Lake levels increased this past week, as added rainfall entered the Tn river system. Current levels are just above 359 ft and predicted to remain stable this week. Water temps have stabilized, with average surface temps staying around 85 degrees. Flow rates have ramped up a bit, with more coming into the system than leaving, but a noticeable flow has been present most of the time. Normally TVA will start the yearly drawdown of the reservoir system, but we’ve had more rain this year than the last few, causing the river to remain higher than normal. Generally TVA will have the lake down to winter pool, of 354 ft, by mid September.
The great shad spawn this year has been a blessing and famine to fishermen, the added food availability has really helped keep the sports fish strong, but has made it hard to make a ‘full bellied’ fish to get to bite. Bass have started to move out to the drops and humps chasing the shad, but a good number have been taken around shoreline cover, especially since the water came up over a foot. Early morning has been seeing the top water bite working well, and as the sun rises, crank baits fished on the humps and ledges is paying off. Crappie remain in the 15-20 ft range, and seem to always be on the move, so using techniques that cover water have been paying off the best. Some good size fish have been showing up, and some small fish from previous years spawns seem to be indicating that some great crappie fishing is yet to come. Catfish has slowed down, although a few continue to be taken shallow just off the river channel edge by fishermen using night-crawlers and chicken livers.
A hunter safety class will be taught this upcoming Thursday and Friday at the shooting range off Scepter Road. To take the free class, go to TWRA’s website; Tnwildlife.org and look for the class under the hunter safety section.