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Monday, October 4, 2010

Fort Loudon Fishing Report - 10/4/10

I was able to fish a tournament last week and go fishing from the bank for a little while yesterday and here is what is going on.
The bass are scattered. Some are deep, shallow, and everywhere between.  There is a ton of bait everywhere you go and most appear to be gizzard shad.  However, there are a few threadfins around.  The water is cooling off and is in the mid to upper 70's.  The lake is still at full pool, but I suspect that will change very soon.  Normally, TVA starts lowering it shortly after football season starts.
It is very easy to catch bass right now, both largemouth and smallmouth.  All one needs to do is go to the back of creeks and coves and chug a lipless, or other small crankbait and you WILL get bit.  Also, I've been catching them by tossing small plastics on spinning gear near dock posts, laydowns, and rocky areas.  Size is a whole different story!  For every keeper it seems like I have to go through 15 slicks.  To catch the bigger fish, I think it would be wise to fish closer to the main lake, but still near the creeks and coves.  Fish a little deeper and use bigger crankbaits, spinnerbaits and bigger plastics.
Catfish are also biting very well.  The best bait I've used is live gizzard shad caught with a throw net.  Blues, Flatheads, and Channels are all pretty shallow and are feeding heavily.  They can even be caught occasionally on crankbaits.
White bass, Yellow bass, and Striped bass are also on the move.  The whites and yellows can be caught on small crankbaits, spinners and grubs.  The stripers are a little harder to catch and the best bait is live bait.  Although, it is possible to catch some on crankbaits, bucktails, and topwaters such as big Zara Spooks.
Good luck, have fun, and take a kid with you!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Funny Story

For those of you who don't know me well, I work for a magazine distributor.  At one time, we had both drivers and merchandisers under the same company name.  Due to reorganization, blah blah blah, drivers and merchandisers now work for two separate companies.  Anyway, I was a supervisor over 14 merchandisers and I had one that cracked me up one day while working a WalMart store.  Where I live people pronounce the word crappie two different ways; crappy (as in what you do in the toilet) and croppy (supposedly the correct pronunciation).  Well, we were working the magazines and this old timer comes up to the guy I was training and asks, "Do yun's have that crappy magazine?"  The new guy gestures towards the whole magazine rack like Vanna White showing a TV and replies, "Take your pick!"

Sunday, August 1, 2010

7/30/10 Fort Loudon, Concord Piers

Went to the piers at Concord to do some catfishing on Friday, July 30. First, I caught a bunch of small bluegill for bait with nightcrawlers. Then, I rigged up the Catfish Ugly Stick, set the clicker, relaxed, and waited, and waited......and waited. I got one run that made the clicker scream, but I missed him.
Another guy was there and claimed he caught a 15 lber and a 30 lber the night before, but he didn't start fishing until 11:00 pm. I started at 7:00 pm and quit at 10:00 pm.
Not a very productive evening. There was very small threadfin shad everywhere, but the bigger fish didn't seem to be around them.
My favorite part of the afternoon was seeing parents there with elementary and middle school aged kids. They were catching bluegill on almost every cast it seemed. For those of you with kids old enough to start fishing, this is a great place and time for it. 
Go fishing and have fun regardless what you catch!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fort Loudon Fishing Report - 6/30/10

I put in today at Carl Cowan around 10:00 am. The sky was cloudy and there was a nice breeze and fish jumping everywhere. By the time I got unloaded and to my first spot about 30 minutes later, the sky was clear, there was no wind, it was getting hot, and the fish stopped jumping.
The water was 88-90 F and stained.
I fished the area from Concord to Louisville Point.
I tried deep diving crankbaits, Carolina rigs, jigs, shakey heads, flukes, topwaters, and spinnerbaits.
The day was a bust. I quit at 3:00 pm and only had 1 short largemouth on the Carolina rig.
This was the worst day I've had out in a long time. I believe the heat and water temperature are making the fish school on very particular pieces of structure, such as ledges and deep points and they are only feeding heavily when the generators are pulling water. The key is finding the right pieces of structure with the right amount of current. So far, I've been unsuccessful.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Fishing Place - Knoxville, TN

I'd like to take a moment to fill everyone in on The Fishing Place, which is an established tackle shop under new ownership.  The new owner's name is L.B. and the store is located in Black Oak Plaza in the Halls/Powell area of Knoxville.  It used to be farther down the road a little as you head toward Maynardville, but moved to it's new location several months ago.

I have been in the store a few times now and have been quite impressed with the progress from visit to visit.  They have a great selection of plastics, homemade jigs and skirts, hooks, crankbaits, and other popular lures.  Just to name a few brands, they have Zoom, Reaction Innovations, Yum, Berkley, Norman, Bandit, Strike King, Heddon, Luhr Jensen Hot Lips, Lucky Craft, Gamakatsu, and many more.  L.B. is getting new stock as he gets rid of the old.  They also have some good deals on rods, such as Castaway, Shimano, and J. Miles Customs and have new and used reels.  He also sells crickets for you live bait guys.

L.B. has always been a standup guy from my experiences in dealing with him.  He is always quick to share any information he has on the local lakes and what the fish are biting.  He has been an avid fisherman for many years, giving you the advantage of having someone that can help you select your tackle.  There are always a few people just hanging around the shop which is proof of the growing popularity of the store.

Let's patronize and support this local tackle shop!  It's one of the few we have left in Knoxville.  Personally, I would much rather shop at these independent tackle shops than the big box stores, such as Gander Mountain, Bass Pro Shops, and WalMart.  Actually, WalMart is altogether banned from my house, but that's another story!  The Fishing Place can offer you help and information with your tackle and general fishing questions whereas the big stores usually have someone working that has very limited knowledge of fishing.

Go visit The Fishing Place! If L.B. doesn't have what you're looking for, I'd bet he will do his best to get it for you!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fort Loudon Fishing Report - 6/22/10

Brandon and I went out on Tuesday afternoon from 2-5 pm.  We fished the area around and near George's Creek.  The air temp was 95 F and the water temp was 91 F.  The sky was clear and there was virtually no wind.  Needless to say, it was tough!  We fished deep.  We targeted the 15-20 ft zone because that's where the baitfish were.
The lures we used were shakey heads, jigs, deep diving crankbaits, and even a few topwaters in the shady areas.
We didn't catch many fish, but the ones we did catch were quality.  We managed 4 fish with 3 being keepers.  One largemouth was 2.5 lb, one was 3+ lb and one was a 4+ lb smallmouth.  I also caught a big drum on a jig.
I considered it a decent day given the tough, miserably hot conditions.  We caught a few good fish and were able to get away from work for awhile.  If I went out right now in the same conditions and fished the same area, I would definitely focus on the jig and the topwater. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fort Loudon Fishing Report 5/25/10

I took two of my friends out for fun on 5/25/10 from 6:30 pm to 9:15 pm. We put in at Carl Cowan park. The water was stained, 79-82 degrees. It started out raining and heavy wind, but passed through by 7:00 pm.
We fished main lake points and rocky areas and caught fish scattered. We landed about 10 fish, with 3 being keepers. Two over 15 inches and one 17 1/2 inches were caught all in the same spot.  Fish were anywhere from the bank to 12 feet deep.
Lures used were Carolina rigged plastics, Texas rigged plastics, poppers and shaky heads.  We also tried crankbaits and I caught one keeper crappie, but no bass.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fort Loudon Fishing Report 5/5/10

I took a friend out today from 9:00am to 1:30pm.  We fished the Ish Creek and Saltpeter Bluff areas.  The weather was bright and sunny, no clouds and no wind.  Water temperature was 73 F.  Clarity was stained to heavily stained. 
We started out with crankbaits and immediately caught 2 short fish.  As we fished the main channel banks, we switched to flukes, worms and jigs and caught a few more.  We ended the day with 6 on crankbaits and 5 on plastics with only one keeper.  Lately I've had trouble finding the quality fish.
After the rough conditions on Kentucky Lake this past weekend, it was nice to fish in some calm water!
For those of you running wide open down the lake, BEWARE OF LOGS!  They are everywhere from the rains and flooding.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fort Loudon Fishing Report - 4/22/10

Brandon and I fished in a tournament on Thursday night 4/22/10 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  The water is still warming up with 70+ degrees being normal in the coves.  The main lake is hovering around 68 degrees for the most part.  Tonight started off very windy, but calmed down after dark.  It was also partly cloudy for most of the tournament.
We started by fishing spinnerbaits and crankbaits on windblown main lake flats for about an hour with no luck.  We made a move into a pocket off the main lake out of the wind and fished the entire edge with plastics.  The first half of the pocket resulted in zero bites, but the second half gave up 5 fish and several misses, with one being a keeper weighing 2.44 lbs.  We continued on to another spot we have had success on in the past and immediately landed another keeper on plastics that weighed 2.26 lbs.  After that fish our night went downhill.  I had a nice fish jump and break my line and Brandon had a really nice fish come unbuttoned.  Had we landed those two, I think we would have had enough weight to win the tournament.  Once it got dark, we had a few nibbles but nothing we could set the hook on. 
All the fish we caught were several feet off the bank.  The lake is not full yet and alot of the cover is still out of the water.
On a side note, the FLW is here this week and they have been hammering the fish all week and weighing in some very nice bags.  It's becoming evident that with all the tournaments that have been taking place, the numbers of fish being caught has decreased substantially.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fort Loudon Fishing Report 4/12/10

On Monday, 4/12/10, I was on the lake from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm in a tournament.  The water is getting warmer with main channel temperatures in the 65-69 F range.  The water continues to rise and there is more debris floating along with it.  I saw several large logs floating, so my advice is keep your eyes open and slow down or risk losing your lower unit.  The sky was clear and the air temperature was in the low 70s when we arrived and probably in the mid 50s when we left.  There was a light breeze and a good amount of current.
The fish keep going shallower.  We had good luck on jigs around shoreline cover although our weigh in would suggest otherwise.  We had one keeper at 2.04 lbs and I had one jump and throw the hook that was the same size.  I also had two 3+ lbers come off due to bad hooksets and frayed line.  You would think I'd never done this before!  I also tried crankbaits and jerkbaits for a few minutes with no luck.
If I had to go out today for quality fish, I would definitely fish shoreline cover from the front to the back of any coves and main lake pockets.  Don't forget to spray your jig with some sort of attractant because it seems to make them hold on longer at the moment.  Most importantly, have fun!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fort Loudon Fishing Report - Week of 4/4/10

This week on Ft. Loudon, large numbers of bass are being caught, both smallmouth and largemouth.  The water temperature rose drastically over the last week.  Water temperature recorded at 59 degrees in a control spot last week is now reading 65.  Over last weekend the lake rose about a foot, pushing the fish closer to the banks.  The bite has changed from light pickups to an aggressive strike.  Many fishermen are reporting catches of 20-30 fish in 4 or 5 hours. 
Currently, the baits being used most frequently are jerkbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and Texas rigged plastics or jigs.  The fish are on points and warm banks where they can be caught with any of the above lures.  It's not uncommon to catch several fish in the same spot.
Anglers, including myself, are also catching some large striped bass (aka stripers or rockfish) on these lures with 10-15 pounders being common.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Natural Shiner

Ok, you might be getting tired of seeing my painted crankbaits, but I've not made it to the lake yet for any fishing reports. Besides, I really liked the look of this one. It's my version of a natural shiner painted on a Lucky Craft CBD20.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Olive Craws

Here's some Olive Craws I just painted for a customer. He requested the eyes be put on the back of the lure instead of the front. Comments welcome.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

First Sturgeon

I was able to go fishing for the first time this year on 3/6/10 below Ft. Loudon Dam. I fished on the side where the lock is and the water is calm. I tried several different lures with no luck, but I had a rod rigged with a 1/2 oz slip weight and a circle hook with nightcrawlers for catfish or anything else that might bite. By the end of the day, I had caught 1 perch and 2 sturgeon and my friend, Brandon, caught 1 striper, 1 white bass, and 1 sturgeon.
The sturgeon were the first either of us had ever captured and is a very neat looking fish. The first one I caught even tried to jump! They were small, measuring 21, 21.5, and 24 inches. These were stocked fish that are part of TWRA's sturgeon restoration program. They used to be common in these waters, but disappeared until the stocking program began.
I contacted TWRA and the sturgeon we caught were supposedly stocked in the French Broad and Holston Rivers. So, these fish swam all the way to Lenoir City to the dam and went through the lock, ending up in what is technically Watts Bar Reservoir. That means they passed by the University of Tennessee, paralleled Alcoa Highway, swam past Lousiville, Concord, Farragut and Friendsville and finally arrived in Lenoir City. Now that's a fish that covers alot of water!
Spring is here so get ready for the bass!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Check out this blog

Here is a blog that belongs to one of my followers.  It's in Spanish, which I'm very limited at.  I can read some, but can't speak it.  Anyway, it is a very nice blog full of interesting tackle and pictures.  Check out some of the swimbaits on here! They're really nice!

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Latest Creations

Here's some crankbaits I finished this week. Hope you enjoy! The top two are "Blue Mottled Craw" and "Mottled Spring Craw" and the bottom one is "Pesky Gill".

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Winter Pastime

I haven't been able to get on the water since Thanksgiving.  It's just too cold and the days are too short for me!  So, to pass the time I've been painting some crankbaits.  I really enjoy making jigs and painting crankbaits, especially in the winter.  It gives me something to do when I can't fish, lets my creative side play for awhile, and gets me really excited about getting back on the lake. 
Winter is also a great time to spend quality time with my wife and son.  She has understood my love of fishing since we met, so she doesn't nag at me during the warm months when I want to fish tournaments.  I appreciate and love her more than words can explain.  My son is growing fast and I've been taking time to soak it in.  He's starting to talk well and is incredibly fun to play cars with!  We like to crash them!  Soon, he'll be old enough to go fishing with his old man on the boat.  I know his mother is ready for it, because she misses going fishing too!
I thought I would post a few pictures here of my latest work.  Keep in mind, I'm not a professional painter!  I've been practicing with the airbrush and feel like I'm getting better every time I paint, though.  The main thing is I enjoy it. 
Have a great day and give thanks to Him!