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wvranger23

Thoughts from Chickamauga this past weekend

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Hello all,

Spent the past 3 days on Chickamauga. I considered myself already at a disadvantage having not fished here in 2 years and having very little success then.  Other disadvantages included having no idea of which end of the lake I should have fished on, what stage of the spawn I should focus on (they are in all 3 phases right now as I understand), etc.  Basically when I first got on the water and saw water temps 63 and climbing based on depth, I started looking for hard bottom, brush, chunk rock, etc. in 6-10 feet of water and threw searching type lures, with minimal success.  Minimal success was found with finesse stuff in isolated cover as well.  Additionally, going down a great looking ledge, seeing tons of brush and solid fish arches relating to it, throwing football head jigs, shakey heads, etc. didn't do much either.  Basically, textbook stuff I have gathered over the years of researching sites like this did not do much.  I chalked most of my shortcomings up to high pressure fishing (very high) on this lake, suspended/finicky fish, and a nasty cold front that came through Saturday, but I don't know.  I was able to stick a couple decent ones but overall I'm leaving disappointed.  Perhaps it could also be due to no foreknowledge on spawning bed locations too?  Could someone offer some insight/advice on this?  How did others fare this weekend?  I'm trying to get better with my electronics as well (I'm new to structure scan) but I question if I'm getting the most out of them.

20190420_192650.jpg

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That's the hardest place I've ever tried to catch a bass, at the hardest time of year to boot. Too many people. My only advice is don't get too focused on thinking about "the spawn" and just go fishing. It's all anyone ever talks about and Ive seen plenty of people worry themselves to death about prespawn post spawan blah blah blah. Sometime its nice to just drag a plastic worm around near the boat launch, results can be surprising. Lots of people have won a tournament down there in Chester frost when their engine wouldn't start . Those two fish you have in the picture would be the best trip ever to chickamauga for me 

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Thanks TnRiver46, and I agree, it just gets too many other anglers.  Seems like the weekend warriors that travel from far away are at a disadvantage (like any body of water really).  I try not to get too fixated on the seasons, but I do like to establish some sort of pattern if possible.  Seems like I could have had some pattern going if I had more time to fish, only had 2 days.  Was supposed to have 3 days but lost one due to a late arrival because of horrible traffic on I-77 and again on I-81.  Anyways, you've had difficulty on that lake too eh?

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I don't know a lake in Tennessee that hasn't handed it to me at one time or another since I've moved here!  But I love em all.  Tn River is right....just go fishing...especially the not so good looking stuff.

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Sometimes the best thing to do is to shut out all of the local chatter, sit down and go over a map and use your own logic to put a pattern together.  When fishing a new body of water, I put a plan together that hopefully will lead into a pattern that I can replicate quickly.  Not saying local knowledge isn't a help but you can't let it get into your head either.  

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I've been down to the chick about a dozen times the last couple of years.

The amount of fishing traffic is insane on that lake.

 

I've had some success running the Hiwassee, there are lots of smaller bays and sloughs back there.

Like TNRiver46 has said, a lot of people will spend all day in the Chester Frost area or across the river in the Harrison Bay section.

 

I keep going hoping to catch one of those giants, hasn't happened yet........

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Thanks for the replies so far. For my own validation, think how I went about it was a decent strategy with only 2 days to work with based on general fish behavior? I also made it a point to try to use my structure scan more to find hard bottom to soft transitions, make note of it, troll back around and start hitting it with crankbaits, etc. Does this sound right for using your electronics to help?

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I think I’ve fished it 3 times and my biggest was about 2 lb on frog in the slop. It is cool to see a lake with scum on it , they kill all that on most lakes upstream 

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