Nestled between the Great Smoky and Cumberland mountains in east Tennessee is Norris Lake, the site of the last Walmart FLW Tour Invitational of the season. The finale is presented by Quaker State.
Norris is a big pond that stretches more than 200 miles from the dam up the Clinch River, meaning there is more than enough room for the pros to spread out this week while they search for the big largemouths, spotted bass and smallmouths that call these waters home.
The following is a look at some of the key areas of the lake.
Norris has some fantastic smallmouth fishing, and for the pros trying to target brown ones this week, the area of the lake known as the Loyston Sea will be a big factor. This is the widest section of the lake, coming in at about a mile across, and it features everything a smallmouth could love, including clear water, rocky points and sunken islands.
Though the lake is being drawn down to winter pool, there are still a number of fishable boat docks to be found, along with several big marinas on the lake. Since Norris doesn’t have a lot of cover other than wood in it, these docks provide perfect ambush spots for hungry bass.
Creeks such as Big, Cedar and Cove all house solid largemouth populations. From laydowns to offshore structure, there are plenty of places where pros will be able to fish their strengths. Some of the creeks have more stained water, and that could be the key to a better bite.
Both the Clinch and Powell rivers will be viable winning options in this event, especially for anyone interested in chasing laregmouths. Depending on how far up the rivers the pros choose to go, they might encounter areas that even John Cox would think twice about entering.
There are many big points on Norris. The key will be finding the points with patches of gravel or bigger rocks that will hold concentrations of bass. There could also be some schooling activity along these points, so don’t count out some topwater action.