By far the most popular activity on Norris Lake is fishing. Norris is among the Nation’s top for Striper and produces ample quantities of walleye and small mouth as well.


Fishing follows seasonal patterns. Most winter fishing is concentrated in the headwaters of the reservoir and in the mouths of tributary streams. In early spring, some species begin spawning runs.


Walleye and sauger, for example travel upstream into the Clinch and Powell Rivers and many are caught on these runs.


Good reservoir fishing is available from March through June. Crappie fishing is best in April and early May. Bass and walleye fishing hits it’s peak in May and June. Hair jigs and deep running plugs are effective for most species in early spring. Spinners and worms are standard walleye bait.


During summer months, night fishing for white bass and white crappie using live bait and lights has proven successful. Black bass fishing, particularly small mouth, picks up again in the fall. White bass, white crappie, and walleye are caught by shallow trolling and still fishing with minnows.


Fishing Licenses: Are NOT available at the marinas, but can be purchased on your way through town at Wal Mart.

Walleye Feb-March Headwaters; gravel or rock points in main lake Hair jigs, lead-heads, grubs, small spoons, crank baits
June-Oct Nighttime-Jigging spoons over deep water Worms, spinners, crank baits, hair jigs, jigging spoons
Daytime-Trolling spinner rigs off long points
Sauger Feb-March Headwaters; gravel or rock points in main lake Hair jigs, lead-heads, grubs, small spoons, crank baits
White Bass Feb-March Headwater streams Minnows, spinners, crank baits, jigs, grubs
June-Aug Trolling, jump fishing, breaking fish, nighttime under lanterns Top water in breaks, and grubs, jigs, crank baits, and minnows at night
Crappie Feb-May Brush in coves; trolling Minnows, grubs, crank baits and jigs
June-Oct Trolling small crank baits; deep brush piles; minnows under lanterns at night; deep Minnows, grubs, jigs, small crank baits
Stripped Bass Feb-April Headwaters Spoons, crank baits, large jigs, large top water lures, live shad
May-Oct Fish open water main channel areas; search for breaking fish, fish thermoline Live shad, large top water, large jigs
Catfish March-Oct Both daytime and nighttime rough out the reservoir Stink bait, worms, chicken livers
Bluegill March-Oct Daytime Crickets, worms, grubs, popping lures
Largemouth Bass March-Nov Dingy water-up creeks, clear water-drop offs and deep brush Worms, crank baits, jigs and pig, lizards, spinner baits
Smallmouth Bass Jan-Dec Dingy water-shallow points; clear water-deep rock, drop-offs, bluffs Worms, flies, rind, crank baits, spinner baits
Spotted Bass March-Dec Steep banks, boat docks, bluffs, big rocks Worms, flies, rind, crank baits, spinner baits, minnows

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