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Tail water fishing in the Summer


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Another tough day below Nickajack Dam on the Tennessee River yesterday. Surface temps 78 deg. Air temp. 92 in the PM. I was hoping that the moving water would concentrate the Smallies and the higher water temps would contribute to the need to feed but I could not catch em'. There was baitfish galore showing up on my Livescope. Where do they go in the summer? The usually faithfull Ned rigs didn't produce against the banks and the only way I caught fish was trolling small Shad Raps with the current and they were all small. Big fish 1.9 but really fat.  I don't really like fishing that way because I had to troll at 2.5 MPH with the current just to get the cranks to wobble. When a little Spot or Smallie bites, he just kinda gets drug through the water and that's no good. Any kind of advise from you tailwater fishers would be greatly appreciated! Also every jet ski and cabin cruiser on the river was active yesterday as well.

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1 hour ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

Another tough day below Nickajack Dam on the Tennessee River yesterday. Surface temps 78 deg. Air temp. 92 in the PM. I was hoping that the moving water would concentrate the Smallies and the higher water temps would contribute to the need to feed but I could not catch em'. There was baitfish galore showing up on my Livescope. Where do they go in the summer? The usually faithfull Ned rigs didn't produce against the banks and the only way I caught fish was trolling small Shad Raps with the current and they were all small. Big fish 1.9 but really fat.  I don't really like fishing that way because I had to troll at 2.5 MPH with the current just to get the cranks to wobble. When a little Spot or Smallie bites, he just kinda gets drug through the water and that's no good. Any kind of advise from you tailwater fishers would be greatly appreciated! Also every jet ski and cabin cruiser on the river was active yesterday as well.

My Tailwaters are vastly different, summertime is smallies in the shoals time. Like 1-2 feet deep, topwater all the day long 

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20 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

My Tailwaters are vastly different, summertime is smallies in the shoals time. Like 1-2 feet deep, topwater all the day long 

Sounds like fun! I don't have shoal water. It's 15 to 20' river channel with gentle slope to bank. Might try some top water though! 

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Just now, Blue Raider Bob said:

Sounds like fun! I don't have shoal water. It's 15 to 20' river channel with gentle slope to bank. Might try some top water though! 

Yea, I do fish some main stem Tailwaters like fort Loudon and watts bar dams. Live shad will create a feeding frenzy of nice bass that have ignored all your lures all day long. If I can’t net shad, I’ll just use a 3 inch sassy shad style bait or small fluke on  a jig head. If they are at a dam, they eat a lot of shad 

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The majority of my fishing is below the Pickwick and Wilson dams.

The Rage Menace, Rage Structure Bug and GYCB Kreature are solid

performers, but NOTHING beats a big minnow!

 

 

 

                                      Toddlers And Tiaras Reaction GIF

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7 minutes ago, roadwarrior said:

The majority of my fishing is below the Pickwick and Wilson dams.

The Rage Menace, Rage Structure Bug and GYCB Kreature are solid

performers, but NOTHING beats a big minnow!

 

 

 

                                      Toddlers And Tiaras Reaction GIF

Thanks! I'm not much of a live bait fisherman. Are you finding your fish near the generators in strong currents or further downstream? Are you using a heavier weight to contact bottom or a lighter weight to drift your presentations? 

Thanks again!

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4 minutes ago, roadwarrior said:

No, I am drifting along the shore 20-30 yards out using a 3/16 bullet weight.

Thanks for responding! I will try it again when the hottest weather breaks. Sounds like you are Texas rigging the Rage Tail and dragging it close to the bottom. I haven't been below Pickwick or Wilson in many years but I assume I will have similar conditions. The high energy demand has Nickajack running multiple generators and creating quite a current

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On 6/13/2022 at 2:36 PM, roadwarrior said:

No, I am drifting along the shore 20-30 yards out using a 3/16 bullet weight.

Is this a seasonal pattern for you or year round? I am going below Old Hickory Dam Sunday and give it a try. Also do you drift at current speed or do you slow drift with the trolling motor?

Thanks! 

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Drift with the current year around, but also fish the imaginary line between

the buoys which roughly represents the channel. Big fish are sometimes in

the deeper water.

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