East Tennessee Outdoors: News and reports from the outdoors for the week of May 8, 2020

Published 2:10 pm Friday, May 8, 2020

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It has been another up and down week in the outdoors. The weather is staying cool and rainy but much of the fishing is staying hot.

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With the temperatures below freezing a few nights, water temperatures are staying low, and I expect the fishing to only get better in the next week or two.

Lake Fishing

South Holston and Watauga Lakes are still producing good catches of smallmouth and largemouth bass. Use jerk baits and swim baits on points to have the best opportunity to catch fish.

Remember, on South Holston Lake there is no length limit on largemouth bass and 15-inch restriction on smallmouth bass. You can only keep a combined creel of five fish per day per angler.

For spotted bass, there is a 15 bass limit but there is no length restriction.

On Watauga Lake, largemouth bass has to be 12 inches long and smallmouth bass have to be 15 inches in length to keep them. Also, you can only keep five of these fish per day per angler.

For spotted bass, there is also a 15 bass limit but there is no length restriction.

Lake trout on Watauga Lake can be caught by fishing very deep using natural baits or spoons.

Also, don’t forget the monster walleyes that are still in Watauga. The walleyes are coming out of the spawn and are hungry.

Try large plugs in a variety of swimbaits. Don’t forget the trout patterns, especially the rainbow trout pattern.

River Fishing

A giant muskie was caught from the Nolichucky River recently. According to the TWRA, a Kingsport man, Luke Herndon, caught the massive fish while fishing below the Davy Crockett Reservoir and fought the fish for 30 minutes before landing it.

The fish was released by Herndon to grow even bigger.

Trout fishing on most of the rivers and creeks have really improved over the last few weeks. Watauga River and South Holston River have thousands of fish per mile but don’t forget the Doe River, South Indian Creek, and the Clinch River.

There is very good trout fishing also in Laurel Fork Creek, Beaver Dam Creek, and Rocky Fork Creek but a section of each of these waters is considered Wild Trout Waters and under special regulations.

Make sure you consult the regulation for these and all waters before going.

According to the TWRA, they will stock most streams in this area during the week of May 10, 2020, and during the week of May 24, 2020.

Most of what they will be stocking are catchable rainbow trout. For most streams, there is a seven fish limit but there is usually no size limit on rainbow and brown trout.

Outdoor News

Many parts of our community are reopening after the Covid-19 pandemic and that means most state parks and recreational facilities are also reopening.

As of this writing, most state parks and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park are partially opened and will be completely reopened shortly. Check the parks’ websites to confirm their openings and any special regulations.

Enjoy the outdoors but don’t forget the weather.

Lightning kills an average of 6000 people worldwide each year and all those who venture outdoors should watch the weather, especially this time of year.

I have been caught in a major lightning storm while hiking and it was one of the scariest things I have ever lived through.

Check the weather before you venture outdoors and watch the weather while you are outdoors. If you see a storm heading your way, seek shelter as soon as possible.

With all of life’s problems and troubles, it is good to know we still have the outdoors to help us take our mind off of our troubles.
Live life full and well because none of us have the promise of another day. God bless and happy fishing!