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  • Typical Largemouth Bass

    Posted by bigred on September 17, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Hello everyone, I’m returning to our forum after a one year stay up on Old Hickory. While on Old Hickory I often caught 5-6 pound largemouth bass. My top was a 9 pounder and I had a number of 8 pounders as well. I was in a cabin on Barton’s Creek and fished there, Spring Creek, Bledsoe Creek and the main river. I traveled down to the Steam Plant during the colder months. Almost all of my big fish came from that area and further up river.

    I understand that Old Hickory is a river-run lake and Percy Priest is a reservoir.

    Before that time, I was on Percy Priest for a year, fishing out of Elm Hill Marina. I never could pattern largemouth or smallmouth in that portion of the lake. My biggest fish was a 3 pound largemouth caught in the first cove below Fate Sanders. It was right where Brian said the bass would be, 1-3 feet of water, near shore and the standing reed-stick stuff, well up on a large flat. I was using a DT-3.

    It seems to me that most largemouth bass in the Fate Sanders (above and below) section of the lake tend to be small 1-3 pound fish.

    Every bass book from “Spoonplugging” to “Lunker’s love Nightcrawlers” always say to fish areas with close access to deeper water (deeper being relative to the area being fished). So, I’ve fished the various tributaries all the way back to their shallowest points. There are plenty of standing trees in good water near drop-offs, good shoreline cover, rocky areas, rip-rap and deeper seams.

    Yet most of the bass I catch tend to be up on the shallow, feature-less flats near the shoreline. That is the location you would expect to find the younger, less “experienced” juvenile bass. They haven’t learned to stay near deeper water.

    On Old Hickory the apex predator is the Stripper. That alters largemouth behavior and drives them tighter to cover and often into coves and creek arms and shallower water.

    My Questions:

    Is the Stripper population big enough around Fate Sanders to affect the largemouth population?

    If the juvenile bass are shallow, where are the adult male and big mama bass holding?

    Does anyone else have a similar smaller bass catch rate, with very few, if any, heavier (+5 pound) bass?

    I’ve been curious because the pattern of fishing shallow on large flats is perfect for targeting smaller bass. And that seems to be the predominant pattern around Fate Sanders, so where are the bigger bass?

    bigred replied 9 years, 10 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • blockel

    Member
    September 17, 2014 at 7:09 pm
    quote BigRed:

    Hello everyone, I’m returning to our forum after a one year stay up on Old Hickory. While on Old Hickory I often caught 5-6 pound largemouth bass. My top was a 9 pounder and I had a number of 8 pounders as well. I was in a cabin on Barton’s Creek and fished there, Spring Creek, Bledsoe Creek and the main river. I traveled down to the Steam Plant during the colder months. Almost all of my big fish came from that area and further up river.

    9 pounder and a number of 8’s… 😯 Suddenly, I find myself REAL interested in going back to OH! Hah.

    If you’ve stumbled upon that up at Old Hick, why would you even bother with Percy? It’s probably not getting better than that.

    I’m with you about patterning the fish out on Percy. Never really had great success but than again, when you’re only fishing once a week (at most), I try to keep my expectations under control. Try to remind myself that some of the best elite anglers have tournaments where they can’t figure ’em out well enough to catch a limit during a given tournament and they usually have several 12-16 hour practice days before the tournament even starts!

    But anyways, on the lower end of the lake, my best results have been on or around the bluff walls, sailboat cove and bear island.

    Best of luck trying to figure them out, keep us posted!

  • bigred

    Member
    September 17, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    On Old Hickory, my big fish all came on a simple Zoom Horny Toad frog with paddle legs, in green pumpkin. I’d rig it weedless on a two-prong frog hook and fish it weightless. I used fluorocarbon line. I skipped the frog to shoreline cover, let it sink a moment, then a few slow reels and let it glide down … repeat all the way to the boat. I had some hit about 15 feet from the shore so I guess they were following. I tried other colors and would catch a fish or two but I think that was more to the lure action than the color. When I went back to green pumpkin I would catch more frequent and bigger fish. I used this spring, summer, fall and it was the best method I found. I did try everything else I have in my tackle box but nothing ever caught more than a fish or two over a few hours. Old Hickory can be hard to pattern because the water is so much colder. I think the skipping casts and slow retrieves worked because they were well suited for colder water. Just my experience.

    The guy that won the big tournament up there fished Bandit dives to 3″ lures in the three creeks. He replaced the stock hooks with stronger, one size bigger hooks. Said it didn’t affect performance at all. He dragged them over hard bottom ledges. He was fairly local and knew all the right spots. But he swore that pattern would work year-round and was the best tactic to use … He won the $100,000 + something first place … so maybe he was right!

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