Bass remain active on Norris Lake

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 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 Monday, June 27 was 1,021.46 feet, which is almost a foot higher than the previous week.

The surface temperature of the main channel has cooled slightly to 81 degrees in the mornings, but rises to 85 degrees by the afternoon hours. Shallow creeks and protected areas will be several degrees warmer than the channels on sunny afternoons. 

Heavy rain in the watershed and on the lake has stained some of the feeder streams and the upper reaches of the Powell River arm of the lake.

Bass fishing has been good in the coves just before dawn and through the first few hours of daylight. Early morning topwater action has been good for anglers targeting largemouth bass.

Spotted bass can be founds in main channels and at the mouth of coves on rocky points. Crawfish pattern crank baits and small white-skirted spinners and whacky-worm rigs have been effective when fished along rocky banks near wood structure. Spotted bass are also hitting plastic grubs on leadhead jigs, tipped with an inch of nightcrawler, and fished down gravel banks.

Fishing for smallmouth bass is more moderate on points that extend into the deep, main channels and on mid-lake humps 25 to 30 feet deep.

From June 1-Oct. 15, there is a 20-inch minimum length limit on smallmouth bass and a creel limit of one. The change replaces the 17-22 inch slot limit. The daily creel limit for largemouth/smallmouth in combination remains five bass per day on Norris Lake.

Crappie fishing is best at night under lights, at dawn or during the late afternoon hours in the headwaters of larger creek embayments. A few decent-sized crappies have been caught in shoreline brush along steep banks in the river sections.

Striper action is good but scattered. During late afternoon and especially at dawn, the section of lake from Loyston Sea/Bear Hole Bend to Lakeview Dock has yielded some stripers. A few have also been caught near Point 9 by anglers tightlining shad and alewives into schools of baitfish. Some surface breaks can be seen at dawn and dusk.

Walleye fishing has been fair. Pre-dawn or night fishing action is best in 30 to 35 feet of water on the lower third of the lake with jigged Mann O’Lures and snagged shad or alewives.

Bluegills are hitting popping bugs, crickets and worms fished along steep, rocky shorelines. Dawn is the best time, but some action can also be had in the late afternoon hours along shady banks.

Shellcracker action has slowed. They are hitting a variety of baits (redworms, nightcrawlers, waxworms, crickets) and small lures (crank baits, Beetle Spins) fished very close to shoreline brush, 5 to 10 feet deep.