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TWRA Weekly Fishing Forecast

Center Hill

Forecast Contributor - Danny Stone – TWRA Creel Clerk

Reservoir Conditions: Fishing is fair. The water temperature is 80 degrees, and the lake is falling.

Bass: A few bass are being caught on topwater baits while fishing schooling shad in the creeks.

Walleye: A few walleye are being caught while trolling main lake flats at night in 25 feet of water.

Crappie: A few crappie are being caught under docks on minnows in 15-20 feet of water.

Cherokee Lake

Forecast Contributor Hunter Sales

The Cherokee Lake level has been falling in a consistent September fashion although still significantly higher than normal for September. The baitfish are abundant, but seemingly unrelated to structure. As the water continues to fall, bass will begin pushing these baitfish across points into pockets. The top water bite has been improving with quality largemouth and smallmouth being weighed in on a spook, and this will only continue to get better in the coming month. Try spooling your bait caster with 40 lb. Seaguar Smackdown braid for your spook.

The other major pattern that has emerged in recent days is fishing steeper banks with wood. The falling water doesn’t affect the fish on these steeper banks as much and quality largemouth can be caught flipping a jig or Texas rig into the cover. This isn’t a numbers pattern but can yield solid tournament catches. If you’re seeking numbers of bass, try targeting smallmouth around the islands with a ZMAN Ned rig in 20 feet of water.

The area above 25E bridge continues to be the strongest.

All of the equipment needed for a great day on the water can be picked up at our local Bass Pro Shops in Kodak!

Feel free to email me for more information


Forecast Contributor Hensley Powell - - Follow on Facebook

Powell states he’s still catching bass on topwater with a smaller white buzz bait around shallow hydrilla grass in places. He’s also catching bass punching the grass mats. He is using a black and blue Missile Baits D Bomb for his best results. Powell is still catching a few out deep but the better results for numbers are shallow covering water.

Forecast Contributor – Chris Harris – TWRA Creel Clerk

Reservoir Conditions: The lake elevation is at 681’. Water temps on the reservoir are in the upper 70’s to low 80’s.

Crappie: Reports of crappie being caught at night using lights and daylight hours in deeper water 20'-30'. Bridges, bluffs, and channels leading to creeks are great places to target.

Bass: Anglers are transitioning to creeks off the main channel. Some anglers are still fishing ledges, drops off the river, while others are sticking to points and rocky banks. Mouths of creeks are being targeted as well. You can be successful in any of these patterns. Pick the one your best at and stick with it. Grass mats are forming in the back of sloughs and off the main river channel.

Bluegill: Don't forget about this fun to catch fish. Some bluegills can be caught around rocky bluffs and drops in the 10'-15' range and all the way down to 25.

Walleye: A few walleye are still being caught on the Hiwassee and around mid-lake on the Tennessee using crankbaits.

Dale Hollow

Reservoir Conditions: Fishing is good. The water temperature is 80 degrees, and the lake is falling.

Smallmouth Bass: A few smallmouth are being caught on drop shots while fishing grass in 30 feet of water.

Largemouth Bass: A few largemouth are being caught while fishing shallow grass and wood with topwater baits and square bill crankbaits in 5-10 feet of water.

Walleye: Lots of walleye are being caught while trolling at night and jigging spoons on breaks in 30 feet of water.

Crappie: A few crappie are being caught in the rivers while fishing minnows around fallen trees in 20 feet of water.

Douglas Lake

Forecast Contributor Brad Burkhart –

September, usually one of the toughest months of the year to fish for bass. The dock deal is working pretty good though. I’m catching the majority of the bass right now on a 1/2 oz killer Bass baits football jig tipped with a 4” green pumpkin chigger craw. Now skipping isn’t something you pick up right off the bat, you’ll have to practice a bit. Practicing skipping is like anything else, the more you do it the better you’ll be. Having the right set-up will help you along the way better. I use a 7’ medium heavy Trident series killer bass rod, a Johnny Morris platinum bait casting reel and 17lb Pline Tactical fluorocarbon. So many people use a rod that’s too long and hello e that’s too heavy. Using this general setup will make it so much easier. You may even want to start off with a 6’8 or 6’10” rod. The shorter the rod, the easier it will be to skip. When going they the motion try to keep your bait parallel to the water’s surface when releasing the bait. 

So…….hit the docks and get to catching. The topwater bite is picking up and I’m sure we’ll be covering that in the weeks to come. 

God Bless!!

Brad Burkhart


Kentucky Lake

Forecast Contributor Tristan McCormick – Follow on Facebook

Kentucky lake is still fishing good. This cooler weather each day is going to have these fish schooling up on shallow bars where you can catch them on top water. Creeks are the most constant right now shallow grass with top water and soft plastics.


Forecast Contributor Hensley Powell - - Follow on Facebook

Powell states he’s been going up in the river on Nickajack and catching bass pretty well on a frog and flipping. He states he’s catching as many on shallow hydrilla flats on the river as he is in the creeks on Nickajack and Chickamauga. The fish are scattered right now but that’s normal for September. He states for his guide trips currently he’s got a white buzz bait, a frog and a punching stick on the deck and using those all day long. The buzz bait is only a ¼ ounce bait because the fish won’t hit the bigger ones. He states the bass are eating the small minnows in the river right now.

Normandy Lake

Forecast Contributor Captain Jake Davis - - Follow On Facebook

Top water action for bass early and late in the day, work shade areas with creature baits and finesse worms to find some good fish.  Target pockets and pee gravel flats for best results.   Walleye can be caught trolling crankbaits or drifting minnows/crawler harnesses on flats and in the river.  Water temperatures range from 81 to 83 degrees.

Old Hickory

Most of the bass have left the ledges and have moved into the creeks. Try small finesse baits around docks and laydowns. Using topwater and any bait mimicking shad will produce the best results. Fish are also coming fishing grass with hollow bodied frogs in the early morning and by flipping the grass with heavier weighted creature baits after the topwater bite dies off. 

Percy Priest

Forecast Contributor Brian Carper - - Follow On Facebook

The last few days the bass and crappie have been hanging on to their summer pattern. The crappie are producing well mid lake in 14 to 20ft. Minnows have been the best producer fished 2-3 feet off the bottom. The temperature has been in the mid-70s and with the 7-day forecast it does not look like it's going to drop much any time soon. The bass are continuing to stay in their summer patterns. Although some are being caught shallow many are still being caught in 8ft to 14ft of water on points, humps, and ledges. Deep crankbaits, worms and jigs have been producers. This will continue until the temperature drops a little more and when they start lowering the lake mid October. For more information check out


The bass are abandoning the ledges at Pickwick too. Anglers are having luck in grassy areas and pockets with jigs, swim baits and Carolina rigs. In the shallow water flukes, blade baits, top water, rattle traps and anything imitating shad are having success. The crappie bite remains slow. The catfish bite continues to be better at night with flavored cut chicken breast.

Tims Ford

Forecast Contributor Captain Jake DavisFollow on Facebook

Days are getting shorter; water is down to 887.50 from 888.68 and cooled down to 81.5 – 82 degrees.  For the most part it’s still all about timing best results for Largemouth and Smallmouth remain early mornings from first light to mid-morning and from dust well into the nighttime hours.   Carolina Rigged sped craws, Tightline Mussel Crawler jigs tipped with Twin Tail grubs produced as well. Top water action can be found early morning and late in the afternoon.  Night fishing continues to produce with jigs and spinnerbaits producing. Stripe and rock fish can be found off of points and on channel bends with bucktail jigs, swimbaits, live bait and at night with top water lures. 

Watts Bar

Forecast Contributor – Joe Tallent

Water temps are cooling off and hitting the 70s. Nights are longer and colder. Starting to see some fall fishing show up. Topwaters and Shad type baits seem to be key. Smaller seems to be the best as much of the Shad the fish are eating is still very small. Lots of grass is being sprayed still and seems to be hurting that bite. Look on rock banks with laydowns for the most productive fishing. Still a few lingering on deeper structure but don't plan to catch many. 

Woods Reservoir

Forecast Contributor Captain Jake Davis – Follow On Facebook

Bass can be found in the grass and on deep humps; better result are early morning Swim-jigs and topwater.  Jigs with primary colors Green Tequila and Golden Flash with trailers and Swim-jigs around grass ledges and off-shore humps work well.  Again, do not neglect a Carolina rig… Water temperatures range from 80 to 83 degrees.

NOTE - The TWRA wants to build a comprehensive report each week of the state’s lakes. If you do not see a report for your favorite lake and you are someone who can provide a report please contact us at and provide us with your contact information.