Below Nickajack Dam

Discussion in 'TENNESSEE RIVERS TALK' started by TN-CATFISHER, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. TN-CATFISHER

    TN-CATFISHER New Member

    Messages:
    213
    State:
    Cannon County, Middle TN
    If there's anyone out there who wants to go, my boat or yours, below Nickajack dam let me know. I was out there today for the first time, but apparently I need some guidance. I've read some of the posts here on the spots to try. I concentrated on the old lock around the cement block, below the dam where the current starts to slow a bit with the turbines cranked up... nothing. I even tried down river a bit around the old bridge pillars. I saw some guys fishing from up close to the dam drifting down and back and forth. Looked like they were getting some small ones, but I couldn't stay out of the snags doing that. Any advice on these waters would be appreciated, and like I said, if anyone's interested in making the trip, it takes me a little over an hour to get there.
     
  2. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    jon that is a good place to go to and if I wasn't so busy right now I would take you up on your offer. Those guys that you saw drift fishing , the trick to that is to bring the line a short ways up off the bottom and drift with the current useing the trolling motor if wanted to slow the boat down some.
    We will set up a time after this week and get together and go over there. I love fishing that place.
     

  3. TN-CATFISHER

    TN-CATFISHER New Member

    Messages:
    213
    State:
    Cannon County, Middle TN
    Thanks Willard, that sounds great. I'd be up for that trip to Tim's any time too. I've got a pretty open schedule for any trips that are a reasonable drive. I just gotta schedule around jobs remodeling my home, but that's no big deal. :cool2:
     
  4. fish

    fish Active Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    ChattanoogaTenn
    Jon, Judy and I went down to Nickajack yesterday with Bill Hartman (Coloman) and his wife. They came up from Texas to fish with us and look around the area. We were on the water for about 7 hours and managed only 3 smaller cats and a few skipjack. The skips were scattered out and scarce. We drifted and about any other way you can think of and nothing worked. The water temps were 81 degrees.

    We don't usually get hung up running the boils, we just bump bottom and keep it off as soon as it hits. We are going back to using bream as bait as we always caught good cats with them. We can't seem to do much good on skips right now for some reason. Nickajack is our favorite place to fish.

    As we were headed up river to load up for the day, about where you were talking about the old bridge supports which are actually where they tie up barges locking through, we saw two deer swimming across the river. A doe and her fawn were about 3/4 across and the fawn got spooked and turned around to go back. We herded the little feller back toward its mama. We watched until they landed and took off running into the woods.

    If you get a chance, come on over to Pickwick Dam this weekend, we are having a BOC gathering there and sure would like to meet you in person. You wouldn't be sorry that you came.
     
  5. TN-CATFISHER

    TN-CATFISHER New Member

    Messages:
    213
    State:
    Cannon County, Middle TN
    Jim,

    Sounds like you had a good time despite the slow bite. Funny I was thinking about that after I wrote it, that those probably weren't part of a bridge as I didn't see any out farther accross the river. Anyway, man we just got back from Memphis yesterday and about killed ourselves getting out again early this morning to get down to Nickajack. I was taking note of the signs for Pickwick on our way back from Memphis thinking about that gathering. I'm afraid another long trip right away might be a little too much, especially with the kids. Not that they couldn't handle it, but I think it'd about kill us :crazy: We will definately meet though. Count on it! :big_smile:
     
  6. TN-CATFISHER

    TN-CATFISHER New Member

    Messages:
    213
    State:
    Cannon County, Middle TN
    Well, decided to go back to Nickajack last night. Caught one small channel, and my son tied into one good one and lost it after a 5-10 minute battle. I'd guess it was between 15 and 25lbs the way he fought on his bass rig with 14lb test on it. We're yet to land our first blue in my boat, but I think we're getting closer.
     
  7. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    yep jon its coming. Hoping to catch a half night out below nick on the toon before weather breaks. I'll holler at yea when I can find the time. What bait and size hooks are you useing jon.
     
  8. fish

    fish Active Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    ChattanoogaTenn
    Jon, catch a bream and hook him through the eyes and scrape some scales off one side. We us 7/0 -10/0 Kahles and have caught some big ole boys down there. We usually run up close to the boils and drift back down bumping the bottom. I will PM you our phone number and e-mail address so when you head back down there we can at least meet you and say hi if nothing else. I'm glad ya'll got to get out on the water. By the way Jon, we have caught more large cats in the winter down there than in the summer. When it has been cold and warms up where it is kinda nice outside, go fishing and you will tear them up.

    We hate that you missed the Pickwick gathering it was a blast but we do understand how it is.
     
  9. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Jon, there are some good spots above Nickajack, too. Driftfishing down the "Grand Canyon of the Tennessee" can give you a nice string of fish while you enjoy the scenery. Here, you'll generally be fishing at least 60' down, and when you're fishing the area where they discharge water from the power plant turbines, it may be twice that. I like to cover as much of the water column as possible, so I use several hooks, spaced 6'-10' apart. Using a long, long leader will save your mainline. Drift 3 or 4 lines with only an ounce or so of weight on slipfloats behind the boat, and 2 or 3 lines with weights heavy enough to fish straight down without floats. Set the lines with floats so they don't hang up very often, and occasionally bump the bottom with the lines with no floats.

    Another spot that isn't fished much (at least I've never seen anyone fishing there) is where the remains of the old Hales Bar Dam is located. There's a nice new marina at that spot now. The dam was dynamited in place and replaced by Nickajack because the water had scoured out holes/caves under the old dam, and it just didn't hold water any more. So, you've got caves and concrete rubble running straight out from the old, partially submerged powerhouse. You don't want to fish here with bass tackle.
     
  10. TN-CATFISHER

    TN-CATFISHER New Member

    Messages:
    213
    State:
    Cannon County, Middle TN
    Bubba, I was using medium shrimp on 4/0 circles.
    Jerry, I read some other posts, including yours, about Nickajack Lake. I'd probably fish it some time just for fun, but I wouldn't eat any fish out of there do to the advisories. I guess you're not even supposed to touch the water in Chattanooga Creek which dumps right into Nickajack.
    If ya'll let me know what days work best for you, I can give ya a holler if/when I'll be out on those days. Thanks for the replies. :big_smile:
     
  11. cumberlandcat

    cumberlandcat New Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    State:
    Tennessee
    Has anyone been skip fishing are there in the last few days I need to make a trip I can't go this weekend but I would make a trip this week if they are still running