Chickamauga: The lake surface temperature was 74 degrees on average this past week. The lake elevation was 681.3 feet on 9/30/12. This elevation is nearly 1 foot below normal summer mean, but it is normal for the season. Crappie continued to be caught on the lower end of the lake. Most crappie were being caught around bluffs, docks, and in open secondary areas around baitfish. Crankbaits, minnows, and jigs were being used for bait. Bass anglers were catching fish around the grass. Grass located along large water areas where baitfish was present increased the odds of catching fish. Topwater baits, plastic worms and frogs were being used more than other lures. Most anglers were not catching a lot of fish. Catfish drifters were catching fish in the main channel while using the typical baits normally used by those that target catfish. Bluegill can be caught along bluff and rocky areas in the river. Some main channel drifters have caught good numbers of bluegill. Crickets or worms remain the main baits used by these fishermen. Striped bass have been caught at times in the tailwaters. The fishing has been inconsistent.
Cordell Hull: Fishing is fair. Water temperature is 70 degrees; lake is fairly stable. A few bass are being caught on crankbaits and topwater baits while fish are chasing shad. Crappie fishing is fair while fishing laydown trees with minnows in five feet of water.
Dale Hollow: Fishing is slow. Water temperature is 73 degrees. Lake is falling. A few smallmouth are being caught early in the a.m. and late in p.m. on topwater baits while fish are chasing shad. A few bluegill are being on the bluffs with crickets and nightcrawlers in 25 feet of water. Crappie fishing is fair, while fishing laydown trees in the rivers in 15-to-20 feet of water.
Nickajack: The lake is full. Surface water temperatures have cooled to 74 degrees. Tailwater anglers below Chickamauga Dam have caught bass, crappie, catfish, striped bass, bluegill, and shellcrackers. Jigs or minnows, used for bait in quite water locations, have resulted in a few crappie being caught. Live bait has been used to catch bass and stripers. Crankbaits, spoons and jigs have also been used with good results. Catfish have been caught lake wide on meaty baits that fishermen generally use. The lake area has been targeted by anglers searching for bass. The majority of the bass being caught have been caught on frogs, plastic worms, or buzzbaits. Most anglers have not caught a great number of fish. Some schooling fish can be caught at times downstream from the interstate bridge.
Watts Bar: The lake surface temperature was 74 degrees on average. The lake elevation as of 9/30/12 was 740.5 feet. This was at the summer mean elevation. Bass anglers were catching bass on crankbaits, topwater baits and spinnerbaits. Some plastic worms and jigs were also being used, but reaction type lures seemed to offer the greater opportunity for catching fish. The bass have moved into shallower water each and every day. Most anglers have found greater numbers of bass around shad. Crappie have been caught along blowdowns in large secondary areas where the water is deep. Some crappie have been caught around docks. Minnows and jigs have been used by those that target crappie. Catfish continue to be caught by those drifting the main channel while using the baits typically associated with catching catfish. Striped bass have been caught in the tailwaters at times. The fishing for stripers has been inconsistent. Recently the striped bass were chasing baitfish along the surface and a couple of anglers caught fish nearly every cast for a considerable period of time. Since that event striped bass have been difficult for most anglers to locate.