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TrophyLakerTaker

East TN Lakers and Trout 2018 (part 3)

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Why Browns are so adaptable figures this way to me. Ice ages came and went in Europe. The temps and lengths of the streams was ever changing. They adapted over and over. Rainbows certainly had a similar experience. The ice ages has absolutely everything to do with how Brook, Bull, and Lake Trout came to be. All three species evolved from Arctic Char. The ice ages pushed all sorts of fish south. Imagine the latter days of the last ice age. Everything is frozen not all that far north of here. Atlantic Salmon are in the river of Virginia and North Carolina. The Smoky Mountains are snow topped all year long. The Tennessee River at the future site of Knoxville is a trout stream, Brook Trout. There may have been Char that had not evolved in to anything else. Any Canadian fish was probably here. Northern Pike were probably here. There could of been Arctic Grayling...? When the ice ages ended Grayling were in northern Michigan and Idaho. Lake Trout were probably roaming the all the upper Mississippi River drainage that wasn't frozen. The same for Brook Trout. Their native range extends west to Iowa.

 

There's lots of fish in East Tennessee, North Carolina, and the mountains of north Georgia that most people think of as northern fish...Musky, Walleyes, Yellow Perch, Smallmouth Bass, and Brook Trout. They're what's left here after the last big melt down. They all have been forced into the coolest streams left. Brook Trout don't have much of anywhere else to go at this point. It's just barely cold enough for them in the ditched-sized, high altitude streams they've retreated to. Their life spans have been reduced to 3-5 years because they're stressed by water that is barely cold enough for them.

 

Brook Trout have done well in Calderwood when they were stocked. They'd grow much bigger in Chilhowee with it's greater food supply. Brook Trout cost more to raise than Rainbows. They're stocked sparingly.

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On 5/9/2018 at 5:55 PM, holstonangler said:

 

They're probably Storm Hot N Tots, I used to troll with them on Watauga, they're great fish catchers.

 

They're Rattle Tots. I have not put one in the water yet. Maybe next time out....

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@Troutgirl, here’s a map of the low end of south holston. I can zoom in and out if you need. For what it’s worth I have only caught trout up by chilhowee dam on tellico 

6EFFE9E3-97A5-45E2-A9DE-1E3CF33B729B.png

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Thanks Rusty! Next time I should go down to the dam and try to follow the channel upstream. I wanted to go over by the dam at one point the other day but there were so many boats there that I gave it a miss. There's one less twist in there than I was suspecting.

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On 5/25/2018 at 1:45 PM, SpareTime said:

Nice!!! That would have been a good day in my book!

 

I was looking at the stocking report stuff, and couldn't find any numbers. In NC they would tell the # of each type of fish released. Do they provide that info in TN anywhere? I was also wondering why, in tellico for example, they only release rainbows. Why no browns.....

 

 

Before Tellico Lake, Browns ran up Citico Creek and several other good sized creeks to spawn in the late fall and early winter. Folks caught big Browns in Citico Creek every fall. After the Lake was made, TWRA decided to stock Browns again and hope they would spawn, creating a self-sustaining population. They stocked Browns several times but they didn't spawn in Citico Creek and no self-sustaining population came about. The fish no longer recognized Citico Creek as a good spawning spot. They probably didn't like swimming up a silted-in creek bed across a long field when the lake was down. Fish are conscious of various dangers like Eagles and Hawks swooping down and grabbing them. Maybe they feared trekking across the field in the remnants of the creek bed?

 

I've seen Eagles and Hawks swoop down and grab Rainbows and Smallmouths many times over the years at Chilhowee Lake. There's few lakes around here that have fish sitting as shallow as the upper end of Chilhowee. They usually hunt the area around Tabcat Creek. That's the small creek right where U.S. 129 leaves the lake and goes up the mountain. I've caught a few Rainbows with scars from bird attacks, I presume.

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Has anybody been by Watauga just lately? Is it starting to look at all fishable? I know the water is still high and they continue to sluice water. When things settle down, I'm thinking that the Lakers will be deep. I suspect that the continuous generating and sluicing will drive the cold layer deep as warm water, literally, floods into the lake. I wanna give it a go next week when the weather has settled down. I'll get out there and run the Fish Hawk TD thermometer. I'm not gonna be too surprised if the water below 50 is 75-100 feet down....rather like late summer already.

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Did ya'all put in at Cedar Hill? Now, you've got me ready to try it. I think I have one of those purple & blue spoons. If Watauga doesn't look fishable next week, I might have my first go.

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2 minutes ago, inthebox30lbs said:

Mitchell creek marina I like to put in at 

 

I don't remember seeing that one when I was searching ramps.

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I found Mitchell Creek Marina. It looks like the fastest way for me to get on the water. The only downside is the huge number of turns in the driving instruction. I'm a bit worried about getting lost.

 

When you leave the marina, can you just start trolling or do you need to head downstream closer to the dam? Cedar Hill caught my eye because of it's proximity to the dam but it must be at least a half-hour more driving time...???

 

Given the flooding in Carolina, Dale Hollow and South Holston look like my best bets to fish early next week under the cooler air mass that's coming.

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I have my driving instructions to Mitchell Creek Marina written down and I think I'll be giving it a try either Tuesday or Wednesday next week. It looks like my buddy Captain D will go. It's 119 miles from my house on the trip calculator.

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Fishing was hot the last 2 Saturdays on Watagua.  easy limits despite high water between damn an island.  water is in the parking lots.  any depth between 30 and 80 was good.  had 2 5# lakers a 4 # brown and 3# rainbow sat.  dodged thunderstorms.  

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Mr. 'Taker, I may just switch this week and fish Watauga. The high water may deter pleasure boaters should I stay till noon or later. I'm betting that most of the Trout are starting to move into the lower lake. My brother is gonna fish with me. Did you get Laker strikes as shallow as 30 feet...??? I'm anxious to run my Fish Hawk TD and see how all this water movement has stratified the lake.

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Rainbow and browns like 25 to 50 ft.  Lakers 45 to 80 ft.  Water is stained 2-3 ft visiblity.  you have to launch next to the fishing pier and tie the boat up to it and wade.  the fishing pier is under water a foot and half.  Only one other boat trolling because of the weather forecast.  Downriggers and divers.  Flasher and flies were productive down deep.  Pretty much all colors, baits and spoon sizes.  Early was better, but still good all day.  White Silver, white glow spoons have been good this spring.  Spoons are working really welll, more so than plugs.  I think the fish pick up on the more than plugs in dirty water. 

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Thanks for the tips Mr. 'Taker! My brother and I are going tomorrow. I think that the water will be a foot lower than Saturday....maybe a bit more? I have some squeeze on UV. I'll put it on the lures.

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My brother and I went to the Big W Wednesday. The ramp was entirely underwater. The floating part of the dock was submerged. The water wasn't muddy but maybe a tad bit less clear than usual. There was quite a bit of wood drifting around here and there.We got out there early. I put out the Fish Hawk TD and went down to 105 feet and it was still barely above 50 at that depth.

 

Things started out well. It only took about 30 minutes for my brother to catch his first Laker, 21'5" , 3.74 pounds. Then we had long droughts but had many strikes that didn't result in hook-ups longer than seconds. I decided to pull in a lead line and it had a Laker, hooked in the eye, on it. The poor fish was exhausted. It didn't fight. It never pulled the planar board back. We had no indication it was on the line. I suspect that it was swimming along with us so it's eye wouldn't hurt so much.

 

It was so very calm the first few hours of the day. Then, the wind picked up a bit and it was choppy most of the day. We flicked off 3 dinky stockers and had many short strikes before we managed to catch three 18-19" Lakers and a Rainbow. We saw lots of fish in the 30-50 foot range but hits that resulted in solid hits were hard to come by.

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Thats awfully warm for this time of year on Watugua at 100'.  explains why lakers are in the 50 to 90 ft range. All that warm rain in May warmed up the depths.  Monster trout tourney i think this at Fish Springs Marina.

 

I think East Tennessee Angler Trout trollers should have an event somewhere in late May.  We all show up, no entry fee, have a weigh in early afternoon and eat some food.  

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Monster Trout tournament June 16th 7am-7pm, register at Fish Springs Marina, Watauga Lake.  1st, 2nd, 3rd for both rainbow and lake trout.  $20 entry fee.

Edited by holstonangler

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