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TrophyLakerTaker

East TN Lakers and Trout 2018 (part 3)

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On 6/11/2018 at 1:41 PM, TrophyLakerTaker said:

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.  

 

:iagree I love the idea!

 

Teams could be cool too...like team SoHo, team Watauga, team wherever they can catch'em. Meet back at a central location to compare catches, stats, recipes, stories...meet new people, learn new things.

Edited by SpareTime

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22 hours ago, holstonangler said:

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.

I'll be there for this.  Anyone else plan on attending?

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On 6/11/2018 at 1:41 PM, TrophyLakerTaker said:

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....

 

 

Watauga has sluiced and generated away much of last winter's water already. I remember looking at the TVA flow site some while back and the predicted in-flow of the lake was over 13,000 CFPS. That's BIG water in much larger rivers. That's 13,000 CFPS of prime, cold trout water saying goodbye. Conditions are akin to late July, early August now. How deep will we have to fish in 8-10 weeks...? It might be way deeper than we're accustomed to....? The best thing that could happen now would be a relatively dry period and a big slow down in generating.

 

We caught our first Laker on a spoon behind the biggest Dipsy Diver and never got another strike on that line till I changed it to a shallower diver late in the day. The size zero and one Dipsies both got strikes. We only caught one fish on the plugs I tried. I left the big Dipsy out a long time thinking it would continue to produce. There sure looked like there was a lot of feeding in the 30-50 foot range. We were a bit snake bit....we missed so many strikes or caught dinks that had been stocked not so long ago....

 

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I was thinking about the Trout Tourney but only if it was gonna be cooler with enough rain to keep the pleasure boaters at bay. I don't like the forecast!

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19 hours ago, inthebox30lbs said:

I'll be there for this.  Anyone else plan on attending?

 

I'll be there, yes weather looks like there may be a few pleasure boaters out and a little hot, but its usually high winds if its not calm and sunny.  

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Catch from last Saturday.  7 to Noon.  Best bite ive seen in awhile.

 

I will fish this saturday, but not sure if i will enter the Fish Spring Tournament.  The entries are more than the prizes and weigh is really late.  like 6 pm. and they don't engrave the winner on the plaque in the pro shop anymore when we had the winning lake trout a couple of years ago.

 

I'd be up for planning an East Tennesse Angler trout Tourney in May next year and one on Soho maybe in late July. It would be fun. I wonder how we could get support and promotion from East TN angler.  Bass guys are better at this sort of stuff.  

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16 hours ago, TrophyLakerTaker said:

Used to be over 10 lbs. Been declining a bit.  8 lbs is pretty good one and that will probably be what you need.  

 

Last year was a slow bite and the previous year had high winds, so this year might be better.   You don't have to fish the whole day, Tom said you can register later in the day and fish till 7, you should fish it, as soon as you don't you'll land a big one.

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Today was about as good as it gets on Watauga Lake for me and my son.  Only problem was size.  We went 21 for 24, 19 lakers and 2 rainbows.  Biggest laker was a phathetic 3lbs 3oz that we weighed In at The tournament.  We had quite a few close to three pounds.  Most were 14-17” clones.  Both rainbows were this years stocked fish.  50/50 copper silver Nantahala nailers 3” and 4” sizes were hot all day.  My subtroll had 50 degrees right at 90 ft and we parked the riggers at 86 and 75.  Great day on Watauga 

watauga.jpg

spoon.jpg

Edited by inthebox30lbs
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I finally made it Dale Hollow this past Thursday. My brother went with me. We didn't do at all well at catching Rainbows. We only picked up a single Rainbow on a Dipsy Diver spoon. We didn't see many substantial baitballs. The biggest one I saw was at Mitchell Creek Marina in the morning. Our first strike was the Rainbow just before we passed a marina on the right going out of Mitchell Creek. Then we got snagged in front of the marina when I mistook a navigation buoy for a marina buoy. Oh, my Fish Hawk TD malfunctioned when I used it. It gave me the temp at 70 feet, 53 degrees, but wouldn't give me the temps at 5 foot intervals. The button didn't work. The surface water was 85 in the morning and 88 by afternoon. That seems awfully hot for this time of year.

 

After an afternoon  break in a shady spot, we started trolling a plug on a flat-line behind a board. That produced a a small Largemouth and a 3+ pound Smallmouth for my brother, his first ever Smallmouth. I caught a nearly as big Smallmouth on a Dipsy Diver spoon. So, the trip ended a little better catching some decent Bass. The only Bass I've ever caught before on spoons behind Dipsies have been Spots at Watauga.

 

Dale Hollow with REX 14 JUNE 2018 SMALLMOUTH BASS 009.JPG

Dale Hollow with REX 14 JUNE 2018 SMALLMOUTH BASS 010.JPG

Dale Hollow with REX 14 JUNE 2018 SMALLMOUTH BASS 011.JPG

Dale Hollow with REX 14 JUNE 2018 SMALLMOUTH BASS 017.JPG

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Dale Hollow with REX 14 JUNE 2018 SMALLMOUTH BASS 020.JPG

Dale Hollow with REX 14 JUNE 2018 SMALLMOUTH BASS 016.JPG

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14 hours ago, inthebox30lbs said:

Today was about as good as it gets on Watauga Lake for me and my son.  Only problem was size.  We went 21 for 24, 19 lakers and 2 rainbows.  Biggest laker was a phathetic 3lbs 3oz that we weighed In at The tournament.  We had quite a few close to three pounds.  Most were 14-17” clones.  Both rainbows were this years stocked fish.  50/50 copper silver Nantahala nailers 3” and 4” sizes were hot all day.  My subtroll had 50 degrees right at 90 ft and we parked the riggers at 86 and 75.  Great day on Watauga 

watauga.jpg

spoon.jpg

 

 

 

The overwhelming number of Lakers I've caught at Watauga this spring have been 17-19". There's a few big ones stirring but they seem to be few and far between. A huge one broke me off on my first trip of the season. It only took two big head-shakes to snap my 10 pound line.....

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Any idea on top sizes at the fish springs tourney?  we didnt enter so we knew we catch some nice ones.  caught only dinks on my monster trout bait the first 2 hours.  switched to proven producer and got this one.  if you dont like boat traffic you would be happy u stayed home!

 

heres one we caught at 95 ft at 9:30 a.m on a down rigger.  

 

We went water skiing at 11 and had a bbq to attend at 3 back in bakersville.

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21 hours ago, TrophyLakerTaker said:

Any idea on top sizes at the fish springs tourney? 

8+lbs took 1st,  7+ got 2nd, and 6.15 lbs got 3rd on the lake trout and two rainbows at 4.5 lbs tied for 1st on the rainbow side.    It was about too hot to fish from noon on and the big ones definitely didn't bite too well today.

 

Edited by holstonangler
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Thanks for Watagua Tourney report Holston Angler!  Its kinda of funny how close the weights are on lakers and rainbow are each year.  you can predict the places.

 

Those are decent size fish.  Watagua seems to have good number of trout and more rainbows than ever.  Fish catch number seem to be up this year and last.  Laker size is going down. Haven't see a 30 incher in an number of years like  5 to 10 years ago.  I think there are more fisherman getting good at catching them before they get the years they need to put on length and weight.  

 

 

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I wish I could find one of those 30+ inchers, I've 4 in the boat at 28" or better but no 30"ers or double digit lakers. I may have to try new spots/techniques or try South Holston.  Funny thing I find about lakers is that they can be pelagic at times and roam randomly in 150+ feet of water and then find other fish in shallow water on the bottom, so patterning active fish is sometimes tough.  I've even had a friend catch one on topwater one night out there.

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They will drive you crazy...for me i find some evidence and research suggest that each body of water has different groups of fish that dont intermingle much.

Example 1...I found a group of really nice fish in an very odd location..twice. I caught them there twice in 8 years. I have not been into that school in a few years...ive looked everywhere and yet to find them. Those fish stay out of sight.

Example 2...

One of my larger fish ..17 pd..came on a mud flat in 50 ft in late july...i marked two fish there and got one to bite. I have not ever caught another there. 

Example 3

i once saw big laker bust a large shad on surface on the fourth of july? I was in kayak and got a good look?

Warning..Lake Trout are sometimes refered to as the tomb of human curiosity.

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Not catching as many over 28 inches as we did 5 years ago. Not doing much different other than not fish as much or as hard.  I burned by kids out i think unless i guarantee a hard quit time or swimming by noon.  For trophy fish, you just have to have things line up right and have big fish turn on at the right time when your there.  I once caught a 10 and 12 pounder on the same bait down 110' against a cliff 30 mins apart. on the same spot. Hasn't worked since! but still catch fish there, but no slabs.  I think the big lakers can get food so easily in East TN resivoirs, like gizzard shads and suckers for a weeks meal that they are very inactive and sulk most of the time right on bottom and hard to see on sonars when actually laying in the mud or sand.  The old ones often like to lay moitonless on the bottom.  I've seen this first hand in 80 ft deep natural springs in Canada, actually covered in sand.  I think they have plenty to eat, more bait than ever since they are regulating the water draw downs better in the late fall.  Best time to catch a really big one is when no else is even fishing, early or late at dusk.  I've caught 10 lb plus fish on small spoons and 9" flasher and flies and 8" plugs, small plug. Small baits, big baits, spring, late summer, super shallow and super deep.  There is no secret bullet it seems.  Even jigging big hair jigs on deep points with strip of sucker works at times.  from 2008 August..         

Big Laker 1.JPG

Big Laker 1.JPG

Edited by TrophyLakerTaker
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19 hours ago, clinchmtnboy said:

They will drive you crazy...for me i find some evidence and research suggest that each body of water has different groups of fish that dont intermingle much.

Example 1...I found a group of really nice fish in an very odd location..twice. I caught them there twice in 8 years. I have not been into that school in a few years...ive looked everywhere and yet to find them. Those fish stay out of sight.

Example 2...

One of my larger fish ..17 pd..came on a mud flat in 50 ft in late july...i marked two fish there and got one to bite. I have not ever caught another there. 

Example 3

i once saw big laker bust a large shad on surface on the fourth of july? I was in kayak and got a good look?

Warning..Lake Trout are sometimes refered to as the tomb of human curiosity.

 

Lake Trout are a very quirky  species. I've read all sorts of articles about them, most of 'em are written in Canada. Nearly all the articles say Lakers don't feed at night. I hooked and lost a decent sized Laker at Chilhowee at night. I talked to a guy that caught some at Chilhowee, at night, casting Zara Spook topwater plugs for Bass. My conclusion is Canadians don't fish at night.

 

Another thing I've read about Lakers is that they have two or more segregated populations in most trout lakes. I was reading about the Lakers of Great Bear Lake. The researcher said their were 4 distinct populations of Lakers. He suspected there were possibly were 2 more groups too. They segregate themselves by what they feed on and then they only breed inside their group. In Lake Superior, there's a group of Lakers that stay at least 250 feet deep for all of their lives. They call them several names. The one I remember is Fatties. Their stomachs are greatly distended and they have a very high oil content. Commercial fisherman have advocated fishing for them just for the oil. The author of the article where I read this claimed that fishing for them would deplete them in 10-20 years.

 

 

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My brother and I hit the top end of Tellico Lake this just past Thursday morning. We put in at Harrison Branch Ramp at sun up. The surface water was 78. That seemed rather warm. We trolled downstream pulling 4 plugs. We wentr downstream almost as far as where Carson Island used to be. We never got a strike. We never saw significant bait or fish on sonar. We returned to the ramp and went up to Chilhowee Lake for a few hours. There, we caught 3 little Rainbows and a throw-back Perch. We quit in the early afternoon after we got drenched by a heavy shower.

 

I don't know where Chilhowee's lost Rainbows that left went in Tellico Lake. They don't seem to be in the top end. They might be as far downstream as the dam? When they first filled up Tellico Lake, TWRA stocked Rainbows at Tellico Dam. I went there one night and tied to the dam. We caught about a half-dozen puny Rainbows. Then we pulled up stakes and went to Chilhowee Lake for the rest of the night and caught bigger fish. I would not be surprised if Chilhowee's lost Rainbows are way down the lake sitting deep....???

TELLICO and CHILHOWEE LAKES with REX 21 JUNE 2018 001.JPG

TELLICO and CHILHOWEE LAKES with REX 21 JUNE 2018 002.JPG

TELLICO and CHILHOWEE LAKES with REX 21 JUNE 2018 003.JPG

TELLICO and CHILHOWEE LAKES with REX 21 JUNE 2018 005.JPG

TELLICO and CHILHOWEE LAKES with REX 21 JUNE 2018 006.JPG

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Deciding to mix it up and went toSoHo Sat for a mid morning early afternoon run and water skiing.  Lots of 1 to 2.5 lbs rainbows at 35 to 55 feet. ended up keeping 13 rainbows, 1 brown and bass hooked in the gills that was 20.5 inches.  Threw back 5 small brown trout, half a dozen small lakers, and half a dozen bass.  Plenty of action, but Big lakers were MIA. nothing on the sonar even looked like a big laker.  We were the only boat trolling on Soho i saw from the bridge to damn.  Will be on Northern Lake Michigan early next week, hopefully getting on some big spring king salmon if the weather permits and fish have moved north following the feed into cooler temps.  Replacing all my line and bringing out the spin doctors and michigan stinger flashers, 4.5 inch glow spoons, mag boards, copper, steel, mag divers, wire line and 40 and 30 lb power pro needed for hand to hand combat in 4-6 ft waves.  

Edited by TrophyLakerTaker

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