April 2001



No fish in the river still. Plenty of skipjack and white bass. We had a great fish fry. Wind gusted up to 25 out of the E, temps were mid 70's, water was 67, clarity was 5 feet. Jodi's first trip out since February. No day on the river is a bad day.



Me and buddy Steve fished below Melton Hill. Started about 6 pm pulling gizzards on boards and floats. It didn't take long to locate a few fish, but they wouldn't eat the bait. I finally had one big shad get nailed hard, but still missed. Air temp was 74 at the start and about 55 by dark..brrr. (short sleeves) I was guessing they'd crank the water up at 8 and that's exactly what they did. We ran up to the dam with 6 shad in the tank. I hooked up twice on 10 lb test and broke off BOTH fish....I was mad. They were feeling like VERY good fish, especially the first one which I had on for two minutes. Then I broke out the artificial and hooked up on the first cast...about 10 lbs and our only saxatilis of the night. Poor Steve didn't even get fishy hands except for shad slime. Water temp: 60-67, clarity: 2-5 feet.



Fished on Melton Hill with Allan today. We pulled some good sized gizzards. We slayed white bass for about 45 minutes and I caught 25 or so to his 10. Yo-Zuri pins minnow is 'da bomb' for whites. Several nervous, on-top baits later, we hooked up right before dusk an a decent fish. It hit a good sized shad and fought like a 25-30 lb striper....the only thing was that it really pulled sideways. Yep, you guessed it, hybrid. BIG hybrid. Weighed 16.3 on the trusty berkeley scale. Biggest hybrid I've ever seen. No camera though....oh well. Great fish, worth the trip. Water temp: 51-53, clarity 8-9 feet. Air temp mid 60's with an annoyingly steady NE headwind at 10-15 mph.



Pulled some gizzards and threadfin below Melton Hill. Landed two fish, 10 and 15 lbs.

Several more boils, but no hook ups. Clarity 4 feet, temp 57. Moderate breeze picked up out of the SW 10-15 mph right after we put out the baits. Temps were mid 70's when we left at about 2. No cautions at Tallageda again. Fortunately nobody died either.



Fished the river with dad. We tried skipjacks on the big fish, but nothing doing. He really enjoyed chasing skipjack around with that grub. We turned into white bass fishermen and caught quite a few males. It's about the time the 2+ females show up for some real 4 lb test stretching. Clarity was 5 feet, temp: 58. Air was low 70s, stiff W winds 20 mph. At least we caught fish and got smelly.



Below Ft. Loudon dam tonite. One generator didn't quite turn them on enough for artificial, but I saw a couple of boats land fish with shad. Temp was 56, clarity: 3 feet. Air temp: mid 60's, SW wind 10 mph. Clear skies. Caught one skipjack and went home.



Back on the river again. Water was 55-56 degrees, and clarity was 4 feet. Skipjack are EVERYWHERE. I had no problem catching bait. Unfortunately, the arctic blast yesterday whacked the fish hard and they wouldn't so much as sniff the bait. Should make it back up tomorrow. Air was 60 and dropped fast, light winds 5-10 from the W. Good to see the bait in there like it is.



Took my sister and brother in law below Melton Hill for some big fish action. It was windy and not nice. We had one big boil, but no hookup. We wound up doing pretty well on white bass. She caught one 16" long and we all had fun putting fish in the boat. Air was low 60's, water was 55-56, clarity: 4 feet. Strong NE winds 15-20.

Monster Skipjack! I'm not sure, but mine might be smaller...



Managed to find my way below Cordell Hull dam today. I'm in Nashville for pole-climbing school. fun. Caught a striper on my second cast!

...and how's this for self-photography?...

(enlarged from above picture)

(maybe I actually DO know what I'm doing, HA!) Wound up with 4 stripes all about the same size and a pile of skipjack. Caught the stripes on my 1 oz shad jigheads and plastic trailer, and the skipjack on a pink/white solid body tube on a 1/8 oz leadhead. Successful trip, but none of those middle Tennessee monsters.



Bass Tournament in Georgia at Berkeley lake. We caught fish, but nothing to weigh. HOWEVER, we managed to make the most of the trip out of state, observe:

We wound up slaughtering some fine crappie. There were 38 of them all around 1 lb. We filleted all of them and probably had about 15 lbs of boneless crappie. No payout on the tournament, but we made up for it!



It drizzled, and it drizzled and it drizzled......and I got soaked. But that was okay because I saw stripes. Unfortunately, they didn't eat my skipjack. It was still a good evening to be on the river. The generation has been off the past couple of days...not what I need, maybe they will come around soon. Water temp....54, clarity 2 feet, air 55 degrees, heavy drizzle, no wind, nice day.



Okay folks, it is April fools, but I don't joke around when it comes to fishing. It is TIME to get out of the house and catch a TROPHY. If you've been wondering if you should book a trip, the answer is YES....RIGHT NOW. Today is just the beginning of the river season. Water temp was 54, clarity: 3-4 feet. Air temps were mid 50's, strong winds from the W 10-20 mph, but completely calm at sunset. We fished live skipjack up to 1.5 lbs and I skunked Ezell 2-0. First fish was a

FIGHTER, about 25 lbs.

Second fish was NOT a fighter...fought like a catfish, but was 41.5 inches long and over 30 lbs.

They're there and it is ON! Book the trip, catch a monster river striper. This is what it is all about.