April Journal 2017



The Ending of April

28 April 2017

I reckon that we shall discuss fishing today, we may leave the catching to another day. The week prior we got a little rain in East TN, if you are a Nascar fan you are probably well aware of that. I had seen that South Holston had been generating and figured it may be a little tough, but I was gonna give it a shot.

I launched at Davis after work, the owner said the storm moved his dock as Beaver Creek had looked like the Nolichucky. With the generators running, the water in front of the dock were clear but a bit chilly (my depth finder said 50 around the bend. I headed down the lake initially looking for shad. No shad were in sight prior to mile marker 10, so I figured I’d just bass fish. I chose to use the big TRD on the finesse hook and I think the bluegill liked it. Well, it was either the bluegill or I cannot get a hookset. They were swimming off with it and still nothing. I was testing out a rod, it’s a mag bass set up in a spinning rod application, let me say it is pretty nice.

After not getting anything except about 15 hits, I headed down to a spot I figured I would find bait. Sure enough, bait was located, the striper fishing was to begin. After getting setup, I went to turn the trolling motor and once again, it was dead, well kinda. I have a motorguide wireless (got it of a classifieds), it may be the first one ever made, and this year it has started not communicating from the foot controller to the motor. Fortunately it was in the on position, a little faster than I had wanted, but I could turn it by hand, you know, Bill Dance style. As I am cruising down the bank, the balloon line gets messed with, I see a swirl and then nothing, it was all a trick apparently.

I ended up fishing for about 3 hours and didn’t boat a single fish (unless you count shad and I typically will). We’ve had a lot of water and with the generators running like they are, I guess I should’ve gone searching on down the lake, but I did not. I’ve put 6 gallons of gas in my boat this year and I will typically fish where I launch, this way, I only have to refuel a few times all year long. It may bring in a day of no fish, but being out on the water is always a good thing. Maybe next weekend.

On the rod building note, I have finished a 6.5’ UT edition spinning rod medium power and extra fast action equipped with a Tennessee Handle, total weight 3.6 ounces. I should finish this week one that I will be donating to Twin Springs High School for a fundraiser raffle. It should be on display for Nickelsville days. I’ll get some pics posted on the website soon and setup a page for it. If interested send me an email to tfr@tnfishingreport.com.

I hope everyone has a great week, sorry about the advertising for the rods but hey, for me to advertise here is free…. Have a great week and God bless.






12 April 2017 

Vacation is Always a Good Plan

It is Tuesday at work and I am trying to decide whether or not to take a couple of days of vacation. Thursday was a definite, however, Wednesday was still up in the air. I tend to hold on to vacation until it’s too late to take it, thinking I am going to run out, but this time I committed and off at 2:30 on Tuesday until Monday. Boom, good times await.

I got up and saw everyone off Wednesday morning, it was going to be slightly overcast and to be honest, I just don’t get up and get after the fishing bright and early. I headed to Sugar Hollow boat ramp around 10:00. When I got there, parking was scarce, I decided to go back to Davis, I am glad I did.

Launched the boat and headed to where I caught shad last time. I threw the net on the edge of a school and still boated a bunch, let the culling begin. I kept about 20, they stay alive real well this time of year. I still had a swim bait on my new reel which in on my custom built Mag Bass MHX rod built by TFR Custom Rods. If you don’t know, that is me that built that, yes it is a shameless plug.

The stripers were busting up the schools in the shallows so I started throwing my swim bait while pulling a line behind me. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in the flat line as there were way too many schools of shad to count. My boat is in 5-6′ of water (temp was around 61) and as I am reeling in my swim bait, I feel a bit thud, then drag begins. I pull and begin the fight. I am using 10 lb mono (“they” say it is easier to cast and I am still learning. The trolling motor goes up a bit in speed and I finally wrangle the feller into the boat. If you notice the one with the pot belly above, that is the one caught on the swim bait, he was a fatty, it didn’t seem to hurt the fishes feelings when I said that.

This was early in the trip and I let him go. About an hour later, my flat line gets a hard hit. I finally make it to the rod holder, he had already moved it 25% of a turn. I grabbed the rod, went to front of the boat, noticed at least half my line was off the spool and still going. Went up higher on trolling motor and began hot pursuit (think Roscoe P. Coltrain), I wished flash was with me. Anyway, my trolling motor was keeping up with him, not really gaining for a minute or so.

Finally after wearing him down, I saw color, this big boy was solid. I put the net down, got his head in there and went to lift, the net bent, could get him. I grabbed the net ring, picked him up and laid him on the floor. Now this thing could’ve fed me for a meal or two, but my plan was to keep a smaller one if it was close to time, I just can’t bring myself to keeping one of the big ones. Now I am not at all opposed to anyone keeping a big one, not at all, I’m just not sure we would get all of this one eaten and I sure don’t want to waste it. Anyhow, I went to throw it back and when I grabbed it up, this may be my personal best one. I left the digital scales at the house and truthfully, I get in such a hurry to make sure these things aren’t out of the water too long, I’m not sure if I would fight to use that thing. But as sure as I am typing this, that thing had to go 30+ or I was wore out from the fight and had lost all my strength.

As I was basking in my victory, I told a couple of boats that were cruising by where I had caught a couple and I trolled new water. You may be thinking why in the world would you leave a place like that. Well, I was hot, tired, and I don’t know, that is just how I tend to be. I trolled aound the other side of the point and my balloon line got hit hard, but he didn’t take it, that was odd. I trolled and around and the swim bait, cast by my new reel, my backlashes are beginning to diminish, on my custom made M…… sorry, I won’t insert a commercial here. I caught the little feller up there in the pics.

I had spent about 3 hours on the water and it was a blast, so fun I didn’t unhook the boat from the truck. Went back the next day and other than a bite on a Ned Rig and one or two on the swim bait, I got nothing. Man what a difference a day makes.

I’m not sure if I will go back out this weekend, I got stuff to do, but it was a good time. Tomorrow is Good Friday and we are celebrating Easter this weekend. What a great time to reflect on the death, burial, and Resurrection of our Savior. Have a great weekend and God bless.







08 April 2017

Fishing For Bass and Striper

Saturday rolled around and it was a bit cool in the morning. When I woke up it was 32 I think, maybe 35, either or, I figured I should get to mowing in a bit and not get out on the boat. Around 10:00 with the grass still a bit damp, I started on the yard. After getting the few chores done I loaded up the boat and decided to hit the water. I had just gotten my new bait casting reel in the mail and just couldn’t stand it.

I launched at Davis again and figured all I would do is work on learning how to cast this new reel. I typically use a spinning outfit for everything, but thought it was time to learn. I had made a flipping rod and it was better than I had anticipated so I figured I’d step up my game.

After launching, the shad were everywhere and I could not resist catching some. One cast of the net and I got more shad than I would be able to use. I put a line out behind me with a balloon, and started working on my skills. The striper were running through in my area and if I were smart I would have had a swim bait on my line, but I’m not smart and was focused on my task at hand. Then my balloon took off, under the water, then back up, dang I missed him.

I continued on down the bank and the balloon took off, this one was not getting away. The fight was on, drag going out and when I saw a flash in the distance my first thought was, somewhat of a small striper. Then as the fish came up again, I got excited and said, that is a big trout. Funny how it was small for a striper, but a very big trout. He was taking drag and I finally got him calmed down and netted him into the boat. My net is 24” and this trout was near the same length and thick. Picture taken, fish released and stripers were still busting the shad periodically.

I finally put on a swim bait and began casting. I could feel when I ran through a school of shad, crazy things should’ve gotten out of the way. You can see above in the pic that although it may appear the shad is a cannibal, he is not, my hook snagged him as I cranked, poor feller survived at least for a minute. I trolled along throwing the swim bait and the activity decreased tremendously. I got one bit on the swim bait and then in the same area, the balloon took off. I reeled in my line, ran to the back, grabbed the rod just as the balloon was coming up. I’m not sure what it was, but I was pumped for a bit as I trolled back through hoping he had a friend with him.

All in all it was a pretty active couple of hours on the water. While fishing for bass and striper, I caught a trout that was a good one. I don’t know if the stripers have moved up yet, I didn’t see anyone catch any, but folks, spring is here and it’s about time to land one. I’m considering some vacation this week, if so, I may get an extra day or two on the lake. Have a great week and God Bless, remember, a lot of folks will be off work Friday, it’s Good Friday, be safe and remember we are celebrating the Resurrection.








Quantity not Quality

01 April 2017

Friday had enough wind to convince me that March fishing was over for this ‘ol boy. I had to hang a storm door anyway and figured I’d knock that out on Friday. The guy at the store said this one was set up to take minimal time, even for someone like me with limited quality tools and no experience in storm door haning. Well 8 hours later, recharging the battery on the drill numerous times, and a bit of high blood pressure, that bad boy was hung and almost looks good. Boom, Saturday is open.

I got up, drank a cup (my Dr Suess moment), and decided the yard needed mowing. It was a bit cool and knew if I waited till after fishing, I probably wouldn’t mow. The day was to be overcast so I figured it’d be alright fishing. Yard mowed, no weed eating happening, and got the boat out. It took a bit of time to get it ready and honestly to convince myself that the wind was not too much to fight. Finally, I headed out around 2:00.

Sugar Hollow access ramp would have been best for striper fishing, but I was a bit unsure of how the boat would do. Davis Marina (Boonies Restaraunt) would have few people and I decided to give it a go. It took a bit but the boat started up, the big batteries were good (slight foreshadowing in that phrase).

I started off with a crappie fly, green, and caught a bluegill pretty quick. I also lost the green one pretty quick and switched to a pink. As I approached some brush, I tossed out the fly, boom, crappie are biting. I missed many crappie but ended up catching at least 8. I didn’t realize my measuring tape was messed up, they looked short, all but one. I had kept the one until it did not have a partner and released it. I figured one was just not enough.

My crappie fishing is simply throwing out the fly and reeling it in, not the best technique to slay them, but it was pretty effective this day. The bluegill loved the pink fly. I must have caught 10-15 of them rascals, sorry no pics, you’re gonna have to take my word for it.

As I was heading between brush piles, I had a swim bait on the UT edition spinning rod and tossed it out. the bigger largemouth (although it was not all that big) nailed it. This was the only one caught on a swim bait, however, I didn’t throw it that much and another angler had been catching them on a swim bait.

I also had the ‘ol Ned Rig with a PB&J on and decided to give it a go. Yep, the smaller bass nailed it. I had gotten a bite, missed it, threw right back and caught this littler feller. I missed another one or two but so far I had caught something on everything I had thrown out.

As I was heading to the next brush pile, the battery on the controller for the trolling motor went dead. This was a bit anticipated as it had been in there for at least 3 years, but I had a spare. After finally finding a screwdriver to get the battery out, I found the “new” one. This was bought at the same time as the other battery but not used. I noticed a small brown spot on the battery and knew what was gonna happen.

I put it in and started fishing, it worked good for about 2-3 mintues, then it started dragging. It had been a good couple of hours, and I just decided to be thankful and head to the house. It was a great day, left a bit after 2:00, home by 6:00, not a bad day at all. As a matter of fact, the daughter may wanna go Sunday afternoon. If so, maybe we’ll get some more stuff on the line here. Have a great week and God bless.