TWRA Fishing Reports

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Region:: TWRA Region 4 Office, TWRA East Tennessee

Region 4 Fishing Reports 6-26-2014

South Holston Tailwater

Water Conditions

Above Weir Dam – 42*

Big Springs Access – 60*

Rockhold Church Access- 67*

Water temps were taken during no generation.


With TVA generating more this week, the fishing has picked up some due to the water temps cooling down. Corn and Fireball salmon eggs are two good bait choices, but a small tuffy minnow is doing very well also. Most fish have been caught from above Hickory Tree Bridge up to just below the Holston Dam, mainly from the Grates and above.  Several 13-16” Rainbows have been caught on worms, salmon eggs, and minnows, just as the water is going down early in the morning.

Trout fishing is slow but picks up during generation. Nymphs and soft hackle 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 salmon eggs are a good choice, but just about anything brightly colored will get their attention.  Live Minnows are always a great choice as well.




Boone Reservoir            

Elevation- 1,382.31

Water Temp

TVA Ramp 87*

Bluff City @ Swinging Bridge 84*

Knob Creek 85*


Water Clarity- 3-6’

Bass- Slow

Largemouth are near wood structure such as brush piles and docks and are located very close to the shoreline. Flipping a green pumpkin or water melon finesse worm (whacky style) has been the best so far this week, along with white/chartreuse spinnerbaits and buzzbaits.  Also a tiny torpedo in baby bass has been good on retaining walls and points.

Smallmouth are on the secondary points and 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 greenpumpkin colors.  Spinnerbaits (chart/white) (shad colors) and topwater lures early in the morning have been doing good.  Spinnerbaits, red shad and cherry seed colored worms, and “pig and jigs” have worked well on rocky banks and bluffs at nighttime.

Striped bass and Cherokee bass- On the Holston side from pt.7 up to Rainbow Bridge area, fish early morning and late evening trolling/drifting trout at 25-32 feet deep. On Watauga side, fish the Watauga Flats area.  Fish Friday Hollow using topwater lures during early morning and late evening. Use shad between 3-4am, under lights.

Sunfish- Fish around any brush piles or docks in 3-4 feet of water, caught on brown crickets and night crawlers.

Crappie- No report this week.






June 25, 2014

Tail water elevation was 922.31 feet on June 25 at 9 PM.   Average daily discharges have remained minimal for this report period.  Next day release schedules and data on Cherokee Dam are available here:    

Temperatures taken on the tailrace today are as follows by area:  Dam access point = 52 degrees, Indian Cave area = 64.5 degrees, Nance Ferry access = 72.5 degrees. 


It is necessary to remind anglers that the Indian Cave Access to the tailrace is closed entirely with no access permitted to the public.  The water is warming throughout the tailrace as summer progresses with the coldest temperatures located at the outflow of Cherokee Reservoir and down stream of Indian Cave near the lower shoals.



The earlier than normal water warm up has tended to put trout off at Nance Ferry.  The shoals upstream of the parking lot are still fishing fairly well due to the slightly cooler water there.  The shoals below Indian Cave have been an active trout spot, but one will now need a boat to float through the area due to the closure of the access area.

The following does not change for trout.  Fly fishermen: 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 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.



Smallmouth have been targeted more and more but are remaining elusive to anglers.  Water temperature is optimum for smallmouth.

Best way to fish is from kayak, drift boat or other small floating device.  This allows the angler to reach areas where fish are located.

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 weighted with bead eyes in various colors will work for fly fishermen as well as wet flies and poppers in bright.  Try a size 12 soft hackle tied light brown with blood red thread.  A simple size 12 hares nymph greased and floated will catch bass also.



Striped bass are located throughout the river and especially in the section just downstream of the discharge source at the dam.

Try Rapalas in various colors and especially shad color.  Use silver spoons or silver jerk baits when water releases are underway. Crank lures aggressively through the fast water of a release and give surface lures a lot of hard, loud action.



Chilhowee Lake Fishing Report

June 26, 2014



The predicted water level is approximately 872.97 feet above sea level.

The average surface temperature is in the mid 70’s.



Night fishing is one of the best ways to catch some keeper fish. One good technique for catching some rainbow trout at night is a floating light that shines downward which draws baitfish to the light, and then draws bigger fish for you to catch. Live minnows are a good bait choice for nighttime trout fishing under the lights. One technique that is working for bass is the wacky rigged sinko in shad imitating colors. Rocky banks and banks with submerged structure are holding both smallmouth and largemouth bass.  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.  Just 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.

The 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.

You can catch trout 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 25, 2014

The elevation behind the dam on June 25, 2014 at 9 PM was 993.12 feet.  Water temperatures averaged out to 85 degrees for the week on bay areas with the upper river section at 80 degrees.   



Fishing has been good for the most part across the entire lake when the weather cooperates.  Largemouth bass have been fishing very well.   Smallmouth are hitting in the creeks.  Fewer anglers are targeting walleye and sauger this past week.



Crappie action is good but has lost its consistency.  They don’t seem to appear in the same place two days in a row.

Muddy Creek has been off again for crappie.  Indian Creek, Swann’s Marina area and the mud flats adjacent to the mouth of Indian Creek as well as Nina Creek have been fishing very well.

Try minnow and bobber, crappie flies, crappie spinners as well as trolling with minnows.  Traditional methods are effective as well.  Small Rapalas and jerk baits have been used this week with great success.  Trolling remains the recommended method for this week.



Sauger and walleye remain only fair.  They are still being caught on the upper river sections of the lake but seem to bunch up on seams and faster flow areas.

The usual lures and baits should be used according to situation and water condition.

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.

As usual, the river section of the lake is the go to place but try the big flat area that lays in front of the mouth of the Nolichucky as you travel up river.



Bass fishing is really good on Douglas.  All lures are working when applied to the situation they were designed for.  Best fishing times are morning and late afternoon.  Afternoons will find bass deep in depressions and behind humps or along shorelines with heavy shade and rip rap.

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 worked great on the creeks throughout the week.



Little River Fishing Report

June 26, 2014


Water Conditions

The river flow is up and down due to the much needed rain.

The water temperature is about 72 degrees.

Flow is down to 79 cfs above Townsend and 136 cfs below Maryville.



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.




Smallmouth bass are 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.




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 and 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.





25 June 2014


There has been little change in recent weeks due to reduced channel flow and low rainfall. The water elevation is fluctuating slightly around 794-feet and is expected to continue to do the same through Friday, June 27th. 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 86 degrees (surface temperature) with some of the larger hollows up to 87 degrees. The high water temperature and reduced flow through the reservoir makes catching fish during the daytime difficult. The summer season sees little daily change in fish patterns, except for the night hours when most fish will come into shallower water, and often much closer to the shoreline.

Flow rates, elevations, and generation times can be found online at

To view maps to all access areas on the reservoir, go to:

Moon phase: waning gibbous. The new moon will be June 27th.




Slow during the day. Fair at night under lights in the creeks in brush.

5 to 15 feet deep, early morning hours or at night under lights, near shoreline or deeper brush. Some night catches are coming from just off the bottom in 15 feet of water where brush is nearby.

The better locations were in the heads of the larger creeks, near flooded brush and near timber. Main channel crappie fishing has been slow.

Tuffy minnows tightlined into the brush, 1-inch tube jigs, popeye flies tipped with minnows, trout magnets.



Fair; better at dusk on shady, rocky banks, and at night. Very few quality sized fish have been caught during the day.

Surface to 20-feet deep, either tight to shoreline cover, or near the bottom in deeper wood structure. Some have been caught on Carolina rigs or pig’n jigs fished on mid-channel flats and submerged islands, near the drop into deeper water. Milfoil beds have produced some fish at night for those casting plugs or spinners fished just over the top of the vegetation.

Pig’n jigs, rubber skirted jigs with medium trailers, on main channel shorelines. Topwater action was best at dawn.  Lures which have produced: Slider worms or lizards, 3/8 oz to ½ oz rubber skirted jigs with medium to large trailers, rubber grubs (Twisters), and Brush Hog-type lures caught some on the main channels and creek mouths. Any shade of pumpkin or watermelon color has been good. Brush in the backs of the larger hollows has produced on soft plastic fished down to about 10-feet, bottom depth.  




20-feet, shallower at night.

Very few smallmouth were seen caught during the daytime. Most smallmouth catches have come at night on the main channels on the lower half of the lake, near small points and on main channel humps. Shiners took some at dusk on the main channel, rocky shorelines.

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.



Slow. Best at dawn.

Surface to 25-feet.

Striped  bass catches were reported in the channel from the bridge at Bull Run Fossil Plant down to the mouth of Bull Run Creek.

The Bull Run warm water 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. Zara Spooks in rare early morning breaks above Solway and to Bull Run Creek.




Surface to 10-feet.

White bass catches slowed since last week. Afternoon or early morning breaks have produced some in the channel above Solway, and at the mouth of some of the creeks. The Bull Run fossil plant had some late afternoon surface action at the entrance to the discharge canal. Night fishing under lights has been best. Cast to the breaks at dawn and dusk with small chrome/white spinners, minnows, white hair jigs, 2 to 4-inch plastic swimbaits or grubs on leadheads.




Popping bugs and small flies have worked best. The larger fish have been caught before 9 a.m.

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 catches slowed.  Good bluegill catches are being taken on crickets fished with no float, the bait dragged along the bottom in coves and flats. Deeper water is producing some in shady, rocky, main channel areas on crickets tightlined to about 10-20 feet.




Shallow in rocky areas at dawn.

Some catfish are spawning in the flat rock formations along the main channel and in the coves where rocky areas are present.

Nightcrawlers fished on the bottom, or under a float at about 5-feet deep, very close to the shelf rocks.





25 June 2014



The water elevation on June 25th was 1012.7-feet, which is what it was last Wednesday. The water level is predicted to remain steady through Friday, June 27th. The inflow is 1,110 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, especially after a storm passes through.

The late evening water surface temperature was 81 degrees on the main channels. Morning surface temperatures have averaged 78 degrees. Some shallow, stained coves are a couple of degrees warmer.

Moon phase: Waning crescent. The new moon will be June 27th.

To view photos and Google maps of all access areas on the reservoir, go to

For the Norris lake elevation, inflow rates, and generation times, go to

There is a new, statewide hook regulation in effect. Read it here:



The summer patterns continue – slow in the daytime and better at night. Clear water continues to be a problem unless small diameter, low-visibility line is used during the daylight hours, and the boat is kept as far from the bank as possible. Successful deep water trollers are getting away with line of a higher pound-test rating, but still use a low visibility line.  The best luck has come at night or in the early morning hours; by 9 a.m., the action slows for most species. Topwater bass action has been good for those out at the first sign of daylight, casting to the breaking bass or casting to brush in the coves and rocks on the main channels. Crappie anglers are having luck at night on the upper end creeks and channels. Bluegill are hitting popping bugs or crickets at dawn, or crickets tightlined to depth at midday on the steep, shady banks. Midday fishing has been very slow for almost all species except bluegill and walleye, the latter being caught by deep trolling with plugs.






Bluegill: Good. Shellcracker: Fair

Shellcracker catches have slowed. The average depth has dropped to 10 to 15-feet, in coves on wax worms, nightcrawlers, red worms, and small tuffy minnows. Mornings have been the best time to catch shellcracker and bluegill. Popping bugs are catching 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. The larger bluegill have been caught in water as deep as 20-feet, on shady, rocky banks where there is deep cover (logs, stumps, rock outcroppings) present.



Moderate at night in brushy coves in the creeks and coves, and on main channel brush. Very slow during the day.

10- to 20-feet deep, tight to cover.

Clear water and bright sunshine have 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 at dawn and dusk. Poor during midday.

Surface to 20-feet; deeper or tighter to structure during the day. Same pattern, but better action from sunrise to 9 a.m.

Night fishing on the humps and flats adjacent to deeper water has been good on Carolina-rigged plastic worms/lizards or Texas-rigged plastic worms/lizards. Sweet Beaver trailers (size 4.20) on 3/8 oz to1/2 oz rubber skirted jigs (shades of pumpkin or watermelon with flake) have taken good catches of largemouth and a few good smallmouth at night on the flats and humps at 10 to 15-feet bottom depth.  

There have been periods of good topwater activity on some afternoons, starting a couple of hours before dark. Some early morning catches have been on topwater plugs and buzzbaits.

Slow retrieves with soft plastic (Flukes, Slider worms, Brush Hogs, or shaky head jigs/slider worms) have taken some nice largemouth at about 8 to 15-feet. Motor oil and pumpkin colors are working for lizards and 8-inch worms, Carolina-rigged and fished in the coves where the bank is not steep.



Slow during the day, moderate at night.

15- to 25-feet. Same pattern:

On long points extending into the channels, and rocky points of any slope. Hump fishing with small hair jigs or deep running crankbaits has been good on some late afternoons and at dusk.

Topwater breaks are not numerous, but have produced some fish on the right mornings, before 8 a.m., often in mid-channel. A few have taken top water plugs at dusk, on steeper, rocky banks off wood structure or small points..

Pig’n jigs, Brush Hogs, Sweet Beavers, 6-inch slider worms and lizards are working from dusk to dawn. For soft plastic baits, jig skirts, and spinner skirts, any shade of watermelon/pumpkin continues to produce fish. Walleye anglers are still picking up smallmouth on shad or alewife, at night under the lights, by casting the bait to the shoreline and letting it drop.

Under the current, clear water conditions, daytime smallmouth fishermen are doing best with very light, low-vis line (2 to 4 pound).

          *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. Locations widely scattered

Cove Creek slowed; some were caught near Point 19 and the channel from Point 19 toward Stardust; Crooked Creek catches slowed.

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

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.




25 feet, on the bottom near dropoffs and ledges, or suspended in alewife schools in mid-channel.

Best at night after 10:30 p.m., but trolling plugs has produced some in the daytime, near the bottom at 20-feet along humps and drop offs.

Night catches have come on snagged alewife or shad, casted toward the shoreline when fishing under lights. Jigging Mann O’Lures and Hopkins spoons has caught some, but has not been as good as casting alewife or shad to the bank, just out of the lights.

Daytime trolling is picking up fish on plugs such as Thundersticks, Long Billed Rebels, Mod. 911 Redfins, or Model A’s.

phs  #1,424