Norris Dam Marina on Norris Lake
Fishing on Norris Lake, TN

Last Updated 11/21/13

WATER CONDITIONS
The water elevation on November 20th was 998.1-feet, which is 1.3-feet lower than
last Wednesday’s elevation. The water level is predicted to drop 2.2-inches by
Friday, November 22nd. The inflow is 960 cfs. Afternoon channel surface
temperature readings average 60 to 62 degrees. The reservoir is clear in most
locations, including the heads of the creeks.

Boaters should exercise caution; very few of the many underwater hazards are marked.

SUMMARY
Cooler water and a lower lake level are helping crappie anglers in the head of the
larger creeks. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass have moved into water
less than 15-feet deep, whether on rocky shorelines or in brush. A few
shellcrackers are being caught on sunny afternoons, 8 to 10-feet deep, scattered
along clay and gravel shorelines.



bluegillBLUEGILL and REDEAR (SHELLCRACKER): Bluegill: Moderate. Shellcracker: fair.
Bluegill catches improved at about 10-feet in coves near brush. There have been
some nice-sized bluegill caught. If you’re using live bait, fish with crickets and no float, and keep moving. Mid-day catches have come as deep as 15-feet on
tightlined crickets on steep, broken rock banks or with crickets dragged along the
bottom. Crickets or mealworms are the best for bluegill, the bait tightlined or cast
to steeper, broken rock banks where there is shade. For the larger ones, avoid using
a float, but cast or tightline with sinkers to get the bait quickly to depth. Afternoon
shellcracker catches improved for those slowly trolling nightcrawlers, 10-feet deep
along sunny shorelines in the Loyston area and in the back of Lost Creek. These
fish are hitting redworms or nightcrawlers but are scattered.

 


crappieCRAPPIE: Moderate. In the rear of larger creeks where there is brush on the channels and in
the coves. 10 to 15-feet deep on the lower end, tight to brush and wood structure. Cooler
water is bringing them into shallower brush. Lost Creek, Mill Creek, Davis, and
Doaks creek catches improved. The Clinch channel above Sycamore Creek and
from Greenwelch ramp to Point 30 is still one of the better areas for crappie.
Good lures: Tuffy minnows, small doll flies, mini tube jigs (red/white, blue/white)
and 1/32 ounce hair or feather jigs tipped with minnows, Trout Magnets, or Slider
grubs in a variety of colors. Historically good locations to try: Powell River arm
channel from Point 15 vicinity to Earl’s Hollow. Davis Creek from its headwaters
to a half-mile below Powell Valley Marina. Doaks Creek. Big Creek from Indian
River Marina to Campbell County Park. Cove Creek above Twin Cove Marina.
Mill Creek, Big Ridge Hollow, Lost Creek above its junction with White Creek.
Poor Land Creek. Bear Creek. Flint Creek. Sycamore Creek. The Clinch channel
above Point 31.



LARGEMOUTH and SPOTTED BASS: Good
Topwater to 10-feet.
Spinners, 3-inch plastic grubs (Twister type) or swimbaits (Yum, Yamamoto), and
small Bandit or Norman crankbaits are catching some largemouth and spotted bass
close to shoreline cover in the early morning hours. Some larger fish have been
taken at 15 feet, on swim baits, smoke colored plastic grubs, and small jigs.
Good producers have been small, medium running crankbaits, white spinners,
surface jerkbaits, grubs or swimbaits. Small, shallow or medium running
crankbaits are taking some fish in the larger creek channels, and in the rear of the
creek embayments on rocky banks.
The Powell side, Davis Creek, and Cove Creek have produced the most spotted
bass.

 



smallmouth bassSMALLMOUTH BASS: (Reminder: the regulation change was Oct 15th.)
Good. More smallmouth have hit shallower as the water has cooled. Some surface action
is showing up. Larger smallmouth dropped to 25 to 30-feet on old timber and rock structure on the shorelines when the discharge through the dam was off, or at a minimum. Higher
discharge periods saw smallmouth move to the tops of the humps and along points,
and in shallower water down to 20-feet. Smaller smallmouth are hitting shallow in
the early mornings, along broken rock shorelines.

Cooler water is bringing smallmouth up to shallow water at dawn and dusk on
steep, broken rock shorelines. Surface catches along rocky shorelines increased
even in midday when conditions were windy or cloudy. Late evening has some
scattered feeding on shallow baitfish on the surface.

Tube jigs, plastic grubs, or swim baits are taking deep smallmouth off wood and/or
rock structure.
Trolled plugs, small jigging spoons, or small swimbaits fished deep on 25-foot
deep shelf drop-offs, humps, and long points are taking larger smallmouth on some
days. The water remains clear, with up to 10-feet of visibility. Good colors have been
any shade of watermelon, pumpkin, or red (or red flake).

 

striped bassSTRIPED BASS:Moderate on the lower end but with a slight improvement in numbers caught; moderate farther upstream on the main channels, and on the upper half of larger
creek embayments. Dawn is best. Lower end catches slowed this week from the Dam to Point 9, but some were still caught.

20 to 30-feet in mid-channel on the river arms and large creek embayments.
Surface feeding fish have been seen widely scattered across the reservoir in early
mornings and late afternoons, mainly in the channels on the upper half of the lake
where baitfish schools are most numerous.


*REGULATION REMINDER FOR STRIPED BASS: April 1 – October 31, 2 per day, 15-inch minimum length limit.

 

WALLEYE: Slow
30 to 35-feet for most locations on the lower third of the reservoir, whether bottom
fishing on the humps, or if trolling plugs for walleye suspended in schools of
baitfish. Trolling long, thin plugs which imitate the alewife shape has produced
best. Troll at the 30 to 35-foot depth whether using downriggers or fast trolling to
get to depth.


Best results have come from Redfins, Model-A’s, Thundersticks, long billed
Rebels, or equivalent plugs trolled through schools of alewife and along humps and
ledges on the bottom as deep as 30-feet at mid-day. The quality of the fish caught
has been very good, but numbers are low. Night jigging with spoons or Mann
O’Lures is slow.



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Norris Dam Marina