Re: dangerous water : Tennessee River (high winds)

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Posted by jd on June 24, 2002 at 14:58:10:

In Reply to: dangerous water : Tennessee River (high winds) posted by Bill Jenkins on June 24, 2002 at 10:49:54:

This exact thing happened to me this year below Wheeler dam. The wind shifted from the north to the west while we were fishing, and was in the 16 MPH range according to the weather man. I had fished in 16 mph wind before with no real problems. However, it was obviously not from the west. For those that do not know, the key element here is that the wind is blowing upstream in the direction opposite of the current below any of the dams. I was in a similar situation 15 years ago at Guntersville dam and took waves over the front of a 18' boat trying to get back to the ramp.

Although not as critical, I have been in rough situations several times near waterfront grocery because that stretch of river is so long that the waves can really propogate when the wind is less than 10 mph and blowing directly up or down the channel.

Since stripe fishing gets hot when the water temps are in the 50's, it only makes for a more deadly scenario because that will cool a body down in a hurry even if you can float and swim.

In 20 years of boating, I have had many rough days that would jar your teeth and rattle your bones, but 4 super scary days stand out in my mind. 2 were due to thunderstorms and the other 2 were below TVA dams. The Wheeler experience this year surely takes the cake! I have a whole new respect for these waters, including a bigger boat just in case!!

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