Fishing for smallmouth bass improves slightly 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 Friday, Jan. 21 was 1,000.16 feet and expected to remain steady. Surface temperatures range from 39 degrees on the upper end to 42 degrees at Loyston and Norris Dam. On the coldest days, some of the large, protected hollows may frozen over to a thickness of about an inch. Some sections of the main channels above points 15 and 32 may also be frozen on cold mornings.

With the exception of a small increase in smallmouth bass action, there has been little change since last week’s report.

Crappie fishing is slow. The headwaters of the larger creek embayments yielded a few crappies. Those fish were caught 15 to 20 feet deep in the main creek channels and steep shoreline brush on small doll flies, mini tube jigs (red/white, blue/white) and 1/32 oz. hair or feather jigs tipped with minnows. In Sycamore Creek and Davis Creek, fishermen had some success while trolling the bottom with mini tube jigs and doll flies tipped with minnows.

Smallmouth bass action has been moderate. The fish have been holding close to the shoreline on cloudy, breezy days and dropping to 15 feet deep on sunny days. Rocky shorelines and main channel points produced best.

Float ’n fly rigs, with a 3/16 or ¼ ounce doll fly set about 10 feet deep, have been productive on cloudy days with a slight breeze. Other lures that smallmouth bass have shown an interest in are Finesse and Senko worms, small lizards, tube jigs and Silver Buddies.

Largemouth bass action has also been moderate. Small plastic worms and tube jigs are the best largemouth baits for Norris this time of year.

Striper fishing is fair. Before the arrival of bad weather, stripers had gone as deep as 60 feet, and were hard to catch.

Walleye fishing is slow right now.