Pickwick Lake Fishing Report From Guide Steve Hacker 12-17-2011

Water temp: 52.1
TVA discharge rate: approx. 115,000 cfs
Mike Morgan and Tom Hayes were down from Indiana for Tues/Weds. Tuesday we had a ball catching big stripers on swim baits. Best ones we boated were 20-25 lbs., Striper Hacker morganbut we saw much bigger ones busting bait, and I talked to a friend Friday (yesterday) who caught a 40 on Thursday about ½ mile from where we had located the stripers. He said it “broke my reel!” On an overcast day you can catch as many as you want right now-or until your arms are completely useless. The smallest ones are running 8-10 lbs, with most 15-25.

Wednesday we put together a good bass pattern, with big smallmouths on tubes, and some nice largemouths on swim baits. It was too windy to fish for the stripers Wednesday (tried it for a little while; couldn’t control the boat), but the good bass fishing more than made up for that.Smallmouth hacker Morgan Mike has a serious case of “Brown Fever”, too, and as much as he enjoyed catching those big stripers, there’s no doubt his smile is a little bigger when he’s got a big smallmouth jumping on the end of his line. Had a great time with them, sure do thank them, and look forward to their next trip.

Ron Glover told me there’s no way he could fish every day, as his arms and shoulders need time to recuperate after a trip. But it’s been two weeks since the trip when we caught that 6-8, so he was ready to go again on Thursday. Good thing he was rested up, because we wore ‘em out! We caught big smallmouths and largemouths, and got on one place where we were throwing off the left/port side of the boat catching bass, and big stripers were busting off the right/starboard side (and a different place from where Mike, Tom, and I caught the stripers Tuesday).Largemoth Hacker Glover I asked Ron if he had a swim bait tied on, and he made one throw out the other side and immediately hooked up with a striper. He said, “Chris (his son) isn’t going to believe it when I tell him that we were fishing a place where we were catching fish as fast as we could cast off both sides of the boat; smallmouths and largemouths on tubes off one side, and stripers on swim baits off the other!”Ron and I were diligent to keep Kick’n'Bass craw scent on our baits.

A mixup in communication led to my being at the ramp yesterday morning, but no one showed up! Turns out that multiple email accounts had me checking messages on one account Thursday night, while Judd was sending me a message that he couldn’t come on another account-one that I almost never check! I called from the ramp and left a message and he called me right back, and we figured out what happened, but there I was with a boat full of gas, fresh sandwiches, and a hot bite! I called Steve Berryman, and he said, “Give me about 30 minutes to take care of some things, and I’ll be there as soon as I can get there.” It was the worst weather day of the week, with morning rain and drizzle and highs only in the 40′s, but even with the north wind and post front conditions, the smallmouth tube bite stayed good-largemouths, too. It was too rough to go to some places we had caught fish earlier in the week, but we still had another nice sack.

Best five weights Weds-Fri were all over 20 lbs., with fish over 5 lbs. every day. Best baits: Smallmouths: Strike King Pro Model tubes; Largemouths: SK tubes and swim baits; Stripers: swim baits. A few bass caught this week on spinnerbaits, too, but the water has cleared up a lot, and the spinnerbait bite has gone down as the tube bite has gone up. Also caught a few bass on grubs.

With water temps in the 52 degrees range, and the forecast calling for highs in the low to mid 60′s next week, this bite should stay good for some time. And the stripers will like it even better as the water cools just a bit more. A different story from last year at this time when it was so brutally cold.

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