I went to Norris over the weekend with my family. We stayed in the Twin Coves area. I believe the branch of the lake we were on is called Cove Creek. The lake is LOW.
The arm we were on still had water and was probably 30-40 feet deep out in the channel, but the lake is probably 20' low.
We didn't have a boat this weekend so it was bank fishing for me. Fishing the shoreline in this cove with the water as low as it is is dangerous at best. The shoreline is nearly vertical and all loose sandstone rocks that want to slide from under foot at every step. As steep as the shore is, a fall in the water would put one in 20+ feet of water just a couple feet from the shore.
I took my 5wt fly rod and caught a few fish (a couple small smallmouth and a couple bluegill) but with the shore so steep and the footing so unsure, I didn't want to cut my line up on the roks or fall and break an expensive fly rod and/or mess up an expensive fly line.
I ended up spending most of my time fishing with a spincast outfit and tossing plastic worms, rooster tails, crank baits, and rapalas.
The fishing was surprisingly good. I ended up catching 20 or so fish over the weekend. Most of them were not large, but a good mix of largemouth, smallmouth, rock bass, and bluegill. I managed to bring one bluegill in that was about 9". Wish I had him on the fly rod (My 3wt would have been a blast).
The highlight of the trip, however, was one particular smallmouth. I was casting a yellow rooster tail along the shore line and thought I had hooked one of the thousands of rocks I managed to hook this weekend. I started climbing over the rubble of sandstone to the location where I was snagged so that I could get a better angle and free up the lure. That's when I realized rocks do not move. The line was heading out to deeper water.
After what seemed like about 3 minutes, I managed to land a 17" smallmouth.
By some standards it's not a big deal, but that is the biggest smallie I've ever caught. I've landed some largemouth bigger, but prior to Sunday, the biggest smallie I had ever caught was 14". To me a 17" smallie was a monster.
The watter temp was still quite warm. If you have access to a boat, the fish seem to be wanting to start on their fall / pre winter feeding as I was getting a steady stream of strikes. I landed those 20+ fish in about 500 yards of shore line. With a boat to cover more water, it would have been an outstanding fishing weekend.