TWRA Weekly Fishing Forecast
Boone Reservoir – 5-3-23
Forecast Contributor – Richard Markland, Region 4 Fisheries Technician
Reservoir Conditions- Reservoir elevation is 1380.81. The water temperature is 64* degrees. Water clarity 10-15’ visibility, some debris floating so use caution while pm the water.
Bass- Fishing is good. Largemouth are being caught on crankbaits or small shad like baits, spinnerbaits by fishing along rocky banks/bluffs or trees or around docks. Smallmouths are being caught by crankbaits, spinnerbaits and casting shad like baits.
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 15’-25’ range in mid-creek back to shallower water.
Striped Bass/Hybrid Bass– Fishing is fair. Most of the fish are being caught around Misty Waters, Candy Creek area on Holston side and Deerlick area on Watauga side casting spoons, shad type baits. Some has been caught on topwater back in the creeks, starting to see some topwater action in the evenings.
Chickamauga Lake – 5-3-23
Forecast Contributor – Billy Wheat, Follow on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/
Bass are feeling this cold front, but things are looking up! Starting out with water temperatures in the low 60s and afternoons in the high 60s the shad are getting frisky again and the bass are in and out! The bluegill and Shellcrackers are bedding now! The Senko is the ticket around those bream beds! The Chatterbait and Swim Jig is getting bit dang good when you find those Shad are present. I personally like the Carolina Rig and Swimbait on the shell beds along with a 5xd Strike King crankbait. Water level is 681.82 almost full!
Dale Hollow – 5-3-23
Forecast Contributor – Will Schibig, Region III Creel Clerk.
Reservoir Conditions- Lake elevation still sits at 647.5’ and Dale Hollow Dam discharging on is average 500 cfs per day. Water temperatures vary between 60-65 degrees reservoir wide, with the warmest waters being on the upper end or in the back of creek arms. Water clarity is 10-15’ on the lower end and 7-12’ on the upper end. This week is the last full moon on the spawning cycle for black bass, the last wave of largemouth will be pulling up this week. Next will be sunfishes and catfish.
Bass- Fishing is great. Even with the cold fronts, anglers can still catch post spawn smallmouth on main lake/creek channel bluff walls that have chunk rock, shelves, overhanging shade, and treetops. Anglers can either use reactionary baits like topwater or finesse like dropshots and shaky heads. Target 0-15 FOW. Largemouth are mostly post spawn but can still be found in the backs of creeks. Target shade or wood with topwaters, soft plastics, or big swimbaits. Largemouth will be making their way out of the creeks, so hit secondary points on the way out of the creek arms. Spotted bass can be caught on landslides or laydowns with topwater in Mitchell Creek.
Crappie- Fishing is slow. The crappie are finishing up their spawn and should be in transition. On the lower end, anglers are struggling to find crappie. The upper end of the reservoir still provides the better chance to catch crappie. Target deep laydowns and grass that the crappie may have used in prespawn with minnows and jigs.
Trout- Fishing is good. Freshly stocked rainbow trout can be found anywhere on the lower end. Trolling for the big brown and rainbows near the dam is back in full swing. Using planar boards, troll plugs, spoons, or alewive in channels 25-40’. The night light fishing for trout should be starting soon.
Walleye- Fishing is good. There are a lot of post spawn walleye on the bank during the day, meaning the night bite is here. Use jerk baits, spinnerbaits, or swimbaits along main creek banks at night. The night light bite is on, position the boat on a channel bank in 40 FOW, and wait for the baitfish to come in.
Catfish- Fishing is great. Lots of big channel catfish are being caught on limb lines and jugs. Fish are mostly being caught in secondary pockets or backs of creeks with nightcrawlers. Fish are close to the bank.
Douglas Lake – 5-3-23
Forecast Contributor Brad Burkhart – Follow on Facebook
The spring bite is still in full swing. It’s really fun out there now. You can catch one on about anything but my go to this time of year is a spinnerbait, a Pop R, and a pit boss pegged with a 1/2 oz weight.
I slow roll the steeper banks leasing in and out of spawning coves keeping my boat on a 45* angle so I can cast to the bank and work it out to about 10’ deep. I flip any cover going down the bank with the pit boss (my fav color is junebug). When I get to the back of the cove or if it flattens out, I fan cast the popper to everything that I think may be a bed area. Work the topwater slow….this is what gets the bites. If you’re in an area that is full of post spawners, then switch to a buzz bait. Post spawners are more apt to chase than a bass that is still locked into the spawn cycle.
Good luck y’all. Hope this helps.
If you want to see this in real time, I still have a few may days available and am already booking into June.
Brad Burkhart @bradburkhartprofishing
Hiwassee River – 4-27-23
Forecast Contributor – Justin Spaulding, Region 3 Trout Biologist.
River Conditions- Dry and cool conditions in the valley continue which make for good wading and comfortable weather. Anglers wanting to float can time the pulse of generation that has been typical every four hours. There were a few days of spilling that made wading and floating a dream.
Water temperatures have been hovering in the high 50s with these cool nights. Conditions look cool for several more days. Regularly scheduled trout stockings are in full swing. Trout are stocked from the Powerhouse down to 411 on a rotational basis at least twice per month.
Trout- Fishing remains great and just about everyone is catching fish. With these cool cloudy days, the hatches will be more dependent on those periods when the sun pops out and warms things up a few degrees. Olive and pink colored flies and artificials have been working with fish feeding in the water column. Be ready with several sizes and colors of dries. Powerbait and worms are effective as ever for those that can keep them in the strike zone.
In between pulses, seek out deep or flowing water.
Normandy Lake – 4-20-23
Forecast Contributor Captain Jake Davis – midsouthbassguide.com – Follow on Facebook
TVA continues to bring the water levels back up its 874.42 today. Normandy continued producing some nice fish. Crankbaits, Texas Rigs or Tightline Jigs have been our go to as the shad spawn starts. 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 66 to 69 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 email@example.com
Norris Lake – 5-2-23
Forecast Contributor – Paul Shaw, Norris Creel Clerk.
Water Temp: Cloudy, cool, windy days have had an effect. It’s 63 to 67 degrees on most days. The upper rivers (at Hwy 25E) were still clear, but running in at 59 degrees, cooler than last week.
Water Clarity: 4 to 6 feet, good color. The upper end rivers are running in clear.
Water Elevation: 1,014.4 feet (midnight) The elevation has remained steady over the past week. Check the free TVA Lake Info app for daily elevations, predictions, and flow rates.
Fishing Overview: Catches for most species were greatly diminished since last week’s report because of high winds and nighttime temperatures in the low 40’s.
Largemouth Bass: Fair in coves where some are searching for spawning locations. Willow leaf spinners, jerk baits, medium runner crankbaits in the coves and near cover. Less than 10 feet early.
Smallmouth Bass: Fair. Same pattern: soft swim baits on lead-heads, medium runner crankbaits, small hair jigs tipped with tuffy minnows, plastic grubs, and swimbaits retrieved slowly across spawning areas. Target white gravel points and shorelines where many are spawning at 8-12 feet, bottom depth.
Walleye: Fair upriver in the Clinch River shoals near Hwy 25E and Indian Creek. On the Powell, above Slate Creek, Earl’s Hollow and farther upstream has had some good catches on the right days. 3/8 oz jigs tipped with plastic grubs or on trolled crankbaits, both worked along the bottom at 15 feet and shallower. Main body catches are slow. The main body fish are not yet spawning. Night fishing with Mann O’Lures or spoons jigged under lights, or Shad Raps, or snagged shad/alewife cast to the shoreline are picking up some, but it’s hit ‘n miss at best.
Bluegill: Slow. To 20 feet on steep, broken rock banks on crickets or on Beetle Spins or Rooster Tail spinners.
Shellcrackers: Slow in most locations, but very good in isolated areas in the back of larger creeks next to fish attractor brush or downed timber. Mill Creek, Lost Creek, Poor Land Creek, some in Sycamore Creek. Red worms, night crawlers, wax worms, small minnows, small spinners. Less than 10 feet, on the bottom near brush.
Crappie: Improving. Good at night in 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. Shiners or tuffy minnows tightlined to 10-15 feet near brush. Popeye jigs or Bobby Garlands are getting some at dawn in Sycamore Creek and Little Sycamore Creek.
Striped Bass: Moderate to good upriver in shoal areas. Above Indian Creek on the Clinch River arm has seen improving catches in the pools between shoals. Shad or alewife, umbrella rigs, or large swimbaits. In the main lake body, smaller stripers have been caught in the Loyston/Lost Creek area, Gourd and Rabbit Islands. Upper Cove Creek catches were fair. Look for stripers to be moving toward the headwaters of the larger creek embayments and upward to the headwaters of the Powell and Clinch rivers. These fish are moving upstream with the season.
Percy Priest – 5-4-23
Forecast Contributor Brian Carper – briancarper.com – Follow on Facebook
The last seven days the fishing has picked up! The bass have been biting well on spinnerbaits in one to six feet of water in addition to plastic Sinkos and jerk baits. The water temperature is now 62 to 66° and will be on the rise with the warm temperatures moving in. The lake is now at summer pool with normal clarity. The upper end of the lake and mid-lake have been the most productive for us. Coves and pockets with boulder rocks have been the ticket. We also have a shad spawn that is pushing a lot of the fish in the backs of these coves and pockets. This has increased the spinnerbait bite. Soft plastics and jigs fished slowly will also be productive, but if you favor covering a lot of water spinnerbaits and even crankbaits are your baits. As the water warms up the next couple weeks, we will start seeing schools of bass move out on the points and ledges.
For more information or Book your trip today at www.briancarper.com
Pickwick – 5-2-23
Forecast Contributor Tyler Finley – Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
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
Fishing slowed down for the first couple days this week but picked back up nicely. Lake temperatures are between 67 and 69.3 degrees and the lake level climbed to 884.59 and projected to hit 884.86 over the weekend. Our primary focus this week, remained just outside the spawning flats and pea gravel banks with some wood. Shad spawn had started but again slowed and is only in a couple areas. Sped Craw, Crankbait, spinnerbaits and Jigs are a good place to start.
We continued to catch a few 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. Crappie are 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. 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, Spring and early summertime fishing is the best on Tim’s… Capt. Jake 615-613-2382 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Watts Bar Reservoir – 5-2-23
Forecast Contributor – Nathan Rogers, Region III Creel Clerk
The weather was clear most of the weekend, but high winds would arrive each day around noon. Temperatures were around lower 40’s at night and reaching around mid 60’s during the day. Lake visibility was improving until Tuesday. Water temperatures decreased the past few days due to the cold spell we are currently in. Water level is almost to summer pool with still about 1 foot left to fill.
- Creeks: 65.5 degrees Fahrenheit
- Tennessee River: 63.2 degrees Fahrenheit
Water Clarity: Tennessee River channel 2 feet on May 2nd
Water Level: 740.4 feet
- Watts Bar Dam: ~4900 cfs
- Melton Hill Dam: ~600 cfs
- Fort Loudon Dam: ~4300 cfs
Species Specific Information
Bass: Fishing soft plastics still seems to be the angler’s choice currently but fishing a little deeper than previous weeks. 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 spinner baits and other lures with lots of flash.
Crappie: Fishing jigs/ Bobby Garlands and live minnows near channel banks, brush, creek inlets and under docks. 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.
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
Forecast Contributor Captain Wallace Sitzes – Follow on Facebook
Now that the water is up, I’m seeing a lot more bass on their beds. Flukes and Senko style lures are easy to skip under docks and into brush without getting tangled up and can put a lot of fish in the boat when the fish are aggressive. Smaller jigs and soft plastics work better if they are spooking easily.
The crappie bite has been really good lately. I’m finding a lot of white, black and black nose crappie mixed together around shallow structure and docks. I’m also finding some white crappie around deep structure 20 – 30 feet of water. 1/8 oz jig on windy days and a 1/32 – 1/6 on calmer days or in wind breaks.
A lot of catfish are shallow right now especially blues and channels. Fresh cut bait like shad or skipjack work well or live bluegill.
Wilbur Tailwater – 5-3-23
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
Not much change here, Bass and Crappie all can be found along old 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. 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 68 to 69 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 email@example.com