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 the Friday before Labor Day was 1,011.71 feet — over 2 1/2 feet lower than the previous week — and expected to fall another foot over the weekend. Surface temperatures are in the mid-80s. The water is clear, with as much as eight feet of visibility at some locations on the lower end of the lake. High boat traffic may temporarily muddy the water where the shoreline is clay. The TWRA Reservoir Data Collection web site — www.tnfish.org — has the latest water profile, including dissolved oxygen (D.O.), temperature, conductivity, and pH, with readings taken every meter of depth from the surface to 30 meters deep. The profile includes the actual readings and graphs of temperature and D.O. readings. The information is printable.
The D.O. profile looks good in all areas sampled with the exception of water below 30 feet deep near Hwy. 33 Bridge. At that location, the D. O. drops to low concentrations below 30 feet.
Crappie fishing has improved, with most being caught at night under lights. A few crappies have been caught on small minnows tightlined as deep as 25-30 feet.
Bluegills are hitting crickets, tightlined or cast with no float, as deep as 30 feet off the bluffs. Popping bugs have been effective when fished before 9 a.m. Any time after that and the bluegills will drop into deeper, shaded water.
Largemouth bass are hitting topwater lures in the shallows. Bigger bass have been caught as deep as 30 feet. Rubber-skirted jigs and plastic worms have been the most productive bass baits.
Smallmouth bass action improved with the falling lake level. The best fishing has been on channel points and humps as deep as 35 feet. Small hair jigs or Carolina rigged plastic lizards or worms have been the best smallmouth bass baits for Norris Lake fishermen.
Stripers continue to hit well in mid-channel on the lower half of the lake.
Walleye action slowed down a bit. Walleyes had been hitting spoons jigged 35 feet deep. Fishermen trolling at sunset with Thundersticks, RedFins and similar lures have caught walleyes as deep as 35 feet in Cove Creek.
Fishing for shellcrackers has been slow lately.