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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know Skipjacks are on the Tennessee River however I live in Birmingham, Alabama. Does anyone know where is nearest I can drive to catch them ? I have not caught them before but I bought frozen skipjack at the bait shop near Wheeler Dam. Is using a cast net better than using a rod and reel to catch them. Thanks !
 

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I cannot help with location but the ones I catch are most always in fast current (Ky and Barkley Dams, and on occasion the Ohio river. I would think a cast net would not be useful. If they are there, I can fill a 48qt cooler with a rod in about five hrs. fishing and I suspect if you like to fish you are going to really like catching Skips, they hit hard, fight hard and on occasion make spectacular leaps out of the water. Hopefully someone will chime in with a location for you soon, Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I cannot help with location but the ones I catch are most always in fast current (Ky and Barkley Dams, and on occasion the Ohio river. I would think a cast net would not be useful. If they are there, I can fill a 48qt cooler with a rod in about five hrs. fishing and I suspect if you like to fish you are going to really like catching Skips, they hit hard, fight hard and on occasion make spectacular leaps out of the water. Hopefully someone will chime in with a location for you soon, Good Luck.
Thanks, I would really like to know what lures do you use to catch them, also what rig do you use ?
 

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I too use sabiki rigs but I have found three or four round head jigs spaced about a foot apart tied on with drop loops and a 1/2 to 5/8 oz. jig tied on the end to work as well. I use a heaver jig on the end because I fish heavy current and without enough weight on the end the current will pull it to the top. In my experiences color is very important, most times red and white tube jigs worked best at KY/Barkley dams for me, but one day last spring yellow was the hot color. I usually start the day with different colored jigs tied on the same rod, it won't take long to see a pattern develop as to what color they are wanting. Good Luck
 

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The warrior has them. I'd try up around the steam plant discharge. I grew on the river, hence my handle, and have caught a few by accident but never targeted them nor knew anyone that did. Another to try would be below the dam at lock 17 in the spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The warrior has them. I'd try up around the steam plant discharge. I grew on the river, hence my handle, and have caught a few by accident but never targeted them nor knew anyone that did. Another to try would be below the dam at lock 17 in the spring.
Do you mean the Sipsey fork below the Smith Dam ? I have heard there are skipjacks there but need to know for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Still waiting to know if anyone can tell me where can I catch them. I heard they are below the Jordan Dam and Smith Dam but it's like an hour and 20 mins drive for me so need to know if any one has caught them at these places. Thanks
 

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The problem with Skips in my experience is, they may or may not be "there". I am a couple hrs. from the dams where I get mine. I am lucky enough to have a local contact that lets me know when they are "there" which is helpful but, in the past, he has sent me video of folks doing very well but by the time I get down the next day the bite is completely off. For some reason the slightest change in flow from the dams can cause the bite to completely stall or go from very slow to a fish on every cast. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The problem with Skips in my experience is, they may or may not be "there". I am a couple hrs. from the dams where I get mine. I am lucky enough to have a local contact that lets me know when they are "there" which is helpful but, in the past, he has sent me video of folks doing very well but by the time I get down the next day the bite is completely off. For some reason the slightest change in flow from the dams can cause the bite to completely stall or go from very slow to a fish on every cast. Good Luck.
Is it better to go when they release the water below the Dam ?
 

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Is it better to go when they release the water below the Dam ?
Completely slack or very slow current has never been good in my experience, so yes I would say it is better to go when they are releasing water, the biggest question is how much water are they releasing. Starting or shutting down one more generating turbine can turn the Skips on or shut them off. This has just been my experiences your milage may vary.

I checked map quest, it appears you are about 4-1/2 hrs. from Ky dam, a long trip for sure but if you and a buddy wanted to split the expense for fuel, food and a cheap motel room and make it a two day adventure I could let you know as soon as I start catching them. If they are there you would likely have more than two guys would need for the season. I have had some good days in Feb. but usually my best trips are late March through mid-May.
Good Luck.
 

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Also by dam and lock 17 do you mean "John Hollis Bankhead lock and Dam " ?
Yes, I gather your not familiar with the Warrior. Lock 17 is Bankhead Dam. Up river from there it splits into the mulberry (big river) and locust (little river) forks at Howtons Camp. The steam plant is up the big river. Actually there's one up both forks but west Jefferson discharges into its own discharge lake.
The Sipsey is a fork down river above Tuscaloosa where it becomes the Black Warrior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, I gather your not familiar with the Warrior. Lock 17 is Bankhead Dam. Up river from there it splits into the mulberry (big river) and locust (little river) forks at Howtons Camp. The steam plant is up the big river. Actually there's one up both forks but west Jefferson discharges into its own discharge lake.
The Sipsey is a fork down river above Tuscaloosa where it becomes the Black Warrior.
Thanks for info. So the sipsey has skipjacks too ? Can I look for them below the Smith dam ?
 

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I don't know Sipsey or Smith. My stretch is the little river from Howtons up to around the port.
 

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Still waiting to know if anyone can tell me where can I catch them. I heard they are below the Jordan Dam and Smith Dam but it's like an hour and 20 mins drive for me so need to know if any one has caught them at these places. Thanks
It doesn’t matter if people have caught them at a location or not. They can be hitting hard one minute and gone the next.
They have been caught at KY and Barkley dams, probably by the millions over the years but I have driven down there (4hours each way) several times on good intel’, only to find them gone when I got there.
You just have to put the time in.

…W
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It doesn’t matter if people have caught them at a location or not. They can be hitting hard one minute and gone the next.
They have been caught at KY and Barkley dams, probably by the millions over the years but I have driven down there (4hours each way) several times on good intel’, only to find them gone when I got there.
You just have to put the time in.

…W
:O
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Completely slack or very slow current has never been good in my experience, so yes I would say it is better to go when they are releasing water, the biggest question is how much water are they releasing. Starting or shutting down one more generating turbine can turn the Skips on or shut them off. This has just been my experiences your milage may vary.

I checked map quest, it appears you are about 4-1/2 hrs. from Ky dam, a long trip for sure but if you and a buddy wanted to split the expense for fuel, food and a cheap motel room and make it a two day adventure I could let you know as soon as I start catching them. If they are there you would likely have more than two guys would need for the season. I have had some good days in Feb. but usually my best trips are late March through mid-May.
Good Luck.
That sounds like a plan. Let me know I and I will be headed out with a friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Completely slack or very slow current has never been good in my experience, so yes I would say it is better to go when they are releasing water, the biggest question is how much water are they releasing. Starting or shutting down one more generating turbine can turn the Skips on or shut them off. This has just been my experiences your milage may vary.

I checked map quest, it appears you are about 4-1/2 hrs. from Ky dam, a long trip for sure but if you and a buddy wanted to split the expense for fuel, food and a cheap motel room and make it a two day adventure I could let you know as soon as I start catching them. If they are there you would likely have more than two guys would need for the season. I have had some good days in Feb. but usually my best trips are late March through mid-May.
Good Luck.
Also last question, I believe it's worthless to go look to catch them this time of the year right?
 

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Also last question, I believe it's worthless to go look to catch them this time of the year right?
In my experience it may not be worthless, but I have never had a really good day this time of year however I don't fish as far south as you are located either. I watch Kayak Catfishing U-tube channel, the host is still picking them up on Watts Bar but it appears he only fishes enough to get bait for a couple days at a time.
 
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