dangerous water : Tennessee River (high winds)

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Posted by Bill Jenkins on June 24, 2002 at 10:49:54:

I am posting this message in the hopes it might benefit someone in the future. I have fished Wheeler Dam many times in the last 25 years. The first time I fished it I learned a valuable lesson. I was watching people catch stripe like 'crazy' near the dam, sooooo..... I had the brillant idea to anchor near the towers. "Dumb Idea" can I say more. They started more turbines in the mean time with rapidly rising water.....To make the story shorter...If I had not had a knife handy the water would have pulled the front end under and the boat would be in 'Davey Jone's Locker'. Now, back to high winds....I have seen many and 'YES' I emphasize 'Many' people lose their nice rigs fishing in Wheeler with high winds. My advice which may not buy you a cup of coffee...If you see white caps get your 'Arse' off the water and enjoy another day. Well....two weeks ago....I took my nephew, daughter, and his friend fishing for stripe and catfish. I am very aware of dangerous white caps, but this particular day there were no white caps only large swells... The two large high school age boys in the rear of my bass boat lowered it more than usual and with the large swells, this lead to a dangerous situation. A large swell came over the back followed by two more....Needless to say.. the belige pump was not enough ..nor were two large buckets. The back end was so deep in water in seconds the motor would not crank. If it had not been for two good samaritans I would have surely sank. They took my daughter and nephew's friend aboard and left us desperately bailing water to save the boat. They also pulled us ashore. Moral of story.... You don't always need white caps to be in a dangerous situation on the Tennessee River. I Hope passing this lesson along will make someone else more aware of the possible hazards on the Tennessee River. Enjoy the River, but please give it your utmost 'RESPECT'. My rule of thumb for now on is to watch weather for 5-10 miles per hour winds to fish. I will never fish 15-20 mile hour winds again. PERIOD( if i can help it)

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