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 Tuesday, May 31 was 1,020.78 feet, which is 10 inches lower than it was last week and falling slightly. The water is high and in the shoreline brush.
Because of the high water, a considerable number of floating trees, limbs and assorted debris can be found in the headwaters, narrow channels and at random throughout the lake. Boaters need to exercise caution at all locations, but especially on the upper half of the lake. The surface temperature of the main channel is 74 degrees in the mornings, rising to as high as 79 by the afternoon hours. On sunny afternoons, surface temps on the main channel have surpassed 80 degrees.
Alewives are spawning in the shallows during the full moon, attracting black bass, walleyes and stripers to the brushy shorelines. Topwater and live bait action will be good at night as long as the alewife action lasts.
Crappie fishing is best early in the morning or at night in the headwaters of larger creek embayments and near large rocks and wood structure.
Bass fishing is good. Largemouth bass are hitting plastic worms and jerk baits (such as Flukes) in shallow water near wood structure. Early morning topwater action is picking up in the coves.
Smallmouth bass are beginning to move into deeper water, but can still be caught on crank baits, soft jerk baits, tube jigs and pig’n jigs fished along rock shelves and gravel banks.
Spotted bass are hitting Flukes fished in the shallow brush at the mouths of coves. They have also been caught on small white-skirted spinners and whacky-worm rigs fished on the rocky banks near wood structure.
Striper action is best in larger creeks off the main lake body and at the mouths of large creeks and hollows where they intersect the main river channels.
Walleye fishing is good at night, especially in areas where alewives are running the shoreline. The action is best on the lower third of the lake, where walleyes are suspended 20 feet deep off steep, rocky banks. Some walleyes are moving to the gravel and clay banks.
Alewives, shad or minnows cast or vertically fished under lantern lights at night have been top walleye producers. Jerk baits and topwater plugs such as Zara Spooks, Zara Pups, and Tiny Torpedoes have been effective when fished at night close to brushy shorelines where alewives are spawning and attracting walleyes.
Bluegills are hitting crickets and worms along steep, rocky banks. Some bluegills have moved into the shallow flats to spawn.Shellcrackers are hitting a variety of baits and small lures very close to the shoreline brush.
The best action is 5-10 feet deep on redworms, nightcrawlers, waxworms and crickets.