Here's Your East Tennessee Fishing Report Dated May 24th, 2007, Thanks In Part To TWRA:
DOUGLAS RESERVOIR: (5/24/07) --
The water level is holding fairly steady with the surface temperature at 77.8 degrees. The water is clear to light stained color.
Bass are active early and late evening. Fish the flats, points, backs of coves, and creek channels. Fish 1 to 20 feet deep with spooks, Carolina-rigged lizards, bush hogs, rat-l-traps, or white spinner baits.
Bluegill fishing is good. Fish humps, bridge piers, brush piles, and rocky bluffs at different depths. Crickets and worms are always good baits for bluegill.
Crappie fishing is good at times. Try Muddy Creek, Point 6 to Point 8 and up to Point 18. Fish with minnow or pink flies.
Catfishing is still good. Fish rocky banks, bluffs, and creek beds. Catfish are active most all day. Fish with minnows, shad, or night crawlers 5 to 20 feet deep under a floater.
A few sauger and white bass are still being caught on the upper end of the lake.
NORRIS RESERVOIR: (5/24/07) --
Lake water conditions have remained stable over the past week.
The water elevation is 1,019.7-feet, which is what it was in last week's report. The lake level is predicted to remain steady over the next two days. Morning surface temperatures have been 72 degrees in most main channel locations. Surface temperatures taken at mid-day have been 74 to 75 degrees. Late afternoon channel temperatures have been as high as 79 degrees on sunny days; some protected, shallow coves have been a bit warmer than that. The lake is clear in most locations.
Extremely clear water conditions are hindering catches during daylight hours. Night and dawn fishing is much better, and some good fish have been caught at those times.
STRIPED BASS have been seen breaking the surface from Island F through the islands at Hickory Star and into Loyston Sea. Catches are down, though. SMALLMOUTH BASS are hitting at dawn and after dark. They are not very deep and good catches have been made, but when the sun comes up, the smallmouth catch drops drastically. LARGEMOUTH or any size are slow to hit. SPOTTED BASS are hitting well. CRAPPIE are slow. WALLEYE were still slow in the daytime, but the fish which were caught were of good size. Night fishing for walleye remains hit 'n miss.
Fair at night, slow during daylight.
10 to 20 feet deep, on the bottom, for daytime trolling. The depth has varied drastically from day to day, even in the same location. Spinner/nightcrawler rigs; Jet Lure/nightcrawler rigs trolled along the bottom and near the bank or on mid-lake humps if the depth is right. For daylight trolling, target mud lines along the bank on windy days, or when boat traffic is high. Cast ShadRaps, Rogues or topwater plugs to flooded sycamores and other wood structure at night, or fish under lantern light with shad or alewife. Most night catches have come from those snagging shad or alewife and casting it beyond the lantern light, letting it drift down. Broken, chunk-rock banks where wood structure is found, and adjacent to points. If you can find any sycamore trees which are standing in water, fish close to them.
Use medium tuffy minnows or 1-inch tube jigs or 1/32 oz. or 1/64 oz. popeye flies tightlined into the main channel brush/tree tops channel and hollows. Lost Creek, Davis Creek, Vasper Hollow to Cove Lake Dam have been good areas. Sycamore Creek improved. Big Ridge Hollow, was slow during the day, better at night under lights. Mill Creek was best at night under lights; slow during daylight.
Surface to 20 feet.
Live shad or alewife driftlined or shallower on planer boards. Or tightline bait to depth where schooling shad and stripers are located. Island F, Crooked Creek, and the islands around Hickory Star improved. Some in Lost Creek and the Loyston Sea area. Breaking fish have been seen in these areas, but appear to be smaller fish in most cases. Fish the head of the large creek embayments such as Cove Creek, Big Creek, Davis Creek, and Lost Creek. 1/2-ounce to 1-ounce white hair jigs or Slug-go's or Bass Assassins cast or trolled into shad schools where fish are feeding, or shad driftlined or tightlined at depth in mid-day. Early morning hours and the hour before sunset have been the best times.
LARGEMOUTH & SPOTTED BASS
Good for spotted bass, slow for largemouth.
Surface to 10 feet.
Near wood structure, shallow, whether on rocky main channels or in the hollows. Spotted bass hit on rocky shorelines, to as deep as 10-feet. Bass Assassins and Slug-go lures, small plastic worms as well as topwater plugs, did best during the past week. Chrome Colorado blade spinners, 3/8 oz. head, with yellow and white skirts worked well near brush and wood structure. Some were trying slow rolling spinners at night. In early mornings, cast topwater plugs or jerk baits such as Bass Assassins (and other similar lures) or Slider-type worms to brush, the base of flooded trees. 3/8-ounce pig 'n jigs with medium chunk trailers, and 2-inch Slider worms or 2-inch tube jigs worked well in cover on rockier, steeper banks.
Moderate to good during night hours or just before daylight; slow after sunrise.
5 to 20 feet on main channel rocky points and banks where there is some wood structure - treetops or brush- on a fairly steep slope especially near transition zones of flat gravel banks breaking to steeper rocky banks. The vertical, slick rock bluffs are slow. 3/8 ounce brown-on-brown pig'n jigs or small brown or dark green Slider/Finesse worms are working well. Zara Spook topwater plugs did well on many early morning trips. Some on crawfish Bandit crankbaits, pearl colored, 3-inch Bass Assassins or Flukes. If you're using a hair jig with trailer, use a slow retrieve along the bottom on dropoffs off rocky points which extend into the main channel. Spinners, slow-rolled off moderately sloped, main channel banks, are taking some at night.
5 feet in the shallow flats for those staging for the spawn; or as deep as 20 feet, on the steep rocky banks otherwise. Crickets fished on the bottom on the flats near cover (trees or brush) or popping bugs along rocky banks. In the week before the full moon (May 30th) look for larger, pre-spawn bluegill to begin moving to the flats at 3 to about 10 feet deep. Drag crickets along the bottom in these areas where nesting will occur.
SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR: (5/24/07) --
Water surface temperatures were in the low 70's this week. The lake clarity is extremely clear right now. The lake level at the dam as of 9:00 p.m. Wednesday night was 1,722.93 feet above sea level.
Bass fishing continues to be fairly slow. Smallmouth fishing is fair though, if the fish can be found. Topwater fishing has slowed down in the past week, but some have been found early in the mornings along Observation Knob ramp area on a buzzbait and poppers. The lower end of the lake seems to be better right now with fish being caught in the Riddle Creek, Point 3, Point 4 areas. Smallmouth can be found along points, rocks, and humps in 5 to 20 feet of water. Small crankbaits, spoons, jigs, grubs, and other plastics seem to be doing the best during the day. The grubs seem to be best in the slime green color while root beer bandits, and pumpkinseed worms and pig -n- jigs seem a good choice as well. Root beer jigs seem to be working the best late in the evenings and at night. A Rattlin Rouge or Bomber Long "A" jerkbait has also taken a few good bass off long shallow points or around the boat docks. The only noticeable Largemouth bass action seems to be in the Big Jacobs Creek area right now.
Walleye fishing is still slow. What is being taken seems to be on mid-lake humps or around the islands below the 421 ramp early in the morning to mid-day. Point 4 has been seeing some action in the afternoons. Most of the fishing being done is by trolling worm/spinner rigs and Rapalas. Fish are being found about 20-25 feet down in most places. Some action can also be found from Painter Creek Marina to the Virginia State line.
Crappie fishing has been fair. The best fish can be found in the creek channels and coves where brush or treetops are located. Most of these fish are being caught on live minnows in about 6-10 feet of water. Blue or Chartreuse jigs and flies have been somewhat successful. The hot spots lately have been in the back of Painter Creek and Big Jacobs Creek. Trout fishing continues to be fair.
Trout fishing has slowed down with the warmer temperatures. The trout that have been taken have been mostly rainbows in the lower portion of the lake off of Rooster Tails or Berkley Power Bait. A few Brown Trout have been caught closer to the 421 Boat Ramp.
BOONE RESERVOIR: (5/24/07) --
Water surface temperatures have been in the low to mid-70's this week. The lake level at the dam as of 9:00 p.m. Wednesday night was 1,381.43 feet above sea level.
Bass fishing has done well this week. It was pretty good over the past weekend, a little slow first of the week but has picked back up the last couple of days. The largemouth bass continue to be up shallow and are being caught right at the banks or in the back of coves. The smallmouth bass seem to be mostly moved out now and are being found out suspended for the most part. A few smallmouth are being caught shallow though, on cloudy days early in the mornings when they are feeding shallow. The most successful anglers have been using spinnerbaits, plastic worms, lizards, or tubes, and some jerkbaits. Jerkbait action has been much slower this week then in weeks past. Spinnerbaits seem to be working best in brush or treetops. Green and white, chartreuse and white, or just white or green spinnerbait skirts with willow leaf blades are what most people seem to be throwing. Plastics have been doing really well, especially on the Watauga side. The colors of choice for most on plastics have been root beer, watermelon, or pumpkinseed. Watermelon has been especially good for the tubes. Pink colored floating worms were really hot over the past weekend for smallmouth on the South Holston side, fishing them shallow along the rocky banks. The best success on the Watauga side with worms and lizards have been to fish tight to brush with Texas-rigged style. Topwater lures and white flukes should also prove worthwhile.
Striper and hybrid action continues to do well. The South Holston side continues to be where the best action is, but several good fish have been reported caught from the Winged Deer Boat Ramp upstream past the Watauga Flats on the Watauga side. Trolling shad continues to be the most successful way to pick up the best fish. Zara Spooks and white hair jigs have also been picking up a few early in the mornings, and catfish fishermen report taking several hybrids on chicken livers.
Crappie fishing seems to have picked up the last couple of weeks. The crappie seem to be really holding tight to down trees and submerged brush right now. Small jig heads with either a chartreuse or white grub or fly, or a jig head with just a minnow fished in about 6-8 feet of water around fallen or submerged treetops and brush have proved to be most successful. Several crappie continue to be caught at the Winged Deer Park area, while Boones Creek, Reedy Creek, Whites Branch, Long Hollow, and Beaverdam Creek have all been producing good catches of crappie as well.
MELTON HILL RESERVOIR: (5/24/07) --
The water level at the dam is about 740.3 ft. There are lots of sticks and some big chunks of debris floating around the lake. So, keep an eye out for all that stuff. The surface temperatures are back in the low to mid-70's in the main lake. The steam plant is still holding between 70 and 80 degrees. The lake remains mostly clear, with a slight green tint.
Everything is still about the same as last week. This a good time to catch some nice bluegill to eat. The smaller male bass are moving into the spawning areas, which will be followed by the larger females shortly after. The crappies are still doing fairly well, with some nice ones still being caught here and there, mostly in the brush. The muskys have slowed down considerably, but some nice catfish have moved in at the steam plant.
LARGEMOUTH AND SPOTTED BASS
5 to 20 feet.
The bass are hitting just about anything you throw at them. The shaky head worm in watermelon seed color is working really well right now. Crankbaits are doing fairly well, along with spinnerbaits in brighter colors like white and chartreuse. Crankbaits in shad imitating colors and even crawdad colors such as brown and orange are doing fairly well right now. The wacky worm is doing pretty well right now. The french fry worm on the stand up jig head is hot now too. Primary and secondary points are always a good place to start when looking for bass.
5 to 25 feet.
Smallmouth are hitting fairly well just about all the same type places you find the largemouth. Minnows are working pretty well at the steam plant in the churning water up next to the plant. Also, try the shallow flats with stumps and rocks. Don't forget to try the shallow humps that are next to deep water. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits are top choices along with small crawdad imitating jigs in crawdad colors, in the 3/8 to 1/2 oz. size.
3 to 10 feet.
The crappie seem to be slowing way down. There are still a few being caught up in Bull Run Creek and a few other creeks, but they are getting harder to catch. Try floats with minnows or little jigs tipped with minnows. Downed timber and brush still seem to be holding a few.
5 to 15 feet.
It looks like the muskys have gone on the search for cooler water. There have been hardly any sightings at the steam plant for a little while now.
10 to 30 feet.
There are still quite a few striped bass being caught, but most are upstream, and being caught in the middle of the river on big white grubs. They don't seem to be the big ones Melton Hill is known for, but seem to average in the 2-5 lb. range.
4 to 10 feet.
Some nice catfish have moved into the steam plant and are hitting on cut bait shad. Tear the heads off and put the bodies on your hook with a little bit of weight, cast it out into the rushing water at the steam plant and hang on.
TELLICO RESERVOIR: (5/24/07) --
The water level at the dam is about 813.0 ft. The lake is clear with a slight green tint. Surface temperatures have risen and are averaging in the low to mid 70's. The lake has been extremely high over the last few days, which has caused quite a bit of debris to float out from the banks, so watch for those big pieces of wood and other stuff out there.
The only real change over last week is the water temperatures climbing back up. The smaller male bass seem to be everywhere now. The larger females are starting to work their way in to where the males are. Crappie are slowing way down. You can still catch a limit of nice crappies if you can find them schooled up. Trolling is still producing some nice fish, but the bigger ones seem to have moved back out into deeper, cooler water.
5 to 25 feet.
The crappie bite seems to be tapering off somewhat. There are still a few being caught here and there and sometimes you can still get into a pretty good school and catch a good number of keeper fish. But, the crappie bite seems to be slowing considerably, and these fish will probably move on out toward deeper, cooler water very soon.
LARGEMOUTH AND SPOTTED BASS
3 to 12 feet.
Bass have become very active, and the wacky worm is doing very well right now. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits are starting to take a few along with small jigs in watermelon or crawdad imitating colors, fished around the rocks and rocky banks. Live shiners are another good bait for some bigger bass around deep rocky points. Some good fish are being taken on the shaky head worm in watermelon color. They seem to be hitting anything you want to use.
5 to 12 feet.
Smallmouth are starting to become more active around the rocky points and also on the rocky banks, and around the submerged timber. Crankbaits seem to be the bait of choice right now for some good smallmouth. 3/8 to1/2 oz. jigs in watermelon color are a good choice right now. Shad raps painted in crawdad colors seem to be taking quite a few nice sized smallmouth.
WALLEYE AND SAUGER
12 to 20 feet.
The walleye have started to bite, but have not fully moved in yet. Nightcrawler harnesses are starting to take a few here and there, but they are still scattered. They should start to school up pretty soon, which makes them easier to locate and catch. Remember, only 1 walleye may be 24 inches or larger. The rest have to be under 24" but over 15".
7 to 15 feet.
Still no reports of striped bass being caught.