August 2001



Hit Norris about 4:30. Half of the alewives were dead, the other half were absolutely WILD. No explanation for it. It was cloudy, windy 10-20 mph from the SW, and temps in the low 70's. Saw some fish on the Eagle, but nothing was interested in the baits. Rain brewed up at 7:00 and we headed for cover. It rained solid for an hour. We waited it out and headed in for the evening. Big ball game tomorrow, GO VOLS!



Late nite alewife acquiring excursion. We caught over 100 alewives between midnight and 3:00 am. They seemed to be real hardy when we left. Had about 40 in the tank.



Met Ezell for a Norris excursion. We caught one little 3 lber below Norris just messing around before heading up to the lake. Fished the lower end of the lake with all sizes of gizzards and had 3 serious hits, but all three times the hook turned into the bait and we missed hooking up. One of the baits was a definite 20+ bait that got completely crushed. Below Norris: temp: 50, clarity: 7+ feet, on the lake: temp: 86, clarity: 20 feet or more on the main lake. Air was 80, partly cloudy and light 5 mph breeze from the W.



Did some fishing, but nothing serious. The boat is dry-docked, I'm getting the leaks fixed. It's been pretty slow everywhere but Norris I've heard.



Avoided one disaster but caused another. To make a long story short: a raccoon grabbed my live skipjack that I had dangling in the water on one of my G Loomis/Penn International rigs and took off running down the bank. I was able to scare him off before he got far, but my good polarized sunglasses are gone. Right off the top of my head into the water. I'll get that coon. As for the fish, it wasn't happening. Live skipjack didn't even produce. Water temp: 64, air: 82, dry, sunny and nice. Saw a shooting star, but no luck still. Clarity was 1 foot still. O yea, this is below Melton Hill also.



Bank fished below Melton Hill. Water temp: 63, clarity: 1 foot. Saw two decent fish landed, but didn't hook up myself. Had two fish take the bait and spit it out. Using big gizzards. High today was 82 and mostly sunny, low humidity, felt like fall.



Hit bait below the dam. Hit El Rio. Hit one small fish c. 8-10 lbs. Hit a couple rocks. Hit lots of whitecaps. Hit five mooneyes. Hit some rain. Hit the road for Melton Hill at 7:00. Hit a good fish below the dam on a mooneye. Fish took the mooneye and hit the road. It was a good fish, got me excited. Put another mooneye on and he got nervous a few times, but didn't get eaten. Dam water: 73, Rio: 75, Melton Hill: ~65. Clarities: 2 feet, 3 feet, 1 foot. Air: mostly nice, showers cooled it off, feels like fall. Wind WSW at 10-25 and gusty and annoying as hell. Jason caught the only fish, I got skunked, now I'm depressed. No more guided trips the rest of the year. (just kiddin)



Put in at Bull Run creek. Bait is everywhere. 6-8" gizzards. Planed water around the plant and didn't have any nervous baits. Caught a 4 lber down below the mouth of the creek on a planer. Planed downstream near the marina and didn't do any good there either. Marked a couple small schools of small fish and that was it. The big story here is that bait is super easy. Water temp: 64-66 main river, up to 76 in the creek. Clarity was 3-4 feet, good current, lots of debris in the water, be careful. Air was super nice. No wind.



Back down to Melton Hill and back to cut baiting. Had one fish within the first two minutes that went about 16 lbs and nothing for another hour and a half. Headed in at 10:30. Air was nice again.



Below Melton Hill again..... Got gizzards and taught old Steve how to toss the cast net. He was pretty good once he finished sucking at it. He actually caught some bait. Too bad there weren't any fish hitting live bait. Fortunately, we had about a dozen skipjack that didn't mind being caught, chilled and cut up for bait. Wound up with two stripes, 10 and 15 lbs and a 4 lb channel cat. First cut bait fish in Tennessee, many more to come. We packed it up and headed in at midnight. Water temp: 66, clarity 1 foot. Air was nice.



Clinch river, BRRRRR. Water temp. 49.8. Air temp. 49.8. he he he he It's winter down there folks. We set up to cut bait and had 4 lines out at 8:30. They sat there for three hours. We had one good hit that stripped some drag and got the bait. Lots of current, cold temps, clear skies, dense fog, learned a lot. Got the new Minn Kota's a screamer, good motor.



Bait getting day below Melton Hill. Jason and I trekked down the rocks with skipjack gear and a cooler. We wound up with 20 skippies ready to roll for tomorrow night's excursion.



Tough fishing below Melton Hill. We planed gizzards as hard as you can plane them. We lobbed them as good as you can do that. Only had one interested fish and it didn't even eat the bait. Water temp was unusually high, up to 75 degrees and clarity is unusually low, down to about a foot. Overcast skies, low 80's, 10-15 wind out of the WSW. Not a good catching day.



Good day! 60 percent chance of showers turned into partly cloudy for us. Got bait easy below _______ dam and headed off for EL Rio. Water was up from last night's generation and the normal spots weren't happening. Ran upstream and tried to get a go. Put out planers and started trolling. Good blow up, nice fish and missed it. While putting that board back out about 10 feet from the boat we hooked up on a 12 lber. At about the same time, a 27.5 lber inhaled the bank side bait. We weighed and pictured and released the fish and went for another round. We caught one fish on the next 3 consecutive passes. 26 , 25 , and 16 lbs. Pulled upstream to the fish and caught another 20 lber . Fiddled a bit more and planed on downriver hooking and landing a 24 lber . That was the 7th and final fish. 151 lbs of fish, lip-hooked via circle hook and released to fight again. It was a beautiful thing. The gizzards worked very well. Mooneyes are becoming available, we caught about a dozen of them along the way. Water temp: 69-72, clarity: 2-3 feet. Water was up a bit. Air was hot at times, but nice at times, thunderstorms around us, but we got mostly sunshine. No wind to speak of. Good Trip.



Below Melton Hill. Bait wasn't too much trouble. My partner brought a 10' cast net along and I threw it using the same technique on the cast net page. Opened her all the way's really a scary thing to see 20 feet of net spread out all over the darn river. We managed to catch an 18.5 lber on a threadfin freelined on 12 lb spinning. Had some minimal other action, but nothing to speak of. Water temp: 66, clarity 1 foot. Air was nice, low 80's but chilled by the water, wind blew strong for a while up the channel from the SE. Cloudy and sprinkling upon arrival, but cleared up. Saw stripes.



Minimal fishing, maximal running. Ran over 7 gallons of gas thru the Merc today....that translates to about 40 miles of running in 1 1/2 hours. No fish boated, they were generating, water was up and hauling ass and muddy on down from the dam. Water was 70-72 degrees, clarity 1-3 feet. Interesting to go exploring the river like that.



Below Ft. Loudon. Water temp: 74.7, clarity 2 feet. Air was HOT and HUMID, partly cloudy. Caught 4 on artificials in the first hour and caught none the second hour I was there. Fish were 8-12 lbs.



Jason called at 6:00 pm and said where are we going? I said I don't know, but let's go. We managed to wind up below Melton Hill at 7:45. Got about 25 good threadfins in one throw and went planing. No fish in the first spot, so we hit the fish. We played a couple baits back into the third spot on freelines and I hooked up a good fish on a dead threadfin. We were using light tackle, 10 and 12 lb spinning to compensate for the smaller baits. It took about 5 minutes to subdue the 19.5 lber. Jason pitched his bait out after the excitement and managed to produce a large tangle. It knotted up pretty bad and he just reeled it up to bring the bait in so he could work on it. Well, the worst thing that could happen did....he hooked up, on a better fish than mine. The fish must have known about the knot because it didn't take long to pull it back off the reel.... The tink tink tink of the knot through the guides sent shockwaves down my spine. I made him loosen the drag and I maxed the trolling motor out after the fish. About the time we got the knot back on the reel, the fish turned 180 degrees and headed upstream. This is 10 lb test remember. We finally landed the fish, a 25 lber and released it. I pulled the line off the reel down to the knot to remove the wad of line and pulled on the knot to see just how weak it broke under about 2 lbs of strain. Unbelieveable. We didn't even bother fishing anymore after that. Water conditions: 65 and 1 foot. Weather: low 80's, mostly cloudy, storms in the area, no wind. It was a great hour's worth of fishing.



Rode along with Ezell today. We busted out a quick limit on Melton Hill, 4 fish, biggest: 15 lbs. Water temp was 50, clarity: 8 feet. We then trucked up to Norris where the surface temp. is 86, clarity: pretty clear with some mudlines from the day's wind. The lake is as high as it has been in 10 years and there's debris everywhere, BE CAREFUL! The fish were taking slightly smaller bait. We had 4 rods go down and caught 2 fish: 20.4 and 17 lbs. Not bad for an hour's fishing time. The weather was calm and temps were mid 80's and partly cloudy. Good outing.