Fishing Report From The TWRA

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Here is the fishing report from the TWRA:

Caney Fork River:  Fishing is good.  A few trout are being caught on spoons, near the dam during heavy generation.  

Center Hill:  Fishing is good.  Water temperature is 67 degrees; lake is falling. Lots of bass are being caught on topwater baits and soft plastics while fishing shallow cover.  Bluegill and shell are being caught on nightcrawlers while fishing 5’  water around gravel banks. 

Chickamauga - The water surface temperature is above seventy degrees.  The lake has fluctuated and has been muddy in areas due to the consistent rainfall.  Lake levels on May nineteen was one-half foot above the highest elevation considered normal and rising.  Heavy rain is currently falling.  Bass anglers are catching many fish but at lower numbers and weights than those in previous weeks.  A walk along the bank on Saturday indicated some of the largest numbers of fish present in shallow areas probably this year.  It was a view only challenged by the Chattanooga Aquarium.  Massive numbers of sunfish have moved into these shallow areas along with some crappie and one of the largest waves of spawning bass to date. Worms and crickets have been the primary baits used to catch sunfish.  Bass anglers have used an arsenal to lure bass. Worms, jigs and spinnerbaits are being used as often as any other baits to catch bass.  Post-spawn bass have been targeted as often as the spawners.  The target areas include secondary points and slight drops or irregular areas next to the spawning grounds.  Some trollers have caught crappie in areas close to the spawning grounds.  The popular depth to target these fish is twelve feet deep.  Some dock shooters have caught several crappie, but a once common art has become a fad and a reservation time is required at most docks.  Catfish have been caught most often in creeks and secondary areas.  Muddy moving water in secondary areas create idea conditions for concentrations of catfish.  Meaty baits and creations have been used to target catfish.  White bass and striped bass have been caught in areas near the tailwaters.  Smallmouth bass have been caught close to the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant while using jigs, crankbaits and small worms.  A few trophy fish have been caught.  A local angler caught a five pound and a six pound smallmouth bass in the area directly below Sequoyah Nuclear Plant. 

Dale Hollow: Fishing is great.  Water temperature is 65 degrees. Lake is fairly stable.  Lots of bass are being caught on topwater baits and soft plastics and spinnerbaits while fishing shallow cover around willows.  Lots of bluegill and shellcrackers are being caught while fishing nightcrawlers in 5’ of water on gravel banks.  Lots of catfish are being caught while trot lining and limb lining using shad as bait. 

Hiwassee River - The river has cleared and become stable.  Two generators have been running most times at the Apalachia Powerhouse.  The water temperature on May nineteen at Patty Bridge was 50 degrees.  Areas upriver from Patty Bridge are slightly cooler. Anglers have been catching trout in various locations.  Most activity has been above the railroad bridge.  Those wading, drifting and bank fishing have experienced positive conditions and success rates while employing different strategies.  Drifters have probably caught a few more trout than those wading or fishing from the bank.  Waders and drifters primarily use fly rods and dry flies.  The other anglers use spinners, corn or worms most often.  Many local anglers as well as travelers use the area.  This is the place for a slower pace and a magical touch with nature.

Parksville Lake (Ocoee No. 1) - The Lake surface temperature is near seventy degrees.  The elevation on May nineteen was over five feet lower than normal.  TVA is replacing boards at the dam damaged from recent flooding and debris at the dam.  Many fish have been bedding.  One shellcracker was recently caught that exceeded two pounds.  Several large bluegill are being caught in very shallow areas.  One angler recently was using panfish assassins with a number two hook to catch bluegill.  This is not the typical bluegill rig.  Crappie were being caught in previous days at a rate higher than anytime this year.  Fishermen in upper lake sloughs near brushy areas or blowdowns while using minnows or jigs were the anglers catching the greater number of crappie.  Largemouth and spotted bass were being caught while using jigs, plastic worms, or crankbaits.  Some spawning fishing can be found, but many have moved into secondary locations that include points or blowdowns on sloping banks.  The bigger spotted bass have not been as frequently caught as they were in earlier months.  Twelve pounds of bass might be enough to win the local tournament.

Watts Bar - The lake elevation on May nineteen was at the normal summer level.  The water surface temperature is averaging in the lower seventies.  Bass anglers are catching plenty of fish in the spawning areas.  A wave of bass have moved into the shallows to spawn but many have completed the task and now have moved into post spawn locations.  Plastic worms have been as effective as any lure to catch bass. Some anglers use the same approach as the worm fishermen, but choose jigs over plastic worms.  A topwater bite has occurred for many late evening anglers. Crankbaiters catch their share of bass this time of year and they get the reaction bites.  At least a couple of bass over seven pounds have reportedly been caught in recent days.  Catfish have been caught often by those anglers targeting other species.  Most of these catfish have been caught in secondary locations.  Striped bass and white bass have been caught in areas in the upper part of the reservoir.  Jigs, crankbaits and shad have been used to catch both species.  Some anglers have caught walleye while targeting white bass.

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