Help with my search for big cats

Discussion in 'LOCAL TENNESSEE TALK' started by cattracker13, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. cattracker13

    cattracker13 New Member

    Messages:
    509
    State:
    tennessee
    I am a on the search for big cats. Large cats. Im tired of the typical 4 and 5 pounders caught from the bank. I have a boat and have access to Old Hickory Lake and very eager to learn. I know there has got to be some large cats in this lake. I am not a jug fisherman and I want to catch them on a pole.
    Drift fishing in the deep channels with a live brim or perch presentation is what I have been doing with no sucess.
    My questions are: is it too hot? would I have beter luck at night?do I need to change my presentation? am I fishing too deep?Is it the wrong time of year? or I just need to be more persistent.
    I am open to sugestions and techniqes on how to catch these lake dwelling monsters.

    Thanks John
     
  2. lforet2002

    lforet2002 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,534
    State:
    Tennessee
    I'm kinda interested to here what the locals can suggest here too John..I'm new to the Tennessee area and believe me techniques,strategies,landscape and water are entirely different where I'm from.But from what I've been told by the locals around Old Hick is that there not generating enough water into the lake to get a current flowing which those big blues seek out during these hot summer months.The moving water is cooler and it keeps the big boys active when its hot.If you read some of the reports here there catching them good around the Chickmauga cause there generating a lot of water through the dam.Check out this thread http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88754Hope I helped you out a little and maybe someone else will come along here soon and let us know if my assessment is correct..
     

  3. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Try using cut bait instead of live. The big blues are going to prefer that type of presentation.

    Welcome to the Boc, this site is full of good info and great people
     
  4. catoon

    catoon Board Clown!

    Messages:
    1,387
    State:
    whiteville
    try cutting your bait in half fish about 2 feet off bottom in the channell fish at night with the live bait in about 2 to 6 feet of water
    :wink:
     
  5. cumberlandcat

    cumberlandcat Active Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    State:
    Tennessee
    Old hickory can be hard to fish in the summer. I haven't had a lot of luck this summer. I can't wait until it gets cold. I fish it all winter several times a week and do really well .As far as huge cats, I don't consider old hick to be a huge cat lake. 30 lbs is a really good fish outa here for me. Take me to tn river or somewhere that number goes up into the 50's and 60 lbers. Like others have said there is no current what so ever in the lake and that makes it suck. Once it cools down things are gonna change. Once it does cut bait in the channels will work really good for you.
     
  6. cattracker13

    cattracker13 New Member

    Messages:
    509
    State:
    tennessee
    Thanks for the advice. Pulled out a decent blue last night. 20lb. Drifting with gill cut in half. 15ft of water. Old Hickory. Was kicking myself, no camera. Next one Ill have a pic.
     
  7. cattracker13

    cattracker13 New Member

    Messages:
    509
    State:
    tennessee
    Thanks for the advice. Pulled a 20lb blue out last night. Old Hickory. 15ft water. Kicking myself , no camera. Next one Ill have a pic.
    Thanks John
     
  8. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    Hold on just a minute......Old Hickory is a lake which holds many large catfish!!! I fished this lake for over twenty years and let me tell you if you know where to fish, you can be very successful. I usually targeted large flatheads in the summer months using large live bluegills and cut baits. If I were you .....I would do my fishing "up river" from the steamplant several miles and fish above the skimmer wall that goes across the intake channel. Just past this wall is a Rock known as the devils tea table and there have been some near 100 lb. flatheads caught here in years past. On up the river further is a large feeder creek ,called Bledsoe creek and this is an awesome place to fish for channels and blues. On up river even further is an island called cunninghams island on the right and this can be some really good fishing in the summer at night. You can anchor off of the point of this island and fish live and cut baits on the sand bar that runs off the front end of this island. There have been some really big flatheads and blues caught here as well as large stripers. Just about any time of the year these mentioned spots hold large fish. Good luck and give it a try sometime. You wont be dissapointed!!!!:wink:
     
  9. cumberlandcat

    cumberlandcat Active Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    State:
    Tennessee
    Well I can't call old hick a big fish lake yet myself and I fish it pretty hard. I have learned a lot about the lake this summer in search of blues. I can't wait till the water cools down, I have a lot of new holes I am itchin to fish. I don't know why but all the fish I seem to pull out are 25lbs and under. This summer I haven't done well at all since spawn. I know there are some good fish in here I just need more time on the water I guess. I haven't fished above the steam plant much but I am planning on fishing it this winter, I hear a lot of good things about that stretch of water.
     
  10. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    I think everyone will start doing better when the water cools down a little bit more......:big_smile:cant wait myself!!!
     
  11. cattracker13

    cattracker13 New Member

    Messages:
    509
    State:
    tennessee
    This is info I have been looking for. I have known there have got to be some big fish in this lake. I will check into these spots. Where do you recommend to put in. I live down by shutes branch not to familiar with the uppr part.
     
  12. Smellycat

    Smellycat New Member

    Messages:
    530
    State:
    Harrison Arkans
    OK, with all the hot water my advice is to locate the thermocline. It is very plain on a fishfinder. It has served us well lately.
    On the Ark. River the surface temp has been a very hot 90 degrees. We located the thermo at about 23 ft. Thats where the water cools off and thats where all the cats are. Find the depth where you are, use some cut bait and you will do ok.
     
  13. cattracker13

    cattracker13 New Member

    Messages:
    509
    State:
    tennessee
    I will keep that info in mind. Dont have much moving water here in tn. There is depth though.
     
  14. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    There is a boat ramp on Steamplant road that will put you on the up river side of the Steamplant, if you are wanting to fish near there. There is another good boatramp at the end of Cairo road and puts you within a couple miles of Bledsoe creek and Cunninnghams Island. Good luck:big_smile:
     
  15. cattracker13

    cattracker13 New Member

    Messages:
    509
    State:
    tennessee
    questions. You helped me with info about oldhick last wk. Thank you agian. Im gearing up for next wk.
    I went to google earth found the stm plnt and found what looks like a wall behind the plant. Is this the skimmer wall?
    The only visible island i see is up about a mile from bldso creek mouth. Is this cunninghan isld.
     
  16. CarolinaCatJack

    CarolinaCatJack New Member

    Messages:
    427
    State:
    Travelers Rest,
    With all these posts about Tennessee cattin', it looks like I'm gonna have to head back up there to the old stomping grounds. I've been in SC for quite a few years now and y'all are making me want to head back up and fish the TN river again. Yes, there are big cats down here, and yes, there's always Santee-Cooper, but even so, the bigger fish are getting to be fewer and farther between. Thanks for the kick in the butt, fellas. VERY much appreciated!
     
  17. cattracker13

    cattracker13 New Member

    Messages:
    509
    State:
    tennessee
    Well, I fished behind the steam plant last night caught 1 15lb channel. They were not hitting. Fished with gills.
    There was more action in front of the skimmer wall on the plant side. Stripers were on a feeding frenzy for about 15min. Caught two.
    Ill keep trying. Thanks agian
     
  18. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    A 15 lb channel is a good channel. I know what you mean about the stripers in a feeding frenzy on the plant side. Me and a friend witnessed this several nights in October when it looked as though 100's of large stripers went into a top water explosion chasing shad 2' out of the water.....you could see the outline of the huge stripers as they swam about in the frenzy for about 30 minutes and they looked to be about 20-30 lb range. We threw everything we had at them, but with the 1000's of shad we didnt hook up. We did manage to catch many large stripers throughout the year here...but it was up in the channel towards the plant where the water narrows down and the channel becomes swifter. The larger stripers start to congregate here in October. You can catch them on live skipjacks and huge pieces of cut bait ....I prefer heads with the guts fresh. Go up the channel to where it starts to narrow down. You will see a place on the left side that looks as though someone has been fishing there for 100 years. This is the spot for giant stripers in the month of October. We also witnessed this monster fish feeding frenzy at cunninghams island in september and October. Sounded like someone throwing huge concrete blocks into the water on the shallow flats. I'm glad you gave it a try and at least caught 1 good fish. Dont give up on it!!!! Just learn these spots really good and you will connect with some bigger fish. All of my best fishing in these places occurred at night and occasionally early morning. But the best action was under the full moons of sept. and Oct. After this it turns toward the discharge area and lots of people to compete with and lots of boats. But the skimmer wall has always been less fished and a better spot for me. Keep us posted. We cant wait to here more on Old Hickory. I am planning a trip back sometime this fall or early winter. Maybe we could hook up for a day or two of some serious monster fishing!!!!!!:crazy:
     
  19. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    All of the fishing we do off of this wall is done on the inside of the wall!!!! Start at one end and put out a rod everywhere there is a column (indents in the concrete) are visable, these form peirs and rock structure and hold good fish. By placing poles every 20' or so....you are effectively fishing water depths from 10', 20', 30', 40',...even bluegills on floats around and near the bank at the points where the skimmer wall meet the banks on both sides of the wall. Cut bait will catch good ones on the bottom too. We always bump the bottom, then raise it 1 or 2 feet up. I mainly use a carolina rig in these conditions. Fish this wall for Giant Flatheads and channels on the inside of the wall and fish straight down on the bottom. Cast one out far down the channel for stripers or go on down the bank to target these fish. AT the wall under water.....it is open with large open spaces down about 20 feet or so and allows the water to come under the wall and skims the trash off the top.This is how the fish come and go from the river to the inside. I hooked onto a very large fish here one time and had him on for over 15 minutes. It went back under the wall and out into the river channel. I couldn't gain back any line and lost him because he broke my line. I was using a r&r that should've been left at the house. I now only use heavy duty r&r with heavier lines. Haven't lost one since. Bring as many rod & reels as you have that can handle big fish. Space them out at different depths, tie them to the railing, sit back and relax and enjoy the show. Fish at night, all night if you can. Keep a rod on the ready for the stripers as they frenzy on the top. Throw a large lure, such as water dog or red fins.Or even large shad on a float and throw right into the feeding frenzy!!!!!!! Even caught a rainbow trout here in the summer while casting for skipjacks on small jig rig. This place is just starting to get heated up and will continue to produce good fish for the next 3 months or so. Good Luck Bro:cool2: