December 2001

 

12/31/01

Nothing even hit a bait until after 5:00. All boats had left Kingston and we were sitting there wearing them out. Probably caught 10 fish in a half hour. All were 2-4 lbs. I caught 6 on a Rapala husky jerk. They turned off as quickly as they turned on. Bait was pretty easy under the 70 bridge. Got enough for 3 trips in one throw. Outflow was running 55. Air was in the upper 20's when we left, slight breeze, clear skies. Good catching.

 

12/30/01

Chilly 20 degrees this AM. Didn't hit Norris until about 1. It never broke 32 degrees, because we had ice on the reels the entire time. Could not draw a striped fish to hit. Marked very few fish, some bait, and the fish have definitely made their move back down into the lake. Some birds are diving, but we didn't see any breaking fish up and down from the 33 bridge. Allen caught one 22 inch brown carp, probably weighed in the 4 lb range. He waited until I was preoccupied with my OTHER rod to catch the only fish which hit a rod on MY side of the boat. We had the best of bait, but the fish weren't hungry at all. Water temp ranged from 48-51, clarity: 4+ feet. Air was 26 when we left the ramp. Brr. One of those Norris days.

 

12/29/01

A painful, cold memory. Bait was easy, fish were scarce at Bull Run. Power is still off, river temp is down to 46. High blue skies with steady 15-20 mph winds out of the WSW. They died and shifted out of the N and kicked back up at about 5 pm. That's when I called it quits. No signs of fish. Air temp was in the mid-40's, but dropped quick at sundown.

 

12/28/01

Bait was easy, but the fish weren't hungry at Melton Hill. Water at the ramp was 47, outflow was 48.1. No warm water today, plant was shut down. Winds were nasty 10-20 from the SW. Managed two boils, but wouldn't have even known they were there if I wasn't looking right at them. Pulled out for Kingston. Wasn't much better there. Tried for some threadfins with much strife...only managed 4. River temp: 51, outflow: 56. Planed the gizzards up, and in. Only action was right at dusk in the outflow. Caught a 2 lb green carp...only non-shad fish I could catch. : ( I blame the inconsistent weather. Came close to 50 today, mostly sunny. Wind let up at about 4:45, but came back strong from the W at 15 and was blowing when I left the ramp. Doesn't look good, Farrell.

 

12/26/01

I hope everyone had a merrry Christmas. I'm back in town and rearin' to jerk some lips. Kingston was nasty today. Temp barely hit 40 and the wind was miserable. I was wearing two coats and still managed to get a chill. Outflow temp was only 52, and threadfins were hard to find. I was reading huge schools of shad on the trusty, crusty Eagle Optima, but the net kept coming up empty. No explanation for that one. Finally got some bait and frostbitten hands and caught a couple of fish. Had a 3 and a 17 lber and a couple more hits. Non-impressive day, but saw stripes nonetheless. Winds were out of the SW at 15, mostly clear skies with some cirrus clouds late. They covered the sun up and made it even colder.

 

12/19-12/21

Georgia Fishing Trip Summary By: Pat McNew (my dad, Rattletrap) (I'm 'live bait')

This trip report is provided especially for those of you who lacked the testicular fortitude to attend:   Fall BLISS 2001 Part 2 was a measured success.  Things kicked off Tuesday evening when Rattletrap and Livebait ('Trap, Jr.) arrived and opened the ManHole.  Thet were able to perform some net sampling that night to reveal a satisfactory population for the full team the next day.    As you might expect, Chainsaw called at 7:30 AM on Wednesday from the new Waffle House on 441 with his tummy full, ready to float his sampling platform.  Skippy arrived with within a few minutes with his platform.  All of this required a second visit to the Waffle House for sustenance prior going into full sampling mode.   With all platforms floating, 'Trap and 'Bait headed to secure dinner.  The shad were cooperative and so were their samplees.  They managed to fish for the cycle, catching four species, and about 5lbs of resultant filets by lunch.  The single operator platforms took a more puritanical approach, searching only for Micropterous Salmoides.  They met with limited success.   Slipknot and Spike (lil' Knot)  arrived around 1400 hours.  Team Blue assisted with the floating of their platform.  They took a mixed approach that netted several samples including one nice largemouth taken near Holland's dock.   The evening featured Hush Puppies and fryed miscellaneous filets in sufficient quantities to even fill up Slipknot.  The group spent the evening around the TV watching sporting events.  Of course the usual battle of the soft palates was waged in the bunk room, prompting Slipknot to suggest that Chainsaw might want to check into a refund on his surgery.   Thursday went much the same, with team McNew engaging multiple species in the hot water including several Hybrids up to 3 lbs.  Skippy teamed with Chainsaw for the morning and team Edwards went out together.  There were a couple more LM Bass added to the basket.  Chainsaw elected to load platform and try to beat the other 500,000 vehicles to the Atlanta perimeter before it became a parking lot.    After fileting the AM hot water catch, and taking on sustenance, the group elected to take two platforms back to the hot water and pursue more general meat.  One platform was secured to the No Wake bouy and the second platform secured to the first.  While some samples were taken, the harvest did not compare the the AM session.  Spike appeared to be the most prolific of the samplers here.   The remaining visiting platforms were reloaded onto their transport devices and everyone head for their home ports.  Skippy graciously agreed to take the four surplus bags of filets and give them a good home.  'Trap and 'Bait stayed an extra day to do ManHole chores.  (Oh, and a little more hot water sampling using catch and release.)   Again, I might summarize by noting that Squirt has now missed two samplings by the flimsiest of excuses, surgery and work.  Punkin was also notably absent due to the aforementioned 4 letter word.  These members should hang their heads in disgrace.   Respectfully submitted,   The Rattliest of 'em all

 

12/18/01

Fished on Melton Hill, touched a wild 16 lber. He stripped about 50 years of line off my light tackle before I headed after him with the trolling motor. Was a very healthy fish and a good fight. Gizzards were pretty easy. Water temp at ramp was 53, river was 60, outflow was 72. Had a few fish come up on baits in the outflow, but didn't hook up. Wind was light from the NNE. Air was mid 40's. Another nice morning outing. Will be in GA for the next week, so journals will be suspended. Will post the Georgia fishing journals upon return.

 

12/17/01

Hit it already today. Caught one big whiskered striper. At least he thought he was a striper, only yellow and slimy. This flathead came up off the bottom in 30 feet of water and inhaled a freelined 8" gizzard. He fought hard, and it took me 5 minutes with 20 lb test to land the fish. It was 39" long and probably weighed in the low 20's. I also saw stripes very clearly, but didn't get to touch any. They hammered my baits for the hour that I spent on the water. The wind got up at 10:00 and I used better judgement and left. Melton Hill, temp at ramp: 57, river: 68, clarity, less than a foot. Norris is pumping water this week due to the rains. Air was upper 50's, wind got up to 20mph out of the SW and I left. At least I smell like fish. Oh yeah, bait was fairly easy on the other side of Henderson.

 

12/15/01

Began on Melton Hill. It was 41 degrees this morning and the water was muddy and 59 degrees. The channel was 70 degrees. Pulled some hard-earned gizzards for a half hour and had one good hit, but didn't stick the fish....headed to Kingston. Caught one '01 model and a channel cat in the outflow. Ran upstream and caught one 15 lber and had a couple of other good hits. Water was some temperature in the outflow and colder in the channel (we fished Jason's boat and his Temp. gauge is fondly nicknamed the 'temperature tantrum gauge'...it's not consistent or accurate). Threads were pretty tough to catch at Kingston, they were deep and the water was muddy from all the rain this past week (2-3 inches). We got one good scoop of them right smack in the middle of the river watching for flippers in the first bend below the plant. Nice day for fishing, rough catching. Tomorrow could be much better.

 

12/09/01

I guess we paid for all the nice weather we have been having....rain...solid for two days, Friday and Saturday. It cleared up for me today, but the wind blew hard out of the N/NE up to 25 mph, but died for about an hour between 4 and 5 and picked back up. weird. Started at Melton Hill. Water's dropped 18 degrees in a week, 56 in the river. Wind made bait hard to see, but it was in the usual spots. Didn't even wet a line because of the wind. Trucked to Kingston, caught fish. One striper was about 10-12 lbs, had so many parasites in his mouth, I was afraid to lip him, YUCK. Caught at least a dozen '00 model stripes and one '01 model. One smallie about 4 lbs on 4 lb spinning tackle. They ALL had the parasite. Unbelieveable. Shad were easy to find at first, then I had to hunt on the second bait-getting session...very un-fun. Used every shad I had in two tankfulls....very good day. Clarities were a little down from the rain, but didn't matter much at Kingston. Were quite a few boats there, but I was the only one boating fish, tee hee.

 

12/02/01

What a day for fishing. Mostly light wind from the NE, calm at dusk. Temps ranged from 40-low 60's. Water was 60 degrees and clarity 7+ feet. Frisky gizzards will get attention when fished anywhere between both banks. We had a big smallie jumping out of the water early on trying to get a shad. Finished the day with 3 stripes touched 2, 13, and 16 lbs, and 4 others hooked up and lost. Many other hits on the baits. Ezell and Bill both caught fish as well. Pretty good catching, need to try something different...too many missed hookups.

 

12/01/01

Very busy day. Fished hard on Melton Hill with absolutely NOTHING to show for it. Water too hot: 74 degrees. Trucked to Kingston and pulled boards until trolling batteries died...not even a boil. One of the worst catching days ever....barely even a nervous bait. Finally wound up anchored in the outflow with a bucket of threadfins and managed several '00 model stripes and a good 4 lb smallie. Weather all day was great. Started out at 40, thick fog until 10, peaked in the low-mid 60's with very light winds, mostly sunny. Full moon was last night, might have had something to do with the no-biting. Looks like Norris for tomorrow.