TWRA Fishing Reports

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Region:: TWRA Region 3 Office, TWRA Cumberland Plateau


April 19, 2017 Fishing Report

Chickamauga Reservoir

Reservoir Conditions: Summer normal elevation: 682.0 feet. Winter normal elevation: 676.0 feet. Current elevation: 680.7 feet. The water surface temperature is over 70 degrees in the later part of the day.

Largemouth Bass: Many bass are bedding. Plastic worms, spinnerbaits, lipless lures, and topwater baits are the best baits. Some heavy fish are being caught.

Smallmouth Bass: Upper reservoir and lower reservoir anglers are catching a few fish. Jigs or crankbaits are good lure choices.

Crappie: Shallow fish are being caught. Some fish are spawning, others have spawned. Jigs or minnows are being used. Trolling, tight lining, and fishing under a float are all techniques being used.

Striped bass: No observations.

Bluegill: Many bluegills are bedding. Crickets or worms are better than other baits.

Sauger/Walleye: No observations.

Catfish: Some catfish are being caught along the river banks and also shallow in the sloughs. The meaty bait of your choice can be used.

Nickajack Reservoir

Reservoir Conditions: Summer normal elevation: 633.5 feet. Winter normal elevation: 633.5 feet. Current elevation: 633.59. The water surface temperature is over 70 degrees late in the day.

Largemouth Bass: Fish shallow in the lake. Plastic worms are the best bait. Some nice fish are being caught.

Smallmouth Bass: Upper reservoir fish are being caught. Live bait, jigs or crankbaits are better bait choices.

Spotted Bass: Most spotted bass are caught upstream. Live bait, jigs or crankbaits are being used most often.

Sauger: A few reports of upper reservoir fish being caught.

Crappie: Tailwater fish are being caught in stillwater areas. Minnows are being used by most anglers. Lower reservoir fish are being caught in shallow water. Minnows or jigs can be used.

Catfish: Meaty baits are being used by river drifters. Several fish are being caught.

Striped bass: A couple of reports of tailwater action. Live bait is being used.

Dale Hollow

Reservoir Conditions: Fishing is good and the water temperature is 63 degrees. The water level is at 649 feet and the lake is slowly rising.

Smallmouth Bass: Lots of smallmouths are being caught on flukes and spinnerbaits on the lower end of the lake in 5-10 feet of water.

Largemouth Bass: Several largemouths are being caught around shallow cover on floating worms in 2-5 feet of water.

Crappie: A few crappies are being caught on the lower end of the lake on minnows around shallow cover.

Walleye: Lots of walleye are being caught on crankbaits and jerkbaits on points in 5-10 feet of water at night while the moon is up.

Shellcracker and Bluegill: Several fish are being caught on crickets in 5 feet of water.

Catfish: A few catfish are being caught on limblines using shad as bait.

Cordell Hull

Reservoir Conditions: Fishing is good. The water temperature is 63 degrees in the pockets and the lake is still at winter pool.

Crappie: A few crappies are being caught on minnows around shallow brush in 5 feet of water.

Black Bass: Several black bass are being caught on jerkbaits on points in 5-10 feet of water.

Striped Bass: A few striped bass are being caught on shad near Gainesboro in the creeks in 15 feet of water.

White Bass: Several white bass are being caught near Butler’s Landing on jigs in 5 feet of water.

Sauger and Walleye: A few sauger and walleye are being caught near Gainesboro and Celina on jigs in the deeper holes of the river.




April 5, 2017 Fishing Report

Chickamauga Reservoir

Reservoir Conditions: Summer normal elevation: 682.0 feet. Winter normal elevation: 676.0 feet. Current elevation: 678.92 feet. The water surface temperature is 62 degrees.

Largemouth Bass: Many anglers are not catching a lot of keeper bass. Some big fish are still being caught. Most successful anglers are targeting shallow water. Lipless lures, jigs, and spinnerbaits are being used more than other lures.

Smallmouth Bass: Jigs are being used most often. Some nice fish are being caught. The tailwater below Watts Bar Dam is the best area.

Crappie: Most anglers are targeting sloughs. Many anglers are trolling jigs in 5 to 8 feet of water. Some anglers are using minnows or jigs under floaters. Many crappies are being caught.

Striped bass: No observations or reports.

Bluegill/Shellcracker: Bluegills are being caught while using worms in the large creeks along flats and in the sloughs. Crappie trollers are catching several fish while using jigs.

Catfish: Some river fish are being caught. Several anglers are catching fish in the sloughs. Meaty baits are better. Skipjack is considered by many anglers to be the best bait.

White Bass: Bass anglers are catching white bass while using jigs or crankbaits in the tailwaters.

Nickajack Reservoir

Reservoir Conditions: Mean elevation: 633.5 feet. Current elevation: 633.81 feet. The water surface temperature is 62 degrees.

Largemouth Bass: Most anglers are fishing the shallows with lipless lures. Some heavy fish are being caught.

Spotted Bass: Most spotted bass are being caught near Chickamauga Dam. Crankbaits are being caught by most anglers.

Smallmouth Bass: Crankbaits, jigs, and live bait are being used for bait. Fish the tailwater. One Georgia angler said he caught 15 smallmouths on a particular day last week. He stated that was the most he had ever caught there in a day.

Crappie: Most anglers are fishing the shallow water with minnows or jigs. Several crappies are being caught.

Catfish: Meaty baits are being used to catch a lot of fish. Most catfish are being caught on the upper end.

White Bass: Bass anglers in the upper reservoir are catching several white bass while using shad, jigs, or crankbaits.

Striped bass: Some tailwater anglers are catching fish while using live bait.


Dale Hollow

Reservoir Conditions: Fishing is great and the water temperature is 60 degrees at the dam. The water level is at 648 feet and the lake is rising.

Smallmouth Bass: Lots of smallmouths are being caught on swimbaits and jerkbaits on shallow flats in 10 feet of water.

Largemouth Bass: Lots of largemouths are being caught on floating worms, jigs, and spinnerbaits while fishing grass and shallow wood in 5 feet of water.

Crappie: Several crappies are being caught on jigs and minnows while fishing grass and shallow wood in 5 feet of water.

Walleye: A few walleye are being caught near Sunset on deep running crankbaits on points.

Shellcracker and Bluegill: Several fish are being caught on night crawlers and gravel pockets in 5 feet of water.

Cordell Hull

Reservoir Conditions: Fishing is good. The water temperature is 62 degrees in the pockets and the lake is still at winter pool.

Crappie: A few crappies are being caught on minnows around shallow brush in 5 feet of water.

Black Bass: Several black bass are being caught on spinnerbaits and floating worms around shallow cover in 5 feet of water in the creeks.

Striped Bass: A few striped bass are being caught on shad near Gainesboro in the creeks in 15 feet of water.

White Bass: Several white bass are being caught near Butler’s Landing on jigs in 5 feet of water.

Sauger and Walleye: A few sauger and walleye are being caught near Gainesboro and Celina on jigs in the deeper holes of the river.




March 29, 2017 Fishing Report

Region 3 Fishing Report

March 29, 2017

Chickamauga Reservoir

Reservoir Conditions: Summer normal elevation: 682.0 feet. Winter normal elevation: 676.0 feet. Current elevation: 678.26 feet. The water surface temperature is 60 degrees. Some areas are warming to 69 degrees.

Largemouth Bass: Many folks are not finding fish. Some are and they are hungry when found. An eleven pound plus fish was caught in the Old Washington area of the lake. Several big fish are being caught in all areas of the lake. River flats, large creek flats and some skinny water sloughs are holding fish. Lures being used will include lipless lures, jigs, spinnerbaits, and the "Rig".

Smallmouth Bass: No observations or reports. Upper reservoir anglers were frequently targeting other species.

Crappie: Most anglers are targeting sloughs or transitional water leading to the same. Many are trolling jigs. Some are minnow dipping around brush.

Striped bass: No observations or reports. One guided trip had not caught any fish when checked on Thursday below Watts Bar Dam. The current was minimal.

Bluegill/Shellcracker: Bluegills are being caught while using worms in the large creeks along flats and in the sloughs. Crappie trollers are catching several while using jigs.

Catfish: A few anglers were catching fish in the river. Some drove down and over from Asheville to target catfish. They said they came often and normally caught several fish. This particular day was not good for them. Just a few small fish were caught. They were trying to time the catfish's movement with the season and they were surprised about the big difference in the season between there and here.

White Bass: Bass anglers are catching white bass while using jigs or crankbaits in the tailwaters.

Nickajack Reservoir

Reservoir Conditions: Mean elevation: 633.5 feet. Current elevation: 633.88 feet. The water surface temperature is 60 degrees.

Largemouth Bass: Bass are being caught along the shallow river banks and in the bays. Jigs and lipless lures are being used most often. Some big bass are being caught.

Spotted Bass: Most spotted bass are being caught near Chickamauga Dam. Crankbaits and jigs are being used by many anglers.

Smallmouth Bass: Crankbaits, jigs, and live bait are being used. Fish the tailwater.

Crappie: Lower reservoir anglers are catching fish while drifting open water adjacent to the main channel. Some ledges in the bays are holding crappie. Still water in the tailwaters is a place where a few anglers catch crappie. Minnows or jigs are being used.

Catfish: Meaty baits are being used to catch a lot of fish. Most catfish are being caught on the upper end.

White Bass: Bass anglers in the upper reservoir are catching several white bass while using shad, jigs, or crankbaits.

Striped bass: Some tailwater anglers are catching fish while using live bait.

Dale Hollow

Reservoir Conditions: Fishing is good and the water temperature is 58 degrees at the dam. The water level is at 647 feet and the lake is rising.

Smallmouth Bass: Several nice smallmouths are being caught on swimbaits on flats in 10 feet of water.

Largemouth Bass: Several largemouths are being caught on jigs, spinnerbaits, and jerkbaits while fishing in the creeks in 5 feet of water.

Crappie: Several crappies are being caught out of brush and grass in 5-10 feet of water on minnows.

Walleye: a few walleye are being caught near Eastport while trolling deep running crankbaits in 15 feet of water.

Cordell Hull

Reservoir Conditions: Fishing is fair. The water temperature in the creeks is 56 degrees and the lake is at winter pool.

Crappie: A few crappies are being caught on jigs and minnows around shallow brush in 5 feet of water.

Black Bass: Several black bass are being caught on spinnerbaits around shallow cover in 5 feet of water in the creeks.

Striped Bass: A few striped bass are being caught on shad in the creeks in 15 feet of water.

White Bass: Several white bass are being caught at the mouths of the creeks on jigs in 10 feet of water.

Sauger and Walleye: Several big sauger and walleye are being caught above Gainesboro on jigs in the deeper holes of the river.




March 22, 2017 Fishing Report

Chickamauga Reservoir

Reservoir Conditions: Summer normal elevation: 682.0 feet. Winter normal elevation: 676.0 feet. Current elevation: 678.69 feet. The water surface temperature is 55 degrees.

Largemouth Bass: Some big fish are being caught. The number of fish being caught is low. Jigs, lipless lures and spinnerbaits are being used.

Smallmouth Bass: Jigs and crankbaits are being used in the upper and lower reservoir. Upper reservoir anglers catch more smallmouth than other anglers. Not many fish are being caught.

Crappie: River and slough fish are being caught. Shallow water trollers and river tight liners are catching fish. Many anglers are searching for the larger numbers. Big crappies are being caught. Minnows and jigs offer equal opportunities.

Striped bass: No observations and only a couple of reports of fish being caught.

Bluegill/Shellcracker: Bluegills are not being targeted by many folks. Crappie anglers are catching several bluegills on jigs while trolling. Some upper reservoir anglers are catching shellcrackers in the cuts and still water areas. Worms and small jigs are being used.

Catfish: Catfish are being caught on a variety of meaty baits. Shad or skipjack are the better baits. Sloughs have a lot of catfish in them now.

Nickajack Reservoir

Reservoir Conditions: Mean elevation: 633.5 feet. Current elevation: 633.87 feet. The water surface temperature is 55 degrees.

Largemouth Bass: Bass are being caught on the river banks and in the shallow bays. Lipless lures are being used by many anglers. Many anglers are having difficulty catching numbers.

Spotted Bass: Most spotted bass are being caught near Chickamauga Dam. Crankbaits are being used by many anglers.

Smallmouth Bass: Crankbaits, jigs, and live bait are being used. Fish the tailwater.

Crappie: Lower reservoir anglers are catching fish drifting deep open water areas near the main channel while using minnows or jigs. Some crappie are being caught along the deeper drop offs in the large bays down river. Upper reservoir anglers are locating crappie in shady and still water locations.

Catfish: Meaty baits are being used to catch a lot of fish. Most catfish are being caught on the upper end.

White Bass: Bass anglers in the upper reservoir are catching several white bass while using shad, jigs, or crankbaits.

Striped bass: Some tailwater anglers are catching fish while using live bait. Just a couple reports of fish being caught this past week and no observations.

Dale Hollow

Reservoir Conditions: Fishing is fair and the water temperature is 55 degrees at the dam. The water level is at 647 feet and the lake is slowly rising.

Smallmouth Bass: Several nice smallmouths are being caught on swimbaits while fishing gravel banks in 15 feet of water.

Largemouth Bass: Several largemouths are being caught on jerkbaits while fishing secondary points in 5-10 feet of water.

Crappie: A few crappies are being caught while fishing under schooling shad in the creeks in 15 feet of water.

Walleye: a few walleye are being caught near Eastport at night on jigs.

Cordell Hull

Reservoir Conditions: Fishing is slow. The water temperature in the creeks is 55 degrees. The water level is at 502 feet.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is slow at this time.

Bass: A few largemouth bass are being caught on crankbaits and spinnerbaits around cover in 5 feet of water.

Striped Bass: A few striped bass are being caught on shad while fishing the mouths of the creeks in 15-20 feet of water.

White Bass: Several white bass are being caught in the mouths of the creeks in the upper section of the lake on jigs.

Sauger and Walleye: A few sauger and walleye are being caught between Gainesboro and Celina on jigs in the deeper holes of the river.