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EAST TENNESSEE FISHING REPORT

 

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.   

DOUGLAS RESERVOIR: (2/10/05) -   

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 bottom.

  

NORRIS RESERVOIR: (2/1005) -  

WATER CONDITIONS:
The lake 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.

SUMMARY:
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.

SMALLMOUTH BASS
Moderate.  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
Slow, 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.

STRIPED BASS
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.

WALLEYE
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.

CRAPPIE
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).

BLUEGILL
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) -    

WATER CONDITIONS:
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.

SUMMARY:
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) -       

WATER CONDITIONS:
Water 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.

SUMMARY:
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 bass.

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 bluffs.

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) -   

WATER CONDITIONS:
Surface 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.

SUMMARY:
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.

CRAPPIE
Moderate.  Crappie 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 BASS
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.

STRIPED BASS
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) -

WATER CONDITIONS:
Surface 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 .

SUMMARY:
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.

CRAPPIE
Moderate.  Crappie 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 BASS
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 producer.

MUSKY
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.

STRIPERS
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.


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