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Steven from Georgia
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Post spawn Tennessee river trip

Things have just not lined up this year for us to make the journey north. Especially the weather. Well the weather didnt look great this weekend either but we went anyway.

The title of this thread could be yen and yang. Or good luck bad luck. As the needle swung back and forth from good to bad.

Thursday afternoon. We made it over the mountains and headed down into the gorge that drops into the tenn valley. About a third of the way the had the road blocked for a bad wreck. They turned us around and sent us on a 70 mile detour that added 1.5 hours to the trip.

We were headed to a spot we had never been. I made a wrong turn and got us into a spot were we couldnt turn around. Herbie tried but couldnt make it. Then the power steering on the van went out. We finally got backed out of there and got the boat put in below the dam around 6 pm. Boy there was no breeze and it was hot !!!! We pulled up to the dam and tried to catch some skip jack with no luck. Then we tried to find some shad. again no luck. I was begining to think we were in trouble. When the sun started going behind the hill the fish turned on. We started catching a few white bass on spoons. All the sudden we hit a spot were it was every cast. Within in a few minutes we had enough bait.

For our first spot we decided to setup on the current seam at the end of the lock jetty. We tried 3 times and still didnt get the boat exactly where i wanted it. Still we could get baits in both swift and calm water. First fish of the night didnt take long. 8 pound flathead came right off the seam. Within 30 minutes we caught 2 6-8 lb. blues and another small flathead out of the slack water. Then the bite died in that spot. After a couple of hours we moved up to the dam. We set up next to a wall where we could fish the seam it created. We ended up catching a battle scarred blue about 10 pounds and a similar sized flattie the rest of the night. Between being uncomfortably sticky the lights and noise it was not a good night for sleeping on the boat. We put some small baits on about daylight. Results were predictable as we caught a 1-2 pound blue and 3 channels in short order.

I started heading down river looking for some structure to fish. First spot fished some barge tie offs. We caught 3 fish over the next couple of hours all from 15 - 20 pounds. Moved on down and fished a pair of barges in shallow water. Caught another blue about 20 pounds. Spent alot of time riding around looking. Had to head up river to outrun a thunder storm. Forecast was 3% chance of rain. Fished the first deep hole below the dam for a couple of hours. I caught a 28 pounder about a hour in. Late in the afternoon we pulled the boat out to get some gas, ice and food. Checked power steering and fluid was low. Put back in and went to dam to replenish our bait. When the time got right we had no trouble catching white bass. One boat using sabiki rig was catching skip jack. i tried but didnt catch any. We road down the river to set up on a big mussel bed for the night. Great looking spot with lots of mussels washed up on shore. Lots of shallow wood to. By 11 we only had on teener fish to show for it. I layed down to get some rest. About 2 i noticed a cool breeze had picked up. In a few minutes it really started blowing. Herbie looked at the radar and said theres a cloud coming. Dosent look severe though. We decided to put up the rain curtains. Well we didnt get them up before it turned into a full gale force wind. Blew us off anchor and just causing mass chaos. We pulled the rods and anchors. Decided to go into a small creek for shelter. We got the curtains situated and put a few baits out. Turns out it only sprinkled. Deep in the night i sat straight up in the bed when a loud bang woke me. We couldnt figure out what happened. At daylight we headed back out to the mussel bed. Started putting bait in the water and noticed one of my rods was gone. After some reflection. It was propped up in the back. Only thing we could figure is it was left with a bait hanging in the water. Fish grabbed it and jerked it over the side. That was the loud bang that woke me up. Nearly 200 bucks gone.

We moved down river and fished some barge tie offs. Caught a couple of fish from 15 to 20 pounds. Did some more looking around. We decided to give the deep hole another try. We fixed some sandwiches and settled in for a couple of hours. One of the rods i had straight down was getting constantly dink tapped. One of the curtain tie downs came loose and started banging on the side. I got up to go fix it and the rod slams down. Herbie got on it. Didnt take long to figure out he had something heavy on. Took awhile but finally brought a 66 lb. big boy to the boat. Herbies new personal best.

A little later we pulled the boat out and went for a resupply. When we put back in, we drove to the dam too stock up on bait. Got in some fishing line somehow. Choked the motor out. Used the trolling motor to go behind the rock jetty. I could not get all the line out. Trolled over too the boat ramp. We had put in at the next one down. I walked about a mile down river and got the van. Pulled boat out, and prop off. In short order back in business. Had no trouble catching bait and even caught a couple of nice skippies. Setup at the end of the jetty again. Caught a 30 pounder in short order. Caught a 18 and small flat over the next couple of hours. About mid night we moved down to another mussel bed. I was wiped out and went to sleep. I was sleeping hard when herbie woke me up. Nice fish had him wrapped up in the anchor rope. We got him untangled and in the boat. Another fish approaching 30 pounds. We caught several more spaced out thru the night. At day light i wanted to ride down the river. Graphed around some and set up on some barges. Only caught one blue about 8 pounds. Moved on a and graphed a bridge column that had a lot of structure around its base. Setup on it. Didnt take 10 minutes and the rod behind me went down and started peeling drag. He shot around the back of the boat and i had to hand herbie the rod around the top. Had to move some rods. He then turned and went back to the other side.. Thought it might be a big striper at first. But he went down and just stayed there. In a few minutes i worked him up and it was a big blue cat. Got him in the boat and he pulled the scale at 42 lbs. A new Tenn. river PB for myself.

We fished another spot until noon and then packed it in. Thankfully the ride home was uneventful.

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Great writeup of your trip. There's always some bad with the good that's pretty much a given on a fishing trip but the bad still sucks. ;-/ Congrats on the PB's
 
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