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).
Late last week, the lake level was 1,013.3 feet. That’s 2.1 feet lower than the previous week. The water level is expected to continue falling over the next several days.
Surface temperatures are approaching 90 degrees. The TWRA Reservoir Data Collection web site — www.tnfish.org — has the latest water profile, including dissolved oxygen (D.O.), temperature, conductivity, and pH, with readings taken every meter of depth from the surface to 30 meters deep. The profile includes the actual readings and graphs of temperature and D.O. readings.
The D.O. profile looks good in all areas sampled with the exception of water below 30 feet deep near Hwy. 33 Bridge. More tolerable daytime temperatures coupled with periods of heavy rainfall over a period of many days have helped fishing. The lake is being drawn down, triggering strikes for anyone fishing in the main channel and along the points which extend into the channels.
Stripers are hitting well late in the afternoon, at night and very early in the morning. Most catches have come from a half-dozen locations on the lower half of the lake.
Smallmouth bass action improved for anglers fishing early in the morning and at night. Some decent sized smallies are being caught while suspended in schools of baitfish in the main channel. Most smallmouth bass are being caught deep on the humps and long points extending into deeper water. Action on the points has actually improved during the drawdown period. At dawn, several smallies have been caught along rocky, moderately sloped banks with a variety of lures ranging from crank baits to Flukes.
Walleyes have gone to deeper water, as is typical with the drawdown at this time of year. Fishermen trolling with Thundersticks, RedFins or similar lures have caught stripers as deep as 35 feet at dusk. Vertical jigging on the bottom, 30-35 feet deep, has worked on walleye after dark in the Loyston Sea area.
Largemouth bass continue to hit small plastic worms (Slider, Finesse), buzz baits and small plugs at dawn. Larger plastic worms are working well at night.
Shellcracker action slowed a bit, but a few of those caught were large fish. Crappies are biting best at night under lantern or submerged lights.
Bluegills are hitting crickets fished as deep as 30 feet along the bluffs. Popping bugs are also working well when fished before 9 a.m.