November 2001

 

11/30/01

Rediculous! Outflow temp at Bull Run is 86! No stripes within miles of the plant worth catching. We boated one right as we were pulling in the last line in water 74.5 degrees on a gizzard on a planer. It's just too hot. Norris needs to push some water to send that hot stuff downstream. Weather was WINDY, 20+ mph out of the W and very gusty. Died down at dusk. Air was in the mid 60's and partly cloudy skies. Turned out to be a very nice evening. Saw stripes.

 

11/24/01

Nothing doing on Melton Hill....nothing at all. Lots of action on the baits, but nothing got a hook. We fished hard, but the catching wasn't too good. Looks like some screwy weather for the rest of the week, rain and wind. Water temp: 66, clarity: 2-3 feet. Weather was a bit inclimate, overcast with some early sprinkles. Air temps started out in the 40's and wound up at almost 70. Good fishing, bad catching.

 

11/23/01

Norris was pretty good to us today. Touched 4 fish and had 2 others strip some drag and say bye. The fish were 16, 16, 18, and 20 lbs. Quality fish. The weather was nice until it started showering right at dusk. Temps were in the mid 60's and it was sunny for a while, but really stayed overcast. Front moving through will mess the fishing up for tomorrow. Water temp: 60, clarity: 6 feet.

 

11/21/01

Pretty nice day to fish. Temps in the mid 50's, wind a little annoying at times up to 15 mph out of the south. No clouds. We touched 3 fish and had lots more action. Had somebody sleeping in the boat on one good hit, Jason. cough cough The fish were about 10, 12 and 4 lbs. It seems like they are beginning to show signs of more fish moving into their wintering grounds on Melton Hill. Water temp: main river 57, clarity: 2-3 feet. Recent rains had the water stained a bit, but the fish still hit very well. Nice day on the water.

 

11/20/01

Wasted time and fuel today. Cold front blew through last night and screwed things up pretty good on Norris. I had some of the purdiest 10-12" gizzards your ever done saw. Not even a sniff. Not to mention that I got them below Melton Hill and drove 1 1/2 hours up to Norris. By the way: Note to self. NEVER EVER WEVER take hwy 61 between 170 and 33, you'll regret it. As far as the fishing, the wind got rediculous out of the NE at 15+ gusting to 25 and singing on the lines between whitecaps banging on the 55 gallon drum that I refer to as 'my boat.' Actually a 55 gallon drum probably wouldn't leak as much and might run shallower with a 50 on it...hmmmm. Oh well, Norris buried it up to the knee today. Cirrus clouds, air temp low 50's?. Norris temp: 58, clarity 6 feet. poop

 

11/19/01

Kingston was a big zero today. Had a couple of really mean hits on some large gizzards, but no sticky sticky with the hooky hooky. Found millions of small threadfins downstream from plant in outside of second bend....gilled half of them, eesh. Bigger threads were upstream of plant today on left bank a few hundred yards from outflow. Big gizzards were on just about any flat in 2-3 feet of water.... water temp: 63-69, clarity 2-3 feet. Actually got there at about 7:30 in a shroud of fog, didn't burn off until 9:30. Pulled big gizzards for a mile or so with minimal action. Fished outflow, no action, fished big threads, caught 2 green carp. Wind got up retardedly at noon, almost whitecapping. Went upstream below Melton Hill. Had one serious boil, no other action. Tons of BIG gizzards schooled up everywhere about 4-5 miles below dam. Threw the net at will on them and pulled up 10-30 per throw. Water turned on at 2, huge schools and small bait and lots of bait still up around upper tailrace. Reason enough for fish to be there. Temp: 58, clarity: 4+ feet. Air was nice, mid-60's but too windy, went home at 3:00 because a gust hit me in the face and said 'go home.' No seeing of the stripes : ( ` ` ` Get 'em next time....GRRRR

 

11/18/01

Another beautiful day on Melton Hill. Wind got annoying out of the SW at times up to 15 mph. No clouds, upper 60's. Water temp: 60-72, clarity 4 feet. Boated one fish, 12 lbs on a 7" gizzard. Had a couple of fish take a look at a spook I was working fast on top. A couple of other boils and hits, but no hookups. I think the warmer temps due to the weather and Norris not running had them deeper than on Friday. Very nice day on the water....the bayliner was in the boatlift today, ha ha ha ha.

 

11/17/01

A bit of poetic justice occurred tonight. First, however, my better half and I landed a 12 lb striper on the old trusty flyrod. It was a great fight and a nice fish. Bait's easy. Water temp: 60-69, clarity: 4 feet. Melton Hill. Very pleasant fishing day, little to no wind, great sunset, temps in the upper 60's. Now for the poetic justice: we were headed back into the bait cove, and some jerkoff in a bayliner was disembarking from his dock about 30 yards away. He had a buddy and his wife, and he thought he'd be very cool and take off in the opposite direction from which he intended to go and cut 180 degrees and send maximum wakeness at my small fishing vessel. I was off plane and coasting (to honor his presence), and I stood up and clapped at his performance while the 2-3 foot wake rolled towards us. He gave me a glazed-over, rich-dummy, I-have-no-idea-how-to-drive-a-boat stare. I spoke my peace under my breath and went on about getting bait. I halfway contemplated leaving a nice gift of a net full of threadfins and gizzards on his dock in case he wanted to catfish when he got back. Jodi talked me out of it. It took about 10 minutes to get bait and then we headed out around the bend. The first thing I spotted was a large boat with someone hunched over on the bow with a paddle having a hell of time. It was too far away to tell what it was yet, but I was hopeful. As we got closer, I began to chuckle and when I knew it was the idiot, I blasted a big laugh. As we motored by him, I offered up this statement to him in a friendly manner, and I quote myself, "I'd have helped you if you hadn't waked me." zooooom...laughing about it still. It was just a golden moment. Wonderful day.

 

11/16/01

Got into 'em. Finally. Melton Hill showed its first signs of livening up. We pulled some medium-small 6-7" gizzards. Didn't go 10 minutes without some action on one of the baits. We touched 3 fish: 5, 10, and 12 lbs. My bud Steve had the lunker . I had another all the way to the boat that I was horsing in and I yanked the hook out, he was about 10 lbs. Here's one I actually touched . Several more good blow ups and killed baits. Bait was easy, wind was medium-light, but blowing the right way. It started out of the NW and very definitely shifted to ESE at dark. Air temp was mid 50's at dusk. Water temp: 66, clarity: 4 feet. Good day. We also did a photo shoot of how to hook a shad. Depending on how the photos come out, I will write the article to go along.

 

11/11/01

Hit El Rio. El Rio was so low it scared me. I chickened out running the first shoal, loaded the front of the boat with batteries and bait tank full and tried to idle up. I was gaining ground on the current when the BOAT grounded, not the motor, the boat. I shut the merc off and drifted back down into about 2' of water, turned around and gunned it. I doubt my anus has ever been suctioned to a boat seat that hard before, but the Kraft made it up without a scratch. Caught a few mooneyes, but no signs of large striped fish. Didn't attempt the next shoal, anus was too tired. Water temp: 62, clarity: 4 feet. No wind, air upper 60's, nice nice day.

 

11/10/01

This is what happens when you get a real job and there's no daylight anymore. No more fishing during the week unless you feel like braving the cold nights and still making your rounds on the computer/personal hygiene (minimal, of course)/girlfriend/telephone, not necessarily in that order. We had a very long day. We drove 1.5 hours one way to get some nice firewood just to come home and burn it. I hope black walnut burns good...that's what we got for firewood, and it was a sacrilige too! There was probably a 16 foot straight grained log at the base of this thing worth a couple grand that we mutilated for heating and ambiance. Oh well, worth the drive past Tazewell. Got home around 4 pm unloaded firewood and loaded the boat and took off. Messed around at the foot of Ft. Loudon; got kicked, caught not a thing. Saw some shad there and heard people are still catching them in the boils during the day on shad. h2o temp there 58. Trucked over to the warm waters of Kingston; got burned, caught nobody. Outflow temp: 71.1. Rough night, rough crowd. Couldn't please any stripedbody. Winds were annoying out of the NW at 10, brought a good chill to the 30's degree air. Crystal clear skies, I saw 5 or 6 meteorites, a couple of dazzling ones. One of them burned bright blue and then burst into a bunch of pieces like a firework. Good stuff. Still didn't catch a darn thing.

 

11/04/01

Fished El Rio with no striped results. Bagged a few wily mooneyes on a little popper on the 5-wt. The water was as low as I've ever seen it, but I still mustered up the kahoonies to fly up one of the shallower shoals...probably knocking snails off the tops of rocks with my skegg. Water temp: 62, clarity: 4 feet. Weather was nice, breezy at times, but sunny and low 70's.

 

11/03/01

Kingston was over today. We caught one largemouth..cough cough. Water was 73 in the outflow, without more cool weather, there won't be any fish there either. Couldn't buy a hit. Air was low 70's and light NE breeze 5-10 mph. Nice day no real fish.

 

11/02/01

Kingston produced fish today. Coughed two hybrids in the 10 lb class, 26.5 and 27 inches long. A 4 lb stripe and somewhere between 15-20 '00 model baby stripes, 1-2 lbs. Biggest baby stripe was 18 inches long. Caught them on live shad and chartreuse grubs on 1/8 oz leadhead. It was a blast. Both of those big hybrids hit hard and fought like trucks. Outflow was 70, river downstream was 63. Clarity about 2 feet. Weather was mid 70's, medium S breeze. Big day of catching.

 

11/01/01

Pulled great baits on Norris from 10 AM until 6 PM with NO fish boated. Couldn't have painted a better day to fish. Except for that little surprise front that blew through that the weather forcasters neglected to mention. It was a pretty big event, gusts to 25 mph for a couple hours, then no wind at about 5 pm. We had plenty of action on the baits and almost constant nervosa maximus, but nothing got a hook in it. Just one of those Norris tough days. Pulled 8" gizzards and they were WILD! Hated to toss them back after dragging for 2 hours, they were that good. Air started cool, mid 40's, peaked at about 70, clear as a bell and dead calm until noon, then wind got up quick and it got mostly cloudy and noticeably cooler. Temps dropped quick at dusk. Water temp: 64-66, clarity 4+ feet. Great fishing day, not good catching.