Scenic City Crappie on Fire
March 22, 2009
Chattanooga - Freshwater Fishing Report
Larry and Shirley Gorham came to Chattanooga, Tenn. from Franklin, Kentucky to sample the waters of Chickamauga Lake with me this weekend. Thier hope for the two-day trip was to carry some enough crappie home for a big fish fry. We succeeded.
DAY ONE: (Saturday) was a wonderful, albeit long day on the water. Shirley nailed a slab in the first 5 minutes. I figured that was a good sign, or a bad sign? We were trolling in the Wolftever arm of the lake and early we caught quite a few fish... but all were short. Finally picked up a half-dozen good keepers, and a bonus bass, but it was slow. We went on the prowl and finally found some more good quality fish.
That day we managed 18 solid crappie and a bonus bass. Fish were mostly in 9 to 14 feet and red/chartreuse tubes were the go-to lure. Lots of fish were busting with eggs and a couple of males all colored up real pretty. The spawn is coming on.
What a difference a day makes... and location. We changed areas Sunday. All I can say is "we ripped 'em." Another friend was fishing the area solo today, so the Gorhams split up and we fished two boats. We quit with 55 keeper crappie before the Gorham's decided they had to head back to Kentucky. And they all were quality fish. As Larry told one of his friends on the phone, "I don't think there's but one or two in the livewell that we had to bother measuring (to check if they met the minimum size limit)."
Both days we used my typical early Spring pattern ... long-line trolling 1/16th oz. tube jigs. Most fish were in seven to 15 feet of water.
We caught darn near every species in the river today. Besides crappie we caught largemouth bass, yellow bass, bluegill, shellcracker, yellow perch, channel cat, golden shiners and drum. Between the short crappie and all the "off" species, I'm sure we caught well over 100 fish today. Most of the "off" species came from shallow stumps. The picture isn't all of them... just all that Larry wanted to hold up.
And that means life is good and gettin' better every day.
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