The following is a weekly summary of the fishing conditions on Norris Lake as reported by creel clerks from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
The lake level on Friday, Nov. 19 was 1,002.96 feet above sea level.
Surface temperature readings range from 58 to 60 degrees, with cooler temperatures being found upstream.
Bass are more active in shallow water than in previous weeks.
Largemouth bass can be found in the coves as well as near wood structure along the shoreline on the main channels. The best fishing is at sunrise and on cloudy days in the large coves with small plastic worms or lizards (Zoom’s June Bug color has been productive), flukes fished with little or no weight, and medium-running Bandit crank baits in crawfish/orange or red crawfish patterns.
Smallmouth bass are biting 10 to 15 feet deep near rock outcroppings and points where the drawdown has caused a slight current break. On clear days, smallmouth bass can be found as deep as 20 feet. The most productive smallmouth lures have been small doll fly/minnow combos, leadhead jigs rigged with a plasic grub in chartreuse or smoke colors, or small plastic worms (Senko or equivalent) fished on low-visibility 6 lb. test line. Crawfish-color crank baits and Rat-L-Traps have also drawn strikes when fished along rocky shorelines.
Striper fishing has been slow due to poor water conditions in the headwaters.
The bite has also been slow for walleyes and shellcrackers.
Crappie action improved some in the stained water of larger creek embayments. Small doll flies, 1-inch tube jigs (red/white, blue/white) and 1/32 oz. hair or feather jigs tipped with minnows have been the most productive crappie lures.
Bluegills are hitting redworms, nightcrawlers and crickets, tightlined 20 to 25 feet deep into brushpiles on the main channel.