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Cooler temperatures helping to improve fishing on Norris

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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 Tuesday, Oct. 4 was 1,007.59 feet, which is a foot lower than it was the previous week. 

Surface temperatures range from 72 to 75 degrees, depending on time of day and location. The lake is clear on the lower end, but the river sections have a little more color.

Cooler water has helped anglers by bringing more fish into shallow water. Small baitfishes are schooling on the surface in the creeks and protected channel areas. Although widely scattered, surface feeding bass and stripers can be seen more often and will increase in frequency and location as the fall fishing season progresses.

Bluegills can be caught as deep as 25 feet along steep, rocky banks and in the shallows near brush piles in the creek hollows. Crickets are working best.

Crappie fishing has improved a bit in the headwaters because of cooler temperatures.

Bass fishing is moderate. Largemouth bass are hitting readily in the shallows along rocky shores. Lunker largemouth bass are hitting as deep as 15 feet. 

Smallmouth bass are even deeper than that and are hitting crank baits and jigs at 20 to 25 feet. Until Oct. 15, there is a 20-inch minimum length limit on smallmouth bass and a creel limit of one. The daily creel limit for largemouth/smallmouth in combination remains five bass a day on Norris Lake.

Beginning Oct. 16 and continuing through May 31, there will be an 18-inch minimum length limit on smallmouth bass and a creel limit of five in combination with largemouth bass.