Fishing Journal

30 July 2011

This week has been hot, not successful in the previous evening, so thought I would go this morning. Most good fisherman would be up on the water at the break of day, however, I am not a good fisherman, so I slept till 7:00. Headed out this morning a little after 8am and went to the Bluff City ramp. Started the shad search, saw some flipping, figured they were small, but went after them, caught a bunch of small ones. Threw quite a few back, baited a flat line and went searching for the big shad. We finally find one, with water temperature at 82, we head to the mouth of the river. I am thinking one big shad, great, no ripped net, greater, and everything seems to be working, unusual.

We get to the island start trolling up, the big shad gets a hit, the striper knocks it out of the water a few times, the balloon takes off briefly, then nothing. He stole the bait, no fish. Start trolling back down, using the little shad, no hits, then see a huge school of shad. I see a large shad in there, grab the net, chase them down, and wow, I know now how the disciples felt when they cast the net on the other side of the boat. They were nice size  (5-6 inches) and there were many.

I bait up the larger shad and start seeing the stripers breaking water, we head that way. Well I am unable to provide a play by play analysis of the following events, the order may be wrong, but we had a good time. I was flipping using my bass medium weight rod, about 12lbs test which has always done well on the lake. Have you ever hear of the urban legend of the fish that stripped all the line off the rod, well I had heard of it, and seeing some of the fish, I did believe it, however, I can now testify of it. I set the hook, line began to scream, reached down, put trolling motor on 5, began the chase. As I looked down at my line, I see black, line going faster than boat, a slight pause, then there it goes. Never turned it, didn’t slow it, and didn’t catch it.

Well, my adrenaline is at another level and here we go. I hook another, then as I am pulling it in, wife hooks one. We have on two and I am racking my brain trying to figure out how I can get them both off quick enough. Problem solved, wife’s got off. As we make another pass I pitch one to the bank, a hit, set the hook and a large mouth, at least 5lbs jumps up, and I think he laughed as he spit it back at me.

All in all we pull in 4 stripers with the largest being 17 lbs (see photo above), you can see them under Boone Lake photo gallery. We missed or lost at least 5 others, the final one that was just playing with our bait as we were leaving was a monster, really wished he would have taken it. Today was an unusually successful day, which I could get very used to, I figured something out. I think I have the secret to catching the stripers. I will guarantee that if you will follow this formula, you will have success.

All that you will need is the right size bait, be at the right location, and at the right time. You thought you were going to get some great advice, well I don’t have any, but I sure am thankful for the days that are great. God bless and good fishing.


26 July 2011

Well this is just 3 days after what I am referring to as the slaying. Yep, caught three on that day and it was a slaying, sad that I consider three caught fish a slaying. Anyway, today is a different day and it is time to hit the lake. Went back to Bluff City, folks were pulling out and a young man had caught a very large striper, I think they said 35 lbs, saw it and it was a big one. This got my blood boiling, obviously they are biting, so I venture out.

Start with looking for shad flipping, folks swimming in my shad catching hole, so it is fling the net in the middle. Catch one nice one, I mean that it was big, like the ones the stripers loved last time. Then I catch a net full of small ones. Water temperature is about 84, so I head to the mouth of the river. As I get there here comes the water. Decide to just go down with the cool water, but to make a long story short, it never made it to the ramp.

I should have investigated the generating schedule in a little more detail, cause the cool water never made it where I was wanting it. Tried fishing between the bridges, but there was the trash line as confused as I was. The debry was scattered all over the water, which did allow me to bring in my balloons on multiple occasions to remove all trash.

It was bound to happen and today it did, I was skunked. Did not get a bite, a hit, or anything, except the shad. I did remove quite a bit of limbs out of the lake with my net, which will now require me to either drive fast or clean out the boat. I am hoping that 55 mph wind will remove most of it. So, the week is still good, read below, but today was not the best day on the water. However, I did get to go fishing, so it was good, God bless and good fishing.









23 July 2011




Today a discovery may have been made, honey hole #2. Was getting ready to go when a down pour came at the house, so I let the wife use her meteorology skills and check out the weather channel. Looked like waiting it out would give a little time on the water today. Wife and I head out and today we bring us a guide, or captain depending on what mood my son is in at the moment.

As we launch we see a few shad flipping, we head to the shallows, at Bluff City, and make a few cast. Catch 4 good size ones, or at least I thought they were at the time, but then it gets slow. Did notice during down time, that a gentleman on the bank, got a hit, however, this hit was so hard and fast, the rod entered the water to never be seen again. If you find a fish attached to a rod, it may belong at Bluff City.  Head to the other side, throwing and throwing, catching some sticks and leaves, then finally two more, they were nice. Would have been good size  crappie, these rascals were huge. Total of 6 need more, just in case, see some flip, cast net and then make some discoveries. First, glad long legged son came so he could help retrieve the hung up net. Second, that a ripping sound is not good when retrieving a net, and thirdly, that most of my repairs to this net held out, only have about 10″ to repair now.

We head up to below swinging bridge and water is around 54F, so we troll back to ball field. We get one swirl on way down and when we get past the ramp we notice wrestling at the ball field, good time for entertainment. We start trolling back toward the dock, and we get one, the largest shad was nailed and the fight is on. Wife did not want picture of her fight displayed, however the fish is above and you can see who won.

We end up catching two more, missing 3, every bait got a hit. We had one that knocked our shad out of the water about three times, but he must have just been playing with it cause he was never able to take it. The scales were a little tough to figure out, but they seemed to be around 12, 10, and 8 lbs. One thing about the scales, the fish weighed more before I got them.

The wrestling entertained the boy, the fishing was good for the wife, and with boy driving the boat, I had a really good trip. I could have written a great deal more, but didn’t want to bore you. But if they are generating, we did appear to do better down rather than up to the mouth of the river. God bless and good fishing.  





16 July 2011

Finally took a break from trying to call marinas at lakes and the fishing net was mended, at least I hoped, so I headed out. Thought about the honey hole, but did not want to go after the shad there, they were like trying to locate bigfoot the last time I went.  Headed out to Bluff City to see if I could lay into some of the big ones.

I have heard the saying that the early bird gets the worm, however, I have often thought that the early worm gets eaten, so I left about 9am. First throw with net, ok, rusty, half open, but not bad, it was round. next throw called into question my mending technique. It was one of the prettiest wads of mess that you have ever seen. Saw some shad, tried again, it opened, it was beautiful, it is an 8ft net and it probably had an expansion of about 10ft total. I know, it should have been about 16ft, but I am not nearly that good. Pulled in about 15 shad, within rock throw of the dock, my it will be a good day.

Well head up to the mouth of the river, two flat lines on balloons (priced the planer boards laste week, and Christmas is a long time away). I was flipping a shad and had a run, set the hook and it pulled right out, I thought that odd till I saw the large brown movement a bit later. There were a couple of trout, better than 20 inches coming after my shad, but never got one of them in the boat.

Upon trolling the flat lines, I had one good swirl, but it did not take. When I was heading back out, there was another, the balloon took off, the drag went, then all just died, it was the funnest 3 seconds of the day at this point. So the temperature is perfect, the weather is overcast, the shad easy to catch, but nothing big. Gotta head toward the house soon so go toward the ramp.

As I begin to smell a skunk (meaning I am not going to catch a thing) I take a look at the watch and well, I have got to go. As I begin to pull in my line, I feel it on there and set the hook. I pulled in a 3lbs 5 oz small mouth. First thought is to tweet this, but I get a phone photo, and send it on its way. I think, whoooo hoooo, I can put something on the website today.

Like I said, phone photo, it would not allow me to send photo, we have a call in to figure out what is wrong. So with all excuses laid out there for you, I will try to get this figured out to give you a photo. It was not a day that your arms would be wore out from pulling in a boat load, however, I was on the lake, the line was wet and I got to talk to some more folks that love fishing. I would say, great day, God bless and good luck fishing.

04 July 2011

I am beginning to think it is time to break out the waders. Went out this morning, simply cause I woke up somewhat early. Don’t pic-a-nic till noon, so I got some time. Wife hears me rumbling and agrees to join me. We go out and begin looking for bait, water temp is 80 and some shad are flipping, already hot out, and I begin to cast. To make a long boring story short, I catch no shad, zero, zilch, nothing for bait.

However, I did get to do a little experimenting while I was out. It was a test that I do not want to repeat and one that I hope you never have to perform. I was able to test the tensile strength of the monofilament on my cast net. Apparently I locked it around an object that had been concreted into the bottom of the lake, just for this purpose, I couldn’t reach it, so I began to pull it. The results of the experiment, I get to figure out how to repair my casting net. Man, that did not make me jump with excitement, well, maybe a little excitement, but not in a positive manner.

Anyway, we tie on a buck tail jig just to mess around a little. The bitsy tube didn’t work, the jig didn’t work, but I did get a little more tan on my neck and arms. All and all, a tough day fishing, but it sure beat sitting around the house or working on the honey do list. If the shad troubles continue, I am going to have to break out the waders and try to find me a spot on the river.

I like throwing the fly, so this is not a negative thing at all. If you know where the shad are, add a comment or go to the forum, I could use some help. God bless and good fishing.

 Fishing Trip 6 (01 July 2011)

Well it wasn’t big, but it sure was fun. This day started early, a little vacation from work and off to Boone we go. The day started rough, found some shad in the garmin, however, I could not get any in the net, we head to candy creek. We get there hit the shallow water, wonder why we are there, and we get nothing. We head back to the ramp, nothing, then to the submersed island at candy creek. We catch 10 shad in total, about 20″ if you lay them all from mouth to tail. They were small and I had to shake a few out of the net due to them getting pinched (head pinchers is what we call them).

Well we head to the honey hole and success is not instant. I think the order is correct, but we get a hit at 15ft deep, the drag is going, it is the saltwater rod, but I had put some 12 lbs test line below the sinker so I would not lose the sinker. Anyway, that proved to be the downfall, 12 lbs line breaks, fish 1 us 0.

We see some activity on top, so we take a line with no weight and toss it behind the boat, within minutes it takes off, the three seconds of action was great, however, the fish decided that it did not like the hook and gave it back, fish 2 us 0. The down line, again at 15ft, gets another hit, this one is not getting away, thank you 17 lbs test below sinker. Well, that is the picture up ahead, didn’t neet that big a line for that fish, however, it was still a good time, fish 2- us 1.

Well it is getting hot and I am about ready to call it a day, begin flipping a shad against the bank. This is where I notice that I have a hook that is acting like a sinker on this shad. The bait is so small it don’t have the strength to keep the hook from weighing it down. We troll to my end point when I get to set the hook, the loomis does its thing and the fight is on. Did not place a picture of this one, just a few ounces smaller, but on the bass rod, it was still a blast.

The day ends, it is hot, I am hungry and we are not going into overtime, final score, fish 2 us 2. If you have any information on where the shad have gone, let me know in the forum under Boone Lake. God bless and good fishing.

17 June 2011 (first catch)

Don’t worry, I will roll this all over into one once I get this site on track. Finally found some time today to hit the lake. My catching buddy was willing to go again, let the excitement begin. There is a saying I heard concerning striper fishing: Full moon, fish at noon. So it is ~3pm maybe a little before and we pull out of the drive, Boone Lake here we come. It has been 17 days since my last fishing trip, hoping the honey hole is still hot.

We launch and begin looking for bait, efforts failed at the ramp, I head to Candy Creek. Catching the shad was not easy, one at a time and that was about every 7 attempts,  but after we catch about 6, we head to the honey hole, when the catching buddy starts getting hot, gotta change, or lose buddy. I had to put some line on the rod, the shad were bigger than I had wanted, thinking, I hope my partner catches at least one.

Throw in a shad that was too big for flipping, however, on about the third cast you see the bucket mouth dart out from the tree and the chase was on. Flipped the bell, set the hook, and the battle begins. Now this is 2 days before Father’s Day and I had just got my present, digital scales, so let’s weigh this monster.  The bass weighed 1 lb and 8 ounces, no state record (nor monster), but it was still fun. As we are messing with the weighing, her rod takes off, glad she put it in the rod holder. Rod holder twist, I should have had it tighter, but she manages to get a hold of it.  She gets excited, wished I would have taken a video of her reaction,  and after a long battle (few minutes) she gets to test the scales, 6 lbs and 7 ounces. If we are using the scales right. She had suggested earlier to read the instructions, I laughed out loud at this thought.

Looks like it might not be a bad day after all, we hook up with 3 more stripers then we get to the final shad, I put on a bitsy tube so she can have it, she gets another hit, but a miss. A couple of cast with bitsy tube and once again, it does not fail. It produced a large mouth that was too small to weigh, but nonetheless, still good times. We close up shop, head to the boat ramp, we are back in the truck and heading home at 5:39pm. All and all I say this was excellent, catching buddy stated she didn’t know if she could pull in any more, she was wore out. I take that as a great day for fishing.

Day 4
June 25 2011

I put in behind the airport and begin looking for the shad. The first point, I have to throw about 10 times and catch more than I need for the entire trip. They are in about 20ft of water about 10-15ft deep. I then immediately head to the honey hole, hoping that it is still active. Well cast number one, I had to make certain that the tree was still in the water, plus I am adding to the profits of Eagle Claw, line breaks, bait another.

I miss a couple, excitement too much, I attempt to set the hook a little too soon, but the activity is not there like it had been, so I head down the bank. I may have a new saying, when it ain’t a full moon, then don’t fish at noon. As head on down the bank, I am coming up empty flipping the shad. I get another hit and i have another miss, I am really off of my game. Well I was alone, except for the schnauzer, so I had a down line out about 15ft. While I was flipping the rod tip gets wet. I moves the rod holder tighter than apparently I am capable of with my wrench. I go to set down my flipping rod, in another rod holder, fight like the dickens to get the fish on rod out of a rod holder as line is screaming out faster than the road runner escaping a trap from the coyote.
as I pull up and began to set the hook, it comes free. This would have been the biggest of the season.

I find the fish, drop another, biggest shad I got, and boom another bite, this time, a 2lb large mouth. I catch one more fish on this trip, not quite large enough to weigh, but the schnauzer thought it was good enough to sniff and get slapped in the face with.

Although the day was not as productive, there were some learnings that I need to share. Remember your hat, when you cut your own hair and it is very short, a hat is important. So if you think that is dandruff that I have don’t worry, it is just my sunburn allowing me to shed. The second learning is when you take a schnauzer fishing, check the long hair areas for hooks. I thought removing gum was difficult, but the hook means straight to the scissors. Good luck and keep on a fishing.

Day 2

04 June 2011 

Well the family went out of town and the appraiser has come and gone, the time is around three and most people with sense would not go fishing in this heat. Well, checked my pockets, no cents, so the boat was loaded. Ventured into Candy Creek to catch my bait, thought I may have to hit the back of the cove, a lot of jet skis and boaters. I knew that the day was going to be interesting when all Candy Creek produced was a carp, and a shad large enough to feed a platoon. Ventured back toward the ramp and hit the other cove I’d passed up. This cove was much more productive, caught one carp, one white bass, and a logperch, no it really is a fish, I found it searching fish species.

Anyway, headed back toward the ramp, thought I would just bass fish if I could not catch bait. Wife called so I talked while trolling around, a rock throw from the ramp. While talking I saw some bait about 13ft down. We hung up, made about 4 cast with the net and I was on my way to the honey hole. Wife takes credit for the catching of the bait now.

Upon arriving at honey hole, there was shade from the hill, sweet, cause it was hot. As I began setting up for this excursion, the rocking and the waves made think, this must be what it is like the fish the Great Lakes. Well, here I was on a Saturday afternoon, water temperature about 80ºC and wishing I had some Dramamine.

Well let’s see how the honey hole produces today, don’t feel like looking for another spot, so if I can just catch a few that would be great. At the tree, I only lost a couple of hooks today, stupid shad swimming into them and getting me tangled. Had one of my flat lines come up empty, this was probably due to my laziness thinking I clipped the line a little when I cut off the old balloon. But none the less, eventful day, realizing that there is no species safe when using live bait. The honey hole produced 2 bucket mouth bass, 4 or 5 small jaws, 2 catfish, and 2 Stripers, not including the misses that I inevitably have each outing.

On an educational note, I am a little tight and sometimes do some things that in hind sight; I could have chosen a different path. Years ago I had an old tire, I rolled it outside and it decided to fall on my All Star fishing rod. The graphite didn’t break in half, but did splinter completely, it was basically trashed. I had built a few fishing rods in the past thus; I wrapped the splintered area and put on some epoxy. Sensitivity would decrease so I went with spider wire using a leader of mono.

I haven’t caught anything of size with this rod until this day and it did as I had hoped. This re-due of the pole muscled in most of the fish this day. It may not be real good for plastic bait, but throwing live shad, I have no complaints.

Day One

30 May 2011

 Not the first day fishing this year, however, the first day I decided to keep a diary, perhaps journal is more manly, a journal of the day’s events. At this time last year I had me a fishing buddy, it was my daughter, but something happened during the school year, she no longer liked fishing. From the comments I was receiving and from the events of the evening, I realized, she never did like fishing, it was catching that she enjoyed.

 Anyway, she tells me that we can go this evening. Well, this got me excited until I saw the clock and realized it was after six. I had to move ¼ of the garage in order to get the boat out, hook it up, but fortunately it was all charged up and ready to roll. I may not have been fishing much, but I try to be a minute man concerning certain things.

 We finally arrive on the lake a little after seven, and begin to attempt to catch bait, myself and the two ladies, wife loves fishing and catching. We head toward Candy Creek to catch some bait, fortunately being Memorial Day weekend, there has been heavy boat traffic and finding the bait is not easy. Catch about five in deep water, and then head to the cove. Well we were blessed, daughter usually beats me in bait catching, but this day I upped her, plenty of shad and we headed toward the honey hole.

Now if you are wanting me to give you the location of my honey hole, too bad, if I am fortunate enough to catch fish, well, I certainly don’t want to give away that spot, but it was deep water, near a cliff. I had found a tree down and the days of fishing before this, there were some ~3 lbs bass and a couple of stripers that were in need of a snack. We head out, the water was up a little and upon about the first cast, boom, a bite, a tree, and a snapped line. So, being overwhelmed with excitement, I got in a big hurry bait up another, we fish around the tree, the daughter says her friends blue gill is going to be bigger than hers when we get bit. She takes the pole, ~8 lbs test line, and the fight is on. This is where I realized she liked the catching, she fought this fish for about 2-3 minutes and we netted it into the boat. She likes the striper, but I could not get her to hold it after she says, “it has teeth”.

So make another cast and provided myself more assurance that there was a tree in the water, lock in the hubs on the trolling motor, retrieve my hook. I am not sure if I was just trying provide enough data points to have concreted proof of the existence of this tree, but I tossed another in and boom, found said tree again, break line and grumble just a little. By this time wife and I had caught nothing, and I put on a bitsy tube, I love those things. As it was now pretty dark, there appeared to be a smallmouth that loved the bitsy tube more than I do, he was about 2 lbs, nice.

As it was just about black on the water now, wife pitched our last shad toward the bank and pulled in what appeared to be the sibling of the former striper. No one was skunked and we headed to the house, back by about 10:30. All and all a good day, and I think I have me a catching buddy.


My fishing time has been limited in the past few years, although my love for it has not diminished. However, as we get older, we tend to get busier, these busy days limit what opportunities we get to enjoy our hobbies, however  our interest tend to change.

 As my time to go fishing has been limited, I would not do very well the times I got to hit the lake or the river. I began looking for a good fishing report online, the world is on this thing, well most of the world, not the info that I needed in order to do battle with the fish.

 So I have ventured into the web myself, with the limited knowledge I have of technology, my children showed me how to program the remote control. And my laziness with regard to learning this technology, I am certain this combination will be a hit.

So, please endure the learning curve on this website, I intend on making this as useful as possible to not just the periodic fisherman, but to all those that like to wet a line.

Also I have started a fishing journal, diary, blog, or whatever word you would like to use. My plan is to share my fishing adventures with all who would care to read this. Please take a few minutes and possibly some of my mishaps and ignorance will make you laugh and provide you with things not to do.

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