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. 5 was 1,004.16 feet, which is over half a foot lower than it was the previous week. Surface temperatures are now in the mid 60s. The lake is clear for the most part, with some stain in the headwaters.
Fishing has been inconsistent. Many bass are holding deep on the bottom or are suspended far from the shoreline where a slow presentation is necessary. Topwater action has been hard to come by, as the weather pattern has kept baitfish off the surface.
Largemouth bass have been hitting small plastic lures, spinners and crawfish pattern crank baits. Smallmouth bass are deep, 25-30 feet, and are taking small doll flies tipped with minnows and plastic grubs on leadhead jigs. A few smallmouth bass are suspended at 30 feet, while others are holding 20-25 feet deep on the bottom.
Fishing for stripers and walleyes has been slow.
Crappie action improved on the main channel in the upper reaches of the Clinch and Powell rivers. Most crappies are being caught 5-15 feet in brush piles above Point 30 on the Clinch and above Union County Dock on the Powell. The most productive crappie lures have been small doll flies, 1-inch tube jigs (red/white, blue/white) and 1/32 oz. hair or feather jigs tipped with minnows.
Bluegills are hitting redworms, nightcrawlers or crickets tightlined 20-25 feet deep in brush piles on the main channel. Fishing for shellcrackers has been slow, but a few have been caught as deep as 25 feet near brush.