April 2004



Fished the jacks.  Small bait proved a little more difficult...had to pick through 5 big ones per usable bait.  Had limited subsurface action and finally sank the metal into a mean 27 lb, 41.5" fish which did some serious drag stripping.  No other hits after that, but a beautiful day despite the 80 mph gusts and thick, yellow pollen haze over my pupils.  Another notch in the 20+ belt.



No trolling motor, no problem....The Minn Kota is still kaput, but the guide came thru.  We didn't lack on effort though...3 different fishing places, 60 miles in the boat, 190 miles in the truck... 32.5 lbs, 25 lbs, 20 lbs, and 12 lbs.  All were caught on gizzards but the 25 was on a skipjack.   We hooked all 4 out of 4 fish that hit in the lip with Eagle Claw 6/0 circles.  It was dead calm most of the day, humid and sunny, which made the low 80 heat feel like roasting in an oven.  Bait is easy as can be in all forms.  Water temps have gotten high due to the lack of flow from all of our dams....71 on the river....nearly 20 degree rise in 3 weeks.  Good catching.


Another beautiful day to be on the water, no wind, easy bait, but no big takers.  We finished up the evening by catching 4 sauger, a couple of smallies and a couple white bass.  The sauger and white bass became dinner, the smallies went back.  Just a perfect evening to be on the water.



A loss.  Nothing doing in several different locations.  Can't exactly remember details for this trip....too many beers to drink the no-fish situation away.  O YEAH, I remember....we wound up fishing for white bass and I put on a clinic, that's right.  Ask Jason, Ryan, and Dave about it sometime.  Yo-Zuri pins minnow was the killer.  We finished with about 25 whites and several yellows, a smallmouth and a buffalo which we gave all of them away to the folks at the ramp and they were ecstatic!



Had multiple hookups, had multiple losses due to pulled hooks and or broken lines.  We did boat one fish at 22 lbs.  Sunny, temps in the 80 range and windy.  Water temp was 66, bait was easy.  


Went on a mission today on the upper end of Tellico.  Lots of bait, nothing to fish for.  I was disappointed and my transducer paid the ultimate price to a big honkin standing tree about 1" under the surface.  I was lucky to still have the Merc strapped firmly to the Detwiler hydraulic jack plate.  No fish there.  Took the show to Ft. Loudon dam to see if there's any pre-season activity.  Nope.  Pulled some planers around the base of the dam with no interest at all.  The wind got up a little today, and it sprinkled and rained pretty much the whole time and never got above 60, so I guess it was kinda nasty.  Nothing good to report:



Started out like a great day.  A little overcast and cool.  Jacks were abundant on the sabikis.  However, the fish didn't cooperate with us at all.  We fished out our first batallion of jacks and loaded up on mooneye.  Took the mooneye to Watts Bar and got hit after hit after hit after hit after hit after hit, but couldn't hook up on the fish.  They were all smallish fish 8-12 lbs and the baits were a little more than they could swallow.  It was fun watching 3-4 fish boiling on all sides of the boat at any given moment.  It stayed cool all day and probably barely hit 60.  Sun stayed hidden, but the winds were dead calm most of the latter part of the day.  Clarities and temps: 3' and 56 degrees; 10' and 55 degrees.  Nice day of fishing, bad day of catching.



Headed out after work today and met up with Ryan in the River Pro.  Jacks are on the docket and big stripes are hungry, so we caught a big fish.  41 lbs to be exact.  Had two big blow ups prior to the caught fish, but couldn't bury the metal in either of them.   

Also, special congratulations to this young lady who had just caught the biggest fish of her life at the boat ramp:




Decided to take a day off the grind and get down to some business.  Hit paydirt again.  We busted a 20 and a 40 on jacks today.  Planer for the first fish, hit and missed the next, hit and broke the next, then caught the 40 lber.  We were off at 1 pm.  Water was 55 degrees, 4' clarity, cool morning about 75 for a high.  Little to no wind and very sunny.  Fish were hitting when we left.  I headed out to Watts Bar after that journey and got a few scoops of gizzards and connected with a 12 lber.  3 fish today, strike another 40 up for '04.  Did anybody else find it coincidental that Darren's 40 came on 04/04/04?  Hmmm...  Big fishees.



Did I say "biggest fish of this year" yesterday?  Oops, I meant biggest fish of this year....TODAY.  More battling wind, but it was partly cloudy and cooler today.  Winds were out of the N at 15-20 and never let up.  Water temps were 53 at the first location and 58 at the location where it all went down.  The only fish we caught today was Darren's little 40 lb stripe caught on a 10" gizzard on a planer.  It was so tough to fish this weekend, there was hardly another boat on the water.  Perserverence paid off and we have another member in the 40 lb club.  Congratulations, Darren!



Nice and wIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIndy.  It blew ALL DAY literally sun-up to sunset.  15-20 mph and totally relentless.  Fished the Bar early on, bait was a little tough and scattered, but still managed some great baits.  Caught a 10 lb fish and decided to haul out to Meltonio.  Turned out to be a good decision.  We battled the wind and waves and hooked up and broke off within 3 minutes of putting the baits out.  About 5 minutes later we were hooked up again, but lost the fish.   Another 5 minutes and a big surface blow up, but he never touched the bait.  It was what happened 5 minutes after that which was most important.  Nervous bait and a buckled GLoomis signified that the battle was ON.  It lasted over 5 minutes and was a tug-of-war all the way to the boat.  Lipped, gripped, weighed and measured the fish was 38 lbs and 43 inches.  Biggest fish this year!  One more hitless pull of the hot zone yielded one more boil, but no takers.  Gotta go heal the windburn now.  Air was in the low 60's all day, mostly sunny, water temps were 50-69 on watts bar and 58-61 on meltonio.