January 2002



Muddy still.  Melton Hill was zero.  Water temp: 47 at ramp, mid 50s in river.  Bait was fair.  No signs of fish.  Below Melton Hill there are some gulls diving in the boils, but water there is muddy, didn't put in.  Ft. Loudon was running 62K cfs with a couple flood gates open.  Muddy.  Saw one boat trying to fish the flood gates..stupid stupid.  Birds were there diving in the foamy waters.  Fished super secret location from 2 to 6.  Water temp was 49-51, clarity 2-3 feet.  No fish or signs of any.  Another real tough day, I really dislike the rain.  Weather was another story, perfect day except for the wind, about 15 mph out of the SW.  Half of the sky sunny, half cloudy at the end of the day, temp came close to 60.  About 30 shad earned their freedom today.



The rains, they did acometh.  It's still ugly out there folks, muddddddy.  We gave it our best shot today on Meltonio and actually got a few nervosa maximi, but no swirlies.  It's funny, but the dictionary recognized the word "nervosa," but not "meltonio, maximi, or swirlies."  Oh well, we're developing a whole new "striper language" on here.  Trying it again tomorrow...not sure why.  River was warmer than usual...coldest temp was 50, 55-62 where we fished.  Bait we caught was all the way back in the creek in 1-2 feet.  Air was niiiice at almost 60 degrees and sunny, light breeze at times.  No stripes, but the future is looking good all the time.  Gotta stay on it.



Ran out and tried trolling some SSR's on the surface....nothing.  Motor won't trim and it's hard to get around.  Casted the husky the entire time to no avail.  Several boats out, I guess due to MLK day.  Some of us aren't off on certain holidays.  Water temp was 44 at ramp, 62 out on the flats.  Perfect weather, no wind, 40's clear skies.  



Started at Kingston with buddies Jason and Ryan. Yesterday's heavy rains made for a rough day. Bait was next to hard to get. Big gizzards and small threadfins were plentiful, but none of the good stuff. Caught two small stripes in the adjacent cove before heading towards Melton Hill. Bait wasn't easy, and had lots and lots of action on the baits, but only actually boated one 10 lber. (Mike Gaebe from Minnesota) Kingston temps: 56, 43.  Melton Hill, 43, 60, 55, 64. Weather was very nice with light 5-10 E wind, partly cloudy for a while, then overcast the rest of the day, temps mid 40's. Saw stripes, but had a poor conversion ration at Melton Hill.  Going to turn some shad into pin-cushions I guess.



Tried to fish tonite, didn't happen. I was on a mission (hell bent) to get a skipjack and fish it, but couldn't catch one. Gave up on the skippies and headed back to the truck to get a light to throw a cast net by. Trim on the motor went out...slowwwwly. It got slower and slower and then died completely. I'm just about over that whole rig. Does anybody know anyone who wants to sponsor a poor, starving, dedicated striper guide. I just need about 15 grand for a new rig. Preferrably an 1872 tunnel hull w/hydraulic jack plate/center console/90 Horse 4 stroke merc. If anybody knows anybody, that is. I'll take care of the fishing and promotional end of the deal. Anyway...I put it on the trailer and came home after that episode. Water temps: ramp: 50, outflow: 62.7. Didn't see much of anything. Real nice sunset over the high-tension towers though. Does anyone know anyone who needs a fishing buddy this weekend? Anyone?



Hit Solway area first. Could only find 10-12" shad. Tried them, got baitus nervosa maxima, but no signs of murderous intent. Didn't have enough fuel to make it to the other spots, so hauled ass to a gas station and then back down Henderson. Spilled about 2 oz of 2-cycle oil in the boat...mostly on the CARPET, another good reason to get a 4-stroke. Maybe it will make me fish smoother. Got bait easy and headed out and down. Was pulling 2 freelines and 3 boards on the left side (bank side) of the boat and got a big hit on the bank side freeline right before the daysign. The bait never even got nervous, just BLAM and off to the races. It ran straight for the bank, stripping drag, passing under all 3 of the planers (while I held the rod tip underwater), hugged the bank for a minute, ran BACK under the boards and around the back of the boat to the channel side, JEEZ!! Big hybrid, 13 lbs, real healthy and MEEEEN. Smiled good for the camera and then swam off. Only fish for the day, but I'll take it. Weather was 48 degrees, stout S breeze 10-15 and steady and ANNOYING. Ramp was 52 at Solway, 49 downstream, 50 at Henderson, 60 in the river, 67 near the outflow. I almost took a swim. I rescued a fellow fisherman, giving him some juice to start his motor so he could get home (about 3 miles back to the ramp where he put in). First rescue for the new year. He was cold and trying to troll with his already dead batteries against that nasty wind. I only hope somebody will help me the next time I'm in a predicament.



Nice job Weather Channel...predicted 49 and sunny was actually 43 and overcast. I showed up a little underdressed, but not too bad. Water temp at ramp: 48, bait: 50. Tried everywhere twice and couldn't get a hook in a fish. They put on a nice show for me, tossing baits around, but wouldn't make the big commitment. Nothing sniffed the rapala. Nice day on the water, catching could have been a little better. Good ending: some boat ran by at 6:00 (mostly dark) without any lights on and went on around the bend. About a minute later, I head the motor slow like they were stoping somewhere, then I heard GRRRAAAWWWWPPP ptt ptt pt. They had aparently run up on one of the many sandbars Melton Hill has to offer people who don't stay in the channel. A fitting consequence for not having running lights at night.



Nice. Weather, fishing, catching, all nice. Started the day out on Melton Hill with my buddy, Steve. Water temp at the ramp was 47, bait: 49.4, outflow: 65. Had lots of blow ups on some decent sized gizzards, hooked up twice, broke one off and pulled the hook out of the other. Caught two fish on the husky, 5 lbs , 12 lbs . Air was around 50, a few cirrus clouds blew N-S and the wind shifted directions about 17 times, but the sky ended up crystal clear. Went to Kingston with some little gizzards we had caught. Picked up 5 small fish and missed several other hits. Allen was there wearing fish out. He caught 15 or more and had a couple of 10+ fish. We finished up by pulling some larger baits around and got some action, but nothing serious about eating. Outflow was 55, air chilled off fast and the wind picked up to about 15 out of the N by the time we left at about 6:30. All in all, a good day on the H2O.



Wanted it bad today after Sunday's harvest. Couldn't repeat. Got there after 5:30, didn't have bait until 6:30, jeez. Sub-freezing temps. Outflow was 54 degrees. Caught one measley fish and had a couple of other hits. Waste of gas tonight. It's just inconsistent, plain and simple.



Kingston. Water temp: 53, Clarity: 3'. Air: 38, overcast, 15 mph NW wind, brr, snowed half of the day, got 2" but the roads were good enough to go fishing. Bait: easy. Fish: 19 boated, 2-12 lbs . 'Nuff said.



35 degrees at the ramp. Bait was where it was yesterday, 44-45 degrees. Main river was 49.7, outflow was 64. Had one fish blow up on a bait and that was it. Ventured below Ft. Loudon with our great baits. Temp was 45, a couple of nervous baits, but no marked fish and no signs of any activity. There were several boats in the Tellico arm catching white bass and crappie. We pulled out of there at 3:30 and headed for a top secret location. Lots of birds, TONS (and I mean tons) of bait. Threw the net and it came to a stop at 10 feet in 35 feet of water....it was resting on the bait! All 3" threadfins...most of them stuck in the net. (Jason strikes his "shad pose")  We marked lots of big fish and had constant VERY nervous baits, but no signs of fish on them. Water temp was the only negative factor at 41.8. Supposed to snow pretty hard tomorrow..we'll see.



Well, the SEC proves itself once again with the Vols leading the way. Bull Run finally kicked in and is making some warm water and the fish were biting today. I touched 4 total, a 4, a 10, a 10 and a big nasty 27 lber. The three smaller were taken on gizzards, the 27 lb/40 incher was on the trusty old rapala that I used at Kingston two days ago. The fish hit hard and took about 7-8 minutes to subdue. Pictures are coming, be very patient..it's a new roll. Lots of other action, caught the fish all spread out. Water temps: ramp; 36.1 BRRR, bait; 44, 27 lber; 56, outflow; 64. There was some current and I think that helps the bite. That 27 is the biggest fish of the year...going to be hard to top that one...especially on artificial! Started fishing at about 1 pm. Wind was mostly calm, air: mid-30s, solid overcast but thin in some places. Real good January day on the water.