A Journal Of
Fishing and Farming
 Along with other good times and interesting discoveries

Richard Loller

Winter 2003-4


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March 14 and 15, 2004

Went fairly late, about 1pm, to Fall Creek.  Water was around 486, two feet lower than last week.  On Saturday
I caught 3-4 fish on each attractor I could find in deep water.  Then they would quit.  Found two new attractors
in deep water right across from the put in.  Had no luck fishing the bluff at the curve.  On Sunday I got out earlier
but had no luck on the attractors.  It was pretty calm and clear and the water was maybe a foot shallower.  I did catchfive nice ones on a 32nd oz jig and white tube just before the curve.  Shoreline looked pretty nondescript, but ithad what the fish wanted.  No luck anywhere else.

Garden:  I filled in all the blank spaces in the snow peas and sugar snaps.  Evidently the squirrels had got into themsince there would be 5 or 6 missing in a row and then plants.  Hope the new ones do well.  Got a little rain Sundaynight but not enough so I watered for half an hour.  Then we got lots of rain, naturally.  No freezing cold yet sincethe little plants came up.  Hope for the best.

March 7, 2004

 

Nice stripe was the first catch of the day on the fish 
attractor where I caught crappie later.

Went over to Fall Creek at Percy Priest around 11 
because the water level was supposed to be 488 ft, 
about 4 feet higher than the last time.  Sure enough, 
I saw people fishing the Game and Fish attractors 
which were now in 7-12 feet of water.  I tried the 
bluff where I'd had a good crappie catch before, but 
no action, so I moved to an attractor nearby and 
caught 3 or 4 nice crappie.  Let them go since we 
have filets at home.  Around 12:30 wind got really 
high and I tried to find another place more sheltered.  Found one log and caught 3 or 4 more, but the wind shifted and blew me off that one too.  It was also 
getting much colder.  Finally I gave up and went in 
early and got several small chores done.  I think if 
we get a mild day with reasonable winds the crappie 
will be ready.  Whoopee!

March 6, 2004

 
Went up to Center Hill and fished from 11:30 to 3:30.  A little windy from the west and in the 60's.  The generation stopped about the time I got there and took up again at 3.  Nothing except Skipjack, which is a pretty fish and a real fighter, (they call them Tennessee Tarpon) but not something one could eat.  Oh, I did catch two small trout just in front of the put in, but they were only stockers and I let them go.  Their cousins kept their mouths wisely shut, so that was that.  Garden: Gave up and came home in time to plant some more parsley and put a couple more levels on the trellises.  Need 3 more slats and it will be finished.  All the little green things are poking up now.  Brought Sherry a bouquet of Buttercups.  There's a hill along the interstate covered with them.

February 28, 2004

 
Fished at Brush Creek and got skunked except for one small bass.    Garden: Got home early and built part of the trellis for the peas.  The slats came from the furniture company I pass every day on the way home.  They put scrap outside their fence for nuts like me to pick up and bring home.
Pretty day--windy, cool, and sunny.

February 21, 2004

Went over to Fall Creek at Percy Priest through Gladeville to 440.  34 miles.  Water was at 484,
4 ft lower than when I did well on February 14.  No luck anywhere, just a few buck bass on the little pink, white, and chartreuse 32nd oz jig.  Weather was fine however, and I have gotten over the blaws, whatever they were.  Sherry still sick and now finds she is allergic to the antibiotics.  Damned if she uses them and damned if she doesn't.  Maybe the better weather will cure all the sickies--there sure a lot of them this year.
 
Garden: I had been a little off on Thursday and Friday I slept late but went in and stayed until 3.  Sherry was still sick--two weeks now.  This morning she finally broke down and called the doctor for a prescription.  So, I had to stick around until it was ready which took until 1.  Got a lot of gardening done.  The weather was cold early but got really nice by noon.  New crops in today are (1) beets, (2) Swiss chard, (3) mixed lettuce (black seeded simpson, bibb, prize head, grand rapids), (4) spinach, (5) green onions, and (6) mesclum mix-the kind Sherry likes. Old stuff is (a) the six rows of peas I put out in January, (b) the garlic I planted in October and, (c) green onions--the old ones are in the same row as the new ones planted today,

Just before I quit I heard a deep rumbling that didn't go away.  It was the David K. Wilson holding against the current over against the far bank just in front of Buel's house.

Well, I changed up my cat trap and so far it is batting zero, except for one old possum.  Last night the cat got all the bait and tripped the trap but after he was out.  I have no idea how, but I think maybe he can reach in throught the wire and shakes the food out.

President's Day
February 16, 2004

 

Fished Fall Creek at Percy Priest.  I've already written this once but the #$%&^%^% Netscape had
a fit and I lost it.  This time I save every third sentence.

Cold and water at 488 level, 5 feet higher than last trip.  Found crappie where old boys were fishing from
the bank.  Rocky bluff.  Used 32nd oz jig on ultra light, letting it drop and very slowly bringing it
back--trying to make it brush the bottom.  Caught 13 nice crappie between 12 and 2:30.  After that they quit.  Weather changed and it got really cold with the wind shifting and blowing harder.

Forgot camera again.  Will keep old camera in tackle box from now on.  Good day and good weekend.
More later, maybe.  Time for a drink after cleaning those 13 fish.
 
 

Valentine's Day
February 14, 2004

 
Fished below Center Hill all day from 10am until almost 4pm.  It was cold and cloudy most of the day, but not so cold you had to have gloves.  Had the place to myself early. They were generating all day, so the water was very high.  Anchor wouldn't touch bottom.  Maybe longer rope next time.  No taps at all from crappie or anything else until around 3pm.

By then there were 4 or 5 boats, mostly two to a boat, so I had a big audience when I caught this 5lb 4oz smallmouth on a silver Little Cleo I was letting drop like a hurt shad at the end of the the wing wall directing the flow from
the generators down stream.  At the side of the current is 

an area of relative calm, just a lot of swells and swirls.  I was thinking that walleye might be holding there waiting for shad hurt or killed coming through the generators.

Actually, the 18" smallmouth above is one I caught last year on Creek C.  But it's the same ultra
light rig in the photo and the same 4lb line.  Before leaving home today, I had changed line since the
old line was getting brittle and I couldn't remember when I'd changed it before.  Thank God!

Yesterday was about the first time I left my new camera.  I was in the truck pulling out and I thought
"Oh, I need the camera. Ah, hell, I won't need it."  Can you believe it?  The weight is correct, however.
I filled my cooler with water and gave Ms. Bass a ride.  At Big Rock market the teenager there said,
"Mom has took the camera and somebody borrowed our scales."

So I went on up to the little bait shop on the hill.  Still no camera, but the old boy there lent me his
scales and we got her weighed.  She was 21" long and fat as a pig and she filled the cooler from one
end to the other.  Remind me to buy something there next time I go.

The old boy said she was a "Kentucky smallmouth" because  the underjaw area was dark with
darker stripes.  No such thing, probably, but it may have been a Kentucky bass.  If it was then
it was near the top weight for that class this far north.  According to Kentucky Gameand Fish a
6 pounder is near the record.  Doesn't matter, she was beautiful and she gave me a fine time,
so I love her and would kiss her on the mouth if she wanted to, whatever her race.

When I caught her I thought I was hung, but then felt her move.  She was slow and heavy and I
thought I had a big carp.  Once she saw the boat, however, she gave me a fight.  At the boat I had
her head and most of her body in the net but she thrashed and fell out so I worked her up again
and just as I got the net under her the hook pulled out.  Heart stopping but swung her into the
boat and had time to think, "Hell and damnation!  I didn't bring the camera!"

Never leave home without your camera, boys, is the lesson for this Valentine's Day.

After the old bait boy and I  had admired her sufficiently I took her back home and let her go.  She was
a little slow swimming off, but none the worse for the adventure.  It only takes one good fish to turn a
disaster day into one to mark with a white stone.

Garden:  Today is very cold and there is nothing much to do.  Thought I might plant some salad greens, but
it just started to snow.  Maybe tomorrow.  I'm off.  We will see.  No sign of any peas yet.  It's been cold.  Probably
take a week of warm weather.

Sunday, February 8, 2004

Garden:  It was too cold and wet to fish or work outside Saturday, so I waited for Sunday and it was the same early on.  I started on a project for Sherry and when I came out of Lowe's the sun was out and it was warmer (low 40's).
Too late by then for fishing, but I did put in another row each of snow peas and sugar snaps.  If all of them live to produce I'll be the pea king of Pennington Bend.

Sunday, February 1, 2004

 

East Landmark For Tree

South Landmark For Tree

Went back to the Center Hill Dam but got skunked.  Saturday was very cold and bright, so I thought Sunday would
be better.  3 or 4 other boats on hand but not really a problem.  The main problem was no fish.  Caught one large
Buffalo jigging a gold little Cleo in deep water by the crosswise wall near the dam.  He got off right at the boat, but
no great loss.  Also caught one 2 1/2 foot  skipjack herring (Tennessee Tarpon) on a small jig I was using for
crappie when the water finally got low enough to show the log.  I cross referenced it (above) and may be able to find
it during high water.  Hope so.  I need to remember to bring a location marker next trip.  The day was too warm one minute and too cool the next.  Overall it was not too cold--no gloves needed.  This coming weekend looks bad with highs in the low 40's at best.  May be a wash out.

Garden:  Put in another row of snow peas and sugar snaps each.  Then realized I should have put the two rows of snow peas together so they'd be on the same trellis.  Same with the sugar snaps.  So I guess I'll have one trellis of each and one mixed when I plant the final two rows next weekend.  C'est la vie!

Saturday, January 24, 2004

 
Fished below Center Hill Dam.  Two other boats seemed to be fishing for crappie with minnows. 
Two guys in each boat.  Caught 3 legal crappie on 1/32nd white head jig with brown tube.  Tried white 
yarn and yellow with no luck.  Nothing else 
hit at all although I tried bass and walleye and 
stripe.  Got there at 10am and water was highest. 
Stopped generating at noon.  No fish after 11:30. 
Temperature today got into low 50's and it was 
very sunny and nice until later on when it clouded 
up and got a little cool.  Supposed to be above freezing tonight but warmer weather and rain is expected.  Maybe I'll go again tomorrow. 

Garden:  Left at 3pm and got home in time to plant 
a row of sugar snap peas and a row of snow peas. 
This year I build good trellises for them, but have 3-4 weeks until needed.  Have enough seed left for two more plantings.  Need good weather next weekend.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

 
The temperature was 44 when I got up and it
was supposed to drop after noon so I left home 
at 8:30 and was on the water at 9:45.  It was raining lightly and the wind was variable, cold, 
and constant.  First cast with the fly rod I thought 
I was stuck but then realized I was on a big crappie about the time the jig jerked free. 
Caught two large bream on the big log, but 
no more crappie. 

Went over to the falling water wall by the dam 
and caught the two nice crappie and the 16" 
trout here.  They took a white yarn 1/32nd jig 
about 3' below a small cork on the spinning rod.  About 1pm the temperature had dropped to 36 
an the wind had picked up and the fish had quit.  So I did too.  Remind me to get some wool 
gloves. Brown cotton gloves awful in the rain.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

I decided to give Brush Creek a try.  It was supposed to be sunny and in the upper 40's, but up there it was cooooold.  I put in around 10 and fished for crappie with my fly rod rigged with a 1/64 jig and a black and
brown tube below a light cork.  The logs looked very good, and I was mostly out of the wind around the
corner on the way to the river, but no crappie seemed to be hungry.  Pretty soon, however, the cork moved
just a little and when I tightened up I thought I either had the world record crappie or a big carp.  It was
neither.  A very nice bass which I measured against my fly rod at 18 inches.  Probably 2 1/2 to 3 pounds.  I
fished hard and even went down to the mouth of the creek and jigged a big jig and rubber shad for sauger,
but nothing doing.  I packed it in around 2 and got home around 3.  It was a very bright and cold day.  I
couldn't fish one corner near the house with the llamas because of the ice.  I guess the crappie won't be
doing much for a month or so.  We'll see.
 

Florida Trip
January 1-6, 2004
Click Here!

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Travis and James left around noon so I went to Fall Creek on Percy Priest.  Water at the put-in was very low so the motor got mired in mud and it was hard to avoid hitting rocks or stumps.  According to TVA site, headwater level was 483.4.  Need another 2 or 3 feet in the creek to navigate well.  Got mostly skunked and did not find crappie, although I observed two old guys catching one and a nice bass fishing off the bank upstream from the put in at the first curve in the stream.  Later I caught 5 or 6 small bass fishing the ultra light rod with a 32nd oz gig and brown tube right up against the low rock bluff line visible at this low water on the right.  Fun, but no cigar.
 
 

Friday, December 26, 2003

 
Fished below the dam at Center Hill, but caught 
almost nothing.  A small bass or two and two 
small crappies.  I did, however, get a photo of 
the dam. 

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