Fishing Report From The TWRA

Friday, June 6, 2014

June 4, 2014
Tail water elevation was 922.30 feet on June 4 at 9 PM.   Average daily discharge was 158 cfs on average for the report period.  Next day release schedules and data on Cherokee Dam are available here:    
Temperatures taken on the tailrace over the past four days averaged out to 53 degrees. 
As in the last report, trout rises have been sporadic and unreliable, especially in the Nance Ferry section of the river.

The water has been maintaining good temperatures throughout the report period and there are excellent food sources for all species.
Rainbows are being caught throughout the fishery.  It is noted over the past two report periods that more browns are caught at River’s Point than at any other part of the river.  The section of river above Indian Cave has yielded nice browns also.
The following does not change for trout.  Fly fishermen know to fish the hatch or use nymphs or suitable subsurface lure if rises are absent.  Use flies and lures in accordance with insect hatches and rises and fly fish anglers focus on nymphs and try a weighted soft hackle in dark gray.  Spin casters use flat fish, daredevils and spinners in appropriate colors as indicated by water conditions.  Try night crawlers in deeper sections with slower water.
BLACK BASS:  Anglers are catching smallmouth bass throughout the tailwater with some nice fish caught downstream from Nance Ferry.  A mix of smallmouth and striped bass do reside near the outlet at the dam.
Spinner baits as well as deep diving crank baits and green swim baits are recommended for spin fishermen.  Shades of green or green and shad are preferred colors.  Streamers and woolybuggers in various colors will work for fly fishermen as well as wet flies in bright colors and poppers for the surface in bright colors.  Try a size 12 soft hackle tied light brown with blood red thread.  A simple, size 12 hare’s nymph, greased and floated will catch bass.
June 5, 2014
The predicted water level is approximately 872.4 feet above sea level.
The average surface temperature is in the low to mid 70’s.
Bass are moving up into shallower water and chasing baitfish. One technique that is working is the wacky rigged sinko in shad imitating colors. Rocky banks and banks with submerged structure are holding more and more bass, both smallmouth and largemouth.  Trolling slim bodied plugs like rapalas and other slim bodied minnow imitators is a good way to catch some nice smallmouth. Live minnows are catching some good numbers in about 17 ft. of water close to the rocky banks.  Also, a few reports of some Largemouth and Smallmouth bass being caught on shakyhead type lures with black and blue crawfish bodies, and a few being caught on the umbrella rig with minnow bodies such as the Money Minnow. Reports say most fish being caught around some type of structure like submerged timber close to deep water, and where creeks enter the reservoir.
3-20 ft.
Bass seem to be holding close to submerged structure near ledges close to deeper water and near rip rap banks. Wacky rigged sinkos are catching some nice smallmouth and largemouth. Troll a rapala or another slim bodied minnow imitating plug and get down around 20 feet deep and troll about 1-2 mph or work the rocky banks with live minnows between 15 and 20 feet.
12-20 ft.
The trout bite is picking up a little and you can catch a few using the same techniques used on the smallmouth, whether it be trolling or using live minnows either tightlining or using a float.
3-10 ft.
The bluegill and other sunfish are biting better. A small piece of nightcrawler or redworm fished with a single split shot or on a float at about 6-8 ft. is catching some nice sized bluegill. A small minnow imitating crankbait is another good choice. A slip float or slip bobber is a good way to find the fish as it allows you to fish shallow or deep with a simple adjustment of the stop.  
June 4, 2014
The elevation behind the dam on June 4, 2014 at 9 PM was 994.59 feet.  Water temperatures averaged out to 82.7 degrees for the week on bay areas with the upper river section at 74.6 degrees.   
Fishing has been good over the past week for most species.  Crappie and Walleye required some searching but could be found and some walleye anglers actually came away with their limit of fish.  Largemouth and smallmouth bass are fishing very well with inconsistent patterns of activity.
The crappie portion of this report is unchanged from last week and remains accurate.  Crappie activity is good.  Crappie can be found in large numbers in the backs of creeks under rip rap and laying on the bottom in groups.  Crappie are going deep in many creeks as the sun gets high in the sky.  Fish have been moving on and off of mud flats at different times of the day.  Swann’s Marina area (behind the marina), the bridge piers on the main lake, as well as the shoreline downstream from Swann’s is fishing well but not as well as it normally does. 
Try minnow and bobber, crappie flies, crappie spinners as well as trolling methods with minnows.  Traditional methods are effective.  Small Rapallas and jerk baits have been used this week with great success.  Trolling remains the recommended method of attack for this week.
These fish are more difficult to catch as they are disbursed across the lake and not confined to the river, although the river section is the logical area to seek them out.
The water has been very stained for the most part of the week and darker colors should be selected.  Dark green, red or red and shad colored jigs should be used to fish moving water. 
Try shadraps, Rapala Husky Jerks, Redeye Shad, stick jigs and a variety of spinner baits.  There isn’t really any secret lures here as most of the baits are traditional and effective for sauger and walleye.
Best fishing should still be on the upper river from point 18 upstream to and above the Rankin boat ramp but remember that a very large population of walleye and sauger have moved downstream to the main reservoir.
Bass are being caught at all points on the reservoir.  Morning and evening finds both species on the shoreline and near the surface while late morning and bright sunny afternoons find them deep in channels, behind humps and off stony points.
Smaller largemouth normally can be caught against the shore all day long with the larger fish moving to the shoreline late day.
As stated, the bass fishing is sensational on Douglas Lake.  Fish all the water.  Fish shorelines primarily in the mornings and late afternoons, deep or in the water column mid day and try surface at sun up and just before sundown. 
Traditional lures work.  Shallow crank baits in the mornings or near cover and deep diving crank baits where necessary.  As usual, green or chartreuse are colors of choice.  Spinner bait choices are white with silver blades as well as purple or black with gold blades that were used to fish creek bottoms.  Jerk baits were deadly on the creeks throughout the week.
White bass are still being caught, but fewer and fewer anglers are targeting them.
Primary place to look for this species would be from point 18 upstream as far as Rankin.
Some great lures to try for white bass are the Rat L Trap crank bait which should work well under trolling conditions.  Worden’s Roostertails for shallow fishing has been an old standby.  The Road Runner Bucktails work well for deeper fishing.
June 5, 2014
Water Conditions
The river flow has calmed back down.
The water temperature is about 68-70 degrees.
Flow is down to 87 cfs above Townsend and 150 cfs below Maryville.
No big changes, but the water flow and temperature are just right for wading. Trout and smallmouth bass are being caught more frequently and in some places you can see more and more schools of them especially in the deeper pools. Corn and Powerbait are two good bait choices, but a small piece of redworm or nightcrawler is doing very well.  The anglers have reported catching a few smallmouth bass along with a few trout, both rainbows and a few browns. The trout seem to be hitting small dry fly offerings, while the smallmouth prefer little inline spinners. Gold blade panther martins and rooster tail type spinners are good choices.
The smallmouth bass are getting more and more active and chasing after shiny flashy spinners like panther martins with gold blades in number 2 or 3 size. Rooster tails are another good lure choice with gold or silver blades.
Trout fishing is improving and dry flies are catching some nice rainbows below the spillways and around the fast moving water. There are a few stacking up in the deeper pools and around other structure like bridges and rocks. Bright colored power bait is a good choice, but just about anything brightly colored will get their attention. Live worms are always a great choice, a plain #3 or smaller hook with a small piece of redworm or nightcrawler is very hard for a trout or bass to pass up.
4 June 2014
The water elevation is fluctuating between 793.7 and 793.9-feet. Surface temperatures in the channel may vary through the day according to the discharges from Norris Dam and the discharge through Melton Hill Dam. Because of the low level in Norris Reservoir, the outflow from Norris Dam into Melton Hill continues to be low, with outflow rates running between 200 and 400 cfs. The Melton Hill channel has warmed to 84 degrees (surface temperature) with some of the larger hollows up to 86 degrees. The Bull Run Fossil Plant is not running. Flow rates, elevations, and generation times can be found online at


Slow. Some night anglers, fishing under lights in the larger creeks have reported better luck.

5 to 10 feet deep, early morning hours or at night under lights, near shoreline or deeper brush.

The better locations were in the heads of the larger creeks, near flooded brush and near timber. Night fishermen are taking some under lights on the lower end hollows. Tuffy minnows tightlined into the brush, 1-inch tube jigs, popeye flies tipped with minnows, trout magnets.


LARGEMOUTH BASS                                                                                                                                                                             Fair during midday; better at dusk on shady, rocky banks, and at night.

Surface to 15-feet deep. Rear of hollows and at 10-feet on the channel’s gently sloping banks, near wood structure, red clay, and rocks. Topwater action was good on small topwater plugs or soft plastic Flukes/Assassins in some of the creek mouths which open into the main channel.

Crankbaits and spinners were second to slider worms or lizards, small rubber skirted jigs, rubber grubs (Twisters), and Brush Hog-type lures. Watermelon and pumpkin colors continue to work.




Very few smallmouth were seen caught during the daytime. Most smallmouth catches have come at night on the main channels, near small points and on main channel humps.

Surface to 20-feet on points leading into the main channel, near wood structure. Those fish have been in deeper water along the channels, on broken rock banks or occasionally on rock bluffs. Surface hits are slow.

Brush Hogs, ¼ oz rubber skirted pumpkin colored jigs, and shad or pearl colored Flukes, shaky head jigs rigged with 4- or 6-inch Slider-type worms in pumpkin colors.



Fair. Best at dawn.

Surface to 20-feet. Some surface action is being seen in the mornings and late afternoons where baitfish schools were located, most being on the main channel as far down as Reactor Bend.

The Bull Run discharge has stopped, eliminating the baitfish concentrations which had been attracting striped bass. Live shad/skipjack, umbrella rigs (see hook rule). Upriver action has almost stopped due to low water levels when there is no generation from Norris Dam.




Surface to 10-feet.

Very few white bass catches are being seen, but main channel breaks were seen in random locations. The channel from the mouth of Clark Center to Reactor Bend had some sporadic surface breaks during the afternoons.

In the main channel near sand bars and at the mouth of the larger creeks.

Tuffy minnows or shiners were working best, either cast to the breaks or fished deep. Small chrome/white spinners, minnows, white hair jigs, 2 to 4-inch plastic swimbaits or grubs on leadheads.




On the bottom in the coves, 5 to 15-feet deep. Many have dropped into deeper water on the steep banks. Larger bluegill are deeper than those in the shallow brush.

Crickets or red worms are catching bluegill and shellcracker on the bottom, in the rear of coves, especially where creeks enter the lake and cover is present. Shellcracker are hitting redworms or small minnows fished under floats, in the shallows at less than 10-feet deep. Good bluegill catches are being taken on crickets fished with no float, along the bottom in coves and flats. Popping bug action is good for those few who are fishing that way. Deeper water is producing some in shady, rocky areas on crickets tightlined to about 10-feet.


4 June 2014
The water elevation on June 4th was 1012.56-feet, which is 2.9-inches higher than last Wednesday’s elevation. The water level is predicted to rise 1.4-inches through Friday, June 6th. The inflow is 795 cfs.
The lake is clear, with visibilities of 15- to 20-feet on the lower end. The head of some creeks may have visibilities of less than 5-feet.
Surface temperature readings show 70 to 75 degrees over most of the reservoir.  Shallow, protected coves and creeks are as high as 80 degrees.
Moon phase: Waxing crescent. The full moon will be June 13.
To view photos and Google maps of all access areas on the reservoir, go to or
For the Norris lake elevation, inflow rates, and generation times, go to
There is a new, statewide hook regulation in effect. Read it here:
A lack of rainfall is keeping the lake elevation lower than usual for this time of year.  Because of the lower water elevation, flooded shoreline vegetation which provides shade and cover is less. Bass, walleye, and crappie anglers are doing best at night, or just after the break of day. But some walleye are coming in via trolling at  15 to 20-feet during the day, with the depth being greater as the day progresses and the sun is higher in the sky. Bluegill are hitting better. Shellcracker catches remain good near brush in the coves. Crappie are moving back into deeper water brush after daybreak. Black bass catches are slow during the daytime. While the transitional months of spring and fall see rapid changes in fish patterns, the relatively static summer months do not see much change from week to week.
With the clear water conditions, two to four-pound-test, low-visibility line, and casts made far from the boat will help your luck during the day.
Bluegill: Good. Shellcracker: Good.
Shellcracker catches slowed a bit, but some were still being caught just off the bottom in water about 10-feet deep. The lower half of the reservoir is best for shellcracker, but they can be caught in most of the lake. They’re hitting wax worms, nightcrawlers, and small tuffy minnows. Bluegill are being caught in deeper, shaded water, as deep as 20-feet, on crickets tightlined or cast to the shoreline and allowed to drop to depth. Shallow brush is producing smaller bluegill. Popping bugs are always good for bluegill on the shaded, steep, rocky shorelines before 10 a.m.. Once the sun is up, the larger ones drop into deeper water and into available cover and shade.
Fair, in brushy coves in the creeks and coves.
10- to 20-feet deep. Near flooded brush in the back of larger creek hollows and in brushy pockets on the upper half of the reservoir. Main channel fishing above Points 30 and 15 is improving in deep brush.
Clear water has limited the best catches to nighttime, under lights, and the early morning hours.
Plastic grubs in blue ice, green, pearl, or yellow, as well as tuffy minnows. Popeye hair jigs, 1-inch tube jigs, or grubs tipped with minnows along the bottom, or fish trout magnets, popeye flies, and small tube jigs tight to brush early in the morning. Night fishermen are catching them on tuffy minnows beneath lights on main channel, deep brush from Point 29 and above.
Good standard lures: Tuffy minnows, small doll flies, mini tube jigs (red/white, blue/white) and 1/32 ounce hair or feather jigs tipped with minnows, Trout Magnets, or Slider grubs in a variety of colors. Historically good locations to try: Powell River arm channel from Point 15 vicinity to Earl’s Hollow. Davis Creek from its headwaters to a half-mile below Powell Valley Marina. Doaks Creek. Big Creek from Indian River Marina to Campbell County Park. Cove Creek above Twin Cove Marina. Mill Creek, Big Ridge Hollow, Lost Creek above its junction with White Creek. Poor Land Creek. Bear Creek. Flint Creek. Sycamore Creek. The Clinch channel above Point 31. Locations between the Dam and Point 9, and the Dam and Point 2 typically produce no crappie.
Good from dusk ‘til dawn. Slow during the day.
Surface to 20-feet; deeper or tighter to structure during the day. Same pattern, but better action from sunrise to 9 a.m.
These fish have been caught within inches of the shoreline where there is wood structure and on small points along rocky shorelines. Some are in the back of coves, in the middle of floating brush, limbs, and other woody structure. Slow retrieves with soft plastic (Flukes, Slider worms, Brush Hogs, or shaky head jigs/slider worms) have taken some nice largemouth at 15- to 20-feet. A variety of watermelon or pumpkin shades have worked well. Slow-rolled spinner action was good on main channel banks at night.
Watermelon and pumpkin colored Zoom worms and 4-inch slider or whacky worms are working pretty good.
SMALLMOUTH BASS                                                                                                                                                                                  
Some of these fish are still hitting shallow, at dusk and during the night. Good smallmouth catches have come from 5- to 20-feet along steeper, broken rock shorelines, on long sloping points, or near the bottom on rocky points at up to 20-feet deep. Early morning catches have come from topwater plugs or small jerkbaits thrown to breaking fish, but the surface breaks are widely scattered across the lower end of the reservoir. Pig’n jigs, Brush Hogs, small plastic worms and lizards have all worked well at dusk. Spinners, slow-rolled down moderately sloped banks, have taken good smallmouth at dusk and after dark, down to 20-feet.
Small Tennessee rigs, soft swim baits, small plastic Slider worms, plastic lizards, Brush Hogs, or rubber skirted jigs are working. For soft plastic baits and spinner skirts, any shade of watermelon/pumpkin continues to produce fish. Many smallmouth are being caught by walleye anglers on shad or alewife, at night under the lights.
A slow, steady retrieve worked well on the sunny days, with the lure worked along the bottom. Very light, low-vis line (2 to 4 pound) has helped produce the majority of smallmouth.
Medium to deep running crankbaits in blood red and crawfish patterns, close to the rocky, windy shorelines, but crankbaits are not producing as well as small jigs.

            *REGULATION  FOR SMALLMOUTH BASS: June 1st – October 15th, one per day, 20-inch minimum length limit. October 16th – May 31st, five per day (in combination with largemouth), 18-inch minimum length limit.


STRIPED BASS (* See regulation reminder for the April 1st change.)
Fair in early morning.
Surface on driftlines, or 15 to 20-feet in mid-channel. Cove Creek action remains good on the right mornings and at night. Lost Creek and the channel from Point 19 to Stardust produced some fish, as did Crooked Creek. The Powell side has had catches from Point 10 to Point 12, and from Point 15 to Point 16.
Trolled umbrella rigs, shiners, alewife, or shad are taking most of these fish. Shad and large shiners are working when driftline fished or on planer boards, 5 to 20-feet deep. Umbrella rigs with trailers in pearl or chartreuse, or  live bait (gizzard shad, shiners, or alewife) tightlined, or trolled with downriggers, to the depth of the forage fish schools in mid-channel especially across the points and humps.
Regardless of the location on the reservoir, if there are flocks of feeding gulls, striped bass are likely in the area, feeding on the same forage.
            *REGULATION REMINDER FOR STRIPED BASS: From April 1st to October 31st, the regulation allows 2 per day, 15-inch minimum length limit. On November 1st it will return to the 1 per day,           36-inch minimum length limit.
Surface to 15-20 feet, near the shoreline where there is broken rock or red clay. Best at night after 10:30 p.m., but trolling plugs has produced some in the daytime.
Lower end nighttime catches saw the fish move from the shoreline brush to the bottom at 15 to 20-feet. Night catches have come on topwater plugs, Flukes, Shad Raps, and snagged alewife casted toward the shoreline when fishing under lights.
Cast Long Billed Rebels, Rapalas, Thundersticks, Model-A’s, or similar lures, or shad/alewife to the rock and red clay shorelines, and where brush may be flooded.
Daytime trolling is picking up fish at 20 to 25 feet.
June 4, 2014
Water Conditions
Water Temp N/A
Corn and fireball salmon eggs are two good bait choices, but a small tuffy minnows is doing very well also. The anglers have reported catching both rainbows and  browns best off of Big Springs Road from the new TWRA parking lot down to Webb Bridge using minnows. Weir dam downstream to the bridge salmon eggs and corn are the best. The trout seem to be hitting small dry flies along shoals and rougher moving water.
Trout fishing is slow but picks up during the times of generation and dry flies are catching some nice rainbows and browns below the weir dam and around the faster moving water. There are a few trout stacking up in the deeper pools and around other structure like bridges and rocks or shaded over hanging banks. Bright colored power bait and eggs are a good choice, but just about anything brightly colored will get their attention. Live Minnows are always a great choice.
Boone Reservoir
Elevation- 1,381.78 Water Temp- 77* @ TVA Ramp
Water Clarity- 3-6’
Bass- Slow but picking up
 Largemouth are near wood structure brush piles, docks, and very close to the shoreline. Flipping a green pumpkin or water melon finesse worm (whacky style) has been the best so far this week. White/chartreuse spinnerbaits and a tiny torpedo in baby bass have been good on retaining walls and points.
Smallmouth are on secondary points rock islands from 4-10’ deep. The bite has been slow during the day but some have been caught on 200 Series Bandits, 6XD’s, #5 Shad Raps, 1/2-ounce hair or live rubber skirted jigs in the rootbeer and green pumpkin colors. Fish spinnerbaits (chart/white) (shad colors) and topwater early in the mornings.
Striped Bass/Cherokee Bass
On the Holston side- pt.7 up to 11-E Bridge area early morning and late evening trolling alewife, gizzard shad or trout, 10-15’ deep. On watauga side- Watauga Flats area has shown some Hybrids, Stripers and Friday Hollow has been fair for stripers and hybrids on topwater, early morning and late evening.
Bluff’s or around any brush piles in 3-’4’ of water caught on Brown Crickets, Night Crawlers

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