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Hook, Line & Sinker

Posted on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 11:09 am

This week we are taking a road trip. It is always fun to head out to lakes where you rarely fish. Not only can we discover some new baits and techniques but there may be certain species that are active on a distant lake that are not biting here at home. Following is some possibilities and recent reports. Chickamauga Reservoir is the new hot big bass spot in Tennessee with a successful introduction of Florida strain largemouth in the lake. In a recent tournament 5 pounders were the small fish weighed in and there were several 8,9, and one just shy of 10 pounds. There is a lot of pressure on the lake so there may be difficulty finding parking on the weekends. Rural ramps are full of smaller tournaments from out of town clubs and the bigger access areas are full of bigger local tournaments. Add to this recreational fisherman and you can see how crowded it may be. If you can get away during the week that would be better. Largemouth are being caught 6 to 12 feet deep. Shaky head worms and crankbaits are being used most often. Most smallmouths are being caught in the tail waters. Many smallmouths are moving to the banks early to feed and then returning to the ledges or humps later in the day. Crappies are being caught 6 to 12 feet deep while using minnows or jigs for bait. Target blowdowns, docks, or submerged brush. A few stripers in the river using using shad or swimbaits. Bluegill and shellcracker are in shallow pockets. Use worms or crickets. Catfish are around rocky banks in the river or deep sloughs. Use meaty baits. Dale Hollow is best known as home to the world record smallmouth bass. It is also considered one of the premier smallmouth bass lakes in the country. Currently smallmouths are being caught on swimbaits off points in around 10 feet of water. Largemouth bass are being caught on soft plastics while fishing fallen trees and grass beds. Dale Hollow is also a walleye factory. Walleye are being caught on crankbaits and jerkbaits on points in 5 to 10 feet of water and fishing is best at night. Shellcracker and bluegill are like to hang around willow bushes in water 5 feet or less. Several catfish are being caught on shad while fishing limblines at night. One lake few ever discuss in our part of the world is Cordell Hull. If you haven’t tried it you are missing out on some great angling. At certain times of the year some massive rockfish can be caught. This is a Cumberland River system lake and fishes more like a river then a lake. Rockfish are best near the mouths of creeks on live bait fished around 15 feet deep. A few good largemouth are being caught while flipping soft plastics around undercut banks. Bluegills are being caught on crickets and nightcrawlers on bluffs in 2 feet of water. Lots of catfish are being caught while fishing nightcrawlers. Hopefully you discovered some intriguing new spots to check out. If you do try some new locations send us a report. We would love to hear about your road trip. Free Fishing Day is June 10th in Tennessee. Anyone can fish without a license. There are a number of events for kids scheduled in the area. The Ed Carson Memorial event at the Fire and Codes Academy outside of Shelbyville in Deason. 9:00 am until 11:00 am for ages 4 to 15 years of age. The Morris Ferry Family Fishing Day at the public use area on Woods Reservoir. Time is 7:00 am until 12 noon. Ages up to 16 years old. The New Lake Youth Fishing Day in Lewisburg is from 7:00 am until 12 noon. It is for ages 4 to 15. On local lakes bass is best on topwater or spinnerbaits early and jigs or soft plastics deeper later in the day. Crappie on deeper cover hitting jigs or minnows. A few walleyes on crankbaits or nightcrawlers. Catfish on meaty baits or prepared baits. Bluegill will hit crickets or worms. Send outdoor news, events and reports to twaynick@