Lake levels are now at 359.5ft and are predicted to be stable throughout this week, but I want to remind everyone that TVA will start dropping water levels just after the Fourth of July weekend. Water temperatures are in the mid 80s accross most of the lake, and flow rates are averaging 25,000 to 30,000cfs.

Fishing has picked up for most species, bluegill and shellcracker are being taken around the numerous mayfly hatches. Bass have started to be found on the ledges again, with some decent stringers with good weights coming in at the scales. Fishermen are using Texas rigged presentations fished on top of the ledges were bait-fish are present.

Crappie are enjoying the plentiful shad that seemed to have a exceptional spawn this year, and are being found in 15-20ft depths around cover using minnows and jigs fished slowly.

Catfish have been on bed, and now have started moving back out toward the river channel, although many are still being taken in shallow water around rock cover. Baits of choice seem to be night crawlers and livers.

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission passed an emergency rule to provide a different procedure for issuing duck blinds this year to help protect public health due to Covid-19. The action came Friday at the June meeting of the commission held at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building.

The handheld drawings usually result in large crowds gathering at the various sites. A computerized drawing will be held instead of a handheld drawing for 12 wildlife management areas and applications can be submitted at July 2-26. Results will be available by Aug. 1 and successful hunters will receive an electronic blind permit. Additional details concerning this year’s process will be coming soon.