After graduating I have had to grow up and get a big-boy job and that required a move down south. Having been relocated down south (Chattanooga) the trout waters are quite frankly not worth the drive, especially when I now live in a warm water wonderland! I am surrounded by the Tennessee River, countless streams, and man-made lakes. My background always has been bass fishing, while at UT I was on the UT bass team, but never felt like a 20K boat was worth the trouble and fly fishing has always been more exciting to me. Maybe its the simplicity or maybe its just different I just dont know. What I do know is that I like catching bass and brim on a fly rod.
Since making the move, the main issue I have had over the past few months was getting acclimated to the deeper water and the lack of wading and bank fishing opportunities. Needless to say the only solution was a boat. I don't have a truck so I was limited to whatever I could transport using the little Toyota I currently drive. After shopping around, I found a good deal on a Gheenoe-like boat. She is 13ft of 5HP powered beastliness known affectionately as the "Snookie" after the obnoxious reality TV star. My bass-boat buddies claimed that she was short, tan, and had been ridden hard also the little boat was fun to run around in as long as I don't have to tell them about it.
The boat is surprisingly stable and two people have no problems fishing and even standing and fishing. I spend most of my time by myself and have no issues moving from the back of the boat to the front to operate the trolling motor. I figure she has a 3-4" draft making almost any water accessible. she truly is a link to an unlimited supply of water
There is a great little bay near my current home base that has become my main water. early in the season the crappie were in there thick and taking a little black wolly-bugger like crazy.
During the memorial day holiday I trailered up and ran home to see the family and check on the smallies in the little river. As stable as the Snookie is, she would not fare well with the Memorial day lake traffic (why anyone needs an ocean going vessel on the TN river still baffles me). I put in below Walland and ran up a bit and would float/fish down and repeat. Early on the top water bite was good. I bagged a few bass and blue gills on the popper and then switched to a full sink line and a Clouser minnow. I located some rock formations in a deep pool and the fish were stacked up there pretty good. I was catching small-mouth every few cast. The size wasnít anything to write home about but small-jaws always fight hard.
The grass in these lakes also comes in much thicker than it does on Loudan or the other impediments farther north. Whether itís the cooler water or the deeper lakes im nor sure, I do know that the bass love it! in the past few weeks the grass has come in thick and the bass are in there. The highlight of bass fishing, in my opinion, was busting Florida strain large-mouth on a frog. My current obsession has been doing the same with a fly rod, which is no easy task. Last week after countless misses and blow ups i finally set the hook and landed my first frog fish of the season. It was not the biggest but man did he blow up! nothing in the world like seeing that fish come up and DESTROY the bait. True carnivores!
More to come as the summer wears on!
bass like wiggle minnows