December 2000



Lake Sinclair in Middle Georgia. Weather was nice, low 40's but could have been a bit less windy. We had trouble finding shad, but got a good scoop behind the left bridge pillar under the 441 bridge at Plant Branch. The water is always very muddy here, and was probably running in the mid 60's. We caught about 9 or 10 real good hybrids (for that lake) all from 2-4 lbs on light tackle. Great fun. Would have done more, but the weather ABSOLUTELY did not permit for the 3 days we were there. It poured down all day on Thursday, and on Sat. there were area lake advisories and negative wind chills. I would have to be paid to fish in that weather. Back in Knoxville now, dusting off the heavy tackle from the week's vacation.



I didn't take the camera, and it pays off. Bait is exceptionally easy as it's supposed to be at Kingston. It's flipping everywhere. We got 4 gallons worth for chum in just a few throws. Outflow temp: 56.8, main river low 40's. Clarity is 1 foot in outflow, 2 feet in the river. Current started today blowing downstream, reversed to upstream at around noon, then neutral at about 4:00. Weird. We caught 3 hybrids: 3, 5.8, and 6.5 lbs in the outflow along with a few small stripes. Went upstream to plane and within 5 minutes was locked onto a serious fish. Measured 39" and 28.8 lbs. Jeremy was the hero and decided to let the fish live to fight another day. The fish was hurling dozens of 2" shad at a time....the seagulls had a fiesta. That was our last fish of the day and came at about 3:00. Weather was beautiful: Air temp, 37, no wind to speak of, crystal clear ultra blue skies. Awesome day, good trip.



Happy Birthday to me!! I'll just let you know that Kingston did NOT give me a 50 lb striper for my birthday today. : ( Okay, I'm over it. Water is clearing up a bit, bait is schooling again, but late in the afternoon. We had to catch gizzards for bait and found some NICE ones (4-5 inches) in the second little dip in the cove on the right. Bill had forgotten his anchor, so I spotted an environmentally friendly one on the bank (half of a cinder block). We caught a small stripe and a white bass in the outflow. Turned and pulled freelines with splitshots all the way to the bend downstream. Marked good fish and STACKS of bait, but no big hits. When we reeled the baits in though, two of them were scraped up and dead. We were just too cold to reach for another shad. Winds were 15+ out of the west, switching to NW by sundown. Sky was clear, and the air was the clearest I've seen in a while. Water temp was 56 in the outflow and 45 in the river. Strong current today going downstream. Guided trip tomorrow.



Brr. Started the day off at 19 degrees. The worst thing when it's below freezing is ice. Things you take for granted become difficult. Things like limber cast nets (it was like throwing a burlap sack), a non-slippery floor, tilt/trim on the outboard and grip on the launch ramps for the truck all become recent memories. Although you do encounter some new things like icicles in the moustache, frozen eyebrows and chin, and bright red hands (painful yet colorful). Bull Run was 60 degrees in the outflow and 46 in the river (Norris was pushing water). Sunny and light wind, low 20's. The only bait we could find were big gizzard shad, and they were very available. We pulled them around for about 2 hours and had one good boil across from the plant. Drove to Kingston. Found bait flipping in the cove to the right and got plenty of TEENY shad and a few nice ones. Planed the flats upstream with no hits and headed back to drop a few in the outflow. Caught two small 1-2 lb stripes right away. Then hooked up on a good 9 lber, and caught 2 catfish. At least we saw stripes. Very instructive day all in all, learned a lot.



Didn't fish yesterday, high winds and temps in the 20's. Today wasn't a pretty picture. Fished Kingston. Outflow temp: 57, river: 46 in the bend. Clarity, muddy. Air temp: mid 20's, winds 15 mph and gusty. No bait, Ice and NO FISH. Don't go fishing. Hopefully, things will stabilize by this weekend. We're fishing tomorrow and it's 15 degrees out right now. ????????why????????? Why do we do this? I'm gonna get pneumonia and it's all going to be over. At least it was for a worthy cause.



Kingston and the cold snap. Dipped into the mid teens last night, and the fish responded. Allen reported that he caught a 20 lber and a 30 lber last Wed, and got spooled on the same rig he landed the 30 on! Well, first of all, the bait was s-c-a-t-t-e-r-e-d.........all over the river. Very few schools of bait worth throwing the net on. I got plenty down past the bend on the left. The water is UP and MUDDY. Temp is 59.5 in the outflow and I read as low as 44.9 in the river. I CAUGHT NO FISH TODAY. boo hoo!!!! I hooked two small fish in the outflow and lost both of them. Air temps were running in the upper 30's, light to medium breeze out of the southwest and a cloud cover moved in at about 4:00. Maybe I should take these cloud covers seriously.....they make the fish catching stink. It's going to snow tonight. Don't forget my birthday's on the 22nd!!! (the BIG 2-5)



Officially graduated college. University of Tennessee, Wildlife and Fisheries Science. Yes, I have a BS degree.



Took my final final exam ever. Ahhhhhh, it feels niceeee. THHHHHHP (the sound of a Budweiser opening)

Oh yeah, I also went fishing too.

Kingston steam plant is cooling off and heating up at the same time. It is apparent that the striper are coming in there in larger numbers. Today we caught 7 fish: 5 striper (11.0, 10, 7, 6, 5.5), a hybrid (5.6), and a spot. Bait was in the cove today and not super easy, I threw the net maybe 10 times. landed on one good school. They weren't making much water today, about half of normal volume. Fish were still there....Water temp was 64-65, air temp: 40, clarity 1-2 ft. Overcast with some sprinkles. Nice day of light tackle fishing....8-10 lb test.



Took myself to Kingston. Wind was steady 15 mph and gusting to 30. Tried running freelines and planers, but got blown all over the lake. Had one good boil, but it wasn't serious. Went and fished the outflow and put 3 hybrids and a seagull in the boat. Hybrids were 23, 26.5, and 28 inches and about 7, 10 and 12 lbs respectively. Caught the two bigger hogs on 8 lb about singing drag!!! Bait was easy, right in the outflow yesterday and today. The seagull was a big ringed-bill, and he was not too happy about the circle hook in the knee. I was fortunate enough not to get bit thanks to my hookout and the bird flew off no worse for the experience. Water temp was a bit cooler at 63.7 in the outflow, clarity: 2 feet. Air temp was in the low 50's...nice. Good day, big hybrids.



Cherokee stumped Ezell and I again. POO! We found some numbers of fish around the bend from 16 with diving birds, but they weren't feeding. Surface temps were 48-49 and little to no breeze. We drove the 95 miles to Kingston. Bait was easy and we got plenty to chum with. We flatlined and planed and caught a few small stripes, one about 10 lbs and I drug in a 20.5 lb blue cat. Big slimy. The fishing could have been better, but the weather and company was splendid. Water temps: 57-66, clarity: 1-2 feet. Air temp was low-mid 40's.



7 am-4 pm tourney on Cherokee. Air started out at 27, warmed to about 50 at midday. Sunny with a few high clouds. Water was 47-49 degrees and clarity was 1-2 feet. Should have been a good day. We found fish wherever we stopped, had hits at 12 and 16 and marked lots of bait deep all over the lake. There are tons of birds on Cherokee and one time they led us to fish. The fish were deep 20-30 feet and I pulled a nice 9 lb hybrid out on a 1/2 oz bucktail with plastic trailer. We got one hit on a downline and no hookup. Ezell seemed to be jinxed today, he missed a couple, but we still like him. Allan was a good driver..."yeah, definitely, definitely a good driver, K mart sucks...." And that's about how the entire day went. I caught one teeny 15" striper on the same rig. We released the hybrid after we found out we weren't in the money. Talked to Ezell and he wants a rematch with those Cherokee fish, so that's where we'll be tomorrow.



Norris. Ahh Norris. Yes, Norris. Hmm....Norris? Well, put it this way, it snowed. Ezell allowed me to join him today and we headed down from the 33 marina and found the birds going nuts just past the cow pasture. He says the fish are in their winter pattern....deep and occasionally chasing bait to the surface. There I was, birds diving and I DID NOT BRING MY CASTING OUTFIT!!!!! (note to self: next time you go fishing, TAKE YOUR STINKIN CASTING GEAR) One gentleman in another boat landed about a 15 lb fish on what looked to be a red fin. We freelined bait in the area, marked some good fish and fished downlines, nothing.....nothing....nothing, and nothing. Caught my running nose. That was it. Light breeze, snow, clarity: 5+ feet, temp....forgot to look or ask, probably lower 50's. Chilly snowy day with nothing to show...Ezell swares I'm jinxed. Ha Ha.



Started off at Bull Run. Pretty good breeze, water temp at the ramp was 49, 64 out of the plant. Couldn't find bait anywhere. Pulled up and headed to Kingston. Water temp, 54-67. Got threadfins by the interstate on the first throw...they were right on the surface. Pulled them above the plant and caught one catfish and 3 striper. One 9 lbs and the other two were 12.8 lbs exactly. Twins. The breeze was light, but made enough chop that I lost one of my boards...if you find one that says "Seein' Stripes" on it, I'd like it back, thank you. Clarity was around 2 feet at Kingston, at Bull Run it is much clearer...probably 4-5 feet. Not a bad day at all, bigger fish are going to be there soon.



Fished Kingston. It was cold, 40 degrees and cloudy, light wind. Bait was right in the mouth of the outflow...threw the net one time and even had a few dozen left over in the end. Managed a 3 lb smallie, a 2.3 lb sauger, 3 small stripers and a 5.5 lb hybrid in the outflow. Allan was there planing some baits, so I joined him at about 3:45. Had two boils, one small and one decent, but no takers. Hooked up on a good feeling fish on the 8 lb test freeline I had out the back....turned out to be a 4.0 lb sauger....My biggest sauger! WOO HOO. He's getting ready to be dinner along with that 2.3 lber. Hooked into another on the 8 lb test freeline right at dark and fought it for several minutes. Landed and weighed it..nice 11.0 lb striper. Allan and I raced back to the ramp...dead heat, but I was scared shi*less with that tiller running 40 mph in that little boat. Talk about chine walking! Real good day on Watts Bar. Water temp: 56-67, clarity 2 feet.



Boat maintenance....removed console.



Didn't fish today, rather did some MUCH needed boat maintenance. Besides, it started raining at about 3 today. Supposed to snow tonight. I have removed the console to gain a little walking room in the boat....what a difference! Now I have a tiller/throttle hybrid boat. Got a little hint that the fish are still below Ft Loudon from one of my many spies in the field. Well done, Carter!

Okay, so I lied, I DID go fishing. Caught the bottom twice, but it got away, and caught somebody else's 1 1/2 oz bank sinker that also caught the bottom and they couldn't reel it in. It will make one and a half jigheads nicely. Maybe I'm hardcore, or maybe I'm just hardheaded, but I went fishing tonight for an hour from 6-7. Yes, it is raining steadily; yes, the wind is blowing; and yes, it is 39 degrees. No, I didn't hook any striped fish. Here's how I look at it: It didn't kill me, so I learned from it.....don't repeat this activity! I'm better off fooling with this website tonight.



Amazing the difference a day makes. No hybrids like yesterday, no fish where I caught them yesterday. We had one hybrid in the outflow and a couple of other misses, nothing great. Bait was easy down in the bend, outflow was reading 68, main was reading 54. At about 2:00 the current started backing up the Clinch and so did the bait. Pulled planers and freelines on the flats and had two stripes, 10# and 14#. One blue cat on the freeline. Good action, several boils and bait grabs, but not as many hookups. Started off blue and calm, then steady 10-15 mph breeze. At about 3 it clouded over and even sprinkled one little bit. Air was mid 40's. Got off the water at dark. Doesn't seem like the sauger are in there yet, nobody doing any good for them. Good day.


Back to The Guide's Journal