The water elevation on May 22nd was 1,020.67-feet, which is 7.4-inches higher than it was last Wednesday. The water level is predicted to rise 1.6-inches by midnight, Friday, May 24th. The inflow is 6,313 cfs. Warm days and a heavy dumping of warm rain has caused a significant increase in the water temperature. The river channels are now 76 degrees on late afternoons on the lower end of the reservoir. Loyston is 74 degrees. The larger hollows and creek embayments are 78 degrees. Sycamore Creek and Needham Hollow were 78 degrees, late this afternoon. The channel color is clear with visibilities as high as 10-feet.
Creek inflows are clear. Moon phase: waxing gibbous. The next full moon will be May 25th.
For the Norris lake elevation, inflow rates, and generation times, go to http://www.tva.gov/lakes/noh_r.htm.
Warmer water and a stable water level have put more bass and panfish into the shallows. Smallmouth are deep except at night and at the break of day. Many largemouth are still on the nest, as are some shellcrackers. Bluegill are moving into the shallows to spawn, in advance of the full moon. Catfish are moving into the shelf rocks, searching for spawning areas.
BLUEGILL and REDEAR (SHELLCRACKER): Bluegill good. Shellcracker good when nesting areas are located. Bluegill are hitting crickets and mealworms at 10 to 15-feet close to the bottom in the coves. Shellcracker are 4 to 10-feet deep close to flooded brush and small trees, holding close to the bottom. Shellcracker catches improved a bit since last week.
CRAPPIE: Good in lower end creek hollows and good far upstream in the river headwaters, tight to cover in spawning areas, 5 to 10-feet. Night fishing in the large creek hollows and coves has seen improved catches.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Good.
In the coves and rear of creeks. Shallow and close to the shore near brush, especially in large coves. Some are nesting, and are in the coves on sloping, sand and gravel shorelines, near cover.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Moderate.
Some have spawned, but others are still pre-spawn. On points, shallow after midnight through dawn, on the broken rock, moderately sloped banks in mid-mornings, moving to more gently sloped points by midday, but still on chunk rock and near gravel. Transition zones from boulders to white gravel points, as well as shelves on clay/gravel banks have been good. Transition zones on points at dawn and after dark. As deep as 20-feet.
*REGULATION CHANGE FOR SMALLMOUTH BASS: The regulation changed on October 16th. It now allows five smallmouth with a minimum length limit of 18-inches. This regulation remains in effect until June 1st.
SPOTTED BASS: Good in the hollows; improving on the rocky main channel shorelines. 15 to 20-feet on main channels and humps, shallower on secondary points. Texas-rigged slider-type worms, small, crawfish pattern crankbaits and pig’n jigs along the shorelines where there are big boulders and plenty of gravel to boulder transition zones.
STRIPED BASS: Moderate. (*See regulation change, below, effective Nov. 1st.) Surface to 30-feet deep in the channels. They’re scattered on the channels and in some of the larger creeks. Where there are baitfish in the creeks, striped bass have been caught from the surface to less than 10-feet deep, on drifted shiners or small shad and alewife.
*REGULATION REMINDER FOR STRIPED BASS: April 1 – October 31, 2 per day, 15-inch minimum length limit.
WALLEYE Slow. Lower end walleye are on the broken rock, steeper sloped banks at less than 15-feet deep, near flooded timber, and on red clay/gravel shorelines. Night fishing for lower end walleye on those steeper, rocky banks is improving in Cove Creek and the lower part of Big Creek, but is still slow, overall. Night fishing along the flooded timber is fair in the Loyston to Lost Creek section after midnight. Few baitfish have been seen flipping on the surface, along the shoreline at night.