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Discussion Starter #1
Found "The Spot"...


10 minute drive from my house... We were alone all day, free reign.


Got to the little gravel road, turned down it and drove under some trees. Found the "trailhead" (loose use of the term) and walked down.




The trail forks in two directions... The right path leads to the big slow wide area just above the dam. The left path leads down, down to the spillway and tailwater.









We started above the dam and had some great success fishing weightless crawlers with no bobber or weight. Fish came fast and furious, mostly 7-9 inch gills, shellcrackers, and hybrids.











Most of these fish were thicker than any other panfish we have caught so far in Tennessee... The 6 inchers here would outweigh the 8 incher we've caught elsewhere. Big fat f***ers.


Buck started doing something interesting. He stood up on a log and started "cane-poling" for some fish. He caught 5 in less than as many minutes and ALL were green sunfish! Pretty neat... I didn't teach him that.






Next, we tried the spillway below the dam. This is when it got interesting. The sheer beauty of this place was awesome... It's hard to get a sense of perspective from these pix, but the face of the dam is about 50-60 feet tall.










Buck started in at the creek, rolling his crawler under some rocks and hooked up with this little fella:




And shortly thereafter, THIS guy came out from under a big flat stone and grabbed the worm.




He was safely removed from the hook and released.

We continued catching fish, about 50-60 between the two of us.




We filled a stringer and when we ran out of crawlers, we left.

Our view of the creek below the spillway on the way out:




One of two sinks of death we cleaned today. This was the fullest, the other had 13 fish in it.




Also caught a curious guy... This one has the body markings of a shellcracker, but resembles a gill in almost every other way. Hybrid maybe?





Anyway, an excellent day. So cool to find a place with this beauty and this much "fruitful" fishing.

In the spillway, we saw something jump that SCARED THE **** OUT OF US....

It was red as fire and at least 36" long. I have no idea what it was, but it was nice, quiet, we were just minding our business, watching the water come over the spillway, and then this monster jumped out of the water splashing like a watermelon dropped from 20 feet... I don't have any idea what it was, but it was FREAKY....

That's all. Enjoy the fish porn and the nice scenery. ;)
 

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Beautiful pics Opry.

It's nice to see you settle in and enjoy where you are at.

Glad to see Buck is still out there fishing with you!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks pd. The pix don't do this place justice. It really is a special place. Quiet, secluded.

We saw several bass crash the surface above the dam, breaking up bait schools. We weren't really targeting a specific specie today, but the weightless crawlers seemed to pick up the panfish and just about nothing else. Knowing what I know now about this place, I will have to bring some gill-colored jerks and try those out in the spillway and in the subsequent pools of the river/stream that falls away from there... Right now I just want to get some fish in the freezer to replace the stock that we fried up the other day. Just about did that today. THEN I would like to target some bass and catfish. I know there are cats in numbers in this lake, but I can't keep the panfish off long enough to target them with crawlers... Even BIG crawlers which we tried a few times... Just made me wait longer until a big shellcracker came along and was able to mouth it.

Anyway, its a great spot...
 

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with top water you might catch the red critter!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The red fella (in the brief glimpse I had) looked alot like this, only more red.


Freshwater drum:



 

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You should try finding your way to the time clock, guy.....


Looks like Buck is having a blast .
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks all.

This was my last day as a free man. Tomorrow I start 7-day-a-week mayhem for a few weeks straight. It'll probably be midnight fishing for a while, going forward. I work 3PM to 12 midnight (often it turns into 1:00 or 2:00 AM clock out time at this job)

Its been a good run. :)
 

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Does buck remove the hook from the fish by himself? I would think he would by now, but my little cousins and my neise and nephew none of them will take the hooks out themselves!! It makes it real hard to fish even when we are getting into them when they need your help with every fish!
 

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On lip-sets he removes em. Any gill action or deeper than the tongue, he has me do it for him.

Usually, he prefers to do everything himself these days, including baiting, scouting, casting, hookset, land, unhook, and release.

Kid doesn't like it when I tell him what to do and how to do it. Guess he figures he knows enough and what he doesn't know, he will figure out as he goes. Still can't tie rigs, and he is never afraid to ask questions, but he likes to go his own way... And he often gets into em before I do.

He just turned 5 in March. I'd say he is 3-4 years ahead of where I was at that age.
 

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On lip-sets he removes em. Any gill action or deeper than the tongue, he has me do it for him.

Usually, he prefers to do everything himself these days, including baiting, scouting, casting, hookset, land, unhook, and release.

Kid doesn't like it when I tell him what to do and how to do it. Guess he figures he knows enough and what he doesn't know, he will figure out as he goes. Still can't tie rigs, and he is never afraid to ask questions, but he likes to go his own way... And he often gets into em before I do.

He just turned 5 in March. I'd say he is 3-4 years ahead of where I was at that age.
That is great man!! That is younger than my neises and nephews and they can't even do that!! They are still kinda afraid to handle fish, this is the first year I have started working with them so that should get better!! You've done a great job with buck, he's gonna be outfishing you by the time he's 10!!:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
He sometimes already does... More luck than skill, but he knows it when he gets hot.

He hasn't learned consistency-fishing for numbers yet, but he always finds some funny little tactic or tries a location I wouldn't have thought of that gets him into fish. When he can put it all together, its gonna be fun to watch. ;)
 

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I have a feeling he's gonna learn that pond behind your house this summer while you go to work! Your gonna be asking him how to catch the bass ;)
 

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He may just do that.

Today I worked 8-6. Orientation day. Tomorrow and every foreseeable day from here on out, I'll be on 3-12+. Sucks... But I'll be bankrolling soon and will be able to afford a small boat.

Within two years, I'll be a land owner... Barring any crazy unforeseen circumstances.

But between now and then, I see Buck mastering that pond before I do. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'll be picking up the boy at 12:30, waking his ass up, dragging him out to the lake and catfishing. Once I peg their habits in that lake, it should be easy pickins'.

They're in there in some substantial numbers. The local TWRA official (same as CPW) said they were stocked back in the 90s but that the population took off on its own. Said he knows two guys who take out full stringers of 14-24 inch cats once a month or so, when they get the boat out on the lake. Thing is, the lake is never more than 200-300 yards across at any point, but is very long and snakelike. Limited shore access, but they GOTTA be near that dam, I'm thinking... Have to try it out and see how we do. Might start thinning the herd out on the smaller gills and fishing em live. See what pops.
 

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That's what I would do!! I would have one pole in with a gill cut in half, and another one in with a live gill on there:cool:
 

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Sweet looking place
Now if we could get you to throw some lures... We might see some hogs

Enjoyed the report
 

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I'll give it a shot next time we get out there... Thing is, the very few times (3-4) I actually targeted bass with lures ended up as skunks. I was probably 15 or 16 last time I tried lure fishing for bass and swore then that I hated LMBs and wouldn't care if I never saw another one as long as I lived. Since then I have tossed a couple spinners out from time to time but never actively targeted them.

Really, I don't care to catch em... But now that I've grown up (a little) I am starting to appreciate the species a little more. Since I've been fishing with Buck, he has caught two, both on crawlers, and I haven't caught one.

But... As I said, I'm going to start fishing for them again... Maybe not actively, but while I've got a chunk of gill sitting out there waiting for cats, I might throw some jerks or spinners.

The pond behind the house here has some beauties in it, but 10 inch panfish excite me much more than 20 inch bass. Don't really know why.
 
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