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East TN Lakers and Trout 2018 (part 3)

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2 hours ago, rusty50576 said:

I was up there the day after you troutgirl. I was seeing 64 up top and 70 near Abrams and 77 at the dam. Then later in the day it was 68 from the powerhouse all the way to the ramp with strong current , they were really pumping . We went up there for perch but got a pesky 19.5” smallmouth instead ........ heard tale of someone catching several dozen perch in a day recently, we got zero. Very happy with a big smallmouth but I guess I need to work on my perch game 

 

Fontana was generating at max level and sluicing because TVA expected more floodwater than we ended up getting. I suspect that they will close the gate today since the tropical remnants went farther east than expected.

 

I've been to Chilhowee a half-dozen times this season and have caught only one Smallmouth. That was the plump 16.5" Smallmouth you commented on back in the spring on my first trip. It's gonna be a number of years till the Smallmouth population gets back to where it was. There doesn't seem to be any shortage of Perch though. I've caught some on most, if not all of my trips. I've yet to catch a large one this year. Most of the biggest Perch I've caught have hit hoochies with a small piece of crawler on it, in the deep channel.

 

Another good Perch bait is make a bottom-bouncer. Put about 3 feet of line behind it. Use the smallest size Flatfish. It's about an inch long. The single treble hook is tiny, just the right size for their small mouths. Put about an inch of crawler on the hook. I did that a few times and caught them. I really would rather fish hoochies. The Trout and Smallmouth like them too. If you put a bigger piece of worm on, then, the Walleyes like 'em too.....but the Perch will frequently pull off major pieces. The purr-fect Perch bait is a tiny thing that fits in their delicate mouths. The smallest Rapala Rap Plug is a good plug for 'em....

 

 

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14 hours ago, inthebox30lbs said:

Glad you got on some fish Troutgirl.  We will be the move in the next few weeks Chilhowee/ Watauga/Nantahala

 

 

I want to fish Watauga at least once more. Have you tried Santeetlah? I want at least one more trip there. I always catch Trout there and a variety of other fish....White Bass, Largemouths, and there's some Walleyes in there. I caught a big one last summer.

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1 hour ago, Troutgirl said:

 

Fontana was generating at max level and sluicing because TVA expected more floodwater than we ended up getting. I suspect that they will close the gate today since the tropical remnants went farther east than expected.

 

I've been to Chilhowee a half-dozen times this season and have caught only one Smallmouth. That was the plump 16.5" Smallmouth you commented on back in the spring on my first trip. It's gonna be a number of years till the Smallmouth population gets back to where it was. There doesn't seem to be any shortage of Perch though. I've caught some on most, if not all of my trips. I've yet to catch a large one this year. Most of the biggest Perch I've caught have hit hoochies with a small piece of crawler on it, in the deep channel.

 

Another good Perch bait is make a bottom-bouncer. Put about 3 feet of line behind it. Use the smallest size Flatfish. It's about an inch long. The single treble hook is tiny, just the right size for their small mouths. Put about an inch of crawler on the hook. I did that a few times and caught them. I really would rather fish hoochies. The Trout and Smallmouth like them too. If you put a bigger piece of worm on, then, the Walleyes like 'em too.....but the Perch will frequently pull off major pieces. The purr-fect Perch bait is a tiny thing that fits in their delicate mouths. The smallest Rapala Rap Plug is a good plug for 'em....

 

 

The perch largemouth and smallmouth I have caught since the refill have been larger than they used to be on average. I can only catch perch on accident though 

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5 hours ago, Troutgirl said:

 

I want to fish Watauga at least once more. Have you tried Santeetlah? I want at least one more trip there. I always catch Trout there and a variety of other fish....White Bass, Largemouths, and there's some Walleyes in there. I caught a big one last summer.

I have not fished santeetlah, it’s on my bucket list.  It’s hard for me to drive by Nantahala.  The state just finished sonar/netting work.  They didn’t net one salmon.  That doesn’t mean anything but no one has heard of any Kokanee caught this year.  They netted rainbows, walleyes, perch and a bunch of blueback herring.  A huge opportunity exist for a trophy brown trout fishery.  Nantahala has better habitat and water temps than Appalachia.  Plus lack of predators to eat the stocked fish.  There is just not huge numbers of anything in that Lake.  I hate the salmon look to be gone but the trout potential is there.  

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On 9/17/2018 at 5:43 PM, inthebox30lbs said:

I have not fished santeetlah, it’s on my bucket list.  It’s hard for me to drive by Nantahala.  The state just finished sonar/netting work.  They didn’t net one salmon.  That doesn’t mean anything but no one has heard of any Kokanee caught this year.  They netted rainbows, walleyes, perch and a bunch of blueback herring.  A huge opportunity exist for a trophy brown trout fishery.  Nantahala has better habitat and water temps than Appalachia.  Plus lack of predators to eat the stocked fish.  There is just not huge numbers of anything in that Lake.  I hate the salmon look to be gone but the trout potential is there.  

 

If you're going to Nantahala coming north on U.S. 129....which is running concurrently with another road, which I forget it's number, Santeetlah is probably about the same distance.  U.S, 129 from Robbinsville all the way to the Little T Bridge at Cheoah Dams is easy to drive too. The Cheoah Point Ramp near the dam is a good one. It has a dock. You should try it. I bet a bunch of those Browns in there have grown a bunch since spring. I suspect that Santeetlah has more Trout in it than usual, this year....??? Nobody recalls so many Browns.

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2 hours ago, Troutgirl said:

 

If you're going to Nantahala coming north on U.S. 129....which is running concurrently with another road, which I forget it's number, Santeetlah is probably about the same distance.  U.S, 129 from Robbinsville all the way to the Little T Bridge at Cheoah Dams is easy to drive too. The Cheoah Point Ramp near the dam is a good one. It has a dock. You should try it. I bet a bunch of those Browns in there have grown a bunch since spring. I suspect that Santeetlah has more Trout in it than usual, this year....??? Nobody recalls so many Browns.

Right now it would be hard to drive past Chilhowee.  Buddy of mine has been punishing the bows pulling NH1’s and NH2’s 12-25 down on the riggers. I want to fish Santeelah but know several that fish it often and there wanting to make the run to Watauga/Dale Hollow/Chilhowee.  Nantahala has been giving up some impressive bows and a few nice browns as well.  The herring are growing the trout just as anticipated.  Nantahala is going to be hot in the next few years.   Watauga is still fishing  well but you will kill a lot of fish bringing them up through all that warm water.  I hate wasting the fish like that.  Last October we were taking fish with 145ft of cable out.  55degress was 100 down on my Moore sub troll.  A lot of stress on those fish.  

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My brother and I are going to Santeetlah. I'm gonna have one more go at Watauga soon. I might try trolling for Walleyes at Watauga part of the day. I see folks trolling near the banks and figure that's how to pop some Walleyes....???

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I was at Santeetlah last weekend. I caught over 20 trout, 2 eyes, white bass, and a 12 inch yellow perch. Not to mention alot of bass. I did nothing but troll. Spoons seemed to be best. Lower lake. Most hits around 40ft. Bass on surface. Let me know how you do. I'll be back up I a few weeks. Got farming to do in the meantime.

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On 9/19/2018 at 7:51 PM, Fisher87 said:

I was at Santeetlah last weekend. I caught over 20 trout, 2 eyes, white bass, and a 12 inch yellow perch. Not to mention alot of bass. I did nothing but troll. Spoons seemed to be best. Lower lake. Most hits around 40ft. Bass on surface. Let me know how you do. I'll be back up I a few weeks. Got farming to do in the meantime.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

 

See my fishing report over at NC Anglers Forum.

 

Rex and I hit Santeetlah yesterday. The top of the lake is so very warm. The TD Hawk revealed the temp was 51 at 100 feet down by the dam. We trolled the spoons on the downrigger at 50 feet. We ran size Zero and One Dipsy Divers with spoons, a flat line with a plug, and my new ultra light lead-core rod with a plug. We had 5 lines out all day.

 

We take turns on the fish. Rex went first. As we trolled away upstream from the dam, it only took about 3 minutes to get a strike. Rex caught a 16" Yellow Perch. I was just finishing putting out the second line, the downrigger spoon, when the Perch struck. We caught another smaller Perch, 2 Largemouths, 2 Smallmouths, 2 White Bass, and 3 Rainbows. All the fish, except one Largemouth, hit at 35 feet or deeper. It was Rex's turn when the two best Trout hit. He caught a 20.5" , 3.15 pound Rainbow, and an 18" Steelhead Rainbow. Some of the Rainbows in there are the Steelhead strain that have several extra vertebrae and have a longer build.

 

I had a small spoon with a single hook on the downrigger at the start of the day. We only hooked one of the first four strikes on that spoon. I managed my only Rainbow on it. I took it off and put a blue & silver Michigan Stinger Scorpion, 2.25", spoon on with a treble hook. The two bigger Rainbows hit it.

 

I usually catch more Trout and less other at Santeetlah but the Perch and White Bass we had for din-din were tasty. We're having Trout tonight. Well, we had a good time. Rex was tickled about his biggest ever Rainbow. We let all the Black Bass go.....

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43 minutes ago, Troutgirl said:

 

See my fishing report over at NC Anglers Forum.

 

Rex and I hit Santeetlah yesterday. The top of the lake is so very warm. The TD Hawk revealed the temp was 51 at 100 feet down by the dam. We trolled the spoons on the downrigger at 50 feet. We ran size Zero and One Dipsy Divers with spoons, a flat line with a plug, and my new ultra light lead-core rod with a plug. We had 5 lines out all day.

 

We take turns on the fish. Rex went first. As we trolled away upstream from the dam, it only took about 3 minutes to get a strike. Rex caught a 16" Yellow Perch. I was just finishing putting out the second line, the downrigger spoon, when the Perch struck. We caught another smaller Perch, 2 Largemouths, 2 Smallmouths, 2 White Bass, and 3 Rainbows. All the fish, except one Largemouth, hit at 35 feet or deeper. It was Rex's turn when the two best Trout hit. He caught a 20.5" , 3.15 pound Rainbow, and an 18" Steelhead Rainbow. Some of the Rainbows in there are the Steelhead strain that have several extra vertebrae and have a longer build.

 

I had a small spoon with a single hook on the downrigger at the start of the day. We only hooked one of the first four strikes on that spoon. I managed my only Rainbow on it. I took it off and put a blue & silver Michigan Stinger Scorpion, 2.25", spoon on with a treble hook. The two bigger Rainbows hit it.

 

I usually catch more Trout and less other at Santeetlah but the Perch and White Bass we had for din-din were tasty. We're having Trout tonight. Well, we had a good time. Rex was tickled about his biggest ever Rainbow. We let all the Black Bass go.....

Great mixed bag right there.  Good work 

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I'd put the pictures here but I don't know how to down-rez 'em to fit. See 'em at Caroliner. The big Perch was beautiful and had the most red lower fins that I've ever seen. They're usually quite orange. I didn't take a very good picture of the Steelhead Rainbow. It was a purr-fect is a gxample of their stretched-out torso. We did miss a few species. After catching nearly all Browns on my last trip up there, I expected to catch one, but no. We saw a school of fish sitting deep and hoped they were Walleyes but they must of been White Bass because we caught two 'em in a row. Rex has yet to catch a Walleye. I wish we'd luck into one on one of our trips. A Walleye and a Brown would of been a slam.

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Fontana used to be chocked full of White Bass. I had a Carolina Permit two years in a row back in the 70's. When we trolled, we frequently caught Whites and some of everything else in the lake. I've heard that the White Bass population has fallen some since the Alabama Bass took hold.

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Wow. 16 inch yellow perch is awesome.  Went back to fish my favorite salmon river in U.P. of Michigan for king salmon on fly rod.  Here is a picture of some pink salmon that naturally reproduce in lake michigan

20180929_093530_resized.jpg

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That's a nice Pink! It's almost as big as my brother's Perch..... :wink: 

 

My brother and I are going fishing soon.....we're leaning towards Watauga.

 

 

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On 10/2/2018 at 2:10 PM, TrophyLakerTaker said:

Wow. 16 inch yellow perch is awesome.  Went back to fish my favorite salmon river in U.P. of Michigan for king salmon on fly rod.  Here is a picture of some pink salmon that naturally reproduce in lake michigan

20180929_093530_resized.jpg

Very cool. Are they good eating?  I’ll be at Watauga next week for two days. I’ll report in. 

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I'm going to try a 6", Reef Runner XL plug on lead line tomorrow at Watauga, 8-9 colors out. I'm expecting the fish to be very deep. I hope that big plug will scare off the little ones.

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On 10/3/2018 at 6:59 PM, inthebox30lbs said:

I’m curious what the down temps are.  Trout girl hopefully you will drop the TD 

 

My TD Hawk continues to be buggy. The first time I dropped it at the dam it came back with just a reading at 5 feet. I threw it out again and dropped it 130 feet according to my reel. Meanwhile, apparently, I'd drifted to close to the penstock, water intake for the generators. My line never got down beyond 80 feet, apparently, because of the pull despite the big weight I use with it. It was 60 degrees at 80 feet. The current must of pulled my line way out horizontal....? We decided to start fishing really D-E-E-P and not measure the water yet again.

 

It was a slow day. We started trolling about 8 a.m. The Solunar Table said there as a major feeding period from 9:25 - 11.25 a.m. We caught our first and biggest Laker, only 19", at 9:20 a.m. It was on the downrigger set at 101 feet. A few minutes later we caught a smaller Laker on a Magnum Dipsy line. It was slow after that. We caught 9 Lakers total and most were 16-17". We ended up keeping 3. The last fish we caught, which I thought was going to be a 5-6 pound Laker because it fought like crazy and didn't want to come up and took line a couple of times. It turned out to be a 3-4 pound Catfish. It hit a spoon behind the Magnum Dipsy.

 

We had 6 lines out all day. The only strikes came on the downrigger and Magnum Dipsy lines with spoons. I had a Kastaway Super Magnum Diver out all day. The chart said it would make 70 feet with 200 feet of line out. When it didn't get a hit with 200 feet out, I kept putting out 15 more feet several times, no dice.

 

We saw fish at 60 - 120 feet all day long. We had 3 plugs out on lead line that never got struck. It was frustrating seeing all these fish and having so few strikes. We did have a few missed strikes. I got the feeling we were seeing so much on sonar because the fish were so deep that they didn't scatter much when we went over them. The downrigger was always set over 100 feet and as deep as 117 feet.

 

I don't wanna try Watauga again till next year.....

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Chillhowee reservoir continues to be the place to be .  12 for 15, 7 bows, 4  Smalljaws and a perch.  Ran 3 rigger pattern,cause that’s all we needed. 18-32ft down was the zone.  Nantahala nailers NH1’s and NH2’s were the main coarse.  Fish were coming two on a rod, literally!!! Click the link below scroll down to see the pics. Staying in the Mnts.  Calderwood in the morning weather permitting 

 

 

https://m.facebook.com/nantahalanailer/

Edited by inthebox30lbs
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On 10/10/2018 at 3:39 PM, inthebox30lbs said:

Chillhowee reservoir continues to be the place to be .  12 for 15, 7 bows, 4  Smalljaws and a perch.  Ran 3 rigger pattern,cause that’s all we needed. 18-32ft down was the zone.  Nantahala nailers NH1’s and NH2’s were the main coarse.  Fish were coming two on a rod, literally!!! Click the link below scroll down to see the pics. Staying in the Mnts.  Calderwood in the morning weather permitting 

 

 

https://m.facebook.com/nantahalanailer/

I wish they would drain that lake more often! It’s fishing great 

Edited by rusty50576

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All the Trout lakes without hydro water running into them are warm and I believe that the Trout are sluggish. The same goes for streams. Both North Carolina and Tennessee have had to delay some fall stockings because of too warm water. Chilhowee and Calderwood are the cool places presently. I may try Chilhowee soon.....

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1 hour ago, Troutgirl said:

All the Trout lakes without hydro water running into them are warm and I believe that the Trout are sluggish. The same goes for streams. Both North Carolina and Tennessee have had to delay some fall stockings because of too warm water. Chilhowee and Calderwood are the cool places presently. I may try Chilhowee soon.....

Chillhowee is cold and gin clear right with all the water they are running getting Fontana lowered.  I didnt fish Calderwood today due to the weather and major front wind and rain we’re wicked in the mnts. Are eyes are set on Nantahala when this weather settles out  

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