiding was the perfect way to spend his days away from the classroom “educating” others about the abundant fishing opportunities on the Tennessee River.


Captain Ty Konkle is perhaps the best trophy catfish guide for Scenic City Fishing Charters with what often seems like an odd ability to find river monsters. He considers himself “a student of all things catfish”. He even keeps a huge aquarium full of blue, flathead catfish in his home. He likes to catch numbers and is certainly good at it, but given the choice he likes to “go fat or come home”. He says that’s why the phrase “It’s called fishing, not catching!” Is sometimes true.


Captain Joe Jellison actually started out as a client of Scenic City Fishing Charters. Now the student has become the teacher. Like Captain Simons, Captain Jellison is a teacher, guiding part-time, full-time during the summer and during other class breaks. His cat fishing exploits are known from afar thanks to his popular YouTube channel called Chatt Cats Fishing with over 86,000 subscribers, gaining national and even global notoriety.


Captain Chris Peters organizes traditional largemouth bass tours on Chickamauga Lake with Captain Hayes. When not out on the water hunting bass, Captain Peters serves his community in fighting fires as a full-time firefighter. Captain Peters grew up on Chickamauga Lake where he cut his teeth as a young angler in local tournaments. He has consistently led the Chattanooga Bass Association Tournament Trail rankings and other tournament tours along the Tennessee River system.

Visit their webpage to learn more about Scenic City Fishing Charters and its guides.


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