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, Dec. 17 was 1,001.50 feet, which is nearly 3 feet lower than the previous week.
Record-breaking cold, with air temperatures dropping to the single digits, froze the surface of many of the protected coves and some sections of the main river channel on the upper end of the lake. Surface temperatures are in the low 40s in most sections of the lake where the water is not frozen. Most of the lake is clear, with the exception of a slightly stained section between the mouth of Sycamore Creek and Hwy. 33 Bridge.
Anglers venturing out by boat are few. There have been some bank fishermen at Davis Creek and Lost Creek that are managing to catch some good stringers of crappies. Inclement weather and icy, snow covered ramps have kept most anglers off the lake. Catches have been slow, with the exception of crappies on the best of days.
Bass fishing has been slow because of the quick drop in water temperature. A few smallmouth bass have been caught on spinners, tube jigs and Silver Buddies fished very close to the shoreline. A few largemouth bass have been caught on spinners, topwater, Flukes and Senkos in the coves on sunny afternoons, especially in lightly-stained sections. In mud-stained water, bass can be found close to the shoreline and fairly shallow.
Striper fishing has been slow. Surface action has been tough. A few anglers brave enough to take on the elements were tightlining live shad or alewife into the schools of baitfish in the middle of the channels.
Walleye are inactive at this time.
Crappie action improved in the heads of the larger creek embayments. Crappies are hitting 5 to 10 feet deep in brush piles along the steep shorelines and on the bottom in the middle of the channels.