TWRA Fishing Reports

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Region:: TWRA Region 4 Office, TWRA East Tennessee


Region 4 Fishing Reports 4-17-2014

CHEROKEE TAILWATER

April 16, 2014

Tail water elevation was 921.01 feet as of April 16, 2014 at 6 PM.  Next day release schedules and data on Cherokee Dam are available here:   http://www.tva.gov/lakes/crh_r.htm    

Temperatures taken on the tailrace on 4-16-2014 were 46 degrees at the dam and 52 degrees at Nance Ferry. There is a six degree difference in temperature between the dam and Nance Ferry.

 

SUMMARY:

Insect hatches have been extremely active, frequent and long lasting on the section of the river from Indian Cave downstream to Nance Ferry.  Trout have been rising in a predictable manner all week and at all hours of the day.  The reliable black fly has been a staple on the water all year.  Blue winged olives appear now and again but are unreliable and initiate only minimum trout activity.

TWRA stocked 10,000 6” to 8” long brown trout at Nance Ferry on 4-16-2014 at 12:30 PM.  Another 10,000 browns will be dumped at the boat ramp near the dam on 4-18-2014.  An attempt to stock 14,000 rainbows will be made next week. 

The rest of this report remains unchanged from last week.  Temperatures and water situations are stable and last week’s report is applicable this week.

 

RAINBOW & BROWN TROUT:  Good

This tailrace appears to be made for the fly fisherman.  Fly-fishing is the best method for catching trout that are rising to flies.

The black fly remains a staple on the water as well as the sporadic emergence of blue winged olives.  Very few march browns have been seen.  Lots of bank anglers are catching heavy trout with worms.

The water just above Indian Cave has been holding good temperatures and producing nice trout, but one needs a boat to be really successful.  Access on foot for wading purposes is difficult due to limited or no access through private property.

 

SMALLMOUTH BASS:  Good

The smallmouth fishing on this tailrace is excellent but so far very, very few anglers are targeting this fish.

The following remains unchanged from last report.  The river section downstream from the Cherokee Dam around the corner at the stone quarry is a hot area for bass.  A boat is needed on this section of the river unless permission is gained from property owners.  Smallmouth action is picking up at Indian Cave and upstream and again, a boat is required to cover that section of water.

All spin cast lures mentioned above for trout will work for smallmouth as well as largemouth.  As water temperatures warm a bit, shad raps and jerk baits will be very useful.

This river is covered with underwater rock ledges that are deeply undercut and will hold smallmouth of surprising size.  Patience and possibly slower than normal retrieve, until water temps rise, should illicit strikes.

 

 

Chilhowee Lake Fishing Report

April 17, 2014

 

WATER CONDITIONS

The predicted water level is approximately 873 feet above sea level.

The average surface temperature is in the mid 50’s.

 

SUMMARY

No changes from last week. Trout 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 red worm or nightcrawler is doing very well.  The trout seem to be hitting small dry fly offerings as well. The anglers that have been able to get out and fish have reported catching a few smallmouth bass along with a few trout, both rainbows and browns.  The smallmouth prefer little inline spinners. Gold blade panther martins and rooster tail type spinners are good choices.

 

Bass

Improving

The smallmouth bass are getting more and more active and chasing after shiny sparkling 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

Improving

Trout fishing is improving now. The stocking schedule is well under way and trout fishing is improving daily. 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 night crawler is very hard for a trout or bass to pass up.

 

 

DOUGLAS LAKE REPORT

 

April 16, 2014

The elevation behind the dam on April 16, 2014 at 6 PM was 980.84 feet above sea level.  Tailwater elevation was 869.11 feet.  Overall average temperature across the lake was 56 degrees.

SUMMARY:

The Nolichucky cleared up nicely over the past week and walleye have been fishing very well in the area of the Leadvale boat ramp.  White bass have moved up the entire expanse of the French Broad above point 20 and extend all the way to Rankin and beyond.  The shorelines at Leadvale have been lined with anglers enjoying the fishing. Last Saturday and Sunday saw numerous anglers on the lower lake with a count of 158 trucks with trailers at the dam access area.

Anglers are still targeting crappie with black bass action slowly picking up.

Most of the following information remains unchanged from last week’s report and is still accurate and applicable. 

 

CRAPPIE:  Excellent

Crappie fishing is excellent all over the lake.

As mentioned in last report, all the creeks are fishing well with the area near point 18 still going strong.  Walters Bridge area is fishing well all the way down past Swann’s Marina and as far upstream as point 21.  Indian Creek was super hot this week and overall, the major creeks were all fishing well.  Crappies are distributed over the entire reservoir.

Try minnow and bobber, crappie flies, crappie spinners as well as trolling methods with minnows.  Traditional methods are effective.

 

SAUGER/WALLEYE:  Good

Walleye are fishing very well across the lake.  Sauger presence is down with few fish under 16” being caught.

The prime areas remain the upper lake from Swann’s Marina upstream to the Rankin boat ramp and possibly to the island just above the ramp if depth allows.

As with crappie, all sorts of lures are being used for walleye.  The most prevalent is the green jig with pheasant tail as well as weighted minnows.  Other favorite colors are blood red, chartreuse and even white occasionally.  Shadraps have been seen being tossed into the seams along the fast water but jigging seems to be the favorite method used to catch walleye.  Anglers on the faster river sections of the lake are seen using Rapala Husky Jerks, Strike King Redeye Shad, Lindy Stick Jigs and a great little lure, the Terminator T spinnerbait, which has been used by many anglers this season with good results.

BLACK BASS:  Good

Largemouth and smallmouth bass are being targeted more and more and bass tournaments are now being held across the lake with many more anglers targeting bass this past reporting period.

Lures used throughout the week have been varied with the plastic 8” worm, Carolina rig a favorite.  Retrieves have been very slow across the bottom.  Bass are still lethargic with the cooler water temperatures that linger on the lake.  The temps are rising quickly and black bass will soon be the word on the lake. Deep diving crank baits as well as spinner baits with gold blades have been effective.  Dark colors are recommended and dark green is preferred.  Smaller size spinner baits in greens and chartreuse are effective.

Fish, for the most part, have been in deep water and have been lethargic.  This will change very soon as temperatures climb into the mid and upper fifties.

 

WHITE BASS:  Good

White bass can now be found easily at almost any point on the reservoir with highest concentrations on the upper reservoir.

The Rankin boat ramp shoreline up and down stream has been very crowded with anglers this week enjoying good white bass fishing.

White bass have finally been motivated to move in force and anglers are enjoying great catches of this wonderful fish.

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.

 

 

Little River Fishing Report

April 17, 2014

Water Conditions

The river flow is slowly returning to normal.

The water temperature is about 51 degrees.

Water flow is about 335 cfs above Townsend and 490 near Maryville.

 

Summary

No changes from last week. The first couple of stockings are done and the trout numbers are increasing. Trout 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 red worm or nightcrawler is doing very well.  The trout seem to be hitting small dry fly offerings as well. The anglers that have been able to get out and fish have reported catching a few smallmouth bass along with a few trout, both rainbows and browns.  The smallmouth prefer little inline spinners. Gold blade panther martins and rooster tail type spinners are good choices.

 

Bass

Improving

The smallmouth bass are getting more and more active and chasing after shiny sparkling 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

Improving

Trout fishing is improving now. The stocking schedule is well under way and trout fishing is improving daily. 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 night crawler is very hard for a trout or bass to pass up.

 

 

MELTON HILL FISHING REPORT

16 April 2014

WATER CONDITIONS

On April 16th, the water level was 793.54 ft and was predicted to rise 3-inches by Friday, April 18th. Surface temperatures in the channel may vary through the day according to the discharges from Norris Dam and the discharge through Melton Hill Dam. Afternoon main channel surface temperatures were 65 degrees near the Bull Run fossil plant and 62 degrees on the lower end. Discharge water from the Bull Run plant was 73 degrees. Some of the protected creek hollows were as warm as 65 degrees on sunny afternoons. The water was clear or with a light stain in most areas.

 

SPECIES DETAILS

CRAPPIE

Moderate.

5 to 10-feet deep, in the hollows and creeks on the lower half of the lake, very close to, and in, flooded brush.

Crappie catches came from Bull Run Creek, Beaver Creek, Clark Center Park, Bearden Creek, and a few in the Bull Run plant discharge canal. Mid-section to lower end creeks and larger hollows with downed trees and brush.

Tuffy minnows, 1-inch tube jigs, popeye flies tipped with minnows, trout magnets.

 

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Moderate.

5 to 10-feet deep. Some hit as deep as 20-feet on the channels on sunny days.

Close to downed timber and in the pockets near wood structure. Shad or crawfish color crankbaits were taking some on the main channel, rocky banks, very close to the shoreline. The edges of the sandbar humps in mid-channel produced a few.

Small deep and medium running Bandit style crankbaits, soft swim baits, a few on Tennessee rigs. Topwater or shallow water action on jerkbaits, small topwater plugs (Pop-R style or similar), and chrome willow leaf spinners.

 

MUSKY

Moderate

Large jerkbaits, spinners, live shad/skipjacks.

In the Bull Run discharge area and the shoreline leading to it, close to the bank. The Bull Run discharge catches remained slower than in previous weeks.

 

STRIPED BASS

Fair

Surface to 20-feet

Main channel from Bull Run Creek mouth to the Edgemoor Road bridge.  In the outer discharge area of the Bull Run plant.

Live shad/skipjack, umbrella rigs (see hook rule). Good surface action has been seen in mid-channel in this section.

 

WALLEYE

Slow

5 to 10-feet

Channel from Clinton to Hwy 61 Bridge and shoals above.

Doll flies tipped with plastic grubs (Twisters), Rapalas, Shad Raps.

On the bottom in mid-channel and in the shoals above Hwy 61 Bridge.

 

WHITE BASS

Good.

Surface to 10-feet. On sunny days, on the bottom in creek mouths and the Bull Run discharge canal.

Main channel shorelines and off shallow bars in mid-channel, mainly on the portion from Bull Run Creek and above. Bull Run plant discharge area catches have been very good on tuffy minnows fished slowly along the bottom. At dusk, the catches improved closer to the surface. Clear days saw these fish as deep as 15-feet, but hitting well on the surface on cloudy days.

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.

 

 

NORRIS FISHING REPORT

                                              

16 April 2014

WATER CONDITIONS

The water elevation on April 16th  was 1008.28-feet, which is 1.43-feet higher than last Wednesday’s elevation. The water level is predicted to rise 3-inches through Friday, April 18th The inflow is 3,103 cfs.

Except for protected areas which may have a stain caused by the annual algae bloom, the main channels of the reservoir has clear, or nearly clear water. Sycamore Creek has a little color with 3-feet of visibility.

Afternoon water surface temperatures were 54 degrees at Loyston Point, 56 degrees where Hwy 25E crosses Sycamore Creek, and 57 degrees where Hwy 25E crosses the main channel of the Clinch. The Powell at Earl’s Hollow was 56 degrees. The creeks and shallower hollows were 60 to 62 degrees.  

Moon phase: Waning gibbous. The next new moon will be April 29th. The next full moon will be May 14th.

To view photos and Google maps of all access areas on the reservoir, go to http://www.tnfish.org/ReservoirLakeMapsTennessee_TWRA/TennesseeReservoirBoatRampsMarinasLakeMaps_TWRA.htmor http://tinyurl.com/chm2ts9.

For the Norris lake elevation, inflow rates, and generation times, go to http://www.tva.gov/lakes/noh_r.htm.

 

SUMMARY

Striped bass fishing picked up on the lower end of the lake, hitting in mid- to upper Cove Creek, Lost Creek, and a few between Point 10 and Point 11. Striped bass catches have also been reported from the upper river sections where the water is no more than 10-feet deep. Smallmouth bass were caught both in mid-channel on shad or shiners and near the rocky points and nearby gently sloping gravel points. Shellcrackers are not yet in the shallows, most hitting deep on rocky shorelines. Largemouth catches were good in early mornings and cloudy days. Catches were hard to get on the sunny afternoons where the water was clear. Walleye catches slowed considerably in the headwaters of both the Powell and Clinch.

 

************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

SPECIES DETAILS

BLUEGILL/REDEAR

Bluegill: Slow. Shellcracker: Fair.

Shellcracker catches are starting to show up, but catches are hard to get and the fish are deep, holding at 15 to 25-feet deep on rocky, main channel shorelines. The few catches which have come in have hit small minnows or worms. The water needs to warm another ten degrees before these fish will be hitting in the shallow brush.

Bluegill catches are very slow. These fish are 15 to 20-feet deep, on the bottom or on the sides of shoreline dropoffs. Catch them with crickets tightlined to depth on steep, broken rock. Crickets or mealworms are the best for bluegill, the bait tightlined or cast to steeper, broken rock banks where there is shade. For the larger ones, avoid using a float, but cast or tightline with sinkers to get the bait quickly to depth.

 

CRAPPIE

Good on cloudy days and early morning hours.

5- to 10-feet deep. No change in the pattern since last week.

In the back of larger creek hollows and in brushy pockets on the upper half of the reservoir. They are moving into the shallows, near brush at 10-feet deep.

More are being caught in the flooded brush as the spawn approaches. The Bobby Garland 2-inch baby shad, or plastic grubs in blue ice or green is still taking crappie when trolled very slowly under a float (drift lined), or on the bottom. 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, or later if the water is heavily stained. The old standard smoke or pearl colors continue to work, as well. Sycamore Creek, Davis Creek, Lost Creek, Straight Creek are some of the locations producing crappie.

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.

 

LARGEMOUTH & SPOTTED BASS

Moderate.

Surface to 15-feet. In the hollows, backs of the creeks, and main channel pockets with wood structure.

Medium to shallow-running orange, chartreuse, or blood red Bandits or Norman-type crankbaits at less than 15-feet deep, fished parallel and very close to the rocky shorelines. Chrome lipless crankbaits and chrome jerk baits have worked on rocky, main channel shorelines on the sunny days. 3-inch soft plastic swimbaits (bluegill, glimmer blue, or smoke colors have worked well), close to shoreline rocks on the main channels. Soft jerkbait action picked up in the warmer shallows near wood.

 

SMALLMOUTH BASS

Good. Same pattern with smallmouth moving shallower and closer to flats.

3 to 15-feet deep, staging near main channel clay and gravel points and gravel flats adjacent to deeper water. Many smallmouth will spawn approximately 10-feet deep on the gently sloping points which have white gravel.

Windy, cloudy days have seen good catches at 5-feet deep on rocky shorelines where the wave action has stained the water. Protected shorelines have produced as deep as 15-feet, near the bottom and on shelves.

Medium to deep running crankbaits in blood red and crawfish patterns, close to the rocky, windy shorelines. Tennessee rigs (3-hook restriction for each rod) catches slowed on some days during the past week, but are still working on gravel/clay areas and off the steeper, rocky shorelines on the lower end. The shorter armed T-Rigs were taking fish farther from the shoreline, off the ends of downed timber, than last week. Float ‘n fly rigs have been slow to produce on most days. ½ ounce, white or shad colored, chrome willow leaf spinners are working on the windy shorelines, close to wood/rock structure and transition zones.

¼-ounce doll flies (dark green or gray) tipped with minnows are working well along the bottom, at less than 15-feet deep on gently sloping gravel and large rock shorelines, often far from shore where the slope is more gradual.

          *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.)

Good in early morning.

Surface on driftlines, or 15 to 20-feet in mid-channel.

Trolled umbrella rigs 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. Point 10 to Point 11 on the Powell; Point 3 and above on Cove Creek; Lost Creek; Mill Creek.

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. Recent catches came from Cove Creek (middle section near Point 3 and above), and on the Powell above Point 15, and with some activity in Lost Creek.

There is a new, statewide hook regulation in effect. Read it here:  http://www.eregulations.com/tennessee/fishing/statewide-limits-regulations/

          *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.

 

WALLEYE

Fair.

5 to 10 feet, on the bottom, and in the rocky shoals in the headwaters.

Catches are slowing in the headwaters of the Powell and Clinch. But some are still being caught above Lonesome Valley on the Powell, and above Hwy 25E on the Clinch.

Troll or cast doll flies tipped with plastic grubs or night crawlers, or Long Billed Rebels, Rapalas, Thundersticks, Model-A’s, or similar lures along the bottom in pre-spawn areas..

phs  #1,414