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.
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.
Forecast Contributor - Hunter Sales https://www.facebook.com/HunterSalesFishing/
Cherokee Lake is currently seeing water temperatures in the high 60’s and the level has been falling steadily since August and will continue to fall 1/4 to 1/2 of a foot each day until it reaches winter pool. This falling water has positioned bass on points and ditches that become ambush points. In addition, bass can be found in small wolf-pack groups rubbing baitfish in shallow, flat pockets. The top water bite has been excellent with quality largemouth, and smallmouth being weighed in on a spook, and this will only continue to get better in the coming month. Try spooling your bait caster with 40 lb. Seaguar Smackdown braid for your spook. A buzz bait or whopper plopper is another option to target these bass while covering water.
The full moon, falling water levels and temperature, and the fall turnover all contribute to a fickle fall pattern. Fishing is still really good right now, but the fish are moving a lot each day. The best bet to run into these bass is to keep the trolling motor on high and cover water until you find an area active with bait and bass!
The area above 25e bridge continues to be the strongest for largemouth, but smallmouth are becoming active on the lower end.
All of the equipment needed for a great day on the water can be picked up at our local Bass Pro Shops in Kodak!
On Chickamauga I’ve been catching them on a frog, punching, a little spinner bait and a small buzz bait. All the good fish have come from punching isolated mats, small mats that’s by themselves and still green. The frog fish is knowing where there at and throw and throw at them until they bite. I’m expecting this cooler weather to improve the frog bite. It’s a tough bite but we’re catching good quality fish. I’m catching 15 fish a day with three or four good fish four to six pounds. Last trip out we had around 10 hits on a frog and around six bites punching but all six of those were three to five and a half pound fish. You might punch 10 mats before you get bit but if you get bit, it’s a good fish.
Forecast Contributor – Will Schibig, Region III Creel Clerk.
Reservoir Conditions: The water temperature sits around 58 degrees. Water clarity averages around 6’ around the river channel, and 4’ in the creek arms. The water has dropped to 500’ this week, as the drawdown of the reservoir is in full swing. The flow has increased to 5,500 cfs, you will find more flow upstream from Gainesboro. Most fish are transitioning to their winter patterns.
Bass: Fishing has picked up. Bass are being caught in more of their winter transition areas like channel swings or areas near deep water. Fishing has been good on main river channel banks that have rocks and laydowns. All three black bass species are being caught with crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and jigs there. The water has been a bit more turbid than usual, so use brightly colored lures and fish from the bank out to 10 feet of water.
Sauger: The fishing is getting better. The flow has increased slightly, and fish are starting to move upstream with the colder water temperatures. Target offshore structure in 25’ of water by vertically jigging while on the main river. In the creeks, fish are being caught in around the 15’ range while jigging.
Crappie: Fishing is decent. An average day for anglers is 4-6 keepers a day. Anglers are fishing brush with jigs and minnows near deep water. Bridges are still an active area for baitfish followed by crappie.
Trout: Fishing is still good on the Obey River. Fish are being caught during high and low flows. Bottom fishing during high flows with worms and power bait is productive. The most fish are being caught on low flow, while floating from Moody’s boat ramp to Donaldson boat ramp. Nymphs and midges are best for floats.
Forecast Contributor Brad Burkhart – Follow on Facebook
The weather is great and so is the fishing. I have narrowed my bait selections to three rods now
Trap, DT 6, spook
Stay in the creeks, the better ones are stained but not muddy.
I’m fishing the backs of creeks and short pockets from Muddy Creek to Taylor’s Bend. Focus on baitfish. If there’s no shad present, then the likelihood of bass being there is the same.
Parallel the deeper side of the creeks with the dt…… stay off the shallow side and wind the trap. I usually pick the spook up and bomb the very backs of the pockets and drains in these areas.
Good luck y’all. God Bless!
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Forecast Contributor Tristan McCormick – Follow on Facebook
Fishing has been great. Lots of activity on main river. Fishing shallow bars with a top water is where your bigger bites are happening. Smallmouth are starting to show up on current breaks with crank baits and Alabama rigs. Happy fishing
I’m catching bass on a small spinner bait, usually 3/8 or ¼ in size with small willow leaves on them. I’m also using a small buzz bait and the better bites have come on the buzz bait. We probably caught 20 or so the other day with a few four pounders and a couple really good fish get off. I’ve been throwing in 2-3 feet of water over small clumps of grass where the matts were.
Forecast Contributor – Josh Bean – TWRA Region III Creel Clerk
Reservoir conditions: Fishing is fair on Nickajack at the moment. Most fish are showing up around grass. Fishing on upper end of lake is fishing well. The water temperature varies between 57.9 and 61 degrees. The lake elevation is 633 feet.
Bass: On the upper end of the reservoir, 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, finesse lures, and live shad. On the lower end, not many fish are being caught. Grass is very limited now, but most fish are still being caught around grass on frogs, flukes, jerk baits, A-rigs, and lipless crank baits.
Catfish: Anglers can be successful targeting catfish reservoir wide using live or cut bait.
Normandy has been producing some nice fish. Keep an eye on the habitat that TWRA and TN Bass Nation put out the last couple years… those stake beds are holding fish. Try throwing top water early and switching up to Texas Rigs or Tightline Jigs as the sun comes up. Flipping wood, the river channels with creature baits and finesse worms is a good staple on Normandy. We found several really nice bass using Carolina rigs at the end of points in 8 to 12 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 picking up you can catch them around brush in the river in 15 to 18 foot of water. Water temperatures range from 63 to 66 degrees. On a side note, Tennessee BASS Nation Conservation/High School programs are starting their yearly lake clean ups and Habitat improvement on area lakes…if you wish to volunteer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or watch our website www.sctnbassnation.com for dates and locations.
As of today, the water temperature is now 52 to 54 degrees. The lake is down 3.5 feet and dropping a couple inches every few days. One of the highlights this week has been the hybrid and white bass! With the dropping temperatures and lake level the hybrid are moving into the main channel and creek channels... feeding on large schools of shad. It's that time of year where you can look for the birds to find the bait. The fish are typically in 30' to 60' of water suspending in 15' to 25'. Spoons, swimbaits, flukes, and Alabama Rigs have been successful. This bite will only become more aggressive as the temperature drops. Afternoons and evenings are the best time mid and down lake. BCGS is offering $100 off all of our hybrid trips for a limited time.
For more information check out www.briancarper.com
Forecast Contributor Tyler Finley – Follow on Facebook
Pickwick lake has been rough this fall to say the least. The Catch a Dream tournament came out of the State Park last week only took 18lbs to win. Weights quickly fell off towards the 13-9lb range as an average. I can only hope that as we head into winter the lake turns around a starts producing large bags again. Right now, the best bet to get bit is fishing bluff near yellow creek and fishing up the river. Along bluffs it will be best to throw a shakey head and jigs. Way up the river you will want to get into some serious current and target smallmouth. They will be found in the middle of the current also on a shakey head and jig. Goodluck!!
Forecast Contributor Captain Jake Davis – Follow on Facebook
While the cooler weather is welcome it made catching tough this past week. We still enjoyed a few good fish on top water, spinnerbait, and crankbait bite. We’ve mainly caught Bass and some Crappie on guide trips. The primary focus remains along the shoreline points and channel bends with laydowns. We caught a few fish spread out on secondary points and around brush piles. Best lures have been Top Water lures, Crankbaits, Tightline Mussel Crawler jigs tipped with Twin Tail grubs mainly a reaction bite. Ned rigs, Carolina Rigged creature baits, produced as well. Crappie and bluegill are stacked up deep water brush piles and treetops but were not very cooperative. Some Crappie have started to move up with the cooler water temperatures. Stripe and rock fish are still can be found off points, on river channel bends with bucktail jigs, swimbaits, and live bait. Lake temperatures have dropped to 66-68 degrees and the lake level is coming down as well sitting at 886.17 and projected for 885.69 midnight Saturday. On a side note, Tennessee BASS Nation Conservation/High School programs are starting their yearly lake clean ups and Habitat improvement on area lakes…if you wish to volunteer please email me at email@example.com or watch our website www.sctnbassnation.com for dates and locations.
Forecast Contributor Captain Wallace Sitzes – Follow on Facebook
Bass fishing has been good in and around the patches of dying vegetation in the coves especially the ones fed by creeks. A lot of really big bass are also scattered in open water busting big shad on the surface.
A lot of black crappie are being caught in very shallows water around docks, brush, and the edge of weed lines. 1/32 jig or minnows under a float work great. The white crappie are showing up in big schools around structure in around 20' deep. I use a 1/16 - 1/8 jig.
The catfishing is great this time of year when the water is flowing. The blue cats can be caught literally anywhere there is shad which is almost everywhere on Watts Bar. Most of the big flatheads will be in deep water from now until spring.
The striper and white bass are gorging on shad and are moving around a lot. White swimbaits, flukes and top water lures work great if thrown directly into where the fish are busting. There's some big bass in with them too sometimes.
Forecast Contributor Captain Jake Davis – Follow on Facebook
Bass, Catfish, Bluegill and Crappie all can be found along grass in 4 to 6 foot of water and around the humps. We did have a decent top water hard baits this past week focusing on bank grass. We found our better fish while using Tightline Mussel Crawler jigs tipped with Twin Tail grubs, Tightline Swim Jigs with Driftwood Swimbaits, soft plastics, spinnerbaits, and poppers. 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 65 to 66 degrees. On a side note, Tennessee BASS Nation Conservation/High School programs are starting their yearly lake clean ups and Habitat improvement on area lakes…if you wish to volunteer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or watch our website www.sctnbassnation.com for dates and locations.