UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Volunteer Division Headed to Norris

Volunteer Division Headed to Norris
Norris Lake

With the reshuffling of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Volunteer Division, along with a handful of other divisions, will get a chance to continue its 2020 season in an unusual way.

On June 20 and June 21, Norris Lake will play host to two separate Volunteer Division events. It’s not a two-day derby (as both tournaments will crown individual winners), but anyone who signs up for both events will get a little taste of the multi-day tournament life.

Anglers who register for both will have an opportunity to get a feel for the lake and come back the following day with a better understanding of how it’s fishing. On the other hand, two tournaments in two days will create some interesting decisions in terms of how to attack the lake with two days of fishing pressure to factor in.

 

Tournament Details

Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Volunteer Division

Norris Lake

Andersonville, Tenn.

June 20, 2020 and June 21, 2020

 

How the Lake Sets Up

Like many non-Tennessee River fisheries in eastern Tennessee, Norris is a deep, rocky lake with primary targets that include rock, wood and points. There’s not much grass to speak of, though the Clinch River and Powell River do provide some unique opportunities in terms of cover and structure.

On the main lake – a fairly narrow lake as a whole – there are countless points and cuts to take advantage of. In mid- and late-June, the backs of pockets should prove to be fairly productive, and in the lower end, there’s some clear, deep water to potentially find some schools of offshore smallmouth.

Generally, though, early summer tournaments are won with at least mixed bags and more commonly five green fish. For that, both rivers are well-suited for finding the winning fish.

Norris is more than 200 miles long, so there should be ample room for anglers to spread out each day. At its widest point (known as the Loyston Sea), the lake is more than a mile wide, and there’s enough backwater in the main lake and rivers to really find some isolated water.

 

Derrick Snavely

What to Expect

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Derrick Snavely, who hails from Piney Flats, Tenn., has spent his share of time on Norris, and he has some friends who live on the lake that he stays in close contact with.

According to Snavely, the tail end of June is going to be a good time to target largemouth in the Clinch and Powell.

“The river is going to be more predominant with the largemouth,” he explains. “The smallmouth this time of year are just really skinny, so I don’t think they’ll win – maybe a mixed bag. And the spots in that lake are very small for the most part.

“The river area is mainly laydowns, and the overhang where the trees and bushes hang over the water and create shade should be a big player. Somebody who can skip something up under those overhangs in those shady areas should do well. I think it’ll be more of a largemouth deal up there.”

The shad spawn is in full swing in Tennessee right now, but Snavely expects that to be a dwindling bite by June 20, though he doesn’t rule it out entirely.

“They’re spawning real heavily at night right now and really early in the mornings,” he says. “It’ll be a first-thing-in-the-morning deal, and that should be a player, but it’s kind of dwindling out by then. It’s not completely done, but it’s really going on right now.”

Junk-fishing will likely be the name of the game, with anglers primarily targeting laydowns and isolated rock. The lower end of the lake is a little more smallmouth-friendly, though Snavely says it’ll be hard to fill a decent limit just targeting brown fish at that end of the lake.

As for weights, the two tournaments likely won’t be slugfests.

“I’d say 15 or 16 pounds – possibly 14,” Snavely posits. “It won’t take a lot.”

That’s not to say Norris doesn’t hold quality fish, but finding big concentrations of them is hard to do in the summer months.

 

Derrick Snavely

Baits and Techniques

With a hodgepodge of target-oriented structure and cover on the main lake and in the rivers, there really isn’t a primary technique that plays better than others on Norris this time of year. There are fish to be caught flipping, cranking, dragging and otherwise, depending on what anglers are looking for.

Norris is ultra-clear, though, due in large part to invasive zebra mussels, and Snavely believes there might be an opportunity for anglers to find something a little different in the rivers with boat traffic stirring up the water.

“It’s always clear on the lower end unless there’s some huge rain,” he explains. “There could be some dingy water, though. One thing that could help his time of year is boat traffic. That can help on some stretches up in the river.”

Snavely says drop-shots, crankbaits and Carolina rigs are popular for targeting smallmouth on the lower end, while wacky rigs and topwaters will primarily get the call around docks and in the rivers.

But, given the time of year, there’s very little that won’t catch fish in the right areas.

Tags: justin-onslow  press-release  2020-06-20-norris 

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