Largemouth and smallmouth bass are hitting reaction lures like crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Rapalas are doing fair along with other minnow imitating crankbaits like bandits and shad raps in silver with black backs. Crappie are still clinging to submerged brush and fallen timber. As usual, live minnows are the number one bait choice for some nice keeper crappie. A float and small lead head tipped with a minnow is a very good choice right now and red seems to be a good choice for the lead head color. Pink lead heads are also doing quite well.
3-12 FEET Moderating The canal between Tellico and Fort Loudoun reservoirs is an excellent place to fish for some big striped bass. Some are being caught from the bank, and some from boat. Big chartreuse or white bucktail jigs in the 7/8 to 1 oz. size are the best lure choice. There have been some nice sized striped bass caught in the canal where Tellico reservoir meets Fort Loudoun reservoir. Live skipjack in the 8-12 inch range is the best live bait. Swimbaits are also catching a few.
6-10 FEET Improving The crappie bite seems to be picking back up and they are biting very well over the entire reservoir. They seem to be moving their way back up to shallower water and into the brushpiles and submerged timber. Trolling grubs close to the river and creek channels is a good place to start. Chartreuse grubs in 1/16 to 1/4 oz. size are doing very well right now. White and silver grubs are doing well also. But a float and lead head tipped with a minnow is doing the best.
3-10 FEET Improving Points and submerged or partially submerged timber seem to be big bass magnets. The deep sides of points seem to be preferred by the bigger bass. Run medium diving crankbaits down the deep sides of points and shallow diving crankbaits up near the lake banks, near submerged timber and brushpiles. Medium sized chartreuse and white spinnerbaits are doing ok, along with bandit crankbaits in minnow imitating colors. Jigs and brush hawgs are starting to catch some nice keeper bass in and around submerged timber and brush piles.
2-8 FEET Improving The bluegill bite is improving considerably. They prefer small live bait such as crickets, redworms, pieces of nightcrawlers and even small artificial lures like grubs and very small crankbaits. A slip bobber set up is a good way to find some bigger bluegill when they are a little deeper. But, right now you can find them anywhere on the reservoir. Submerged timber and brush are the best places to find these tasty panfish. Panfish are excellent fighters when caught on a flyrod with a popping bug.
8-30 FEET Moderating The catfish are picking back up and hitting just about anything, including artificial grubs and plastic worms. Nightcrawlers and chicken liver seem to be the top bait choices for small to medium sized cats. However, cut bait seems to be the best bait for the bigger cats. Cut bait mainly consists of a shad or other oily baitfish cut into pieces and placed on a fairly big hook with a sinker from about 1/2 to 1 ½ ounces. It is best to use heavier rods and reels for bigger catfish because they can pull very hard once hooked. They have even been known to pull entire fishing poles from the hands of anglers on occasion. Catfish primarily range from 1 or 2 pounds up to and including some in the 50-60 lb. range, and everything in between. You can catch them during daylight hours, but they seem to become more active at night.
5-12 FEET Moderating The walleye bite seems to be moderating slightly. There have been some reports of walleye showing up near the forks of the river, which is slightly upstream from Knoxville. The ones that are showing up seem to like white and chartreuse jigs bounced off the bottom. 3/4to 7/8 ounce is a good size leadhead. Tip the jig with a 2-3 inch shiner minnow for added flavor and scent.
Source: TWRA - TN Reservoir Fishing Reports