Fishing Report Norris Lake Blog

Jul 7, 2016
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The water elevation on June 25th was 1012.7-feet, which is what it was last Wednesday. The water level is predicted to remain steady through Friday, June 27th. The inflow is 1,110 cfs.
The lake is clear, with visibilities of 15- to 20-feet on the lower end. The head of some creeks may have visibilities of less than 5-feet, especially after a storm passes through.
The late evening water surface temperature was 81 degrees on the main channels. Morning surface temperatures have averaged 78 degrees. Some shallow, stained coves are a couple of degrees warmer.
Moon phase: Waning crescent. The new moon will be June 27th.
To view photos and Google maps of all access areas on the reservoir, go to…eMaps_TWRA.htm or
For the Norris lake elevation, inflow rates, and generation times, go to
There is a new, statewide hook regulation in effect. Read it here:…s-regulations/


The summer patterns continue – slow in the daytime and better at night. Clear water continues to be a problem unless small diameter, low-visibility line is used during the daylight hours, and the boat is kept as far from the bank as possible. Successful deep water trollers are getting away with line of a higher pound-test rating, but still use a low visibility line. The best luck has come at night or in the early morning hours; by 9 a.m., the action slows for most species. Topwater bass action has been good for those out at the first sign of daylight, casting to the breaking bass or casting to brush in the coves and rocks on the main channels. Crappie anglers are having luck at night on the upper end creeks and channels. Bluegill are hitting popping bugs or crickets at dawn, or crickets tightlined to depth at midday on the steep, shady banks. Midday fishing has been very slow for almost all species except bluegill and walleye, the latter being caught by deep trolling with plugs.

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Bluegill: Good. Shellcracker: Fair
Shellcracker catches have slowed. The average depth has dropped to 10 to 15-feet, in coves on wax worms, nightcrawlers, red worms, and small tuffy minnows. Mornings have been the best time to catch shellcracker and bluegill. Popping bugs are catching good for bluegill on the shaded, steep, rocky shorelines before 10 a.m.. Once the sun is up, the larger ones drop into deeper water and into available cover and shade. The larger bluegill have been caught in water as deep as 20-feet, on shady, rocky banks where there is deep cover (logs, stumps, rock outcroppings) present.


Moderate at night in brushy coves in the creeks and coves, and on main channel brush. Very slow during the day.
10- to 20-feet deep, tight to cover.
Clear water and bright sunshine have limited the best catches to nighttime, under lights, and the early morning hours.
Plastic grubs in blue ice, green, pearl, or yellow, as well as tuffy minnows. Popeye hair jigs, 1-inch tube jigs, or grubs tipped with minnows along the bottom, or fish trout magnets, popeye flies, and small tube jigs tight to brush early in the morning. Night fishermen are catching them on tuffy minnows beneath lights on main channel, deep brush from Point 29 and above.
Good standard 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. Locations between the Dam and Point 9, and the Dam and Point 2 typically produce no crappie.


Good at dawn and dusk. Poor during midday.
Surface to 20-feet; deeper or tighter to structure during the day. Same pattern, but better action from sunrise to 9 a.m.
Night fishing on the humps and flats adjacent to deeper water has been good on Carolina-rigged plastic worms/lizards or Texas-rigged plastic worms/lizards. Sweet Beaver trailers (size 4.20) on 3/8 oz to1/2 oz rubber skirted jigs (shades of pumpkin or watermelon with flake) have taken good catches of largemouth and a few good smallmouth at night on the flats and humps at 10 to 15-feet bottom depth.
There have been periods of good topwater activity on some afternoons, starting a couple of hours before dark. Some early morning catches have been on topwater plugs and buzzbaits.
Slow retrieves with soft plastic (Flukes, Slider worms, Brush Hogs, or shaky head jigs/slider worms) have taken some nice largemouth at about 8 to 15-feet. Motor oil and pumpkin colors are working for lizards and 8-inch worms, Carolina-rigged and fished in the coves where the bank is not steep.


Slow during the day, moderate at night.
15- to 25-feet. Same pattern:
On long points extending into the channels, and rocky points of any slope. Hump fishing with small hair jigs or deep running crankbaits has been good on some late afternoons and at dusk.
Topwater breaks are not numerous, but have produced some fish on the right mornings, before 8 a.m., often in mid-channel. A few have taken top water plugs at dusk, on steeper, rocky banks off wood structure or small points..
Pig’n jigs, Brush Hogs, Sweet Beavers, 6-inch slider worms and lizards are working from dusk to dawn. For soft plastic baits, jig skirts, and spinner skirts, any shade of watermelon/pumpkin continues to produce fish. Walleye anglers are still picking up smallmouth on shad or alewife, at night under the lights, by casting the bait to the shoreline and letting it drop.
Under the current, clear water conditions, daytime smallmouth fishermen are doing best with very light, low-vis line (2 to 4 pound).

*REGULATION FOR SMALLMOUTH BASS: June 1st – October 15th, one per day, 20-inch minimum length limit. October 16th – May 31st, five per day (in combination with largemouth), 18-inch minimum length limit.

STRIPED BASS (* See regulation reminder for the April 1st change.)

Fair in early morning. Locations widely scattered
Cove Creek slowed; some were caught near Point 19 and the channel from Point 19 toward Stardust; Crooked Creek catches slowed.
Surface on driftlines, or 15 to 20-feet in mid-channel.
Trolled umbrella rigs, shiners, alewife, or shad are taking most of these fish. Shad and large shiners are working when driftline fished or on planer boards, 5 to 20-feet deep. Umbrella rigs with trailers in pearl or chartreuse, or live bait (gizzard shad, shiners, or alewife) tightlined, or trolled with downriggers, to the depth of the forage fish schools in mid-channel especially across the points and humps.
Regardless of the location on the reservoir, if there are flocks of feeding gulls, striped bass are likely in the area, feeding on the same forage.

*REGULATION REMINDER FOR STRIPED BASS: From April 1st to October 31st, the regulation allows 2 per day, 15-inch minimum length limit. On November 1st it will return to the 1 per day, 36-inch minimum length limit.


25 feet, on the bottom near dropoffs and ledges, or suspended in alewife schools in mid-channel.
Best at night after 10:30 p.m., but trolling plugs has produced some in the daytime, near the bottom at 20-feet along humps and drop offs.
Night catches have come on snagged alewife or shad, casted toward the shoreline when fishing under lights. Jigging Mann O’Lures and Hopkins spoons has caught some, but has not been as good as casting alewife or shad to the bank, just out of the lights.
Daytime trolling is picking up fish on plugs such as Thundersticks, Long Billed Rebels, Mod. 911 Redfins, or Model A’s.



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Norris Lake, Tennessee