TN River Stripe Fishing

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Posted by jd on March 26, 2003 at 10:38:04:

In Reply to: Re: Was there today. posted by Jeff on March 25, 2003 at 22:57:44:

I do not know anything about Pickwick Lake and Wilson Dam, but the TN river patterns should be the same?? I am posting in response to previous requests for information too.

If you fish in the rocky bottom, turbulent water just below the dams, you might want to use something a little cheaper than a crankbait like a 3" sassy shad with 1/2-1 oz lead head depending on particular dam water depth and current flow. Take PLENTY OF EXTRAS because the rocks are viscious below dams! Those new rubber minnows made by Storm look like they might work just as well if you can't find a sassy shad style bait. In a few weeks, don't be afraid to throw some very large jerk baits (6-8") and poppers, such as a those made for striper/saltwater fishing, usually best around daylight and dark. There is a store called Cooley's grocery at the south entrance to Gunterville dam at the top of the mountain in Union Grove that has lots of striper stuff that I usually can't find easily in other places including bass pro, etc. I have seen rooster tail or inline spinners work well at times for small whites, and a spoon ripped across the surface made me skip jack king when I was a kid.

I have never tried downstream in the areas Troy is talking about, but it sounds much easier and safer than fighting current and boats if you are inexperienced or have a small boat. Otherwise, small and large jigs including sassy shad are always a good bet if bank fishing in the current below the turbines (located on south side of Guntersville and Wheeler dams). Small jigs fished quickly and jerked near the surface are more likely to catch skip jacks (non-edible), which some people enjoy especially if they have never caught them and nothing else is biting. Some of them are over two pounds and they jump and resemble tarpon hence the term Alabama Tarpon is jokingly used by some locals. Take some hooks, barrel swivels, beads, and egg sinkers just in case live bait is plentiful and someone with a net is sharing. I usually keep a spinning reel with 8 lb test for 1/4 ounce jig for white bass and round baitcaster with 17 pound test for big stripers. Braided line is not recommended because it is hard to break when you hang a rock!

After a few hours of watching, you should be ready for just about anything. If there is no current, go home. If no one is catching fish within a few hours, the fish are probably not feeding. If fishing alone, below Guntersville dam launch does not have a dock and is steep and hard on glass boats. You can launch 15 miles downstream at Ditto Landing or go to Wheeler dam which has a safety harbor with dock out of the current.

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