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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went out on Wednesday evening near Gallatin and then went out this morning near Hendersonville all from the bank. The spot near Gallatin has never really produced any fish but I am just coming off knee surgery and you can drive right up to the spot to fish. Managed to catch 3 snapping turtles in about an hour and a half. Decided I would head to a spot where I had luck last year and did do ok. Caught 5 channels all in the 2-5 lb range and 4 turtles.

The turtles just seem out of control this year, at least in the spots I've tried. The second spot I didn't even see a turtle last year, but I didn't really find it until the fall so that may be a big factor. Out of the 4 I caught, 3 were regular little snappers, but one was a softshell about the size of a cooler. He was pretty nasty looking so I took a picture or two and clipped my line. I caught him on my smallest set up so it felt like pulling in a swimming log. I didn't know what it was and thought for a bit it was a big blue cause it was definitely pulling and weighed a ton. The rest of the snappers I eliminated from the gene pool. As I was walking back along the point to my car I saw atleast 30 more turtles sunning on exposed logs or swimming around. Is this normal for the lake this time of year because it is really quite annoying. Any tips on how to avoid them? I caught a few last year, but so far this year has been more turtles than fish. Would a place with more current be better? The place I was today was fairly deep water on one side that I think is atleast 20 feet, but still caught turtels. I guess it is true that Skipjack will catch anything and everything.
 

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I haven't had a problem with turtles this year yet but sure did last fall. You did a good deed eliminating those pests. If you hadn't they would have been right back on your hook. Yes, I fish below generating dams quite a bit of current and don;t recall seeing ant turtles around.

Sounds like your fishing luck is similar to mine. I've been getting, 3, 4, or 5 channels or flatheads most every outing in the 2 to 5 lb range, just ain't catching turtles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lol, I just checked back on the thread and the ad banner on the right had was an advertisement for The Turtle Shack selling Live Turtles. Really, I think I'll pass, lol. Although if there is a market for live turtles, I could start a business out of Old Hickory lately.
 

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At the local Dickson County Lake... there are turtles and more turtles and hey, did I mention TURTLES? At one point about 2 weeks ago I counted over 20 heads in one concentrated area.

Previously, I went camping at Lock A... there was a little overspill that kinda made a small pond on the other side of the river... There were 2 swimming logs floating out there and a MASS of turtles. Probably over 100 easily.

I don't know if it's normal or not honestly. Maybe I am just starting to pay more attention then I have in my past. However, I do believe it is affecting my fishing in the Dickson County Lake. I was fishing with a Gulp! Catfish Liver, and I never got a bite on it, but when I reeled it in there was a triangle piece missing from it. Hence, the shape of a turtle mouth.

I'd agree with Fetus, fish some heavier current water and that should help.
 

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One reason I started fishing with cut bait was to avoid pesky fish like bass, stripes, yellow perch, bream, carp, drum, etc. Nightcrawlers, crawdads and minnows are prime catfish bait but they attract all other species of fish. But cut bait draws in those turtles big time. Usually if I get a bite on cut bait it's either a cat, striper, or a turtle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After reading Festus's comment about the turtle species he has been seeing, I thought I would look them up. Turns out what I have been seeing are sliders. I really don't know anything about turtle species so when I caught something that had a shell on its back and hissed/snapped at me I called it a snapper. Turns out they are sliders that happen to also snap at you. Those are what I am seeing in mass at both spots, except for the one big softshell yesterday.
 

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Nothing personal, but killing turtles or other wildlife for no reason is not very ethical and most likely illegal. If you ate them or whatever please disregaurd. Turtles may be a pain in the rear sometimes but they fill a very important environmental need, turtles are not harming anyones fishing except the time it took to remove them from your line. they are mostly scavengers that help keep the water clean by removing dead and dying things. Not meaning to preach here just something to think about. the red ear sliders and painted turtles etc. eat mainly veggies like aquatic weeds and moss,of course if they come across a easy bit of protein they will eat that too, snappers and softshells eat mostly dead fish. like I said not preaching and yes I have killed them for no reason myself in the past, nowadays I have a little more respect for the wildlife and how things work, don't believe the old wives tales and do some reading and you will find they are not all bad. But you are right they sometimes are a pain in the rear!
 

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All those freshwater turtles can be ferocious. Softshells and snappers are the worst. I hate to kill any animal for the heck of it, so if the turtle is really aggessive and big, I just cut the line. There's another species called the "cooter." I usually am very gentle with them. Guess it's because they have such a unique name. I had a wild black duck in the creek behind the house a couple years ago. It got so tame it would come eat with the cats alongside of them out of their bowls. Pretty sure a snapper got him. I welcomed some old timers who love turtle meat to drop by any time. Last time I saw one back there he was leaned up on my minnow trap. I guess he knew he couldn't get into it for the bread so he didn't want the shiners or chubs in there either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the feedback Playin. Now that I know they are just sliders and I have read up on the species I will leave them alone from now on. Those were the first ones I had done that too and it was not enjoyable. I had heard from a few people that they were overcrowded in OH and harming the fishing and that I shouldn't let them go. Given that species is omnivorous and eats mostly plants I don't think they are a threat to the fish in the lake. Though i guess it is possible they are challenging for habitat and may interfere with spawning in muddy areas. Either way, I just hope they return the favor and leave my skippy chunks alone. Yeah, don't think that's going to happen so I guess I'll go pick up a few more packs of circle hooks so I can clip the line. Might start packing my long nose pliers from my toolbox and try and save a few hooks. Not sticking my fingers near those things.
 
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