Many years ago in a lake not too far away.....there was a massive population of Giant Stripers. The lake I'm talking about is Old Hickory Lake in Gallatin Tennessee. The place to be at ( nov-feb) was the Gallatin Steamplant. In the 1980's and early 90's, this place was a rare phenomenon. Where anybody with a good rod & reel and some warm clothes and a little patience, could sit and catch Giant Stripers weighing from 20-60 lbs...from the bank. I fished 7 days a week, anytime I wasn't working, you could find me on the bank here. I only lived about 10 miles from here, and I was usually the first one there and the last one to leave. I fished in temps down to -49 degrees, wind chill factor! Nothing deterred me from my passion of catching these monsters. On a typical fishing trip, I was heading out at 4:00 am. Upon arriving at said destination....first thing to do was catch a good skipjack about 10"-12" long. Hook him on the eagle claw 8/0 hook with a 8 oz. sinker and make a short cast only out about 10-15'. Secure the rod in the rocks and go after skipjack # 2. If the skips were running" BIG"...say 3 or 4 lbs........I would just cut off the head and fish with it. Then several back up baits were caught for cut-baits. In the 70's, 80's, 90's I seen 100's of big Stripers caught and CPR wasn't a big issue back then, so not very many of these massive fish were ever released. They were good eating and most people kept what they caught. At one time I had over 250 lbs of striper fillets in the freezer. Over time.....the fishing began to become a little tougher and larger fish were beginning to be a rare thing. There would still be a good one caught every now and then, but not like it was. Boats began to show up from all over the state and surrounding states and these fish were being hunted by sonar and graphs and 100's of people were the norm. By the late 90's this place was just about dead. After the 9/11 attacks on our nation, this place shutdown public access. No longer could you drive in and only if you had a boat, you could go part way up the channel, but not all the way in. My 12 year (reign of terror) on Stripers ended in 92 when I moved from Gallatin Tn.- To Cadiz Ky. In the 12 years I fished for these Monsters, I landed 45 Stripers over 25 lbs. My personal best was 45 lbs.....with one fish lost at the bank that could've weighed 60+lbs. But , thats a different adventure all together. Maybe I'll share that one later. I can only think back about the memories now and I still look at the pictures from time to time and remember how my blood use to boil to go after Giant Stripers on Old Hickory. I wish we had let some of the big ones go. It takes a long time to grow Big fish. This fishery went from a "10" to a "0" in just a couple of decades. I now have a new Giant fish that I hunt for and he is now being hunted by the thousands.... He is the Catfish....how will he be rated in another decade or two? Will there be any Big Catfish left in say 20 years? Not if we don't educate people on the importance of CPR. I now CPR just about everything I catch. I may keep a few channels or smaller Blues for the table, but gone are the days of 250 lbs of fillets in the freezer. Dont get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with keeping your catches. Just don't get greedy, its easy to do! I know because I was. I hope that I've managed to reach someone with this post because that was my intention! Its a sad thing to look back at what we had after it is gone...................Good fishing to all who venture out!!! __________________ EVERYBODY JUST STAY CALM AND GET THE NET ! TUESDAY NIGHT REDTAILS !