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Back On The Water
Twenty-three-inch brown trout release.
My first reservoir smallmouth bass caught left-handed.
The V-wake created by slowly retrieving a shallow-running minnow lure attracts explosive strikes from striped bass and hybrids. Black bass and walleyes are also attracted to this method of presentation.
Match lure choice to the size baitfish present, meaning profile and length. Choose color based on visibility.
A new ThunderStick out-of-the-box and one modified to present a smaller profile.
My friend TJ Blakely from Bass Pro Shop with a winter smallmouth and spotted bass he caught on a local highland reservoir.
Swimbaits in natural baitfish colors rigged weedless or on jigheads are good all season choices for highland reservoir walleyes.
The upper TVA system in east Tennessee offers excellent walleye fishing for size and numbers with low fishing pressure on many waters.
Adapting To Changes
My fishing buddy Harrison Barnes with the brown and rainbow trout that completed his trifecta.
A sample of a Tennessee Trophy Fish Award for a hybrid/striped bass, called Cherokee Bass by the TWRA.
The former world record brown trout, a forty-pound, four-ounce monster, caught in the tail-waters below Greer's Ferry Dam in Arkansas. Many southern tail-waters produce oversize trout and are premier places to search for a giant.
Small jigs are good tools for catching pressured summer bass at night on reservoirs.
To rig a Fluke weedless for river fishing, first insert the hook point of a weighted EWG hook in the nose of the bait. Then remove the hook, wet the hook-eye and insert it in the exit hole under the nose. Finish with a standard Texas-rig with the point of the hook skin-hooked on top the lure's back.
My friend Zac Morgan with a double-handful of river smallmouth bass.
Cold Water for Big Fish
At the East Tennessee Fishing Show in Knoxville, TN with Mountain Man from the Duck Dynasty television show.
Doug Harper's fifteen-pound largemouth bass from the Holston River drainage.
The cold-water period is one of the best times to fish for big largemouth bass.
A native, northern-strain largemouth bass from Cherokee Lake, TN. Photo courtesy of Zach Adkins
A Florida-strain largemouth bass from Lake Kissimmee, FLorida. Photo courtesy of Landon Lawson
Twenty inches of bronze treasure from the Holston River, TN
Match lure size to the baitfish present, then test colors until trout confirm you've made the correct choice.
My fly-fishing guide and mentor, John Flanagan.
My first rainbow trout on a fly-rod.
Summer Transition to Fall
My wife Tammie with a nice late-summer rainbow trout.
Tools for surface feeding striped bass and hybrids include, from top left; Cordell Red Fins in seven- and five-inch lengths, Storm Jointed ThunderSticks and Pop-R's in Super and P60 models. Top right, Heddon Super Spooks in junior and standard sizes. Chrome lures with blue or black backs are staples on most waters but on some, bone or grey colors are top choices. Replace factory hooks with extra-heavy, chemically sharpened models like Owner ST41's and you'll be well equipped.
Small cool-water rivers like this will attract striped bass throughout summer.
Striped bass like these are excellent table fare so we kept our first double limit.
Striped bass creole with shrimp and scallops, one of my favorite fish recipes.