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 Monday, Dec. 6 was 1,005.57 feet, which is over 2.5 feet higher than it was last week. Surface temperature readings are around 58 to 60 degrees. The high inflow at the headwaters is mud-stained, and can be expected to stain the upper sections over the next few days. The heads of the larger creeks were already mud-stained.
The sudden rise in water level has slowed fishing considerably until water conditions stabilize and the fish adjust to the change.
Stripers were hitting better on the surface and at about 15 feet at dusk on the lower half of the lake. Expect these fish to school in the channels when the increase in lake outflow occurs. Prior to the high water, they had been hitting as far up as Point 32, but the arrival of cold and muddy water in that section will push them farther downstream.
Largemouth bass have been caught on spinners, topwater plugs, Flukes and Senkos in the back of the pockets and larger coves. In mud-stained areas, largemouth bass can be found close to the shoreline and fairly shallow, often on the main channel banks.
Smallmouth bass are hitting better, with more topwater action available at dusk in the main channels. After an initial adjustment to the higher water, main channel action should improve with the drawdown along rocky points and in the center of the channels near schools of baitfish.
Fishing for walleyes and crappies has been slow.
Cooler, stained water may help improve crappie fishing, but they will be deeper than before the rising water.