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OUTDOORS: Recent Lake Fishing Forecasts

Chickamauga Lake Reservoir – 8/10/23

According to TWRA contributor Billy Wheat, Bass in the Chickamauga Lake Reservoir are definitely schooling around the grass edges at the time of this forecast.  According to Wheat, The spooks Buzz bait and Pop-Rs are doing some work. Swim Jigs and Chatter baits are also a good bet especially if they’re pulling water. The finesse game in the grass is a light dropshot or a Neko rig with a finesse worm.”

Wheat says the offshore is great to run if the water is pulling.

“Big Spinnerbait and a Big Chatterbait is a great choice when gunning for a big one. Water level is full. Water temperature is 81-83 degrees farenheit.”

You can follow Billy Wheat on Facebook and his website for more on his forecasting… https://www.facebook.com/riprapfishingadventures and www.riprapfishing.net

Fall Creek Falls – 7/12/23

As reportred by the Region 3 fisheries staff:

Lake Conditions- Lake is being maintained at typical summer pool, but the lake is currently several inches low. Surface water temperature is 82-84°F and water clarity is 3 ft near the headwaters and 7 ft at the dam.  Ten automatic fish feeders are currently in use from the dam to the lakeside cabins and boat dock. Threadfin Shad and Golden Shiners were recently stocked as forage.

Largemouth Bass:  Fishing is fair.  Some bass are being caught using wacky-rigged plastics along the edge of weed beds.  Some 1–2-pound bass are being caught, but most are under 1 pound.  The best bass bite has been early or late in the day, but overall has slowed down since the spring.  Most folks targeting bass are catching around 1 per hour.  Daily bass creel limit is 10 fish per day and only 1 (one) over 16 inches may be harvested.

Bluegill and Redear Sunfish:  Fishing is fair. Anglers are still catching some Bluegill and Redear, but the larger fish have moved out a little deeper. Try red worms, Catawba worms, or crickets in 8-15 ft of water. Daily Bluegill/Redear (in combination) creel limit is 10 per day, no length limit.

Catfish:  Fishing is excellent.  There have been lots of 5–8-pound catfish caught in the last several days. The monthly all-night fishing was slow.  The morning bite has been on fire and the evening action has been steady and good. You need to be where the fish are, if you don’t get a bite in 15-30 minutes, try another spot.  The feeders are a good spot to start, but people are still catching stringers on underwater flats and adjacent to the many ditches.  Channel Catfish are being caught using chicken livers and Catawba worms.  Daily catfish creel limit is 5 per day, 16-inch minimum length limit.

Crappie:  Fishing is slow.  Some small fish are still being caught near brush, artificial structure, and the boat dock using live bait and patience.  Most crappie caught in the last few weeks have been 8-9 inches long.  There is no creel or length limit on crappie at Fall Creek Falls Lake.

Tim’s Ford Lake – 8/4/23

Tim’s Ford forecast contributor Captain Jake Davis says, “Lots of good action at night right now, but please slow down and keep your lights on.”

Captain Davis says Sped Craws, Crankbaits, and Jigs around cover are good as well. Early mornings and Late evenings are seeing some good top water action.

“We continued to catch fish spread out on secondary points and around brush piles. Best lures have been Tightline Mussel Crawler jigs tipped with Twin Tail grub. Texas Rigged creature baits, produced as well.”

Stripe and rock fish are still can be found off points, according to Captain Davis. “…on river channel bends with bucktail jigs, swimbaits and live bait. Lake temperatures are between 88 and 90.5 degrees and the lake level is basically at summer pool.”

You’re advised to wear your life vest at all times while on the water and watch for floating logs.

Capt. Jake Davis 615-613-2382 or msbassguide@comcast.net

Watts Bar Reservoir – Aug 2nd – Aug 9th

Forecast contributor Nathan Rogers, Region III Creel Clerk says

The weather was cloudy with chances of storms most of the week and weekend. Temperatures were around mid to upper 60’s at night and reaching as high as 87. Lake visibility was still poor due to heavy rain events. Water temperatures were cool throughout the riverine sections of the lake and warmer in main lake areas.  Water level was at normal summer pool level.

Reservoir Conditions

Water Temp:

–          Tennessee River (below Ft. Loudoun Dam): 74.9 degrees Fahrenheit

–          Tennessee River (main lake): 86.0 degrees Fahrenheit

Water Clarity: Tennessee River channel 3 feet

Water Level: 740.2 feet

Water Flow: (as of August 9th)

–          Watts Bar Dam: ~47500 cfs

–          Melton Hill Dam: ~9700 cfs

–          Fort Loudon Dam: ~21900 cfs

Species Specific Information

Bass: Fishing soft plastics still seems to be the angler’s choice. For example, Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, Ned rigs, dropshots, and shaky heads with craws, lizards, and other soft plastics in around 10-15 feet. Others are also finding success with buzz baits and spinner baits on rock walls, near docks, and channel ledges. Top water bites are successful in early morning or late evening.

Crappie: live minnows/jigs in inlets off of main channel

Catfish: Fishing creek channels or main river channel with cut bait. Anglers below the dam are fishing up against the dam and finding success

Walleye/Sauger: Trolling main river channel with spoons or crankbaits. Slow trolling upstream in light current. Also saw success drifting nightcrawlers

Striped Bass: Drifting with live bait below dams with some current

White Bass: Small spoons, mister twisters, and jigs on river channel in current.

Information from: TN.gov/TWRA