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, Dec. 10 was 1,003.77 feet, which is a foot lower than it was the previous week, and falling.
Frigid weather, with snow and wind, caused the surface temperature to drop considerably. Surface temp readings range from 45 to 48 degrees. Some protected hollows on the upper end of the lake had a thin coating of ice on the coldest mornings.
The sudden rise and fall of the lake level, accompanied by a blast of arctic weather, kept most anglers off the lake. Fishing was difficult for those who did brave the elements and adverse water conditions.
Smallmouth bass, which had been holding 15 feet or deeper, have moved into more shallow shoreline cover on the main channels. Before the lake level fluctuation, smallmouth bass had been hitting spinners, tube jigs and Silver Buddies cast tight to the shoreline. That action can be expected to resume with the stabilization of the water level.
Stripers had been hitting in the channel near Island F and near Straight Creek on the Clinch and on the lower half of the Powell River. However, surface action was hard to find. The few anglers that did venture out into the elements were tightlining live shad or alewife into the schools of baitfish in the middle of the channels. Overall, striper action was slow.
Fishing for largemouth bass slowed with the fluctuation of the lake level and the quick drop in water temperature. Try fishing with spinners, topwater plugs, Flukes and Senkos in the back of the pockets and larger coves on sunny afternoons, especially in lightly stained water. In mud-stained sections of the lake, largemouth bass can be found close to the shoreline and fairly shallow, often along the main channel banks.
Walleye and crappie fishing has been slow. Most of the crappies that have been caught came from main channel brush above Union County Dock on the Powell River and above Point 30 on the Clinch.