January 2003



Tried to get another 20+ for the month and failed again.  We had plenty of bait, but it was just a little too large.  The fish must have moved out or decided to move in later because we didn't get much action.  Maybe Feb. will pick up a little.  No stripes.  Weather prediction was off again, they suck.  It was about 45 and cloudy with a slight N breeze.  Saw a deer on the way back to the ramp doing the freestyle.  We diced up the water to make it interesting for her and cruised on home.  Temp at the ramp is 38.  



Same deal as yesterday.  Going to try trebles on them.  Had one nice fish hit and couldn't get a hook in her.  I'm tired of losing.  When you fish all day for one hit and don't convert, it kinda sucks.  Weathermen suck too, they called for 48 and partly cloudy, we got 40, thick overcast, drizzle, and N wind 10 mph.  Water is right, fish are there...just need to hook one to feel better about life in general.  Temp at ramp is 37.



Big hits, no fish landed.  Waited for the rain to pass, then headed out.  Planed and lobbed baits, had hits, but no fish landed.  Wind blew from the N pretty hard and got worse the later it got.  Overcast and upper 40's.  Water was 36 at the ramp.  Clarity 4 feet.



Kingston is doing better, but still isn't really impressing me too much.  We caught 6 stripes and the first hybrid (9 lbs), on the year.  Stripes averaged 5 lbs.  Saw a couple of mid-teens fish caught.  That NC gang really knows how to crowd a man.  Had a big skiff anchor about 30 feet upstream of us.  Not so bad for us, but if they had gotten a drag-puller, it would most likely wind up around my anchor rope.  We were the only two boats in the area at that time.  I could have lobbed a small shad into their boat.  Pricks.  Bait is getting better, but if you don't know where to look, you could throw all day for naught.  Weather was nice, 45 degrees, cloudy, breeze kicked up, rain started on the way home.  Water was 60 degrees.  



Thaw-out.  Barely broke freezing today and we went out.  Weather was nice, light winds 5-10 FOR A CHANGE, mostly cloudy turning mostly sunny by afternoon, barely broke freezing if it did.  No fish.  Just nice to be out after 2 days cooped up.  Water 42.9 degrees, clarity 5-6 feet.  Pulled trout on boards with fellow Vikings: Jason, Andy and Jeff.



Here we went again:



Trout catching.  Thankfully the wind was only blowing about 20 mph and it was a warm 35 degrees.  Did manage a limit of trout between snow events.  Never knew getting bait could be so fun.  River was 45.2 degrees and clear.



TrOOOOOOOts.  It was ugly out there, we boated a combined 18 trouters....the only bad part was my poor buddy Andy only contributed one fish to the total.  We were into the master's level graduate courses by the day's end.  I got one nice, fat 1.5 lb rainbow.  Should be a tasty morsel for a 50 lb hog.  Weatherwise, it was a different day, mid 50's, sunny, but still crankin' SW winds all day.  Very enjoyable day.


Began with a trout excursion on the Clinch.  Headed back out to Kingston after yesterday's success(es).  Temps were milder...mid 30's, but the wind is just insane.  We need to put up a dome.  Still landed 10 stripes, with a very mean 18 lber as the big fish.  It hit a trout dangled on 10 lb test spinning gear.  Talk about drag screaming.  Had a bank fisherman saw off another good drag-screamer because he didn't know his head from his ass.  I'll get over it one day, just not today.  Water was 43 in the river, 57 in the flow.  Nice evening, we stayed on the water until after midnight making for a 16 hour fishing day.

It really was too cold to aim the camera.  Jason, *ahem* *cough*



Fished the famous Kingston today with some decent success.  Average fish size has increased a bit, 5-6 lbs.  We released 23 stripes, the biggest was 11 lbs.  Bait is virtually non-existent....you might need a guide just to get bait.  Hell, it could save you hours of throwing a net in sub-freezing weather if nothing else.  Good catching.  It was a raw cold day, high 27, wind was SW up to 20, clear skies.  Water was 43 in the river, 53 in the flow.  Done seen stripes.

Neat ice crystal-rainbow.



This is what it looked like: truck stayed put.



fished somewhere, got a case of CRS on this one, sorry.



No Luck, Monday the 13th.  Water is too cold, 40 at ramp, 41-42 where I caught bait, 48 in the river, 60 at the plant.  Clarity is a solid 4 feet.  Fish are not responding to impaled live offerings being dragged out to the side.  I'm starting to question my reason for being.  It sucks.  The only good thing is that it can't get much worse.  If there were no more striper, it wouldn't be much worse.  ha ha ha.  Nice weather, good evening to be out, 40 degrees, some high clouds, light wind that died at dark.



26 degrees at 9 am.  Wind a-blowin'.  all day, 15+.  Got trout, drove a good ways, fished a while, got windburned and seasick, gave trout away, made up a story about how we caught them there.  (Hope they don't read the journal)  Went to Kingston.  Won on bait, moderately won on fish.  We got 7 in and out of our hands, all small, under 3 lbs.  Water was 46 in troutland, 46 in striper location #1, 60 at Kingston.  Bait is tricky there.  Bring your own, but don't bring bluebacks unless you want to go to jail, they're checking bait tanks.



Not recovered from the wind yet, 15+ again.  Got trout, drove long way, fished with trout, caught windburn.  Drove back, hit traffic, U-turned with boat, put in at nearest ramp and ran to spot rather than sit in traffic.  Had big blow up on 14" 'bow, no hookup.  Caught 14 lber on smaller 'bow.  Not another hit.  Wind did not lay down, whitecaps all day, nasty nasty nasty.  High temp was low 40's, clear sky.  Water temps, 46, 46, and 47-51.



Trout mission yielded 6 players.  Took them to the Hill with ABSOLUTELY no results.  Not a sniff.  Water temp ranging from 47-65.  Clarity about 6 feet.  Was windy again for the 3rd day of 15+ MPH winds.  That's what sucks the worst about being in the Tennessee valley in the winter....SW winds....and more winds.  And then in the summer when it's 90 degrees and 90 percent humidity....stagnant air.  Somebody switch it.  Okay, enough whining.  Just have to vent every now and then.  No stripes, just disappointments.



Fished some trout on Melton Hill to no avail.  Couldn't take the gale force, so I freed the Oncorhynchus mykisses and Salmo Truttis and headed to Kingston.  Bait was nowhere except in one spot.  When I found it, I FOUND it.  I found bait to the tune that I thought the net was hung, but when I pulled it in, it was so full of shad I could barely move it.  Had to be 150+ lbs of threadfins in one netful, insane.  I made another toss and pulled it quick to just get a few and 'only' got about 300 shad.  Did catch 8 small stripes and the wind finally laid down.  I went home windburned.  Water temps were 47 on MH, and 62 in the Kingston outflow.  Clear water at both.



Put the rainbows to good use.  Had our first and only boated fish within 5 minutes of starting.  It was a 21 lber.  Trolled for about 3 hours with no action until about 6 pm when we had another murdered trout.  This fish seemed bigger, but didn't get the hook.  It remained near the planer, boiling under the stranded board.  We circled back around with another trout and had the fish hit it as well, but missed the hookup again.  Good day, weather was near perfect, temps in the low-50's, partly cloudy, stout W breeze, but it laid down before dark and got NIIIIIICE.  Water temp: 48, clarity: 8 feet.  Saw stripes.


Jason's 21 Purdy sunset


Trout acquisition successful.  Scored 6 nice 8-10" rainbows and a honker 2+ lb brown.  Nice weather, clear, no wind, high about 50, but it cooled off fast.



Trout excursion turned out to be a winning situation.  We caught and released 43 trout between the two of us.  Clinch below Norris.  That was about it.  COLD and WINDY, temps in the mid 30's, spitting snow and wind gusting to 20.  We 'only' managed to stay out for 5 hours in it.  Clinch was 47.0 degrees and clear as usual.



Different day.  Didn't get out until about 4:30, it started raining.  We had one big hit on one of the leftover trout.  Headed in at about 5:30 wet, cold and perturbed.  Temps in the 40's, windy and steady rain.  Water was Melton Hilly.



Start the year off with a modest win.  We caught some trout early then put some big hooks through their nostrils and drug them around. Clinch temp was 48.3.  Action was slow with the exception of the last hour of daylight.  Caught one 10 lber and had two other trout get smashed.  Overcast early turning to partly cloudy, high around 60.