Posted by chuger2 on January 21, 2004 at 23:55:45:
In Reply to: sauger posted by Tn-VOL on January 21, 2004 at 11:52:48:
I usually don't comment on the board but have been reading and following reports on the sauger fishing (jacks) below the dam for some time now. I have been fishing the lakes in the area for over 30 years. We use to could catch a good limit of jacks with out any problem. Some days you had to work at it a little harder than others but could always catch a decent limit. Over the last 5 to 8 years the number of people fishing and the amount of jacks that have been taken out of the Tennessee River is almost unreal. I personally over the years have seen boats keep any jack that would bite their lure. Big or small it did't matter and know for a fact that limits did't seem to mean anything. We usually fish from mid-Dec. to mid Jan. and have not had a "good" year in over 3 years. Yes we did have a few trips this year were we brought home 11 to 12 keepers (2 people fishing) but had to catch 30 or 40 (on a good day) to do that. My opinion is that the river has had so much pressure and so many fish taken out of it that it will be some time before it will recover. Places that I had learned by fishing and spending hours on the river are not special any more. When I see report that say just ride down the river till you see other boats fishing and join in just burns me up. (I guess because we had to learn the river and learn the spots to fish. Back then you would seldom see more than a few boats on the water)This year the talk is that the big jacks have been biting in the lake (Guntersville) and I know that is true because some of the people I know have been catching them throughout the lake and I have seen what they have brought home. Legal limits with jacks over 3lbs. So look out because the next pattern will be ride the lake, look for the boats and join in. How many years will it take to clean Guntersville Lake out of the good jacks? Who knows. Please take only what you can eat and leave the rest for another trip. Hopefully the fish can replenish and maintain so they will be there for another time and another generation.
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