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 Friday, Sept. 10 was 1,010.22 feet, which is over a foot and a half lower than the previous week.
Surface temperatures, responding to cooler weather and shorter days, have dropped a few degrees. Surface temps on the main channel have been as low as 79 degrees at dawn, rising to only 84 by late afternoon. 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.
Despite the drawdown and cooler surface temps, fishing was uncommonly slow during the past week. The only exception was the bass bite at first light. Largemouth bass hit well at dawn, taking topwater plugs and buzz baits in the coves. Later in the day, bass moved to deeper water.
Smallmouth bass are active on the main channel points and humps. They have been caught as deep as 35 feet on small hair jigs or Carolina-rigged plastic lizards or worms. As the water cools and the drawdown continues, smallmouth bass can be expected to move into shallow water.
Crappie fishing slowed, with most being caught at night under the lights.
Bluegills continue to hit off steep, rocky banks. The best method of catching a mess of bream has been to fish crickets, with no float, up to 30 feet deep along the bluffs. Popping bugs are productive when fished before 9 a.m. After that, bluegills move to deeper, shaded water.
Shellcrackers were scattered, but those that have been caught were of decent size.
Stripers continue to hit well in mid channel on the lower half of the lake.
Walleye action has been slow. Most of the walleyes that are showing up the livewells of lucky fishermen are being caught on spoons jigged 35 feet deep near the bottom. Thundersticks, RedFins and similar lures have been productive when trolled as deep as 35 feet in Cove Creek just before nightfall. But, even there, the fishing has slowed some as walleyes moved deeper into the water column.