May 2003



Another pretty day.  Fished a couple of jacks from the bank.  Had one big hit and no hook up.  Water was ? degrees and about 5 feet clear.  Dead calm and temps in the low 70's, mostly sunny.  Verrry Nice.



Fished gauntlet 2 and had 2 quick hits.  One miss and one fish about 12 lbs.  No more action the rest of the evening.  Water was 53.1 and 7 feet.  Weather could have not been drawn better, no wind, partly cloudy.  Pretty day out.



Went out on the river.  Can you believe it?  It was a long day for what we got, a 20 and an 18.  Pretty little jacks, and a few monstrous missed hook-ups, but nobody got skunked.  Water was 63, clarity 4 feet.  Weather was ideal, mid 70's partly cloudy.  Light breezes lately the past few days, very enjoyable.  Good time to book a trip.  On problem I'm having is tackle breakdowns.  I have 3 broken G Loomis's, 1 fouled out Penn 965 and another 965 on the frits.  What's the deal?  My Auto Pilot likes to play ballerina.  My Ranger with 47,000 miles on it is starting to chug going down the interstate.  One of the hubs on my trailer wasn't welded straight so the whole wheel wobbles slightly and eats up rubber.  WHAT IS THE DEAL?  Companies need to quit shaving corners and start building quality stuff again.  It isn't like we don't have the technology!!!  We can put a missile up somebody's nostril, but we can't make fishing gear work right or last ten years.  

Notice the blue heron at the very left side standing on the limb above the water.  He is always there watching us toss skipjacks.  Every now and then, he gets the free meal when a striper knocks the bait off.



More mooneyes, more striper.  Location 1 produced 3 stripes at 18, 18, and 22 lbs.  All were caught on mooneye.  We did produce a few hits on skipjack, but weren't fortunate enough to hook up. Water was 63 degrees and 4 feet.   Weather was cool in the early AM in the mid 50's, reaching about 80 at the peak, then a good rain and back down to the low 60's the rest of the evening.  Speaking of the evening, gizzards were on the menu.  We couldn't buy a hit for the first two hours, not even a nervous bait.  We finally made a last hoorah at gauntlet #2 with a 22 lber, and a double with a 17 and 14 lber.  A couple of other compelling hits that didn't hook up made for more excitement.  Water temp 51.7, clarity 7 feet.  All fish taken on planers today.  Everybody saw stripes.



It is starting to get right on the water again.  We were able to get some nice skipjack and a mooneye for the sacrifice.  I boated one 16 lb fish on the mooneye, then Jason had to show me up with a 35 lb moose on a skipjack.  The fish hit about 15 feet from the boat, it was awesome.  Weather was nice, mid 70's, water was 65 degrees, clarity about 4 feet.  Nice stripes.



Went for a ride up the river, fished a little, got soaked didn't catch anything, but it was fun.



Had one 18 lb win below Melton Hill today behind the boils.  Nothing much doing after that.  Bait isn't exactly easy down there, you may consider bringing your own.  Weather was perfect, overcast 70 degrees, no wind.  Water was 62 degrees and 2 feet.  



More rain, what's the deal?  Got out this past weekend, rode over 1,000 miles, and helped a buddy of mine secure a win.  We fished out of it today.  It was the inaugural fish-sliming ceremony.  Just shad slime on this trip.  Stripes were off.  It got a little moist on us for about 15 minutes and we froze to death on the way home in wet T-shirts and shorts and 60 degree weather.  Nice rainbow though.  



Easy bait, pulled Holy water, nothing.  Pulled Assistance, one good hit.  Pulled Octopi bend and got a 19.  No other hits.  Didn't make it down to the gauntlet.  Water was 54.4 and about 4 feet.  A slight wind at 10 to 15 and steady made it a little tough.  Clear and sunny, air in the low 70's, perfect.  Saw a stripe.



Started the day pulling gizzards in the holy waters, assistance, and octopi bend with no luck.  Lots of water, temp 56, clarity 3 feet.  Should have been better, wind was blowing about 73 mph from the SSW which made trolling a little tough.  Headed to the sacred waters, caught 3 stripes, 3, 5 and 15 lbs.  Switched buddies from Ryan to Jason at dark and fished until 3:30, am that is.  One 5 lb stripe caught on a Chaser 5/0 hook around midnight.  The fish was hooked in the lip via the stomach.  I guess that counts as a lip hook, maybe.  It wasn't pretty.  Had one more exciting moment when I hooked into a pretty good sized cat and got it just within sight when the hook pulled out...I'm guesstimating around 30 lbs or more.  (can you believe that my auto-spellcheck recognized "guesstimating" as a word, but what's weirder is that it doesn't recognize "spellcheck" as one, weird)  Night fishing is pretty much a loss for us, I quit.  Sacred temp: 66.4, clarity: 3 or so.



Return to the new zone.  No catchings, muddy water.  It has now been realized by myself that previously certain locations which were secret, and now thought to be public knowledge are still actually secret, and those involved in thinking they knew where I was fishing were wrong.  HA HA HA HA HA!  Anyways, we had 46,000 inches of rain earlier this week, Chattanooga is under water and stuff is pretty much screwed for a while around here too.

Check it:



New zone, nice fish.  It has recently been brought to my attention that certain locations which I think are secret are actually public knowledge.  WELLLLLL....I'll give a free guided trip to anybody who can positively identify the location of these stripes: <CLICK HERE>.   Ryan and I teamed up for 5 stripes today and a lot of shad and mooneye blasting action.  It was wild, the weather was perfect and the stripes were mean.  Water was 64 degrees and had about 5 foot clarity.  Bait was easy, great day.  Hope he gets that jet foot-rock impact repaired soon so we can go back and do it all again.  There's a big fish looming in there somewhere, we just scratched the surface with a 14 a 15 an 18 and a pair of 20's.



There were fish caught.  But not by me.  My buddy Ryan showed me how to hook up and stay hooked up, but I couldn't get the hang of it for some reason.  We turned over a 21 and a 27 lber on jacks and then took jacks to Norris where we commenced to losing.  From Norris, we went to the upper reaches of Cherokee where bait isn't a problem, but catching large striped fish is.  No paddles either.  Good day, long day, saw stripes finally!  Weather was perfect in the AM, a little blustery in the afternoon and evening, sunny.  Waters were: 56 and 4, 67 and 6, 78 and 1.5.



Did some more jacking somewhere between North Carolina and Arkansas.  This time, it was a little more successful, but still didn't get to touch any striped fish.  We did see and fight stripes for a while, but can't put any marks on the board.  No broken lines, just pulled out hooks.  It was on until about 7:00 and then it was most definitely off.  Not a sniff after 7pm.  Weather was perfect, 82 degrees, sunny, no wind, niiiiice.  There will be fish caught soon.



Returned to Melton for another round of jacking and lost again.  Less action than the last time, a few boils and no satisfaction.  Water was 70 and about 4 feet.  Weather was perfect, overcast, calm....then lightning hit at about 8 and that signified time to leave.