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 fall drawdown continues. The lake level on Monday, Oct. 18 was 1,005.66 feet, which is a foot lower than it was the previous week. Cool nights and shorter days have lowered surface temperatures to the low to mid-70s. The water is clear, with as much as eight feet of visibility at some locations on the lower end of the lake.
Cooler water and stable weather helped fishing a bit, bringing some bass into shallow water, and improving topwater and crank bait action. Largemouth bass are hitting spinners and medium running Bandit crank baits in crawfish/orange or red crawfish color patterns along rocky banks. The best topwater fishing is at dawn.
At dawn and dusk, smallmouth bass can be seen feeding on tiny forage fish schooling on the surface along gravel shorelines but often far from shore. Small Fluke /Assassin-type plastic lures or Zara Spooks are drawing strikes when cast to the breaks. Crawfish colored crank baits have also been productive smallmouth lures when fished among rocks and boulders and on shallow points.
Stripers had been active far upstream in the headwaters and the upper reaches of larger creek embayments. Surface activity has been observed, but the fish were reluctant to take a lure.
Walleye fishing has been slow.
Daytime catches of crappies improved in main channel brush piles along steep banks. Crappies have been located anywhere from 5-20 feet. Early morning has been the best time of day to fish small doll flies, 1-inch tube jigs (red/white, blue/white) and 1/32 oz. hair or feather jigs tipped with minnows.
Bluegills continue to hit crickets and waxworms, as deep as 25 feet.
Shellcrackers are not numerous, but a few have been caught by crappie fishermen on the lower end of the lake.