Cherokee Lake Tennessee Fishing Report – Gary Loucks
CHEROKEE LAKE FISHING REPORT
January 1, 2014
Water elevation is 1046.62 feet as of 2 PM, January 1, 2014. Generation release times are varied. Release volume at 2 PM was 16,440 cfs. An average surface temperature on the reservoir for this reporting period was 47 degrees. Water is currently clear on the lower reservoir with stained conditions on the upper reservoir river section and creeks. The following link will take you to a web page that illustrates fish stocking efforts undertaken by TWRA (www.tn.gov/twra/fish/Reservoir/stockings.pdf), while this link is an all-inclusive East Tennessee fishing resource (www.tnfish.org).
Angler pressure has been hot and cold this week due to the holidays. Striped and black bass anglers alike enjoyed some good fishing for most of the week.
SMALLMOUTH, LARGEMOUTH AND SPOTTED BASS: Good
Small and largemouth bass fishing remains good across the lake with the emphasis on smallmouth.
Jerk baits, crank baits and spinner baits in silver, shad, greens and whites were used extensively. Plastic worms in red or red/green were the colors most popular for those baits.
It’s been good fishing along all shorelines. Bass have been found from 25 foot depths to the shallows where rocks and wood abound. Surface activity picked up since the winds and rains subsided earlier in the week.
Fish all shorelines for black bass in general. Seems the shorelines along the islands are holding good populations of smallmouth and spotted bass.
STRIPED BASS: Good
Stripers still remain active. They were seen foraging across the lake during the earlier part of the week with more and more of them grouping together in deeper water, especially at the points, and left and right sides of coves and inlets.
Trolling remains the best way to catch stripers. Bay areas near points 2 and 3 were fishing good early week as have points 16 and 17. The creek areas were not as effective as the bigger bay areas.
Use umbrella rigs with green and shad colored swim baits. Live shad is a good bait as well. Some anglers were using seven inch rapallas in shad color and bombers in greens and silver colors.
CRAPPIE & BLUEGILL: Below data is unchanged
Crappie fishing has improved greatly since last report. The bait selections remain unchanged. Bluegill are on the shorelines in great numbers but those large numbers are widely distributed.
Small, weighted crappie spinners fished deep to twenty feet have worked well, especially during high water levels. The preferred color is still green. Minnows on a bobber are catching the most fish and definitely the largest fish over this past week. Trolling has proven very effective but, casting with a bobber was the most popular method this week. Crappie spinners should prove very effective during the stained conditions.
Fish the shoreline where cover is adequate to hold fish. Bobber with minnows or crappie flies work well. Crappie spinner baits in green or yellow caught a lot of fish.
WALLEYE: Fair (This section is unchanged)
Walleye fishing is getting better and better with the colder temperatures.
Good bets for lures would be chartreuse, orange or green 3/8 or 5/8 oz. jigs, depending on current, or spinner lures with a flashy blade.
The Melinda Bridge area on the river section of the lake is prime walleye fishing, as is the bay just below the John Sevier Steam Plant. The creek inlets on bay areas are also starting to produce nice fish.
WHITE BASS: Fair
White bass is rated fair as not many fishermen are actually targeting them yet. The catch rate is improving as the water has cooled. No further data is available at this time.
John Sevier Reservoir
December 18, 2013
Water temperatures on the reservoir averaged 47.4 degrees over the past five days with stained conditions early week and ending with clear water conditions that will extend to the weekend. Water flow through the reservoir has been high. The reservoir is currently high but water levels should abate by the weekend. The lake is now approximately 2 feet above normal levels with a slowing of current flow at mid stream.
Fishing has remained difficult for the first part of the week but, has improved as of Tuesday and appears to continue to improve. Without rain in the forecast for the weekend, the reservoir should be returned to normal water levels and flow, hopefully by Saturday.
LARGEMOUTH & SMALLMOUTH BASS: Good
Black bass have been difficult over the past week and remain so even now. This situation is improving each day as more and more good sized bass, both large and smallmouth are being caught as the week progresses.
There seems to be no favorite bass lure on John Sevier. Visitors from other counties throw crank baits, spinner baits, spoons, lizards and plastic worms while the resident anglers toss night crawlers and minnows. All catch fish but it’s been a trying week weather-wise for all anglers.
Currently the bass are laying just off the shorelines with the area downstream of Beech Creek being popular. Nice largemouth have been caught against the dead vegetation in the center of the reservoir just upstream of the steam plant. Smallmouth are very active upstream of Bureum Island but be attentive of the danger of the shoals while navigating there.
REDEAR SUNFISH & CRAPPIE: Fair
Redear and crappie fishing successes remain low over the past week.
Most anglers are using minnows but, more and more are throwing the tiny crappy spinners, neither method having much luck.
Much of the following information remains unchanged. The varying water conditions on the reservoir makes for difficult fishing. One must just keep at it.
Catfish fishing seems to always be reliable. Channel cats are the predominant catfish in the reservoir.
Bluegills, chicken livers, large minnows, night crawlers, and even swim baits stuffed with fish attractor have been seen used by anglers. Bluegills and night crawlers have been used with most success.
Catfish have been found primarily in mid-stream with many caught closer to shore where the shoreline plunges quickly. The river bottom is mud, so anglers can’t go wrong fishing just about anywhere. A tip would be to fish where there is at least a slight current, bordered by a mud flat. This type of water condition is preferable over a large pool of unmoving water.