Unsteady conditions at Watauga

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR Correspondent

   With spring time officially here, the area lakes and streams are a hot spot for local recreation activities.
   Watauga Lake is suffering from unsteady conditions, which has caused fish to not be biting lately.
   There has been some rainbow trout caught and a few bass along brush piles.
   Crappie has also been hitting, but they will soon quit biting due to nesting.
   Crank baits seem to be the choice of fishermen right now, as conditions look to improve once the water level goes down.
   The water level at Boone Lake has slowed things down at times, but Stripers have been coming on strong, especially in the late part of the evening breaking up around the Dam.
   Up in the river arms of Boone, smallmouth bass has been caught by using jigs.
   Spinner bait is supposedly the best to use around the banks for catching Largemouth Bass.
   Crappie is also presently hitting on Boone Lake in shallow waters on the deep side of brush piles with Minnows and flies.
   On South Holston Lake, Smallmouth are hitting, mostly being caught on crank baits.
   A Bass that weighed seven pounds and three ounces was reported last week, which is huge for a Smallmouth.
   Some Walleye have been pulled in at night on crank baits, and using power bait and spinners have worked well on catching Trout.
   Bluegill and Carp are also up with the water rise up 17 feet, which has caused things to stir up.
   One of the best lakes to fish at this time is Cherokee, where it's been said that pretty much everything is biting, especially in the upper end.
   Predominately White Bass are being caught with flies, and back in the coves where brush piles submerge more than likely there will be a Bass waiting.
   Fishing has been good so far in both North and South Fork Holston Rivers, with some nice Smallmouth coming out of the North Fork.
   Smallmouth are being caught also in the South Fork Holston, but a lot of Largemouth Bass are biting, as well as several 6-7 pound Trout from Patrick Henry Dam down to around Richfield.