Watts Bar Lake is a reservoir on the Tennessee River created by Watts Bar Dam as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority system. Watts Bar's sport fishing ratings for crappie, black crappie, largemouth bass, and spotted bass are at or near the top in the TVA system.
Full pool 741 feet. Lake level is 740 1/2 feet, down 21/2 feet from last week. With so much water being flushed out of the upper East Tennessee Valley water temperatures are still struggling to get out of the upper 70s. Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass — Fair. Even though tournaments are taking a lot of weight to win the majority of boats are still struggling to catch a limit. Jigs, crank-baits, spinner-baits, Carolina and Texas-rigs and Alabama-rigs are all catching fish. Ledges and rocky banks remain good locations to find fish. Crappie — Good. Fish are 10-25 feet deep unless being caught at night under lights. Minnows and jigs tipped with minnows are catching fish near submerged wood and along steep rocky banks. Bluegill — Good. Pockets and shallow mud or gravel areas are full of fish. Night-crawlers, crickets and mill worms are great baits when used with a split-shot sinker or under a bobber.
Full pool 741 feet. Lake level is just under 741 feet, several inches from last week. With so much water being flushed out of the upper East Tennessee Valley water temperatures are still struggling to get out of the upper 70s. A Heartland Anglers Tournament last weekend out of the dam took more than 16 pounds to win, while another out of Dr. Tom Fuller Park Ramp took near 14 pounds. Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass — Fair. Even though tournaments are taking a lot of weight to win the majority of boats are still struggling to catch a limit. Jigs, crank baits, jerk baits, spinner baits, Carolina and Texas rigs and Alabama rigs are all catching fish. Ledges and rocky banks remain good locations to find fish. Crappie — Good. Fish are 5-15 feet deep and most fish are being caught at night. Minnows and jigs tipped with minnows are catching fish near submerged wood and along steep rocky banks. Bluegill — Good. Fish are beginning to build nests and spawn. Pockets and shallow mud or gravel areas are full of fish. Night crawlers, crickets and mill worms are great baits when used with a split-shot sinker or under a bobber.
The lake elevation on 4/28/2013 was 739.9 feet. The surface water temperature was in the upper 60‘s to lower 70‘s depending on the area being checked and time of day. This elevation was lower than the previous week and just slightly below summer pool. Fishing for crappie is very good. This crappie season has been better than any in recent history according to many who have wet a line. Minnows and jigs used as bait offer equal opportunities. The majority of crappie being caught seem to be in the 10 to 12 foot of water depth and around brush or stumps. Tightlining is the technique most anglers are using. Bass anglers are catching fish around secondary points, secondary ledges and in the shallow bay areas. Many bass are spawning and some have completed their work and are moving into deeper water. Lipless lures, jigs and worms are being used more than any other lures. Bags of 20 plus pounds of fish will be needed to have an opportunity to be the hero for the day in the local tournaments. White bass and rockfish can be caught in the upper portion of the reservoir during times when the current flow is favorable. Some catfish are being caught in the main channel along the bottom while using the typical baits generally associated with catfish. Many catfish are being caught by those anglers targeting crappie.
Full pool 741 feet. Lake level is at 739 feet, down several inches from last week. Water temperatures are in the low 60’s. Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass — Good. Jigs, crank-baits, jerk-baits and Alabama-rigs are all catching fish. Gravel banks, mouths of creeks and ledges are good spots to find fish. Crappie — Improving. Fish are 10-15 feet deep but the larger ones are still 20-25 feet deep. Minnows and jigs tipped with minnows are catching fish.
The lake is rising and the elevation on Sunday was at 739.2 feet. This is about at the midpoint between summer and winter elevation. Many anglers are catching many fish. The parking areas are full and this suggests that the peak season for angling is here. Crappie anglers are enjoying fast action in most areas of the lake. Most crappie are being caught by those anglers that troll jigs in 12 feet of water in the creek and bay areas leading into the shallows. Many casters are catching these suspended fish in the same areas. “Green Weenie” is the hot color grub being used. Many crappie are being caught shallow around brush or blowdowns while using minnows or jigs. One angler returned to the ramp with a limit caught in a short amount of time. Bass anglers are catching a lot of fish around secondary points and in shallow areas near spawning locations. A couple of bass were spotted on the bed this past week. Tournament anglers are reporting that weights greater than 20 pounds were needed to win recent tournaments. Crankbaits, jigs, and the “Tennessee Rig” are being used by most anglers. Lipless lures are being used by those in the shallowest water. White bass are being caught by anglers using jigs or crankbaits in the upper end of the lake. Some large catfish are being caught by just a few anglers that are searching for them. The typical catfish baits are being used by anglers.
The lake is slightly above winter normal level. The surface water temperature is averaging forty-two degrees early and warming slightly during the day. Crappie anglers are catching plenty of fish while trolling in the larger secondary creeks. Twelve to eighteen feet of water seems to be the target zone. Minnows, jigs, and crankbaits are being used by anglers. Some crappie anglers are targeting blowdowns along steep ledges. Trolling is a more efficient technique for filling the skillet. White bass are being caught in areas close to the tailwaters. Jigs or grubs are being used for bait. Sauger and walleye anglers are struggling with the water conditions. The water flow had slowed down with the closing of some spillways, but this past week four additional spillways were opened at Ft. Loudon Dam. The tailwater anglers were not catching many fish this past weekend. Bass fishermen are catching some quality largemouth and smallmouth. Bluff walls are one type of area where anglers were using the "rig" and jigs to catch some heavy fish. Lipless lures were being used on flats adjacent to deeper water. Primary points were being targeted by many anglers. Some anglers are catching the majority of their fish while using jerkbaits.
The lake is full and the surface water temperature is in the eighties. The bass bite is slow. Some anglers are catching a few good stringers, but the average catch is below what is normally expected. The water flow is very minimal on most days. Summer bass holes are not very consistent with the present conditions. The best bet for hooking up with a few bass would be fishing the banks with plastic worms rigged various ways along the main channel. Crappie are being caught in deep secondary brushy areas while using jigs, minnows or a combination of both. Target depth should be 15 feet deep. Some bluegill can be caught around bluff walls and docks while using worms or crickets. Catfish anglers are reporting mixed results. Shad is the better bait for the larger fish. Striped bass can be caught in the tailwaters for those that are proficient in the art of striper fishing. Forty stripers a day is not unattainable. Shad is the better choice. For the numbers to be good all the conditions must be in alignment.
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