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Floating down the Big T!


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Maybe shouldn't have gone because of high water conditions but just couldn't help it. Currents was raging and at certain areas was over 3 mph. Water temp. 46 deg. I was able to find some lower velocity places but boat control was a major problem all day. Ended up with ten Black bass including my first two 19" Smallies of the year. They are skinny river fish with big fish going 3 lb 10 oz. Caught on Neds, and flukes fished as a jerk bait. Had a couple strikes in one area and finally landed a White Bass. Changed lures to a Mepps Aglia and caught twelve more in quick succession. Talked to couple other anglers and they only had 4 little ones. I felt fortunate that I was able to catch what I did. The Nickajack Dam was releasing 70,000 FPS, more than double what I am comfortable with. All in all caught 23 fish and broke a pole. Got an excuse to call the tackle monkey!

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Just now, Blue Raider Bob said:

Used a Pearl colored Zoom Fluke. Let it sink then retrieved with a jerk bait motion.

Gotcha, I read that wrong initially 

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4 minutes ago, AlabamaSpothunter said:

Way to go Bob, sounds like an awesome trip.  Beautiful smallies.

 

Hate to hear about the rod, stuff happens though as they say.  

My trolling motor was useless against this current so when I hung up, I either pulled free or broke off. One time I broke off big-time. Snapped the rod in two. Small price to pay to get to go fishing!

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23 minutes ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

Maybe shouldn't have gone because of high water conditions but just couldn't help it. Currents was raging and at certain areas was over 3 mph. Water temp. 46 deg. I was able to find some lower velocity places but boat control was a major problem all day. Ended up with ten Black bass including my first two 19" Smallies of the year. They are skinny river fish with big fish going 3 lb 10 oz. Caught on Neds, and flukes fished as a jerk bait. Had a couple strikes in one area and finally landed a White Bass. Changed lures to a Mepps Aglia and caught twelve more in quick succession. Talked to couple other anglers and they only had 4 little ones. I felt fortunate that I was able to catch what I did. The Nickajack Dam was releasing 70,000 FPS, more than double what I am comfortable with. All in all caught 23 fish and broke a pole. Got an excuse to call the tackle monkey!

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Good job Bob.. nice catch.

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  • 1 month later...

3-11-23 and the water is sill high, muddy, and swift. Shouldn't have gone but couldn't help it. Did not catch a single LM, SM, or Spot. However in a large eddy area I got a couple of taps so I got out the ultra-lite, tied on a mepps Aglia and starting catching White Bass so at least I was catching fish. Final score-

one crappie

one gar

two drum

eighteen White Bass. 

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29 minutes ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

3-11-23 and the water is sill high, muddy, and swift. Shouldn't have gone but couldn't help it. Did not catch a single LM, SM, or Spot. However in a large eddy area I got a couple of taps so I got out the ultra-lite, tied on a mepps Aglia and starting catching White Bass so at least I was catching fish. Final score-

one crappie

one gar

two drum

eighteen White Bass. 

18? Nice!!!

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1 minute ago, TnRiver46 said:

18? Nice!!!

Forgot my two Tennessee Tarpons! Those suckers were cartwheeling across the water. Always a blast on the ultra-lite! The White bass ranged from small to 14" and 1 lb 9 oz. Once again, a blast on ultra-lite.

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Whoa, Bob, two 19-inchers in one trip is impressive. Fishing big current is even more impressive.

 

I love white bass too and miss them. I haven't caught one for decades. 

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11 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

Tell that to the guy from the band rush!!

Neil Peart

1 hour ago, roadwarrior said:

Well, no drum is a good thing.

What gets me is the Drum taking off, pulling drag and for a moment it's extreme excitement, until the steady slow pull make you realize that this is no monster Smallie! Durn, it's another big Drum. Then you have to haul the big dummie up to the boat to get your lure back. As you know, the Tennessee River is full of them. My biggest was well over ten pounds so on lite tackle, it did make for an interesting time.

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18 minutes ago, ol'crickety said:

Whoa, Bob, two 19-inchers in one trip is impressive. Fishing big current is even more impressive.

 

I love white bass too and miss them. I haven't caught one for decades. 

The Tennessee River is full of them. This time of year they move up to the dam and scads of fishermen line the rip rap banks in search of them. Also, lots of boats are in the big basin near the lock fishing for White Bass and Sauger. I don't necessarily target them downriver where I fish, but they have gotten many a skunk out of my boat when the Smallies don't play. I really enjoy the Skipjack Herring. They are quite acrobatic when hooked. They are known as Tennessee Tarpons down here and probably well deserved. They top out at a couple pounds but what a tussle they provide on light tackle. They jump, tail walk, summersault, everything you could imagine.

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1 minute ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

The Tennessee River is full of them. This time of year they move up to the dam and scads of fishermen line the rip rap banks in search of them. Also, lots of boats are in the big basin near the lock fishing for White Bass and Sauger. I don't necessarily target them downriver where I fish, but they have gotten many a skunk out of my boat when the Smallies don't play. I really enjoy the Skipjack Herring. They are quite acrobatic when hooked. They are known as Tennessee Tarpons down here and probably well deserved. They top out at a couple pounds but what a tussle they provide on light tackle. They jump, tail walk, summersault, everything you could imagine.

Skipjack are The best bait as well 

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If I ever visit you Bob, we'll have to catch some smallies, white bass, and even Tennessee Tarpon, which sound a lot like a fish we called Mooneye. 

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11 minutes ago, ol'crickety said:

If I ever visit you Bob, we'll have to catch some smallies, white bass, and even Tennessee Tarpon, which sound a lot like a fish we called Mooneye. 

Well you know you're always welcome and you'll get to see the pond and "Little Katy"!

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I'm guessing Little Katy won't be little for long! Bluegills and bass in my backyard would be my dream come true, but we all know how hard you worked for your dream come true, Bob, so you deserve every bit of it, down to the tiniest bluegill's smallest scale. 

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5 hours ago, ol'crickety said:

I'm guessing Little Katy won't be little for long! Bluegills and bass in my backyard would be my dream come true, but we all know how hard you worked for your dream come true, Bob, so you deserve every bit of it, down to the tiniest bluegill's smallest scale. 

Bob is indeed living the dream, but as you said it took a lot of hard work I'd imagine getting there and takes a lot of hard work to stay there.    

 

The Billie Goat pics crack me up every time he posts them, if those things don't make you smile, something is broken inside.   

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14 hours ago, AlabamaSpothunter said:

Bob is indeed living the dream, but as you said it took a lot of hard work I'd imagine getting there and takes a lot of hard work to stay there.    

 

The Billie Goat pics crack me up every time he posts them, if those things don't make you smile, something is broken inside.   

Unfortunately I left my camera in the house yesterday and missed an "Epic" picture of Alex and AJ climbing on their mom's back while she tried to nap. A mom's life is tough even for goats. They are getting way too big to use their mom as a playground! The picture of "Little Katy", was the result of me having to chase her down and hold her still for the selfie. She is a wide open throttle kind of girl that never takes a break. She has been giving her brother "What for"! She has been banging heads with all the boys and has no "back down" to her. I think she's a keeper!

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  • 3 weeks later...

4-2-23 Water Temps 58deg. Post frontal after the tragic storms that passed through the mid-south that caused so much death and destruction.

Bluebird skies with nary a cloud to be seen.

 

After all the high water since the first of the year, I was shocked at the low water situation that greeted me on the river. The river is at late summer levels with very little current. This tends to scatter the bass and leaves the bank vacant of good fish. After a few dinks, I came to this realization and went for the railroad bridge pilings in Bridgeport Alabama. Managed to catch a couple nice ones with big fish being a 16-3/4 inch 2.5 lb spot. Caught on shakey head jig with 6" Big Bites worm. Otherwise it was a really slow day on the big T. Saw lots of schooling white bass on sonar so spent lots of time playing with them with my ultralight and Mepps Aglia. There's nothing like a big white Bass slamming a Mepps and heading down river!

Final score......

2-Spots over 15"

27 munchkins with a few nice white bass sprinkled in.

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41 minutes ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

4-2-23 Water Temps 58deg. Post frontal after the tragic storms that passed through the mid-south that caused so much death and destruction.

Bluebird skies with nary a cloud to be seen.

 

After all the high water since the first of the year, I was shocked at the low water situation that greeted me on the river. The river is at late summer levels with very little current. This tends to scatter the bass and leaves the bank vacant of good fish. After a few dinks, I came to this realization and went for the railroad bridge pilings in Bridgeport Alabama. Managed to catch a couple nice ones with big fish being a 16-3/4 inch 2.5 lb spot. Caught on shakey head jig with 6" Big Bites worm. Otherwise it was a really slow day on the big T. Saw lots of schooling white bass on sonar so spent lots of time playing with them with my ultralight and Mepps Aglia. There's nothing like a big white Bass slamming a Mepps and heading down river!

Final score......

2-Spots over 15"

27 munchkins with a few nice white bass sprinkled in.

They are finally filling Douglas Cherokee FontAna and Norris lakes which equates to WAY LESS water headed toward Chattanooga, all a part of the annual master plan 

 

nice report on the fishing, white bass are sure biting wide open 

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