Fishing conditions tough on Norris

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 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, Jan. 18 was 1,000.15 feet. Extremely cold weather has cooled the water surface to the point of freezing in most of the protected coves and in the channels far upstream.

Cold, snowy weather kept anglers off the lake most of last week. Prior to the return of inclement weather, there was a brief respite during which anglers were able to get out, but few fish were caught. Bass moved to the points and into shallow water. Crappie fishing has been slow. The headwaters of the larger creek embayments have been producing fish 15 to 20 feet deep in the main creek channels and steep shoreline brush. In Sycamore Creek and Davis Creek, fishermen are having luck while trolling the bottom with mini tube jigs and doll flies tipped with minnows.

Fishing for smallmouth bass is fair. Smallmouth bass been holding close to the shoreline on cloudy, breezy days and dropping to 15 feet deep on sunny days. Main channel points produced best. Float ’n Fly rigs, with a 3/16 oz. doll fly set about 10 feet deep, produced some fish on cloudy days when there was a slight breeze. Finesse or Senko worms, small lizards and tube jigs produced better than the float ’n fly rigs. Clay banks, adjacent to gravel and rock structure and on the points, were the best locations.

Largemouth bass action is moderate. Most bass are hitting small plastic worms and tube jigs, from the surface to 10 feet deep, along rocky shorelines near wood structure, especially in the rear of the large hollows.

Striper action is fair. Before the arrival of bad weather, striped bass had dropped to as deep as 60 feet and were hard to catch. Stripers have been caught by tightlining live shad, alewife or jigging spoons to the depth where suspended forage fish and striped bass are located.