JULY 2003



Nothing big happened on the lost Cumberlos today.  But it almost might have.  We had a couple of jacks get brutalized and caught a 15 lber on a gizzard.  Water was 59 and clarity was about 4 feet.  HOTTT day with little to no breeze, low 90's and sunny.  Bait was about as easy as it can be out that way.  One stripe.



Another nice day, about 90 degrees and sunny with a light breeze.  Had incredible bait, but the Wausatch was turned off.  Didn't even get a nervoidal bait.  It is late and I am not going to sleep tonight because something big must be about to happen today (it's 3:20 AM), I feel it.  We're taking the River Pro out tomorrow to put it to good use.  Water temp today was 65, clarity 7 feet.  No fish.



NIIICE weather....poooor catching.  I fished a bit below Melton.  It has literally been inconsistent as hell down there.  On one day, off the next.  Caught one little fish and lost a decent one.  Everything was right, bait's a bit scarce, but attainable if you persist.  You may just want to catch me down there and buy some shad off me.  Water was 67 degrees, 4 foot clarity.  Air was upper 70's and partly cloudy.



Tried our luck out west.  We got some nice herrings for bait out there and drew up a couple of decent fish.  Ryan hooked up on one but the hook was buried in the bait.  We had several smaller fish after that playing with the bait.  Water temps were 68 where we got bait, 60-65 where we fished.  Clarities were 2 and 6-7.  HOT weather, no breeze, sunny and in the 90's.  We saw stripes, but didn't touch any.  We'll be back.



Heck of a day up the creek.  We boated and released 8 stripes for a total weight of 195 lbs.  Fish weights were 20, 21, 21, 24, 25, 26, 28, and 31.  We had a few misses also.  Planers and big gizzard shad were the ticket.  We had a good double with a 21 and a 25 and there were fish chasing the ones we were fighting.  Very exciting fishing!  It was HOT, lower 90's, but a nice 10 mph breeze helped us stay cool.  Mostly sunny day and our fish came from 11:00-4:00.  Awesome day!  Lots of nice stripes.



Tried some fishing below a dam on the TVA chain.  Ryan tried to kill me when the cast net hung up and almost jerked me over the side of the boat in 10 mph current.  Not a pretty sight...the cast net that was, after I un hung it.  Had a 6-foot tear in it.  We patched it real quick (half hour) and got bait.  Only had a couple of hits and saw one decent fish breaking, but no hookups.  Water was 71 degrees, clarity about 6 feet.   Air was hot and still.



Began with a trout mission.  Got 5 trout fairly easily and then they quit biting.  Took a little drive and put the trout to work.  You trout-fans will be happy to know that 4 of 5 trout used for bait today survived with just a nostril piercing.  One, however succumbed to a 15 lb striper.  One bait, one fish, but no skunks.  Maybe the day after the full moon to blame?  Maybe all the rain.  Highly abnormal year.  Everything was right today, but no serious action.

We did see a family of at least 4 otters.  Here's the only photo that turned out okay:

He's eating a piece of fish.



Long, arduous day.  4 different localities, 1 small striper.  At least is wasn't a zero.  Water temps were 69, 65, 55, and 81.  Clarities were: almost 0, 2, 8, and 10+.   Mostly sunny day, but the lightning and monsoon came around 5:00.  After that, it was a nice evening.  Did a little late-night alewife excursion which gave me the info that 1/2" mesh was too big for what I was throwing at.  Lots of ground and water covered, fish didn't bite well....perhaps the full moon?



Evening trip below the dam.  7 small stripes.  Water temp: 63, clarity: 4 feet.




Water was 62 degrees, a 5 degree cool-down.  Had the fish a little turned off, I believe.  We had a bit of trouble getting bait as it was NOT flipping anywhere.  We did catch 4 stripes, but nothing to brag about.  Enjoyable evening, dense fog moved in at dark.  Air in the upper 80's, high blue sky, no wind.  Stripes were seen.