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TWRA Weekly Fishing Forecast

Center Hill

Forecast Contributor – Danny Stone – TWRA Region III Creel Clerk

Reservoir Conditions: Fishing is good. The water temperature in 53 degrees and the lake is slowly rising.

Smallmouth Bass: Lots of smallmouth are being caught in the clear water on spoons and swimbaits while fishing under shad in 20-30 feet of water.

Largemouth Bass: Several largemouth are being caught in the clear water while fishing spoons under schooling shad in the creeks in 20-40 feet of water. Also, lots of bass are being caught on crankbaits in the colored water on channel banks in 5-10 feet of water.

Crappie: A few crappie are being caught on minnows and jigs around sunken brush in 15-25 feet of water.

Cherokee Lake

Forecast Contributor Hunter Sales https://www.facebook.com/HunterSalesFishing/

Cherokee Lake is fishing very good across the entire lake! The water temperature is in the low 50’s and dropping consistently. The fish are feeding in preparation for the next few months of winter.

The deep-water smallmouth bite is getting better every day. Finding these fish requires dedicating a lot of time looking at your electronics in the 15–35-foot range! If you can find bait, isolated rock, or a sharp drop; fish should be nearby! Using Ned rigs, Keitech swimbaits, football heads, or winter-time baits such as the Damiki rig and silver buddies are all good options!

Additionally, throwing a shallow crankbait such as a DT6, little john, or Spro Rock crawler has been producing both quality largemouth and smallmouth. The key to this technique is finding the right type of rock. My personal favorite is scattered, chunk-style rock in the 6–10-foot range. Wind and sunshine help this bite tremendously. You’ll want to throw this bait on a medium-action rod with 12 lb. fluorocarbon (I prefer Seaguar InvizX).

All of the equipment needed for a great day on the water can be picked up at our local Bass Pro Shops in Kodak!

Hunter Sales

Head Coach – Carson Newman Eagle Anglers

jsales@cn.edu

Chickamauga

Forecast Contributor Hensley Powell -  https://www.hensleypowellfishing.com/ - Follow on Facebook

Powell is in the annual boat transition period and waiting on his new boat to get in and rigged so he hasn’t been on the water in a couple of weeks. However, he reports that other guides he’s talked to are having most of their luck with an A-rig and a jerk bait for bass.

Forecast Contributor – Joey Root – TWRA Region III Creel Clerk

Reservoir Conditions: The lake elevation is at 676’ and water temperatures are in the upper 40’s to low 50’s. If you want to catch a variety of fish, try going below Watts Bar Dam. Anglers have been catching smallmouth, crappie, red ear sunfish, striped bass, and catfish.  Remember to wear your life jacket and have fun!  

Bass: Anglers have been catching bass around transition areas from the main river such as the first 1/3 of creek arms, ditches, and pockets.  Steep banks with rock and bluffs are other great areas to try.

Walleye: A few walleyes are being caught mid-lake on the Tennessee, above the 30 bridge, and below Watts Bar Dam.  Trolling crankbaits and drifting jigs are effective techniques.

Crappie: Several anglers have been catching crappie at the mouth of sloughs on the upper end of the reservoir using jigs and minnow under a float.  Banks with shallow laydowns and brush are other great areas to try.

Catfish: Catfish are being caught in the main river channel over the entire lake and below Watts Bar Dam.

Cordell Hull

Forecast Contributor – Danny Stone – TWRA Region III Creel Clerk

Reservoir Conditions: The water is high and muddy. No anglers have been fishing.

Dale Hollow

Forecast Contributor – Danny Stone – TWRA Region III Creel Clerk

Reservoir Conditions: Fishing is great. The water temperature is 52 degrees, and the lake is slowly rising.

Smallmouth Bass: Lots of smallmouth are being caught on Ned rigs, jigs, and spoons while fishing points and flats near shad in 20-40 feet of water.

Largemouth Bass: Lots of largemouth are being caught in the clear water under shad on spoons in 40-60 feet of water. Also, lots of bass are being caught in the rivers in the colored water on crankbaits in 5-10 feet of water.

Crappie: A few crappie are being caught on minnows around grass and sunken brush in 15-20 feet of water.

Walleye: A few walleye are being caught under shad in the creeks in 50 feet of water.

Douglas Lake

Forecast Contributor Brad Burkhart –  https://www.facebook.com/bradburkhartprofishing

Good day all!!!  Hope everyone is enjoying this East Tennessee snow. 

The bite on Douglas has been fairly good up to today. Shallow crank baits, jerk baits, and jigs have been consistent for putting bass over the rail. 

Focus on main channel swing banks and also the swing banks in the larger creeks such as Muddy Creek and the mouth of Indian and McGuire creeks. Also, an A-rig is a great option for catching a big one. 

When the snow ends and begins to melt it will muddy the water pretty good. We will discuss that situation when it arises. For the time being…..stay warm, and if you do go fishing……take pics or it didn’t happen!!!  Lol 

God Bless!!!  

Brad Burkhart

@bradburkhartprofishing

Kentucky Lake

Forecast Contributor Tristan McCormick – Follow on Facebook

Kentucky lake bass fishing has been good lately. Fish are still keying on deep channel swing banks and main points at mount of creeks. Alabama rigs and jerk baits are the main players. Happy fishing.

Nickajack

Forecast Contributor Captain Jake Davis -  https://midsouthbassguide.com/ - Follow on Facebook

Bass can be around grass lines and upriver; best result came on Jigs with primary colors Green Tequila with green pumpkin trailers and Swim jigs around grass and the first primary river channel ledge areas.  Umbrella rig action is the go-to for tournament anglers.  Water temperatures range from 48 to 51 degrees.  Some good action can be found just below the Nickajack Dam working live bait and spoons in the current…just wear your life vest.

Forecast Contributor – Joey Root – TWRA Region III Creel Clerk

Reservoir Conditions: The lake elevation is at 632.2’ and water temperatures are in the upper 40’s. With the cold inconsistent weather this region has experienced recently, fishing at Nickajack Reservoir has been relatively slow.  Currently, the reservoir is experiencing high flows and dirty water following the large rain events.  These conditions generally create difficult angling conditions.  As the weather and reservoir hydrology stabilizes fishing should improve. 

Bass: On the upper end of the reservoir, a few bass anglers have been focusing on current breaks near deep water (e.g., tributary mouths, pockets, and points on the downstream end of islands) with jigs, blade baits, and swimbaits. 

Catfish: Catfish can be caught reservoir wide using live or cut bait.


Normandy Lake

Forecast Contributor Captain Jake Davis -  https://midsouthbassguide.com/ - Follow On Facebook

Bass are good flipping wood are producing, chunk rock areas with Crankbaits, creature baits and finesse worms to find some good fish. A-Rigs worked on channel bends is producing well.   Target pockets points and pee gravel flats for best results try a shallow to medium running crankbait.  Walleye can be caught trolling crankbaits or drifting minnows/crawler harnesses on flats and in the river. Good reports of Crappie in 12 to 15 feet of water on brush piles next to the creek channels.  Water temperatures range from 49 to 51degrees. Saturday, 15 February 2022 and Monday, Tennessee BASS Nation and TWRA will be replenishing fish attractor sites with over 250 Christmas Tree and 1500 wood stakes around the lake on approved sites.    Current lake level is 868.37. Just below the dam on the Duck River Trout, Crappie and Walleye action is good.


Old Hickory

Forecast Contributor Brady Duncan – Follow on Instagram: @brady_duncan9

Old Hickory has been fishing well the past two weeks with the water temps getting down into the low 50’s. Mid-lake down to the dam is the best area in these colder months.

Baits would include Alabama rigs and jerk baits, but with the rain over the past few days the river will get muddy and flowing. Crank baits on any rock or current break will be very successful over the next week!

Percy Priest

Forecast Contributor Brian Carper - https://briancarper.com/ - Follow On Facebook

Finally, Percy Priest Lake is falling to winter pool again. It is also clearing up after the downpour last week where the lake rose 4ft. The temperature is currently in the low 50s. The bass have been inconsistent the last few days but will be starting to pattern up any day now in their winter pattern. The last couple days the crappie have been biting good in standing timber in 20 to 30 feet of water. Mid and down lake has been the most productive. Shad pattern and black/purple Crappie Magnets have been the most productive for us. Next week's report should cover some quality bass fishing!

For more information check out www.briancarper.com

Pickwick

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

Rain is leaving the lake high and rolling with current. Fish are really keying in on current breaks in the river such as, creek mouths, trees, and bluff ends. There have been four flood gates open this week creating a very current rich environment. Bass can be caught using baits such as a chartreuse spinnerbait and a red crank bait. Down the lake things are a little different. Fish have made a push further up the points and deeper into the pockets as waters rise. Fish are being caught using a green pumpkin jig and finesse worm. The lake is setting up to fish as it should in April, but the water temperature is keeping fish more dormant. If headed to Pickwick this week just remember to keep an open mind and keep your retrieve slow. 

Tims Ford

Forecast Contributor Captain Jake Davis – Follow on Facebook

Water level is 877.43 and dropping.  The lake has cooled to 50.5 to 51.6 degrees.  The past three weeks have been busy as Tennessee BASS Nation and TWRA have replenished fish attractor sites with over 800 Christmas Tree and 35 wood pallet sites.  All locations will be updated on the TWRA Boating and Fishing pages of the TWRA Website.  Crappie are set up in the brush piles, treetops, and have started to gather around deeper docks.  Best results are with minnows and Bobby Garland crappie jigs.  Bass moved shallow earlier this past week, however I look for them to pull out to 10-12 FOW with the colder temperatures cool the water down.  Bass are good on crankbaits, Ned rigs, Carolina Rigged sped craws, Tightline Mussel Crawler jigs tipped with Twin Tail grubs produced as well.  Umbrella rigs are the go-to for those that use them. Stripe and rock fish can be found off of points, on channel bends with bucktail jigs, swimbaits, and live bait.   Trout fishing below the dam on the Elk River is good as well with artificial lures.

Watts Bar

Forecast Contributor – Joe Tallent

Water temps are in the mid to low 50s. The bite really hasn't improved in months. What fall patterns there were have disappeared. There are still some fish in the grass and really great quality, but they seem to be impossible to catch as they are eating tiny bait. Fishing wood can be productive but finding any that will measure 15" is a chore. I think we are in a big transition and there is a huge movement towards wintertime patters. Slowing down is definitely the key to getting a bigger bite.

Woods Reservoir

Forecast Contributor Captain Jake Davis – Follow On Facebook

We found our better in or around the grass and on deep humps, using soft plastics and crankbaits.   Don’t neglect a Carolina rig… Drifting/trolling with spider rigs for Crappie is picking up some nice slabs. Umbrella rig are working good along riprap and channel bends.  Water temperatures range from 49 to 51 degrees. As a reminder, 1 December the Wildlife Refuge starts, and a good portion of the lake is off limits and be careful of the Duck Hunters.  Like Tims Ford the Tennessee BASS Nation and TWRA have replenished fish attractor sites with over 100 Christmas Tree and 8 wood pallet sites.  There will be more added after 1 February.

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.