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, July 8 was 1,020.35 feet.
Surface temperatures are in the low to mid-80s. The water is clear at all locations. The latest water quality report, with temperature and dissolved oxygen profile, is available at www.tnfish.org.
Crappie fishing is best at night or during periods of low light.
Largemouth bass action is moderate at dawn through the early morning hours. The early morning topwater bite has been good, with the action slowing by 9 a.m. on sunny days.
Smallmouth bass action is fair. Most of them have been caught on deep points that extend into the main channels and on mid-lake humps 25-30 feet deep. From June 1-Oct. 15, there is a 20-inch minimum length limit on smallmouth bass and a creel limit of one. The change replaces the 17-22 inch slot limit. The daily creel limit for largemouth/smallmouth bass in combination remains five per day on Norris Lake.
Fishing for spotted bass has been good on main channels and at the mouth of coves on rocky points. Crawfish-pattern crank baits, small white-skirted spinners and whacky-worm rigs have been effective when fished along rocky banks near wood structure. Bluegill fishermen have even caught a few spotted bass on crickets near brush.
Striper fishing is good but scattered. During the late afternoon and especially at dawn, the Powell River arm from points 10 to 11 has been a hot spot, as has the section of lake from Loyston Sea to Bear Hole Bend. A few stripers have been caught near Point 9 and Boy Scout Hollow. Shad and alewives have been productive baits when tightlined into schools of baitfish on the main river and old creek channels. Some surface breaks can be seen at dawn and dusk.
Walleye action is fair. Pre-dawn or night fishing is best in 30-35 feet of water on the lower third of the lake with jigged Mann O’Lures, snagged shad and alewives.
Bluegills are hitting popping bugs, crickets and worms along steep, rocky shorelines. Dawn is the best time to fish, but late afternoon has also been productive. Shellcracker action has been good, but is showing signs of slowing down. They are hitting a variety of baits and small lures fished 5-10 feet deep near shoreline brush. Redworms, nightcrawlers, waxworms, crickets, small crank baits and Beetle Spins have all been effective shellcracker baits.