TWRA Weekly Fishing ForecastNOTE - The TWRA wants to build a comprehensive report each week of the state’s lakes. If you do not see a report for your favorite lake and you are someone who can provide a report, please contact us at Ask.TWRA@tn.gov and provide us with your contact information. NOTE – Through the summer months many of the reports will be repeats as the conditions on many lakes will stabilize and the fishing will remain the same.
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Forecast Contributor – Richard Markland, Region 4 Fisheries Technician
Reservoir Conditions- Reservoir elevation is 1382.04. The water temperature is 74* degrees. Water clarity 5’-15’ visibility.
Bass- Fishing is good. Largemouth, Spots and Smallmouth are being caught on crankbaits or small shad like baits, spinnerbaits, plastic worms, creature baits, jigs by fishing along rocky points, standing brush or around docks.
Crappie- Fishing is good. Crappie are being caught on deep structures in creek channels and back of creeks. Anglers are using minnows or Bobby Garland baits on treetops. Target structure in the 8’- 25’ range in mid-creek back to shallower water.
Trout- No report
Striped Bass/Hybrid Bass- Fishing is fair. Most of the fish are being caught around Davis Dock up to Bluff City area on Holston side and Wingdeer area on Watauga side casting spoons or trolling live shad or trout. Some has been caught on topwater back in the creeks, starting to see some topwater action in the evenings. Pickens Bridge area Hybrids are being caught on Chicken livers from the bank.
Forecast Contributor – Billy Wheat, Follow on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/riprapfishingadventures and www.riprapfishing.net
The grass bite is great early swimming a worm and a Swim Jig also the Swimbait on a light head will get some action. Keep that Zara Spook tied on for sure. The ledges and deeper shell beds are great if you can’t fire them schools on a crankbait or hair jig get the scrounger and dropshot out and finesse them. These fish get pressured pretty fast so don’t be afraid to finesse fish. In the creeks fish the wood and grass keep they big worm and Chatterbait on and cover water. The water temperature is 76-81. Water level is full.
Forecast Contributor – Will Schibig, Region III Creel Clerk.
Lake elevation sits at 648.4’ and Dale Hollow Dam is averaging 800 cfs per day. The water temperature ranges from 76-80 degrees reservoir wide. Water clarity on the upper end is roughly 6’, and 10’ on the lower end. Most anglers are fishing at night so be cautious and have your navigational lights on at all times. Also be cautious of other recreational boaters while on the water.
Bass- Fishing is slow. Most anglers are currently fishing at night for bass. These nighttime anglers are using spinnerbaits and creature baits around grass and points from 5-15’. During the day, anglers can catch both large and smallmouth on grass humps and points in 10-25 FOW. Target suspended fish over the grass with swimbaits, flukes, or topwater. You can use
Texas rigs, Carolina rigs, or ned rigs in or around the grass too. There is a small window of activity in the early morning and dusk where anglers can catch feeding bass with top waters, swimbaits, or soft plastics.
Crappie- Fishing is slow. During the day, anglers are catching crappie over grass with front-facing sonar in 20’. The best bite is at night around lights. Position your light around a channel and wait for the baitfish to show up.
Walleye- Fishing is good. Like the crappie, fishing at night around the lights is also producing good walleye. Reports are that anglers are also catching quality walleye around bluff walls with topwater baits at night.
Sunfish- Fishing is slow. Most sunfish are being caught off the bank in roughly 10’. Anglers are catching redear and bluegills on drop-shot rigged nightcrawlers in these areas.
Forecast Contributor Brad Burkhart – Follow on Facebook
Good morning! Douglas is fishing really good right now. It’s really a “do what you like” lake right now. There are still plenty of bass shallow around wood, bushes with the best of this bite being first thing of the morning. Swim jigs, spinner baits, and flipping creature baits are working very well……don’t forget about topwater too.
The shallow bite is leaving on a daily basis, but that means one thing……it’s offshore season. If you like fishing in the middle away from the bank, then get at it!! The schools are moving offshore by then minute. Majority of the fish are setting up in 20’ or so and are ready to bite. Early June is my favorite time to fish a spoon and hollow belly swim bait……if that’s not your thing a Carolina rig always works…..it’s just a little slower.
Good luck everyone and watch out for the high school kiddos this weekend.
Fall Creek Falls
Forecast Contributor – Region 3 Fisheries Staff.
Lake Conditions- Lake is being maintained at typical summer pool. Surface water temperature is in the low 70s and water clarity is about 10 feet. Ten automatic fish feeders are currently in use from the dam to the lakeside cabins and boat dock.
Largemouth Bass: Fishing is good. Several bass are being caught using jerk baits, ned rigs, Sinkos, drop-shot lures as well as weedless Zoom craws working slow along the bottom. Most bass are being caught near the bank along structure and near spawning beds and average 12-14 inches, but a few 20+ inch bass are also being reported. Daily bass creel limit is 10 fish per day and only 1 (one) over 16 inches may be harvested.
Bluegill and Redear Sunfish: Fishing is great. Anglers are catching lots of Bluegill and Redear up to and over ten inches using redworms and some nightcrawlers. Bluegill have moved up to beds and can be caught readily in these locations while the Redear spawn is well underway. Daily Bluegill/Redear (in combination) creel limit is 10 per day, no length limit.
Catfish: Fishing is good. Channel Catfish are being caught using night crawlers, chicken livers, and hotdogs along the bank especially near the automatic fish feeders. Anglers are having success using Carolina-style rigs early morning, evening, and through the night. Daily catfish creel limit is 5 per day, 16-inch minimum length limit.
Crappie: Fishing is fair. While the Black Crappie spawn is mostly over, a few nice fish are still being caught near brush and artificial structure using small swim baits and minnows. There is no creel or length limit on crappie at Fall Creek Falls Lake.
Forecast Contributor – Justin Spaulding, Region 3 Trout Biologist.
River Conditions- Dry conditions across the valley have led to reduced flows at almost every reservoir as they try to fill up for the summer. There have been several days where water temperatures have approached or exceeded 70 °F. These periods of warmer water tend to be in the late afternoon and will make for a slow bite. TVA has been providing a longer pulse with 2 generators in the middle of the day which has helped a lot to keep temperatures cooler. Overall, the low water conditions make for great wading, but be sure to keep an eye on the rocks for rising water because releases are always subject to change.
Trout are stocked from the Powerhouse down to 411 on a rotational basis at least twice per month.
Trout- Despite the warmer water, fishing has been good. We are seeing folks with 30-50 fish days and hear about even better. Trout are being caught consistently as far down as 411. If you are not having luck at a spot, don’t hesitate to hop in the truck and try a new spot. We are stocking around 11 miles of tailwater and there are dozens of access areas. The dry fly bite has been very strong with Isonychias and Sulphurs in size 12 or 14. You’ll know when it’s time to be fishing a dry. Otherwise, you will need streamers and nymphs. Powerbait and worms are effective as ever for those that can keep them in the strike zone. Black and yellow spinners have been doing the trick. In between pulses, seek out deep or flowing water.
Hiwassee River below Appalachia Powerhouse
Forecast Contributor- Tic Smith/Southeastern Anglers Guide Service
River Conditions 5/31/23
Water temp – 58 to 65 degrees F depending on the flow schedule
Water clarity – clear
Water level – flows vary from 0 to 2 generators (Go to TVA.com to check flow schedules) This tailwater schedule is posted after 6pm the previous day. Click on Lake Levels then Appalachia to view info.
Flyfishing is excellent right now. Pheasant tail, prince and stonefly nymphs are producing very well in between the hatches. Sizes vary, but a #14 with a bead works very well during all flow schedules.
Hatches – Sulphurs #14 and#16, #16 tan or olive caddis, Light Cahill #14, Golden Stonefly #8, and Blue Wing Olives #18 on the cloudy days.
Wooly buggers in sizes 6 to 10 are always productive. Olive on sunny days and black on cloudy ones are a good rule to go by. Larger streamers are productive when 2 generators are running
Spin fishing is productive with 1/8 and 1/16th gold bladed spinners. Small Rapalas are productive during the higher flows.
Forecast Contributor Captain Jake Davis - midsouthbassguide.com - Follow on Facebook
The water level sitting at 875.90 today and should stay really close to that for the summer. Normandy continued producing some nice fish. Crankbaits, Texas Rigs or Tightline Jigs have been our go to as the shad spawn is starting again. We found several really nice bass using Crankbaits at the end of points in 3 to 8 feet of water.
Walleye can be caught trolling crankbaits or drifting minnows/crawler harnesses on flats and in the river. I’m being told the Crappie are doing good, you can catch them around brush in the river and standing timber. Keep an eye on the habitat that TWRA and TN Bass Nation put out the last couple years Water temperatures range from 74 to 76 degrees. Please wear your life vest all the time while on the water. Give me a call to book your trip, Springtime fishing is the best on Normandy… Capt. Jake 615-613-2382 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Forecast Contributor – Paul Shaw, Norris Creel Clerk.
30 May 2023
Water Temp Surface temperatures are 77 to 80 degrees. It’s warmer in the protected coves and late in the day, as is expected.
Water Clarity: 4 to 6 feet, good color.
Water Elevation: 1,016.0 feet (midnight) The elevation has held steady for several weeks due to little rainfall. The all-day rain on Saturday in the upper watershed contributed little to the inflow from the Powell and Clinch rivers. Check the free TVA Lake Info app for daily elevations, predictions, and flow rates.
Largemouth Bass: Many are either spawning or can be expected to be spawning in coming days. Willow leaf spinners, jerk baits, Carolina-rigged lizards on the bottom. Topwater action was slower. Less than 10 feet early. Night and early morning fishing is best.
Smallmouth Bass: Fair. Fish drop-offs and transition zone structure for post-spawn fish. Slow-rolled spinners at night on moderate sloped rock banks, drop shot rigs, pig’n jigs, as well as medium running crankbaits or soft jerk baits have taken some on the points and drop-offs.
Walleye: Lower end fish are hitting alewives at night along the shorelines where alewife are spawning. Night fishing is best on Zara Spooks and Pups, Shad Raps, snagged alewife or shad cast to the banks. Vertical jigging under lights has been slower than casting snagged baitfish (alewife or shad) to the banks at night. Lake spawn fish are best off red clay shorelines.
Shellcrackers: Good at the base of brush, button bushes, or downed timber. Mill Creek, Lost Creek, Poor Land Creek, some in Sycamore Creek. Red worms, night crawlers, wax worms, small minnows, small spinners. Fish less than 10 feet deep, on the bottom near brush where they are spawning. There have been some good-sized shellcrackers taken over the past week.
Crappie: Moderate in the early morning hours in the head of the major creek embayments in brushy coves where they are spawning. Productive areas are Sycamore Creek and the mouth of Little Sycamore Creek, the back of Lost Creek, the upper reaches of Cove Creek, and upper Davis Creek in the coves near the cemetery boat ramp and old road, and Doaks Creek behind the marina. Use the standard fare: shiners or tuffy minnows tightlined to 10-15 feet near brush, Bobby Garland-type jigs under floats or tightlined in brush; Popeye jigs tipped with tuffy minnows.
Striped Bass: Stripers are moving downstream from the rivers and heads of the larger creeks. On the main body, the Loyston and Lost Creek section, and the forks of the rivers (point 9) have produced some on drift line or tightline method with alewife or shad as bait. At dawn, if you see breaking fish, cast Zara Spooks or Pups or lead head jigs to the breaks.
Bluegill: Spawning bluegill are in the flats near brush or stumps, or along creek bed shelves at about 10 feet, bottom depth. Cast crickets, red worms, or (last choice) nightcrawlers to the nests, on the bottom. Some very nice bluegills have been caught over the past few days. The spring spawn typically occurs during the week prior to the full moon. Throughout the summer, look for bluegill spawns to occur the week leading to the full moons.
Forecast Contributor Brian Carper - briancarper.com - Follow on Facebook
Percy Priest lake is now 75ﾟ- 80° everyday! The water is still up almost a foot since the recent rains but is falling slowly. The crappie have been on fire! The majority of the crappie have moved out of the shallows and into brush piles ready to feed again. Staying in 12 to 15' has been the magic depth for us this week. The last 2 days we've caught 30 to 40 keepers! Casting 1/8oz and 1/16oz jigs in pearl, blue and green, pearl, and chartreuse has been the ticket.
The bass are also concentrating out deeper now! Point, humps, ledges off the main channel have been holding schools of bass ready to feed up for summer. Deep crankbaits, plastic worms, and swimbaits have been productive. The next several weeks we will see large schools of bass concentrating and very aggressive.
For more information or Book your trip today at www.briancarper.com
Forecast Contributor Tyler Finley – Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tyler.finley.750
Shad spawn!!! The bass are shallow right now as they are still moving off of bed. They are being caught out of shallow grass where Shad are spawning. These fish can be caught on a white Chatterbait or any other bait fish imitating bait. Aside from Shad spawn fish can still be caught around shallow structure on a wacky rig and Texas rig. The fish are moving everyday so there’s no better time to be on the water then now. Look for Shad popping to top of the water or just go shallow and fish structure. Good luck!!
Forecast Contributor Captain Jake Davis – Follow on Facebook
Our primary focus this week has been the Shad spawn which will provided for some great top water action early. Sped Craw, Crankbait, spinnerbaits, and Jigs are a good place to start as well. We continued to catch fish spread out on secondary points and around brush piles. Best lures have been Ned Rig, Tightline Mussel Crawler jigs tipped with Twin Tail grubs bite. Texas Rigged creature baits, produced as well.
Area Crappie anglers, say it has slowed to almost a stop with a few being caught on deep water docks, brush piles and treetops. Stripe and rock fish are still can be found off points, on river channel bends with bucktail jigs, swimbaits, and live bait.
Lake temperatures are between 76 and 78.5 degrees and the lake level climbed to 888.20 basically summer pool. Please wear your life vest all the time while on the water and watch for floating logs as the water rises… Give me a call to book your trip, Early summer morning fishing can be really good on Tim’s… Capt. Jake 615-613-2382 or email@example.com
Watts Bar Reservoir
May 24th – May 26th, 2023
Forecast Contributor – Nathan Rogers, Region III Creel Clerk
The weather was clear and sunny throughout the weekend with the exception of rain all day Saturday. Temperatures were around upper 50’s at night and reaching the lower 80’s during the day. Lake visibility improved throughout the lake. Water temperatures increased over the past week to about 79 degrees Fahrenheit with the exception of the tailwaters of Ft. Loudoun and Melton Hill dams. Water level is now at full summer pool.
- Tennessee River: 79 degrees Fahrenheit
Water Clarity: Tennessee River channel 5.5 feet on May 26th
Water Level: 740.9 feet
Water Flow: (as of May 26th)
- Watts Bar Dam: ~8000 cfs
- Melton Hill Dam: ~800 cfs
- Fort Loudon Dam: ~7000 cfs
Species Specific Information
Bass: Fishing soft plastics still seems to be the angler’s choice. For example, Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, dropshots, and shaky heads with craws, lizards, and other soft plastics in around 7-15 feet. Others are also finding success with crankbaits and spinner baits on rock walls and near docks. Anglers are finding more success in areas with rocky banks and structure.
Crappie: Fishing jigs/ Bobby Garlands and live minnows on deeper structure such as trees or brush. Trolling/ Spider rigging with minnows seemed to be the most successful technique. Some anglers are still finding success fishing deeper water with these same methods as well. (Roughly 15-20 feet deep
Catfish: Fishing creek channels or main river channel with cut bait. Anglers below the dam are fishing up against the dam and finding success. Some anglers were landing catfish fishing for crappie.
White bass: fishing jigs and live minnow. Mainly caught fishing for crappie using same techniques
Redear sunfish (Shellcrackers): anglers caught them while bass fishing on crankbaits
Forecast Contributor – Richard Markland, Region 4 Fisheries Technician
Tailwater Conditions- Tailwaters elevation 1583.14. Avg discharge is 240 cfm. Water temperature is 40-46 degrees. Water clarity is clear top to bottom. The fishing conditions change throughout the length of the tailwaters with flow rates.
Trout- Fishing is good. The most productive areas are Wilbur Dam downstream to Hunter area, not a lot of big fish but if you are looking for numbers the upper end is the place to be. Trout are being caught using Rapalas, Night crawler, Rooster tails, Small Flies.
Forecast Contributor Captain Jake Davis – Follow on Facebook
Grass in the remained the name of the game, Bass and Crappie all can be found along grass edges and along the rip rap banks. We found our better fish in 4 to 9 foot of water using Texas Rigged D-Bombs from Missile Baits and Tightline Mussel Crawler jigs tipped with Twin Tail grubs, Tightline Swim Jigs with Driftwood Swimbaits, soft plastics, spinnerbaits, and A-Rigs.
Bass are on the move to their summer haunts. Best numbers came on a shaky head rigged finesse worm. Drifting/trolling with spider rigs for Crappie is picking up some nice slabs but you have to weed through the short fish. Water temperatures range from 76 and 79 degrees. Please wear your life vest all the time while on the water… Give me a call to book your trip, Spring and Summer time fishing is the best on Woods… Capt. Jake 615-613-2382 or firstname.lastname@example.org