View Full Version : New TN TAILWATER stream!

Flat Fly n
05-16-2007, 07:59 AM
I caught a 10" rainbow yesterday afternoon directly behind Melton Hill Dam (Watts Bar side)while fishing for white bass, stripers and the usual stuff. We have also caught sauger, smallmouth, crappie, gar, but never a TROUT. I don't think Watts Bar made the tailwater list for TWRA. HA!

Got any ideas how that bugger got in there?

Flat Fly'n

05-16-2007, 09:57 AM
I don't know how they got there but I remember years ago when I was still in high school some guys caught several rainbows right up against Watts Bar Dam and if I hadn't seen them do it I would swear they were lying if they had told me where they caught them.

05-16-2007, 05:19 PM
I know they stock trout into a couple of streams that enter the Tennessee River in Spring City. I think that is upstream of Watts Bar Dam. A fish from Clinton could get down the river and through the lock I guess. Either way would be quite a trip.

Or it could have walked over from the Cross-Eyed Cricket, but that is probably not as likely as getting through the lock.

The most surprised I have ever been was many many years ago (maybe 1986)when I caught a trout while crappie fishing on Ft Loudon a 2-3 miles below Prater Flats. At that time, the trout population on Tellico was about gone, and I assumed this one had come up during winter (it was February) while the water was still cold.

I also remember a summer when the upper reaches of the creek at Prater Flats had trout that had migrated from Tellico and had pushed up into the head of the creek as the water got warmer. I guess some trout just gotta roam, and if the water won't kill him, he'll move around until it does.

05-16-2007, 09:27 PM
I have talked with a couple of regular striper fishermen that use 8-12 inch trout as bait for stripers on Melton Hill, Watts Bar and Norris. I don't even want to get into a discussion on the ethics of this, but that might be the sourceof the fish.

05-17-2007, 07:57 AM
Tater, unless I'm mistaken, the use of a trout as bait may be illegal, since according to regulations, you are not supposed to introduce a fish species into waters where they are not commonly found. This goes on quite often though which is why you can also find some types of shiners, etc. that are normally not found in Tennessee waters.

05-17-2007, 08:06 AM
I have talked with a couple of regular striper fishermen that use 8-12 inch trout as bait for stripers on Melton Hill, Watts Bar and Norris. I don't even want to get into a discussion on the ethics of this, but that might be the sourceof the fish.

That would be my guess & like you, i don't agree with it. I watch guys all the time taking trout below Center Hill to use them for bait on the lake.


05-18-2007, 07:30 AM
According To A Top Friend And Bass Fisherman, Trout May Be Used As Bait....only If They Are Purchased @ A Hatchery Or Other Retailer. A Current Receipt Of Sale Must Be In Your Possession.
This Friend Keeps A Current Set Of Twra Regulations In His Boat At All Times.
Trout Are Beautiful Fish ...and Live In Beautiful Places.
Old Beau

05-18-2007, 08:05 AM
I had asked this question on another forum last summer. A member contacted TWRA and asked the question. Here is the direct response he received (quoting his post quoting the TWRA email):

"Any fish may be used for bait as long as it has been obtained legally and staying within the creel limits, i.e. no more than 7 trout may be caught per day and used as bait. You may purchase trout to be used for bait but you must keep the receipt with you while fishing."

It may be that if trout are purchased as bait, one can possess more than 7, which would require a receipt. That makes sense I guess.

I know that bluegill used to be used as bait for rockfish (stripers), but there was not a limit on numbers of bluegill, so it wasn't an issue.

Why someone would use trout when shad are so effective and plentiful is beyond me, but I didn't understand why people killed northern pike in Melton Hill, either. Some folks only concern themselves with their fishing, even at the expense of others.

Flat Fly n
05-18-2007, 09:53 PM
Very interesting and thanks for info. I quess I need to start adding some red crystal flash to the clausers I tie for the stripers! Rainbow Clauser!

Flat Fly'n

05-18-2007, 10:37 PM
Over the winter I heard a couple of Melton Hill locals talking about killing Musky on Melton Hill because they didn't feel they should have to throw them back. They were purposely tearing the gills out of the fish before "releasing them" I don't understand that kind of ignorance either. They could take a picture and measurements and have a better mount made than the real fish would make anyway. I still hear about people fishing bait and even snagging fish in the park though. They feel it is their god given right.....sad. Not as sad as my not saying anything about it.

Flat Fly n
05-19-2007, 12:05 PM
Best fish I ever hooked in the park was on bait.

It was on the Little river up from the parking lot (before they closed the road going by the houses) one October. I caught a little bow on a dry fly, as I was bringing it by a rock to land it, this torpedo of a brown swallowed my fish and fly. Three pools later the brown released the little bow and my fly. I was wet wading and just kept jumping over everything trying to keep up with the fish. Andy Betts, (John Betts's son of Z-lon, and Microfibetts) was laughing so hard I think he hurt himself!

Come to think maybe I will try some mini-bow clausers next time I am in the Smokies too!

Flat Fly'n

06-15-2007, 03:13 PM
Flat, you know, if is ain't Chartruesse, it ain't no use!!!

06-15-2007, 07:17 PM
You're not the first I have heard of catching (or nearly so) a large brown on a live fish which was being landed. I know a guy who caught a 28" one on a chub in little river. He says it is his standard practice to let a chub run to the bottom of the hole any time he catches one in a big hole! He was new to fishing the park and thought is was a stocker. Caught it up toward Elkmont though, don't think it was a stocker!
Tight lines,