Old Hickory - Any catfish info for this lake?

Discussion in 'TENNESSEE LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by lance, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. lance

    lance New Member

    Messages:
    2,658
    State:
    kentucky
    Any cattin info about Old Hickory ? My sister in law lives down there and wondered if anyone fishes it ?
     
  2. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    Lance....I dont know where to began. I fished that lake for over 25 years. I know lots of good juicy info on that lake. Lets talk more through P.M.'s how bout it?:crazy:
     

  3. tntitans21399

    tntitans21399 New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    Tennessee
    Any other info you would like to pass on, send me a PM john.
     
  4. Gordhawk

    Gordhawk New Member

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    1,378
    State:
    Iowa
    Where is Old Hickory located at? It's in Tennessee isn't it? I've heard alot about it but don't have a clue where it is located.
     
  5. tntitans21399

    tntitans21399 New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    Tennessee
    Old Hickory borders a couple of different towns, but the easiest is to look on google maps (or which ever mapping system you like) and look up Hendersonville, TN. Old Hickory Lake has Old Hickory, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Gallatin, and Lebanon that boarders it. But the Old Hickory Lake Locks the Dam where the Cumberland River starts is right where Hendersonville and Goodlettsville meet. Old Hickory is just east of Nashville, TN. If you see it on the map if is the northern of the two body of waters that you will see east of Nashville. Percy Priest is wider and you might see that first.

    You can also look up Gallatin Stream Plant, Gallatin, TN and that should take you right to it. The Gallatin Steam Plant is more upstream then everything else on Old Hickory, but that should help you find it.
     
  6. cumberlandcat

    cumberlandcat Active Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    State:
    Tennessee
    Well I ran 6 trot lines on old hick tonight and ended up with 1 yes 1 small channel cat. I don't think I have ever went out and ended up like that. I don't know why all my bait was fresh and I used eveything from skip to shad to blue gill. But it was a great night to be on the water. I was the only boat out there. I might have seen 3 boats in 6 hrs. Still can't figure out what caused the bite to suck so bad . A week ago I ran 2 lines for fun in the same area and ended up with some huge channels around 15 lbs and tons of little guys, tons of nice fillets. This trip didn't do anything for the freezer.
     
  7. FishingMachine

    FishingMachine New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    Nashville,
    Went out Sat. morning fished deep and shallow, chummed, and used cut bait, night crawlers and stink bait. Managed to catch a turle. But I will agree the weather was nice and up until the cigar boats got out the water was calm. Thank you also to John Catfish Young and Cumberland Cat for all the information on this web site.
     
  8. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    I have talked to some of you concerning specific areas on Old Hickory Lake through P.M.s and other posts. This thread, will give me a good opportunity to lay out some specifics areas and times of year that certain areas are productive. I fished this lake for over 25 years and during this time, my fishing consisted mostly of Striper fishing and Flathead fishing and after comparing each year of fishing and taken plenty of info down on paper, I will now share what I learned about Old Hickory. You dont have to believe me on what I say here......but you will at least have to give it a fair shot , to disprove me. I'll pick a spot that I used to fish and tell you what I know about that spot. It will be up to you if you decide to test the spots. I dont live close enough anymore to fish here very often, but If I did , you could find me here in Sept. and Oct. and I would be fishing the very same spot on the bank as I did when I still lived there.
    The place for me in September and October on Old Hickory is.....Right at the skimmer wall. I used to drive my car to this spot. But now you will have to take your boat. Many have tried to fish here from their boats and many have tried to fish off the wall, but the big stripers are not caught this way.
    You must give this a try!!! More than once or twice. You will have to walk a short distance down the bank towards the steamplant on the left side of the intake channel.You will come to an open spot on the bank where fishing is easier here. The channel narrows at this point and this is the spot!!! Take out your skipjack rigs and cast,cast,cast,cast and dont give up until you have caught a couple good skipjacks. Its not always easy, but this is what separates us from the masses. I would plan on arriving at 5pm giving yourself plenty of time to catch skipjacks. I would bait up with cut baits only. I liked using skipjack heads, fillets, and guts with trailer meats attached. It must be fresh. Dont waste time on the frozen crap. I would plan on fishing until 10pm at least. Many times the stripers can be seen in a feeding frenzy on the inside of the wall attacking large schools of shad.Surface lures can pay-off here sometimes. But if you really want to start catching large stripers.....start right here in October....fish it as many times as you can in "OCTOBER" Pieces of cut bait on the bottom, where the channel narrows down and the water is at its swiftest here. There is only one spot on the bank that ever seemed to work for me. I wouldnt give you 50 cents for all the other spots out there . But this one spot is the spot!!!! If you decide to fish this spot like I recommended....then you will have to tie your boat off at the wall and walk about 100yrds. So you will need to make sure that your gas tanks are locked in your boat and that nothing left in it can be stolen. You know the kind of world we live in!!! Dont chance it.
    So if your in the mood for some serious fall fishing....give those stripers a try. You probably wont catch fish every time you go. and you may even think what am I doing here? There isn't anyone else fishing here. There must not be any good fishing here. Dont worry. I used to be about the only one that ever fished this spot with any regularity at all. So if you want to catch some 20,30,40 lbers in October.....this is the best spot that I can think of for October. Also in November this spot can produce some absolute monsters!!!!!:cool2:
    If you give this spot a fair chance.....you just might catch the biggest fish of your life. Let me know how it goes and if you have any questions that I didn't answer here...give me a shout out!!!:wink:
     
  9. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    I also want to urge you whenever fishing the above mentioned spot.....You might need a couple good bank rod holders. When a large striper hits the bait, he strips out many yards of line and will take your pole with him if you ain't paying close attention. I always used spinning gear, but if you have a good baitcaster with a good clicker, this is probably the best choice. Good Luck!
     
  10. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    As the water temperatures start to cool on Old Hickory, the fishing will get better and better. Fish become more active and begin their fall feeding frenzy right on into the winter. Shad and skipjacks by the 1000's will start to congregate at the warm water discharge....drawing in countless big fish in search of an easy meal. I always fished at the skimmer wall in the spring, summer and fall. Catching large flatheads in the summer right off the inside of the wall fishing live and cut baits right off the bottom. As the temps begin to cool in Sept. and Oct. I would move on down the bank to where the channel narrows and this is where I would catch many nice stripers in the months of Oct and early nov. Stripers weighing from 15 to 60 lbs can be caught using large pieces of cut bait and fishing from the bank. You might sit there all morning or evening and never get a bite. You might wonder why you are fishing here instead of the discharge when everyone knows that is where they catch the big ones. But what I am telling you here is a well kept secret and one that has to be experienced to be believed. You might not get a lot of action, but it only takes one good run to turn out to be a Monster Striper. I for one am a trophy fisherman. I will sit for hours, days, weeks and even months to catch a few really trophy fish. I dont even fish for small fish anymore. If it dont weigh 40 lbs. I'm not too impressed. I guess I just got spoiled to catching big fish and now thats all that I fish for. The size of my baits alone eliminate over 75% of all fish. Leaving only Big fish able to take the baits. However you never really know how big the fish is until you got it in the net and on the scales. If the winter is a mild one and temps stay above normal this spot can produce fish all winter long. However if temps are cooler and normal...then somewhere around dec-feb...the warm water discharge will be the spot to catch the Stripers. Also there have been some really big cats caught fishing in these two spots as well. Good luck to you all and lets catch some big fish!!!!!:cool2:
     
  11. cattracker13

    cattracker13 New Member

    Messages:
    509
    State:
    tennessee
    I am proof these spots produce. I caught 2 12lb blues and 1 10lb flat last week. The skips hit just before dark on very small roostertails One was caught pushing 2 lb. Perfect bait. Missed something big using bluegill on a float. No monsters were caught but this is much better than what I have been catching. Thanks John for the helpful info. You guys need to listen to what he catfishyoung is saying, he is right. Its not easy. Its work and its not always easy but if you are willing to pay the price you will catch em. Im looking foward to going back and getting a big fish.
    Thanks agian John
     
  12. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    Buddy....that is some great news. Just like it always was. Plenty of good fish for those who have the " SAVVY". I spent over 1000"s of hours fishing this skimmer wall and surrounding areas in the 80"s and 90"s. I always caught some of the biggest fish being caught anywhere on the lake. Since most of my fish were caught at night in the privacy of darkness...no one ever knew where I was catching them. They always just assumed it was at the warm water side of the plant....but I caught just as many ...if not more of my best fish at this skimmer wall channel. Just up the bank a little ways. It just takes patience and plenty of "SAVVY". In the fall, the Big Stripers are lean , mean , fighting machines and will test the best you got. In the winter they are in full spawn and tire a little quicker, but not much! In December and January....I usually moved to the warm water discharge side and would resume catching the swallon beasts on live skipjacks and cut baits all winter long. I once caught a 32 lber that had 7 skipjacks in its stomach, They appeared to have been consumed by 2 evry day judging by the break down of the stomach contents. Once again....you can catch some good fish during morning hours...but if I could only fish selective hours... I would fish from 4 pm to 10 pm if you can. Also, 7 pm used to be the " MAJIC" time for me and stripers. Supper time I guess?:big_smile:
     
  13. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    P.S....There seems to be some evidence from my records that I kept on striper catches over the years that.... a Low pressure system with NorthEast winds was the absolute best time to go. I did catch fish with different conditions, but this combination of weather was the most productive times , And anytime it is snowing, it is a good time to catch a big Old Hickory Striper.:big_smile:
     
  14. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    If you've been keeping up with this thread, then you have already read post # 8 and have some very good info on catching large October stripers. I just wanted to take this post and tell you about another great spot to fish. If you go up river from the skimmer wall, and go several miles....you will pass Bledsoe creek on the left and just a little further is a long island known as Cunninghams island on the right. There are lots of big fish in this area. If you have a graph or depth finder, you can find some of the deepest water in this area almost 70' deep. This is a great place to catch large catfish and large stripers as well. The methods are pretty much the same....using fresh cut skipjacks or live baits too. Good places to fish along the bluff which is opposite the island. At night you can fish the sand bars which run off of the points of the island. You can anchor your boat and find the drop off point, where the channel drops off of the sand bar. Large fish go on the prowl at night and cruise along this sand bar in search of an easy meal. There have been numerous large fish caught here over the years and one of the top striper guides fishes this area quite often as well as some other deep spots up river. In the months of sept-Oct.-nov large fish can be seen and or heard on this sand bar thrashing around and chasing bait fish. I personally witnessed 100's of fish on this sand bar in October under the full moon....these fish were monster stripers in the jumps, which sounded like some one throwing large concrete blocks in the water.Often times under the full moon, on Old Hickory Lake the fish go wild!!!!You just gotta know how, when and where to target them. I would fish the sand bar at night using fresh fillets of skipjacks and live skipjacks too. Dont take your eyes off of your poles and stay at the ready. I hope that some of you fish these spots I have mentioned. It is some of the best fishing that Old Hickory Lake has to offer. If you go to these spots and catch any good ones....please show us some of your trophy pictures. I have just learned that all of my back pain and leg numbness is due to a herniated disc in my lower back and I am scheduled to have back surgery on the 20 th of October. This will be my second back surgery in the last 18 years. I am some what worried about this one. They say they will install stainless steel screws to hold me together this time. I dont know how long I may be out of commission, or if I will ever be able to continue my persuit of monster fish. But I would love to see some of you Tennessee Catmen catch some of these big fish. It might be almost as good as being there myself. Well not really, but it might just put a big smile on my face. Maybe one of these days when I am healed up, I can come down and fish with some of you on my home town lake ( OLD HICKORY ). I'm sure it would be a blast!!! Good Luck to all who venture out and may you catch some of the biggest fish of your life!!!!!!!!:cool2:
     
  15. petersoutcats

    petersoutcats New Member

    Messages:
    238
    State:
    Tennessee
    Thanks for the great information John.
    I hope your surgery goes well for you, and your back out hunting those monster fish soon.
    When you have a chance to come down give me a ring and I would be glad to take you out to your old hunting grounds:wink:.
    I will be tied up until Deer season is over, but that will give you a chance to heal up real good.
     
  16. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    Thanks for the invite Scott. I may just have to take you up on that sometime. I would like to be able to schedule a time for Winter time Stripers and have several of us Old Hickory Guys get together and givem He++ for a couple days....maybe in (Dec. or Jan.) I think that would be a blast. I fish with a couple of guys who want to make the trip this winter as well. The only problem about setting a date this far in advance is that I dont know how well or fast I might be able to heal up from the surgery....and we really need to keep a close eye on the weather when scheduling a trip so we can pick the most preferred fishing conditions. I would like to be able to fish an approaching low weather pattern, with NorthEast winds bringing in snow or rain in the first week or two of Jan with COLD Temperatures. That would be the absolute best time for a truly BIG Striper on Skipjacks at the SteamPlant. I beleive that there is still some BIG Fish left in this lake and we might have to schedule a trip with little notice. Kinda put the odds in our favor so to speak! Theres nothing like a line stripping run of a big ole striper, who takes out 50 yrds of line in about 3.3 seconds and then crashes the top of the water, then makes another good run. I usually bring along my 2 best heavy rods and 1 rod for catching skips. I pack lighter for stripers than I do for Cats. I just wear more cloths......LOL:smile2:
     
  17. petersoutcats

    petersoutcats New Member

    Messages:
    238
    State:
    Tennessee
    Sounds good to me John that would be great!
    Deer season ends Jan 11th. Aafter that It's Old Hickory time. As long as the road conditions are good, and I can find gas I'm good to go.:wink: I usually launch at Flippers, or across from the steam plant on the south side.
    I'm sure CumberlandCat would try to be there too, for he is learning the Old Hickory Winter Holes pretty good himself.
    I have tried to get into some of them Stripe. but to no avail so far:confused2:
     
  18. cumberlandcat

    cumberlandcat Active Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    State:
    Tennessee
    anybody heard if the eaters are hittin anywhere. I was thinking about running a bunch of trot lines and jugs . To fill up the freezer again. I know the water is cooling down, but I haven't spent enough time on the water lately to find out what depth the fish a running at. I know the water is about 75 or 76 degrees. Any help would be great as usual.
     
  19. cumberlandcat

    cumberlandcat Active Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    State:
    Tennessee
    Ran some trot lines looking for some eaters last few days. Didn't get skunked but wasn't as successful as I had hoped. I think I ended up with around 10 fish last night, biggest was a blue around 15lbs and a few around 10lbs. Got some nice meat outa them.
     
  20. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    Congats to you...sounds like some good eating. Hopefully it will continue to get better and better now.:wink: