February 2002



Kingston today.  Lots of catching.  33 fish total and two 15 lbers.  Bait only took about 3 hours to get.  It was all over the place.  Outflow was 62 degrees, clarity 3 feet.  Nice weather, temps around 60, light S winds, high blue sky.  Perfect day on the water topped with lots of murdered baits and stretched mono.



Started out in Bull Run creek.  Had leftover threads.  Caught a 9.6 lber in kudzu holler.  One other bait got pulled.  Wind was just dandy out of the NNE at about 20 mph.  Mostly clear skies.  Chucked net for an hour and got about 10 gizzards.  Pulled all over the world and didn't get a hit...lots of nervous baits tho.  Went to the Kingstonian.  Chucked nets up for almost 2 hrs.  Got plenty of bait.  Ran out of bait at about 8:15 after catching and releasing 40 striped fishies (this is called running up the score).  None of which were hybrids.  Notable sizes were 18.6, 16.0, 15 and 14 lbs.  The rest were all 7 lbs or less.  All fish were caught on 8 lb spinning gear.  Outflow cooled 5 degrees to 65 and that's what had the big fish in there.  Wind died back at sundown and temps stayed in the 50's, very nice weather.  My recommendation for fishing Kingston: hire a good guide.  Bait's tough and you can sit there beside somebody who knows what the hell is going on and get blasted out of the water.  All of the other boats and bank fishermen combined that I saw caught maybe 10 fish.  One guy was asking us if we needed help reeling in fish.  It was a blast.  I can just imagine if we had been there at daybreak how many we would have caught.



Kingston.  9 fish.  Nothing over 5 lbs.  No world records, not even a state record.  Saw stripes.  Outflow was 69, clarity 3 feet.  Bait was tough, took an hour, very spotty.  Wind was blowing like dog dicks from the NE, temp around 50 and overcast.



THE WORD IS IN, NO RECORDS FOR SHAWN.  David Etnier, icthyologist extraordinaire at UT identified the fish officially as a white bass yellow bass hybrid.  I must admit that the fish really looks like a cross between the two.  It is very yellow, but doesn't have the very dark likes of a yellow.  There is also a difference in the 2nd ray in the anal fin which is supposed to be longer than it is for it to be a true yellow.  The IGFA recognizes the white-yellow hybrid and the current record is 3 lbs 5 oz.  My fish at 3 lbs 2 oz is very close and I believe I am going to either have the fish mounted, or donate the fish to UT and have a replica made.  The thing is that I don't believe any taxidermist has ever mounted this particular variety of fish.  It was exciting anyways...guess I'll chunk that world record application in the garbage.



First trip to El Rio this year.  Nothing going on at all.  Clarity almost 2 feet.  Tried for skipjack, they aren't there either.  Didn't have a temp gauge on the boat, so ??  Air was still and about 50 degrees when we left.  Good day to run around on the rio.



Welllllll.......we may not have a world record here.  It's not official yet, but the fish might possibly be a hybrid cross between a white bass and a yellow bass.  The IGFA recognizes a 3 lb 5 oz world record in this hybrid, but unfortunately Tennessee does not recognize this fish at this time.  Maybe we can change this since the IGFA has it.  My fish is only 3 oz shy of the current world record, not too shabby.  Did manage to get out and do some fishing this evening.  Kingston was on the docket, caught 25 stripes from 1-5 lbs.  Several yellow bass (little ones), two white bass, and a crappie.  Couldn't complain about the weather, 60 degrees, sunny, almost no wind, slightly S at times.  Outflow was 66, bait was in 62-63 and HARD to get.  Maybe I'm just losing my touch.  Clarity was 2-3 feet.  Good numbers, no bigguns.



Today's Theme:

WOW, what a day!  The big weather story was the wind. Another big story was the 28 lb striper . Yet the biggest story is the possible WORLD RECORD yellow bass  that I caught at 5:15 PM today.  I'm still so excited about it that I can't sit still and I'm laying out of work tomorrow.  The fish is still alive and will be on exhibit somewhere when the documentation goes thru.  It has already been certified via a Kroger meat-scale at 3.18 lbs.  Quick!  Check your records, it smashes the existing TN state record by 1/2 lb and eclipses the world record by 2 oz.  Caught it on a shad at Kingston.  Sheesh, it was a long day, so bear with me on this one.  Started at Meltonio, bait was easy.  We boated our 'only' 6 fish there in 1.5 hours.  Weights were 4 lb stripe, 5 lb stripe , 7 lb hybrid , 14.5 lb stripe , 15 lb stripe , and 28.0 lb stripe .  Not shabby.  We quit when we realized the fish weren't going to hit anymore at about 2:30 and headed to Kingston for some action.  Temps were 47 at ramp, 52 at bait, 59 where fish were caught; clarity 3-4 feet.  Threads were a bit scattered at Kingston, but saw more schools of bait than last week.  Got plenty to fish.  We ended up with 15 stripes and that little POSSIBLE (but probable) world record yellow.  All stripes were '99 or newer models.  Outflow was 64, river was 60 at bait; clarity was nifty.  We had a ball despite the 20-30 mph N winds gusting to a million and a half MPH.  Made for one frustrated cast-net thrower in my boat (me).  Will definitely update on the unfolding world record situation.

And in the End:



My day on the water is over.  It was VERY good.  Everything but the wind was cooperating.  Started below Loudon, birds like crazy, but no fish or catchable bait that I could find....didn't look too hard.  Trucked to Kingston.  Bait was a bit tricky, but I got enough to catch one 3 lb smallie, one 8-9 lb hybrid, and thirteen stripes from 2-5 lbs.  Had one fish swim past the boat, strip drag upstream for 30 seconds and then just come off.  Oh well.  Hauled ass at 3 and the wind was blowing steady SSW at 20 with some higher gusts, very nasty.  Buddy Jason got a new Sea Ark today and I'm gonna help him rig her up tonite.  Outflow temp: 65, river, 58, clarity: 2-3.  Nice 2/3 day fishing.



Started at Melton Hill.  Ramp was 45, river was 45, outflow was warmer, duh.  Water in river is clear.  We put up with the wind for about an hour and got smart and went to Kingston.  Bait was a bit tough, but we got it in the transition from cliff to flat at the end of the first bend downstream from the plant.  It won't be there tomorrow, so don't bother looking.  ha ha.  Didn't have a line sit still for more than 3 minutes when we had fresh threaddies out.  19 total striped fish including one certain 9 lb hybrid which happened to have a hole poked thru  his jaw where it had recently been weighed....possible tournament winning fish?  Very possible.  Had two '98 model stripes at 10 lbs ea. and one '97 model at about 14-15 lbs.  Had one fish run literally 100 yards of line off only to remove my hook on brand new line.  8 lb test of course.  It was a nice fish and I fought it for probably 3-4 minutes.  Took forever just to reel in the line after it broke.  Outflow: 60, river: 50.  Clarity in outflow was 3-4, river was 2-3.  Air was WINDY with 15-20 SW and temps in the mid-upper 50s, partly sunny, high stratus clouds made some overcast.  Awesome day of catching and some quality fish to boot.



Darted out of work to Melton Hill.  Had a spy in the field arrive early and procure bait and catch a warm-up 8 lb hybrid.  We had constant nervous bait and nearly constant boiling on it for the good hour we spent dragging boards.  Ramp temp: 54, river temp 59.3, clarity is normal.  Touched two 12 lb stripes, completely different fighting personalities: the first was a flopper, the second was a runner.  Thought the second fish was much bigger than the first, but they were within 2 oz.  Perfect weather, light SW wind, temps in the mid 50's and dropped FAST.  Clear skies after a rainy start very early this am.  Good catchings.



Put in, threw the net 10 times and took out.  Wind was blowing 46,000 MPH and I didn't care to dare.  Got soaked by the spray in the eye.  River temp was 49 on the Clinch down on Melton Hill.  Clarity 4 feet.



Started with the Kingston tourney at 7 AM today.  We boated one 9 lb hybrid, which happened to be the only fish caught and weighed all day.  Me and my buddy Ryan took all the money and put it to good use....to go fishing on Norris.  Kingston temps: morning FOGGY air: 31, afternoon: 60, not a cloud in the sky and dead calm, perfect day.  Water at ramp: 49, outflow: 55, outflow clarity is 5 feet, river is variable from 1-3 feet.  River temp in afternoon: 53.  Bait moved around, but we got it twice in two completely different localitarians.  We actually pulled the boat out for the money ceremony and put back in to get bait for Norris.  We had about 60 4-6" threads.  Hit Norris at about 2:30.  Decided just to run freelines, no boards.  Had a few very serious hits, one broken line and a 7 lber then we spotted some birds going nuts.  We mosied over to check out the commotion and the depthfinder lit up with fish and there were some boiling on bait near the bank.  In about an hour we had 6 stripes touched from 6 to 20.5 lbs.  All fish caught on 8 lb test spinning and released.  Quite an incredible evening on Norris.  We caught one straggler after that making our Norris total 8 fish.  Beautiful weather, Kingston tournament won (2nd year running), outstanding day on Norris.....makes me want to go fishing.



Wow.  Outflow is 54 degrees.  10 degree drop-off in 3 days.  Nothing much going on there all day.  Caught one small one and a 16 lber in outflow.  Caught another 3 lber way downstream pulling boards.  Clarity in outflow has increased to 4-5 feet!  River clarity is about 2 feet.  Main river temps ranged from 49-52.  Weather was perfect, high blue sky, slight S breeze at 5 mph, but died at about 2:00 and was perfectly calm until we left at 5.  I know I missed the prime time, but gotta fish the TSBA tourney tomorrow.  Need to be sharp!  ha ha  Got a few stripes, not a total bust.



As Brittany says, OOPS, I did it again.  Hit Kingston from about 6 until dark.  Caught bait in about 10 throws, middle of the river downstream from plant.  Had 12 strippety bass touched n 45 mins of actual fishing time.  Water was 64 in outflow, 58 where I got bait.  Air was mid 30's, no wind until about 6:30 and it kicked up out of the EAST and the fish STOPPED hitting like a switch was flicked off.  Weird.  Biggest one actually fought the least and was 11.6 lbs.  Just flopped on the surface all the way to the boat.  The rest were 2000 models 3-4 lbs and FAT as pigs.  Some of the healthiest stripes I've seen anywhere.  Parasites in all of 'em, but that's not a problem I don't believe.  Nasty weather forecasted for tomorrow again, jeez.  El Rio still hasn't recovered its clarity since the last storm.  Itching for some skipjack action.



You don't want to know.  Had a bait die off overnight, lost half of the threads.  It rained most of the day, was windy and nasty.  We hooked up and lost at least 20 fish.  BUT (and this is a big but) still managed a measly 35 fish boated.  Ho hum.  We were the only boat there, oh darn.  We had all our bait used up and 25 fish in and out by 4:30...decided to get more bait and go for a second wind and finished out with the 35.  Biggest stripe: 11, biggest hybrid: 11.  Total stripes: 29, hybrids: 6.  It was wild and crazy and we went through shad like nobody's business.  I probably baited 150 hooks today at the bare minimum.  Morning low was 36, never broke 50 degrees.  Rain settled in at about 1:00 and was from a drizzle to pretty good shower until we left.  Winds were mostly N when it was blowing, but really wasn't too bad, up to 10 mph at times.  I was the busiest I've been in a long time...except for last night.  Bait was in same place, and we marked a good amount down in the bend.  It's not flipping and the gulls aren't on it, and it's almost too shallow to read on the depthfinder, GOOD LUCK getting it!  Real day of catching, hard to match.



Late start on Meltonio.  Bait was a bit tougher.  Ramp temp was 57, things cooled off dramatically overnight low 27. Bait's still in the neck-down between ramp and RR...very scattered, have to work for it.  Got two ambitious blow-ups on shad very close to the bank and tried it a bit more without hooking anybody.  River temp: 53, clarity 3 feet, improving rapidly.  Took it to Kingston, put in there at 3:30 after a chat with Jason and new TSBA buddy Ryan.  They were having trouble getting threads.  Did a fair amount of searching and finally saw a flip in the main channel.  Caught 100+ threads on 10 tosses and went catching.  All told, I touched 22 fish, all stripes but 1 6-7 lb hybrid.  Biggest stripes were 10-12 lbers, had 4 or 5 of them.  Was only using 3 rods and was tripled up 3 times!  Many, many doubles.  I stopped fishing to conserve some bait for tomorrow morning's excursion.  Outflow was about 59, can't remember, river was considerably cooler, 53-54 and muddy still.  Bait was down on left side of channel in front of houses.  Never caught it there before.  Weather was 10-15 mph W winds, dying at about 5:30, air mid-40s and sunny.  Sore wrists and scuffed up thumb! yea



Started on Meltonio.  Not much doing, in fact nothing doing. Bait wasn't too tough in the creek, but we didn't need it because it barely even got nervous on the hook.  Temp at the ramp was 60, out in the river it was mid-upper 50's.   Air was above 70 the last two days and the water's warmed up a lot.  Temps today started in the mid 50's and ended up in the mid 40's.  Winds were nasty out of the N at 20.  We decided fighting the wind wasn't a good idea and to go to Kingston.  Got there at about 2, river muddy, flowing, no bait.  Outflow 64 degrees, wind, nasty.  We used what little bait we had and managed 2 dinks.  Rough day, called it quits at 4:30.