TWRA Weekly Fishing Forecast

TWRA Weekly Fishing Forecast

NOTE - 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.

NEW LAKES HAVE BEEN ADDED!

See more community fishing reports across all of Tennessee in the Fishbrain app! Click here to download: https://join.fishbrain.com/tennessee

Boone Reservoir - 2-8-24

Forecast Contributor – Richard Markland, Region 4 Fisheries Technician

Reservoir Conditions- Reservoir elevation is 1361.99 The water temperature is 46* degrees. Water clarity 5-10’ visibility.

Bass- Good- Largemouth, Spots and are being caught on small shad like baits, crankbaits, vertical fishing with drop shot type baits, A-rigs. Smallmouth are being caught tightlining small flies and vertical fishing shad baits.

Crappie- Good – Crappie are in the creeks/coves pitching and vertical fishing small artificial baits. 12’-24’ deep.

Trout- Fair- Some Brown trout are being caught trolling shad and small spoons in 20-30’ of water in the candy creek area and up around the dam.

Striped Bass/Hybrid Bass- Fishing is Fair. Most of the fish are being caught around Davis Dock area on Holston side and around Sonnys Marina up to Pickens Bridge area trolling spoons and Shad.

Center Hill – 2-21-24

Forecast Contributor – Will Schibig, Region III Creel Clerk.

Reservoir Conditions-

Reservoir elevation has dropped three feet from last week (637’) because Center Hill Dam is generating, on average, 11,200 cfs per day. Great Falls Dam continues to spill every day around 3,500 cfs, on average, every day. Surface water temperatures on the main lake average 50 degrees while the backs of major creek arms can have up to 55-degree water. The water temperature at Rock Island state park varies between 49-52 degrees. Water clarity from Hurricane bridge downstream is clear, roughly 8-10’ visibility. Upstream of Hurricane, and any tributary arm is murkier. Farther upstream you go, the less water visibility. Floating debris is spread throughout the reservoir but can be found in larger trash mats upstream of Fall Creek. Areas to watch for mats include Pates Ford, Four Seasons, Pinhook, Cedar and Cliff Creek.

Bass- Fishing is good. With the water drawing back down, the prespawn largemouth have mostly left the flooded timber in the backs of creeks. These fish and the bait are now positioned in the back ¼ of creek arms. Target these areas with crankbaits, spinnerbaits, or shaky heads. Fish are also suspended with bait and can be caught with umbrella rigs, Damiki rigs, and jerk baits. You can catch fish in the clear rock around main lake/creek big chunk rock in 5-12’ with jerk baits and umbrella rigs. If the water levels rise again, or another warm rain raises the water temp, focus on the back of tributary arms once again.

Walleye- Fishing is good. Walleye are in full run at the headwaters of Center Hill. Anglers are catching fish on jigs tipped with minnows in 20 FOW. Anglers are also trolling reef runners and crankbaits along the drop-offs in the river. The fish seemed to be positioned from Warren Co. Boat ramp up to the rapids at the sandbar. Please follow special regulations regarding the Walleye run on Center Hill.

Chickamauga Reservoir February 16th – 18th - 24

Forecast Contributor – Nathan Rogers, Region III Creel Clerk

The weather was warm Friday to start the weekend but then a cold front hit that night bringing temps down. This cold front seemed to really impact the fishing with hardly any surveyed anglers recording even a bite that Saturday morning. Water temperatures are starting to warm in the Tennessee River channel and stay somewhat cooler in the Hiwassee. The water level was up due to the heavy rains throughout the region in previous weeks; the latest depth I recorded is below. For any discharge or lake elevation info, check out the TVA Lake Info App.

Reservoir Conditions

Water Temp:

-        Tennessee River (main lake): 50.1 degrees Fahrenheit

-        Hiwassee River: 47.9 degrees Fahrenheit

Water Clarity:

-        Tennessee River (main lake): 3.5 feet

-        Hiwassee River: 3.5 feet

Water Level: 678.9 feet

Water Flow: (as of February 18th)

-        Watts Bar Dam: ~ 57670 cfs (spilling)

-        Chickamauga Dam: ~ 76000cfs (spilling)

Observed Species Information

Bass: Fishing is fair. Using live bait (shad/minnows) on bluffs and main channel banks with deep water. Some anglers had success with swimbaits and lipless crankbaits in these areas too. During some recent surveys, anglers used square bill crankbaits and A-rigs on rocky banks and flats that garnered some bites.

Crappie: Fishing is fair. Using live minnows and/or Bobby Garland jigs in mouths of creeks/sloughs around submerged brush. Trolling small crankbaits or jigs in shallow creeks.

Walleye: Fishing is fair. Trolling crankbaits upstream in current below dam. Drifting downstream jigging 3/8th to 1/2-ounce jig heads with hair or small swimbaits.

Chickamauga - 2-22-24

Forecast Contributor – Billy Wheat, Follow on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/riprapfishingadventures and www.riprapfishing.net

Chickamauga elevation is 676 and the dam is rolling look for schools of bait in the creek mouths and back in the deeper creeks and put the scoping baits to work. The jerk bait bite is fire along with the glider any wood 3-12 feet can hold some big ones. The A-rig bite can off the chart right in the 8-15 range especially around the shell beds my choice of A-rigs are Big Daddy’s Baits Dayton Boat dock Rig, Driftwood Custom Baits Peanut Rig and The Stealth Rig. The 3–5-inch baits are great. Remember any grass you find fish it 2-6 feet throw that Rat-l-trap and that Swimbait.

Cordell Hull Report 2-14-24

Forecast Contributor – Brandon Dowdy – Southern Woods and Waters https://swwtv.com/

Mid-lake has still been good in deeper water. Slowly bouncing 3-4inch swim jigs tipped with live minnows in the edge of the river channel and around bridge pillars has been working early morning and late evening.

Crappie: Several quality fish are coming out of the mouths of the creeks along the main river. Minnows on a Carolina or a Kentucky rig from straight over top of the trees should work well. Most numbers are in 12-18ft of water right now. A float and jig (slowly fished) has been working closer into the banks and partially submerged brush.

Stripe: Mainly feeding on bait fish in and near the main channel. LIVE BAIT is the answer. 4-7inch shad are perfect and these fish are hovering around 20ft down in 35-50ft of water.

Bass: The bite is picking up, and local tournament weights are starting to show it. Plastics of all sorts have been working great along the steep banks and drop offs. Cranking is also working well, as fish are currently moving up and down the edge of the river channel following the numerous balls of bait and running them into the flats along the edge (match the hatch).

Douglas Lake 2-9-24

Forecast Contributor Brad Burkhart –  Follow on Facebook

With the last few warm days, I hope everyone has had a chance to get out on the water. These sunny winter days lend themselves to cranking and can be some of the best fishing.

I have had success cranking a dt8 in dark brown craw on main lake channel swing banks.  On these same banks I will pitch of cast a jig to any and all wood or just anything that looks good.

The I40 bridge area and the area around the mouth of muddy creek

Good luck to everyone this week on the water and as always God bless.

Brad Burkhart

Killer Bass Pro Guide Service

@bradburkhartprofishing

Hiwassee River below Appalachia Powerhouse – 2-21-24

Forecast Contributor- Tic Smith/Southeastern Anglers Guide Service

Water Temperature – 44 to 49 degrees

Water Clarity – clear

Water Level – TVA has been running a 2 generator schedule this week. There was some 1 generator flow for a couple of hours but that is not predicted for the next few days.

Fishing conditions – Fishing was a bit of his and miss this past week. Colder temps at night lowered the water temps and the trout were hugging the bottom. We did not see a lot of shad coming through and the lack of bugs made for tougher fishing conditions. There were several big fish caught however but overall numbers have been down.

Hatches- Some little black stoneflies are out but so far; we have not experienced a large hatch. We do expect it once the water temps stay steady around 50 degrees. Midges are definitely abundant in the late afternoon, but surface activity has been sparse.

Nymphs – standard pheasant tails with or without beads #16 to #18. Zebra midges are producing as well.

White streamers size 6 to 8 are producing strikes as well as wooly buggers in the same size. Trout are still looking for the shad in the upper part of the river. Fish these streamers slow for the best results.

Kentucky Lake 2-15-24

By Steve McCadams, Professional Guide/Outdoor Writer (stevemc@charter.net)

MIXTURE OF WEATHER GREETS ANGLERS

Kentucky Lake’s winter fishermen have been riding that weather roller coaster again. One day cold; next day warm. Then there’s sometimes snow. Sometimes rain. Some days are windy while others are calm. February is a month (and so is March) with a wide variety of weather patterns.

Best not hide the overcoat and coveralls too deep in the closet just yet. Both February and March are known to deliver a little dab of winter and spring weather, which sometimes packs a punch. This past week was a prime example, starting off with a winter chill but ending with a touch of spring. Fishermen all over the Kentucky Lake area have spring fever.

Lake levels had risen last week some two feet or so in the aftermath of heavy rains, but the reservoir crested quickly and has been falling slowly. Elevation this week was around the 356.2 range. Normal winter pool is around the 354 range.

Watercolor remains clear. Surface temperatures had warmed to the upper 40’s but cold nights have an influence. Warmer days are in the forecast so surface temps will likely cross the 50-degree range soon.

Scores of anglers have been testing the waters whenever the wind allows them to venture out. Pretty good stringers of crappie have been taken by a few anglers too. Some are crediting their catches to 16-to-19-foot main lake ledges while others have managed to find a few fish moving up to midrange stake beds and brush piles in 9 to 12 feet.

A few bank fishermen always seem to score this time of the year at places like Springville pumphouse. The discharge area adjacent to the launch ramp sometimes stirs up a lot of shad and when it does the bite is on. Most fishermen there like to cast a slip bobber out around the discharge spot where current is flowing from the pumps out into the main lake area. Beneath their slip bobbers are usually assorted colors of jigs but some like to try a live minnow now and then

The spot has always been a favorite for shoreline fishermen in late winter and early spring. There’s even a few fishermen who enjoy night fishing there as they toss lighted bobbers out which alert them to strikes.

Meanwhile, down around the Paris Landing sector most boaters are targeting main lake ledges. Some rely heavily on modern day sonar equipment and depend on their electronics to take them to the fish. Deeper manmade fish attractors are holding fish at present. Vertical fishing techniques are the most popular as anglers dangle their favorite-colored jig down around submerged structure on the deep sides of drop-offs. Others go to brush and stake beds they’ve placed out in the main lake venues.

Other techniques are producing such as casting jigs out over structure. Trolling spider rigs has worked too as those slow-moving bait buffets usually produce if you find the right depth range.

Late February and early March are still in the prespawn phase of fishing but by mid-March crappie begin stair stepping their way toward shallow flats and venturing toward big bays where spawning territory is nearby.

A few bass have been taken by anglers tossing crawfish and shad-colored crankbaits plus some pearl and white swim baits. Carolina rigs have accounted for a few bass too as the fish like that slow moving retrieve.

Spring weather has stimulated fishing pox. The only cure is to go fishing!

Lake Halford 2-18-24

Forecast Contributor – Andy Porter, East Hickman fishing coach.

Reservoir Conditions - 2/17 Air Temp 32 degrees.  Water temp 47 degrees.  Cloudy, North wind 15-20mph.  2/18 Air Temp 42 degrees.  Water temp 46 degrees.  Sunny, NNW wind 8.

Water Clarity:  Good

Bass- Tough- Bass holding around 15-20ft on humps and ledges.  Could see them on sonar but they absolutely would not bite either day.  Cold front passed through Friday evening and shut them down. 

Nickajack Lake - 2-21-24

Forecast Contributor Ethan Castle – Whitwell High School Bass Team

Water temps have been ranging from 47 to 51. The dams still have the flood gates open and the turbines wide open so there has been a lot of current. The water has been clearing up a little day by day. Fishing has been a little slow, but they are still biting. Fishing rip rap has been the main producer with any craw-colored crankbaits and a Zorro HP flipping jigs in a craw color. I have also still been catching a few in ditches, live scoping in between 12 and 15 feet of water with a Damiki rig. Make sure to watch for logs in the river channel there has been a bunch of big floaters lately and make sure to wear your life jackets.

Normandy Lake - 2-8-24

Forecast Contributor John Mullins – Eagleville High School Angler

Normandy is starting to fish really good. For you Live scopers you can go scan around any major point and there will be plenty of bass. Although the best points are when you find bass that are actively feeding when we went, we ran into a school feeding and caught 10 bass in a matter of 30 minutes. For you old school bank beaters it’s hard to beat a red crankbait on flats next to deep water. You will catch most in the morning when they are pulling up to feed but there's still a few fish to be had throughout the day. Hope you have tightlines.

Percy Priest - 2-15-24

Forecast Contributor Brian Carper - briancarper.com - Follow on Facebook

Percy Priest Lake continues to change daily. The lake level is now down almost 4.5 feet, and the clarity is much better from the upper end all the way to Hobson Pike bridge. The water temperature has been climbing with the warm temperatures into the low in mid 50s. Many bass are being caught shallow in 1 -5 feet of water on square bill crankbaits, spinnerbaits, rattle traps and jigs. Main lake points and pockets near the current have been the most successful while the lake is descending. The crappie have also moved shallow and many are being caught in 3 to 10ft around isolated wood and brush piles. Standing timber also continues to produce in 25 to 50ft. The next few days should offer wonderful fishing while the temperatures continue to stay warm. You can't go wrong with staying shallow when the water is in the mid-50s.

For more information or Book your trip today at www.briancarper.com

Pickwick - 2-1-24

Forecast Contributor Tyler Finley – Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tyler.finley.750

High waters and heavy current flows are making the fish bite. Upriver seems to be productive in current breaks and gravel bars. These fish can be caught on a swim bait and Alabama rig. When setting up on these places it is important to fish the seam line created by the current as they will use this area to feed. Down the river fish are still being caught on an Alabama rig and rattle trap out of the grass and gravel points. With the amount of current flowing through Pickwick right now it is important to focus on the areas where there are current breaks and key in on the bite. Good luck!

South Holston River - 2-22-24

Forecast Contributor Jimmy Cheers https://www.mtnsportsltd.com/fly-fishing.htm

Tailwater Condition

Water temperature is holding around 48 degrees throughout the day.  Water is gin clear.  Generation throughout most of the day is allowing for good float fishing.  Expected outflows may taper back through the weekend to allow wade fishing opportunities.  The upper section, from Emmit Bridge to Big Springs Boat Ramp, is producing the best fishing.

Trout Fishing

Good bite as of late.  On high water the trout are targeting bigger meals.  Jerk baits and streamers fished along the banks are productive while searching for larger fish.  Numbers can be caught on fly tackle with smaller flies.  Smaller flies that are working are midges, Blue Wing Olive, and scud patterns in the size 18 to 20 range.

Tims Ford - 2-14-24

Forecast Contributor Captain Jake DavisFollow on Facebook

Our better fish came on a ½ ounce Tightline Green Tequila Jig this week work around brush piles in 4 to 12 foot of water.  Sped Craws, Crankbaits, and Finesse worms around cover are good as well.  Best times remain are mid-day and late afternoons.  Best lures have been Jerk baits, Tennessee Rigs, Tightline Mussel Crawler jigs tipped with Twin Tail grub. Texas Rigged creature baits, produced as well.   Stripe and rock fish are still can be found off points, on river channel bends with bucktail jigs, swimbaits and live bait.  

Please use caution as the lake levels are rising and falling with the rains as the TVA tries to hold the lake at or near the guide curve.  Current lake level is 880 but TVA is dumping water and forecast the level to be in the 878 range by the weekend.  Water temps between 50 and 53 degrees depending on area of the lake. Be careful at the ramps, Rock Creek and Devils Step is docks is unusable as it suffered damage from winter storms. Best ramps are Tims Ford Marina, State Park, Lost Creek, Turkey Creek and Devils Step but you will need to beach your boat at Devils Step. Please wear your life vest all the time while on the water and watch for floating logs.  Capt. Jake 615-613-2382 or msbassguide@comcast.net

Watts Bar - 2-22-24

Forecast Contributor – Billy Wheat, Follow on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/riprapfishingadventures and www.riprapfishing.net

Water elevation is 737 water temperature is 47-53 depending on where you are on the lake. The water is falling, and the dams are spilling but keep in mind you still have some grass that is going to hold fish the water doesn’t drop that far to pull them away from that deeper grass. The spinnerbait and Chatterbait along with that Rat-l-trap are go to! Remember don’t leave out that 3–5-inch Swimbait. The shallow to mid depth cranking is going to be strong with this current flow right with the jerk bait and A-rig. I always have a jig or Texas Rig plastic on this time of year as the water warms any brush or trees you find fish it. With the water clearing in areas don’t forget the deeper shad and all of the scoping baits.

Wilbur Tailwater - 2-8-24

Forecast Contributor – Richard Markland, Region 4 Fisheries Technician

Tailwater Conditions- Tailwaters elevation 1585.75. Avg discharge is 240 cfm. The water temperature is 40-45* on the upper end of the tailwater. Water clarity is clear top to bottom. The fishing conditions change throughout the length of the tailwaters with flow rates and temperature.

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, Streamers.

Woods Reservoir 2-14-24

Forecast Contributor Captain Jake Davis – Follow on Facebook

Old Grass lines and Brush have been the name of the game, Bass and Crappie all can be found along grass edges and on deeper cover. Best numbers are still coming on a shaky head rigged finesse bait. We found our better fish in 6 to 10 foot of water using Texas Rigged D-Bombs from Missile Baits and Tightline Mussel Crawler jigs tipped with Twin Tail grubs, soft plastics, and A-Rigs. Drifting or 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 48 and 52 degrees. The lake is still down some, please use caution when running upriver. Please wear your life vest all the time while on the water. Give me a call to book your trip, Summer and early Fall fishing can be lots of fun on Woods. Capt. Jake 615-613-2382 or msbassguide@comcast.net

Email sign up link

Latest Catches in Tennessee

Matthew Poss of Smithville with a 21” Smallmouth & a 19” Largemouth
Josh Clary of Hendersonville with a 18.5” Spotted bass
Percy Priest TN Bass, January 2024
Sparta TN 15" 1.5lb crappie catch, Elijah Kelly, January 2024
Cookville TN, 5th largest Largemouth Bass catch in Tennessee, Anthony Scott, January 2024
Percy Priest TN crappie catch, January 2024
Percy Priest TN Bass catch, January 2024
Dale Hollow TN catch, December 2023
Percy Priest TN catch, December 2023
Percy Priest TN, December 2023
Percy Priest TN, bass, November 2023
Dale Hollow TN, 2lb Crappie, Nathan Mellencamp
Percy Priest TN, Crappie November 2023
TN River Catch, in Tennessee, November 2023
TN River Catch, in Tennessee, November 2023
TN River Catch, in Tennessee, November 2023
Tim's Ford in Tennessee, October 2023
Tim's Ford in Tennessee, November 2023
TN River Catch, in Tennessee, November 2023
Tim's Ford in Tennessee, October 2023
Priest Crappie Catch October 2023