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Old 05-16-2012, 12:30 PM
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Troutman Troutman is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Seymour, TN
Posts: 1,321

While I do hate the fact. that the jet boat ride attraction is here and wish it would go bankrupt. Waterwolf is correct in the fact that the river tourneys are a much worse problem. I've always thought of the rivers as an escape from the stress on dealing with all the boaters on the lakes. Constant local bass tourneys with high speed boats running everywhere 3 nights a week and usually all day of saturdays on douglas lake. Now there are national bass tourneys coming here.
Now some local clubs have sprung up that invade the warm water tailwaters every weekend. This past saturday was one of them launching at 7 islands WMA access. I found out through some messaging on another forum that it started out as a small tournament for some employees at a knoxville cement plant with maybe 8-10 boats. It has grown over the past several years into 30-50 boats every sat. morning on the french broad during the spring and summer. IMO, if every boat was able to catch a limit of bass, 1 -20" smallmouth and the rest largemouth, think about how many fish would probably die after riding around, bouncing through shoals, in a tin boat waiting for a 1pm weighin time. Mortality is probably very high. Those are the spawners for the future of the fishery. I can see how that would decimate the fishery in just a few years.
I dont think many of these tournament fishermen care about mortality rates but rather just the chance to win a small bundle of cash and have some short term bragging rights with buddies. I have talked with a couple of customers at work that fish tournaments on the lakes and its all about competition and having a 40K boat to ride around in. Ive heard many complaints about the size limit on smallmouth and how they want it lowered so they can cull more in the livewell before a weigh-in.
I have expressed my concerns with TWRA via email and to several officers in person. I am happy to see they are spending more time on the rivers this year. I have seen them checking people on the lil pig on both forks recently. So far I have only seen one officer in a jon boat on FB but maybe they will keep an eye on the tourneys and the jet boat ride attraction.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:04 PM
br549 br549 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Knoxville
Posts: 28

I could not agree more with the bass tournament problem. The French Broad is virtually unfishable now on Saturday mornings due to that particular tournament. The upper river above Douglas had the misfortune of being fished and then those fish boated back downstream usually to Douglas Dam to be bagged, weighed and released. I'm sure mortality on the weekender local tournaments are large and even larger when we are talking about aluminum boats. I would rather see them kept and cleaned then wasted like they are now.

Last edited by br549; 05-16-2012 at 01:05 PM.. Reason: spelling
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