Cooler weather has bass more active in the shallows

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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 Friday, Sept. 9 was 1,009.78 feet and rising.

Heavy rains from the remnants of tropical storm Lee cooled the surface temperature to 80 degrees and swelled the upper rivers with a high inflow. 

The water level is still low enough for the upper Clinch River access area at Beech Grove — a mile below Point 34 — to be accessible, but there has been a high current in that section and also on the upper Powell. 

Fishing for bluegills and shellcrackers is fair. Shellcrackers are 25-30 feet deep during daylight hours and scattered this time of year.

Crappie fishing is slow right now because of the heavy inflow in the headwaters.

Bass action is fair. Largemouth bass are not as deep during the daytime due to the cooler temperatures. Smallmouth bass are a bit more active with the onset of cool weather and an increased current in the channels. 

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 per day on Norris. 

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

Spotted bass are hitting small spinners, Beetle Spins, small doll flies and 4-inch Slider worms rigged Carolina or Texas style.

Striper action is moderate at dawn and dusk, with night catches improving. The most productive depth range has been 30-35 feet. 

Some productive striper fishing locations are Points 3 and 5, Bear Hole Bend and Lindymood Hollow.

A few walleyes have been caught 30-35 feet deep. Fishing is fair, as the rain and sudden rise in water level kept most walleye anglers off the lake.