February 10, 2005
CHEROKEE RESERVOIR: (2/10/05) - The
creel clerk will be working on Douglas Lake during 2005. Fishing reports
for Cherokee will resume in 2006.
The water level is holding fairly steady with
surface temperature around 41 degrees.
Crappie are being caught 5 to 15 feet deep on
pink, orange, or purple flies tipped with live minnows. Fish the areas of
McGuire Creek on up to Swann's Bridge.
Most of the bass being caught are near creeks
and bluffs. Fish with small shad raps or other crank baits.
Bluegill are around bridges and humps. Night
crawlers are the best bait right now.
Catfish can be found on the upper part of the
lake in the river channel. Fish with night crawlers near the
NORRIS RESERVOIR: (2/1005) -
elevation is 998.4-feet, 8-inches lower than it was a week ago. The lake
is predicted to drop less than 2-inches over the next two days. Water
surface temperatures taken on the lower end of the lake are in the
low-40's in the mornings, and 46-degrees in the afternoon; upper end
temperatures get gradually colder as you go upstream. At Black Fox (Point
29) the surface was 43-degrees with a light stain. The lake is clear, or
slightly stained in most locations. Go to www.tnfish.org for additional
information on TWRA's Norris fishery, as well as fishing reports on other
lakes in East Tennessee.
SMALLMOUTH BASS are
hitting well, if you get to the right depth and are in the right location.
STRIPED BASS are hitting best in the afternoon, but slowed somewhat.
LARGEMOUTH BASS catches are slow overall, but did improve for some
fishermen this week. A few nice sized largemouth were caught in the creek
hollows. CRAPPIE remain slow. WALLEYE are not yet hitting on the lower
end, except for the occasional stray. But, upriver catches are improving
in the headwaters.
Surface to 25-feet early and on cloudy days; can be to 30-feet on sunnier
days. Main channels, or in large coves with steep, rocky banks. Minnows or
small jigs tightlined to 25-30 feet, just off the bottom on such banks
worked well all week. In creek hollows, on steep rocky banks, and on the
Clinch channel above Point 28, some nice smallmouth were caught as shallow
as 4 feet, but the water has a bit of stain in that location. Cold water
temperatures means slowing the presentation, giving the lure an extended
time in the strike zone. Crankbaits in root beer, dark red and crawfish
color combinations have been catching fish on rocky banks, but were not as
effective as small jigs, or shiners in the same locations. Float-and-fly
rigs have done well for some fishermen, but overall, float-and-fly rigs
didn't do well for most anglers.
LARGEMOUTH & SPOTTED BASS
but showing signs of improvement for largemouth; moderate for spots.
Surface to 15-feet. Largemouth in the back of the hollows; spotted bass on
the gravel or rocky points leading to deeper main channel water. Spotted
bass are hitting small tube jigs, small Bandit crankbaits (rootbeer color
has been pretty good) and small hair jigs fished on gravel and sand banks,
as well as in some rocky areas.
Fair. Surface to
25-feet deep, especially where bird activity indicates shallow baitfish
being present. 1/2-oz. doll flies tipped with plastic twisters or Sassy
Shads, or shad and alewife trolled or tightlined. Some on topwater plugs.
The main channel which winds around the islands from Hickory Star to
Island F is still good, as has Loyston Sea from Big Ridge Hollow to Lost
Creek. Most stripers caught have weighed 7 to 10-pounds.
Slow on the lower end. Fair
in the headwaters. The headwaters near Earl's Hollow, and the staging
holes up and down the Powell from Slate Creek to Leatherwood are starting
to give up the occasional male walleye. Some have been caught very near
the Earl's Hollow access down to Slate Creek. Lower end walleye have not
patterned, yet, and are still hit'n miss, being caught mainly by those
bass or striper fishing.
Slow. 10 to 40-feet,
in the brush along creek embayments. Shallower in early morning and at
dusk. Small tube jigs, popeye flies, or minnows in the brush. Big Ridge,
Mill Creek. Sycamore Creek and the Clinch channel above the second RR
trestle (if not iced up).
Moderate. 5 to 15
feet. Some large bluegill are being caught on tuffy minnows by
crappie fishermen, near brush on steep, rocky banks.
BOONE RESERVOIR: (2/10/05) -
Surface temperatures have warmed up a
little, especially on the Watauga side. Water surface temperature
Wednesday of this week at 2:00 pm was 47.5 degrees at point 19. The lake
level at the dam as of 8:00 p.m. Wednesday night was 1,360.72 feet above
sea level. This is a drop of about 1.5 feet from this time last week.
Bass fishing has been fairly slow this week with the
cooler temperatures and the messy weather. Not much fishing action has
been taking place this week as a result of the weather, but what fishermen
that have been out are reporting catching decent stringers of fish. The
smallmouth bass seem not to mind the cooler temperatures while a few
largemouth seem to be found in the sunny areas later in the days on the
Watauga side. Crankbaits have not been quite as effective as they were
last week, but are still picking up a few largemouths on sunny points
where the bass are trying to find water a degree or two warmer than the
rest. Shad Rap #7 and Bandits seem to be picking up most of these fish.
The best notable action for the week though, has been jigging spoons about
15-20 feet deep of bluffs and ledges on the Watauga side. The Hopkins
spoon, or homemade ones that resemble a Hopkins, has been working the best
the past couple of weeks. Since last Saturday, the spoons have really
picked up several nice smallmouths. Other lures that have caught bass this
past week and worth trying are the float and fly, Rebel crawfish, and a
Rattletrap. The float and fly has been most effective fished about 8-10
feet deep with a duck feather fly on four pound test mono line.
Striper action continues to be slow, but a few hybrids should be
starting to show up. Live shad or large minnows would probably be best to
try anywhere shad can be located or where the stripers are breaking. White
hair jigs should also produce some good fish. Fishermen report seeing very
few fish breaking water in the last few weeks.
Crappie fishing has showed signs of picking up, but is still slow for
now. What crappie fishermen are out are using chartreuse or blue/white
jigs or flies tipped with a minnow in about 6-8 feet of water. Fishermen
seem to be having better luck locating crappie in the Holston end rather
than the Watauga end. The best spots to try this week would be from Jays
dock to Reedy Creek, around Deer lick (Point 19), and any treetops from
Point 10 up river to Beaverdam Creek.
WATAUGA RESERVOIR: (2/10/05)
temperatures have warmed up some, but should cool down in the next week or
so with cooler weather expected. Water surface temperatures this week have
been in the mid to upper 40's around noon each day. The lake level at the
dam as of 8:00 p.m. Wednesday night was 1,951.10 feet above sea level. The
lake level has risen almost a foot from this time last week.
Bass fishing has still
been good, but notably slower than it was last week during the warm
weather. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass still can be found up toward
the rivers. Bass fishing is still a little slow in the lower end of the
lake. Better water color can be found up in the Watauga and Elk Rivers
where better numbers of fish have been caught. Spoons and flies seem to be
working the best this week. The best fly action has been straight lining a
duck feather fly with a minnow tipped on it in about 10-15 feet of water.
Some float and fly has also produced some good fish. From the bridge down
to the dam has been much slower, although some fish were picked up of the
points during the earlier part of this week. The spoon has been working
the best when jigged around points and quick drop offs. The cooler
temperatures and overcast skies should make the spotted bass more active
around the docks. Minnows seem to be working best for the spotted
Trout fishing for rainbow and lake trout have
been slower this week than in weeks past. Small inline spoons, like a
Rooster tail or Panther Martin, have been the best for catching rainbows.
Power bait and salmon eggs have also done well. The best areas to locate
some rainbows the past few weeks are Shook Branch, Rat Branch boat ramp,
and Little Milligan boat ramp. A few people have been out fishing for lake
trout but having very little success. The anglers that were out, were down
rigging in anywhere from 60-90 feet of water around points and
Crappie fishing continues to be good. Roan
Creek and the Elk River have really been producing good stringers of both
Black and Blacknose Black Crappie the last few weeks. Any fallen or
submerged trees along the banks of Roan Creek, Elk, or Watauga Rivers
should be holding good numbers of crappie right now. Trees completely
submerged seem to be out producing treetops that are at the surface, but
both are holding good fish. Anglers are having the best success with small
1/16 or 1/32 oz. jig heads with green or chartreuse grubs or flies in Roan
Creek, while tipping jigs with small minnows has also been successful in
both the Elk and Watauga Rivers. Most of the fish being caught seem to be
in about 5-7 feet of water, although the crappie in the Elk can be caught
as far down as 15 feet in submerged trees.
Not much has been reported on the Walleye
this week, however a few bass fishermen have been finding good Walleye up
shallow in the upper end of the lake.
FORT LOUDOUN RESERVOIR: (2/10/05) -
temperature data collected from February 3 through February 9 has averaged
45.6 degrees F... Temperatures measured at a 10-foot depth indicate 43.7
degrees F. Water clarity has been clear throughout the lake. The lake
elevation was 808.82 ft mean above sea level on February 9. Discharge rate
is 15,035 cfs as of February 9, 2005.
Cold temperatures early in
the week kept anglers off the lake. However, milder weekend temperatures
brought anglers to the lake in numbers. Small and Large Mouth catches were
up somewhat and crappie catches were much better than previous weeks.
Stripers have been illusive. Creel data does not substantiate catch rates
but angler conversations indicate some success with stripers.
success seems to vary with the weather. Great fishing one day seems to
lead to a poor show the next. Consistency seems to remain illusive at
best. No doubt the changing weather patterns day to day are affecting
success. Fish attractors and shallow banks preferably with good rock and
wood debris cover will hold fish. Water clarity is good at present but
cold. Jigs fished slowly should result in success. Minnows and jigs tipped
with minnows will no doubt be producers. As water temperature warms a few
degrees increased crappie activity should be noted.
LARGEMOUTH and SMALLMOUTH
Moderate. Large and Smallmouth activity is spotty. Once
located, both species will react to angler efforts. Minnows, crank baits
and jerk baits are all producers. Many folks are reporting excellent
results using tubes. Black for deeper water to twenty feet and cherry seed
or green tubes for shallow areas seem to be the color choices. Fish drop
offs near banks and rocky bank areas after 4PM. Shallow cranks after 4:00
PM along rocky banks should produce fish.
Slow. This is
probably due to low angler presence. The stripers are there. Fish current
20 to 30-feet Use live shad, tightlined or on drift lines.
MELTON HILL RESERVOIR: (2/10/05)
temperature data collected from February 3 through February 9 has averaged
45.9 degrees F. Temperatures measured at a ten foot depth indicate a 43
degree average.. Water clarity has been clear in both main channel and
coves. The lake elevation as of February 9 was 794.06 feet above mean sea
level with a discharge currently of Zero CFS. as of 4:30 AM. Discharge
will commence in the PM at a rate of 7000CFS .
A couple great weather
days brought anglers to the lake in numbers and some species data was
gathered. Steady light rains and cold weather for the greater part of the
week did not cloud the water. Water temperatures remained fairly constant
(cold) and may have contributed to the limited crappie success. Large and
Smallmouth Bass success has increased somewhat but fishing methods need to
be altered day to day to suit water conditions, temperature changes and
feeding habits. Weather and discharge rates from Norris cause rapid water
temperature changes which affects species habit.
success has been down this week probably due to very cold water
temperature. Clear water has existed throughout the lake for the week.
Again, best crappie action can be found near attractors and bank cover.
Jigs and jigs tipped with minnow are a good choice for crappie. Fish
minnows in up to ten feet of water containing brush cover and rocks
LARGEMOUTH and SMALLMOUTH
Moderate. Bass success has been in 15 to 20 foot depths
at ledge drop offs and rocky banks. Crank baits are producing well and
rubber worms and tubes are also catching fish. Fish slow from shallow to
twenty feet where drop offs occur. Deep diving lures and tubes fished
slowly should do the trick. Jigs drawn slowly on bottom should be a good
Good. Musky activity
has increased in the lake. Anglers are reporting catches on a regular
basis as more and more folks are targeting this fish. Fish preferably
after 4:00 PM. Use 7-inch Rapalas, large silver spoons, silver spoons with
brown and white bucktail. Seven or eight inch red and white or solid
silver plugs for surface should be deadly. Use very rapid retrieve and
create as much lure activity as possible. If a fish is seen following the
lure, increase retrieve speed instantly. Locate schooling baitfish and the
Musky should be there. They may be seen breaking the surface while feeding
on schooled baitfish late in the day. Channel mouths and bank areas with
deep drop offs associated with them are good bets.
Slow. Best results
after 4:00 PM. Striped bass are present in good number in the lake. Angler
feed back is scarce. Use shad fished deep or top water plugs especially in
the evenings. Fish deep channel mouths and mouths of coves where deepest
water exists. Locate schools of baitfish to better the chance of an
encounter, as Stripers will follow the food source. Tight line and drift
line are good bets for success. Success rates will increase as more
anglers target this species.