September 2001

 

9/31/01

Fished La Ria. We didn't boat any fish, but there's probably more potential here than enywhere I've seen yet. Water temp was 57-60, clarity 6 feet. We pulled boards and freelines. had several blow ups and one solid hook up which resulted in a broken line. They were hitting the big shad better. I'm calling this place to get my first 50 lber. Very windy, shifting, but mostly NW at 15. Mostly sunny.

 

9/27/01

Fished below Los Loudos, way below. We caught a few green carp and headed back up to the dam for some lure action. Boated a 7, a 5 and a 3 lb stripe and got broken off by another. It was good fishing. That big boat is a little tougher than the Kraft to maneuver up in the boils. I think I have a system figured out though. Water temps ranged 71-74, clarity 2 feet. Bait fairly easy below Tellico. Air was low 70's and clear skies. Very nice day and good fish catching.

 

9/26/01

Fished with Die Hard. We had a great trip, new experience for me. We fished on the Holston. Water temp: cool, clarity: 2 feet. We managed to boat a few fish including a 35

and a 31 lber freelining threadfins in the current.

We also had a 7 lb stripe, a 9 lb hybrid, and 12 lb buglemouth bass (not pictured). It was a great experience in a little different fishery. The cool water allowed for easy release of all fish lip-hooked with circle hooks. Air was low 70's dropping quick at sundown and sunny with strong NE winds 15 mph and steady. Conquering new frontiers.

 

9/25/01

got bait for tomorrow's excursion, threadfins below Tellico Dam...good source. Also lots of small gizzards there. Water temp: 73-74. Clarity 2 feet.

 

9/24/01

Did a little casting and a little catching. Four fish, 14 lb stripe, 12 lb stripe, 12 lb hybrid, 2 lb hybrid. Steve was there, but didn't catch any stripes. Instead, he focused his efforts on walleye. Not really, but seeing as he'd never caught one before, the three that he did catch was very impressive and kind of weird. He was using the same lure I was in the same area. The walleye were 21.5, 24.5 and 25 inches and 3.5, 4.5, 5 lbs, respectively.

We kept and cleaned those suckers....dinner tomorrow! Allen was there and he caught 3 stripes; 2, 6, and 15 lbs. One generator, full throttle. Rained all day and the front was passing overhead on the way to the dam. Going to be in the 40's tonight. I like to fish.

 

9/22/01

Fished El Rio with Mr. Cate this am. Managed to touch one striped fish about 24 lbs . Also landed a 4 lb smallmouth on about a 9" mooneye. I figured that bass must have been about to starve to death. We used his boat since mine's in the shop STILL. Didn't get a water temp reading, but I'm sure it wasn't under 75. Fairly warm. Foggy morning made for a great ride up the river, dodging obstacles. It broke at about 10:00 and the sun came out for good. Mooneyes were fairly easy, but the stripes were somewhat reluctant. We had a good time just being out. Good day, off the water at 1:30.

 

9/21/01

Piddle a bit on Norris before and after the TSBA meeting and fish fry. The surface temp is cooling, saw 77 degrees in cove creek. The fish fry was a blast, anybody that missed it missed some great food and the opportunity to meet some great striper anglers. Beautiful weather, temps in the low 80's, partly cloudy.

 

9/20/01

Alan and I combined for 14 fish tonight below Melton Hill (I got 8). Most of the fish we caught were in a 30 minute time span. There was a definite school of fish that passed through and we layed into them. Casting off the bank is a very simple, very effective way to catch these fish. Biggest fish was a 14 lb striper, we had a few hybrids in the 7-8 lb range and other stripes in that range also. It was good fishing and catching. Weather was nice, about 70 degrees, partly cloudy after a rainy morning. Two generators until 9:00.

 

9/18/01

Forgot my tackle box. again BUT, I already had a lure tied on. Managed to catch 5 fish in about an hour. 1 oz shad head with 5 3/4" Fin-S fish and that's all. Three little 4-7 lb stripes, a 7 lb hybrid and a WOOLY MAMMOTH 15+ lb hybrid that I'm estimating the weights on everything because yes, I'm that good. ha ha Had a couple other hookups that I let go (on purpose of course). It was a great outing. Not a soul there, so nobody saw me catch anything, so don't make me start taking pictures. Just believe it's all true 'cause it is. Air was low-mid 60's upon departure, slight breeze. They generated the bank-side until 8 and then VERY abruptly switched to the other generator. Worked for me. Kept one small stripe for TWRA to look at the parasites in the mouth of it. Hope they aren't harmful. All the stripes I caught were very thin and long. The big hybrid was a chunk. Fishing is good.

 

9/17/01

You won't believe this one. I checked the gen sched...4-7, 1 gen. I was thrilled. I loaded up the Crestliner and got my big magnet and steamed back to the dam. Got there at 5:30 and picked up Farrell off the bank. We piddled until the generator went down, then it was time to get serious. I headed back to the scene of last night's leatherman crime. I re-tied to the same tree with the same two pieces of rope knotted together that we had last night. Turned on the trolling motor (the water was still moving slightly from generating), pulled the rope taut and began magnetting. I bounced it around on the bottom for a couple of minutes and pulled it up not expecting much. I wasn't disappointed, nothing much was exactly what I had. Just some sand and little pebbles which aparently had some iron in them. Lowered back down for a second sweep. Swept for another couple of painstaking minutes and pulled up slowly. It felt a little heavy! Got it near the surface and I saw the glint of stainless steel under the black color of the magnet. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES times a thousand! And it took all of 5 minutes. I had told myself that I would search for an hour before giving up. ha ha ha Miracles will never cease. Mr. Leatherman wave is happily back in his black nylon home with the velcro door. Water temp: 65.7, clarity: 3 feet, air about same as yesterday. No wind.

 

9/16/01

Melton Hill ran 1 gate for 1 hour this evening. Jason and I managed to get 4 skipjack for tonight's cut-baiting episode. We got set up and had 8 lines out by about 7:00. All we managed to do was catch 3 blue cats, about 5, 8, and 15 lbs. Well, the 15 lber decided to relieve me of my $70 Leatherman. It felt that my multi-tool was better suited for the bottom of Watts Bar in 17 feet of water. I only cried for 3 hours. We left shortly after the Leatherman incident. Water temp: 69, clarity: 3 feet. Air was upper 70's dipping into mid 60's by the time we left, no wind. Caught fish, non-striped, but now I have an empty pouch on my belt.

 

9/14/01

Ran a ways down below Melton Hill scouting new territory. Found lots of potential, marked some fish, but couldn't draw a strike. Floated some baits up around the dam at midday and caught a couple of smaller fish, a 2 lb smallie in the mix. Went home for a dump and lunch and headed back to the dam for some lure action off the bank with Jason. We got skunked, but we had 5 REAL good fish hooked up solid. Broke 2 of them off and for some reason pulled the hook out of the other 3. It just wasn't meant to be tonight. Water temp was as high as 74 downriver, but 66 at the gens. Clarity 3 feet. WINDY all day, it's still windy, 15-20 mph NW I think (don't quote me on that one) and real gusty, but the air temps are dropping quick. Fall is here. yes

 

9/13/01

Long day. Fished the Clinch, Norris, El Rio, and below Melton Hill. Caught a 23, nothing, a 20, and two smaller fish. Water temps: 53, 82, 76, and 66. Clarities: 4, clear, 2, and 3. Baits/lures: medium gizzard, gizzards, bucktail w/plastic, shad head with plastic. Weather was real nice, but a little humid. 150 miles and a few fish, could have been a lot worse. Lots of variety today.

 

9/12/01

Dams still Closed

 

9/11/01

Thanks Bin-Laden schloppin floppin, they had TVA dams closed, no fishing. Wasted some time off the bank at Bull Run with no results.

 

9/10/01

First trip: used the bait from yesterday. Caught no fish. Tried El Rio and a large tributary. I had a few good smallies blow up on the shad, but couldn't stick one. Water temp: 74 on Rio, clarity: 2 feet. Air was 80 and overcast threatening rain but didn't. The big boat made it up the shoals, but I had to switch my britches out afterwards.

Second trip: Jetted down below Melton Hill before they quit generating. 1st fish: 7 lb hybrid, 2nd fish: 12 lb stripe, 3rd fish: 14 lb stripe, 4th fish: a freight train 12 lb hybrid, 5th fish: 5 lb stripe, 6th fish: 20 lb stripe, and 7th fish: 10 lb stripe. Not too bad considering I caught them all on the same piece of plastic and all within 45 minutes. I had my poker cast on tonight. There were two guys there when I got there casting some huge surf rigs all the way to the lock wall...I waited until the second one made his way up the rocks before I laid into that hybrid, ha ha. He turned to watch a bit then left in disgust. 2 generators, big calm spot between them, GREAT catching. Caught them all on a 5 3/4" Fin-S fish on my 1 oz shad head.

 

9/9/01

EARLY morning with Mr. Ezell. Got on the water at 5:45AM and had our first fish before light at 6:15. Caught another one about half an hour later. They were both in the upper teens. A couple other bites, but no hooked fish after that. We played around in the Clinch after that, looking at fish and getting some more gizzards before turning in for the afternoon. At 6:30, Steve and I headed down below Melton Hill with the barge. The barge is the 20' Crestliner jon that I borrowed from my buddy. We got bait and had no hits, although I saw a good boil when steve reeled his bait in by something chasing it. Mosquitoes were thick and we hit a bat with the bow light, instantly killing it and sending it into the boat right between us. The ranger definitely knows that boat is behind it. Got bait for tomorrow somewhere.

 

9/8/01

Had an adventurous day. We started out without a boat getting bait from the bank and wound up fishing Norris from a very nice borrowed boat. It's nice to have fishing friends. We caught 2 on Norris, a 20 and a 25 lb fish . My buddy Steve and his father were thrilled . Those fish came at about 5:00 pm and we didn't get a bite after that. It was sunny, low 80's and a slight WSW breeze until about 6:00, then it got calm. Water temp: 83.6, clarity: Norris clear.

We all had a good day on Norris.

 

9/7/01

El Rio. Big fish, 5 of them. We had a 29, a 28.5, a 28 and two in the low 20s. Didn't get an early start, about 1 pm. It was sunny and hot with no breeze. 4 of the fish came from the middle spot while one other came from up top. They didn't seem to be as aggressive as yesterday, but we managed. Water was still somewhat stained, I assume that they have tapped the surface layer in the lake above. Water temp: 75 or 6, clarity 2 feet. Jo Ann and I had a great day of catching some nice fish.

 

9/6/01

AHHHHHH, El Rio is back. Mooneyes were on the menu. This rivaled the most water I've ever seen thrown by fish. People, I am not lying when I say the longest I had a mooneye swim free was 5 seconds before total and complete annihilation. Hit the water at about 2, threw some lures, nothing, didn't even catch any when they were ballistic, I tried Z Spook, Jerkbait and SSR didn't produce. Mooneyes didn't last any time. I was scared as hell watching them rip and snort. Even after hooking up, two or three 20-40 lb fish were fighting over the maimed mooneye. We only landed a 28 and a 22 out of the massacre, but hooked two others and had bait getting ripped off left and right. Water's probably 75-76 degrees (didn't have gauge), clarity 2 feet, a bit stained. Air was mid-upper 80's, no wind and fairly humid, it was warm. No clouds, beautiful day, beautiful fish, moonEYE popping action. HA!

 

9/5/01

BIGGEST STRIPER EVER DAY

I secured spots for Jason and I on the Ezell/Norris express. We fished the lower end of Norris. Puttering around not seeing a whole lot for the first couple of hours and landing one 18 lber, Ezell decided to put us on some fish. It was the most unreal thing I've ever been a part of on Norris. The fish were actually stacked thicker than cordwood, you could see it on the depthfinder. We each put out a rod and immediately began getting hits. It's hard to hook up on those fish sometimes, put it that way. If we'd hooked up every fish that hit our bait, we could have been tripled up time and time again. We wound up with our limit, and fish for the TSBA fish fry coming up soon, but the coup de gras was Jason's little 41 lb 7 oz fingerling.

If Jason wasn't 6'3", this fish would look a lot bigger, but it's a whale. She measured 48" long. The rest of the fish were in the upper teens, but looked insignificant next to this fish. Water temp: 82.3, clarity: real clear. Weather was perfect, low 80's, little to no wind, mostly sunny. Incredible day on Norris.

 

 

9/3/01

Tried some gizzards below Melton Hill off the bank, nothing doing, I went home. Fog was thick on the river.

 

9/2/01

Fished hard in the rain. We started at Bull Run, bait is easy. Pulled boards, freelines and downlines for 2 hours with no results. Went to El Rio. Water was up and stained and running pretty hard. That did allow us to take the whaler up past the shoals, however. The only action we had was two smaller 12-15 lb fish blowing up on my bait for a minute straight. We headed down below Melton Hill after acquiring a dozen mooneyes. Had one half-assed attack during the fireworks, but we didn't hook up in an hour of fishing there. Long, wet, fishless day.