NORRIS FISHING REPORT
by Paul Shaw
15 May 2013
The water elevation on May 15th was 1020.05-feet, which is 2.1-feet lower than it was last Wednesday. The water level is predicted to fall 3.2-inches by midnight, Friday, May 17th. The inflow is 3,443 cfs. The reservoir water temperature is remaining unseasonably cool. Morning surface temperatures are in the low 60’s lake wide. Afternoon temperatures following the cool nights earlier this week were only in the mid-60’s. Loyston was only 64 degrees, and that was on a sunny day. Today’s 85 degree temperature, coupled with the wind, warmed the upper few inches to almost 70 in some places. The channel color is clear with visibilities as high as 10-feet.
Moon phase: waxing crescent. The next full moon will be on May 25th.
To view photos and Google maps of all access areas on the reservoir, go to http://www.tnfish.org/
For the Norris lake elevation, inflow rates, and generation times, go to http://www.tva.gov/lakes/noh_
The greatest problem daytime anglers are encountering is clear water with visibilities exceeding 10-feet in many locations. Low-visibility line is essential. 6 lb test, low visibility line has taken many of those fish caught during daylight hours. Clear water has them deep, or tight to vegetation and other woody structure in those areas. More fish have moved into the shallow brush, but the drawdown has put some fish on the humps and points. Crappie, shellcrackers, and largemouth bass are nesting among the flooded brush and small trees. Shellcracker catches slowed. Bluegill improved. Largemouth are in the shallow coves.
BLUEGILL and REDEAR (SHELLCRACKER): Bluegill good. Shellcracker moderate. 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. But shellcrackers were slower than 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. Look for water in the mid-60’s or warmer.
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 the broken rock, moderately sloped banks in the 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 have been the best if not far from spawning areas on points. 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: Fair. (*See regulation change, below, effective Nov. 1st.) Surface to 20-feet deep in the channels. Many have moved back downstream from their spring run to the headwaters. They’re scattered. 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 big, old 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. Night fishing along the flooded timber is fair in the Loyston to Lost Creek section. Few baitfish have been seen flipping on the surface, along the shoreline at night.