Steve Hacker Guide Service Lake Pickwick 3-9-2013

Water temp: 49.6 degrees
TVA discharge rate: highly variable as spillways reopened, closed, then reopened, Hacker GrandSlamthen closed again; averaging approx. 70k cfs, with a range of 40k-111k.
Lake elevation : highly variable (we had a 3.7 feet drop while fishing yesterday) from 414 and change to 419 and change.We have had some great fishing, lousy weather, and highly variable conditions the past 10 days. Two days of snow here in Florence and east of here and the snow melt and frigid temps dropped the lake temp in some areas over 6 degrees to the low 40’s.  Spillways off, then on, then off again. But when the weather let you get where you wanted to go and fish, and TVA was running water, the guys really caught some nice fish.
Strike King ½ oz. jigs with Rage Craw and Rodent trailers are still producing very well, and you can see in the pix that Jeff and Randy really caught some dandies on the jigs, and on tubes with leadheads as heavy as ½ oz. when TVA really had the current cranked up. Jeff also caught some really nice smallmouths on some bucktail jigs he picked up over at Tom Smith’s shop. Randy had a 7-2, and a nice Grand Slam himself. Hacker Randy Jeff
  The weather was brutal on Tuesday when Larry and Bruce showed up. With my boat in the shop, Bruce offered to bring his Z21, and it’s a good thing we had those extra 3 feet. We (and everyone) ran to the harbor for shelter at about 8:00 when a severe thunderstorm with hail and 47 mph winds charged up the river. We waited it out for about an hour, then everyone went back out. Winds were not supposed to swap to the west until about 3:00, but at 12:00 here they came, wide open at 25-30 with gusts over 40. Massive waves and swells had us calling the day at about 1:15, and to no one’s surprise, ours were the only vehicles left Hacker Morganin the lot. Larry’s holding up some really nice fish, just to show that if you’re skilled enough fish can be caught with 90 feet of bow in your line in 30 mph winds with 4 footers!
   The effects of that cold front, big winds continuing, and falling water temps kept it tough for Mike Morgan and I on Weds., but Mike managed to have quite a day. He’s holding up big smallmouth and largemouth in one pic, and a 30.5 blue cat in another, caught on a grub. He also had a monstrous paddlefish hooked—in the mouth (that was probably accidental, but it WAS hooked in the mouth)–that he fought to the boat, but we could not get it in the net, and could not land it before it broke off. It’s bill was broken, so it looked a lot like a shark in the water. Girth was enormous—like a man coming up from the deep when we first saw it. We estimated it at 75-100 lbs, but who can estimate a fish that big without putting it on scales. Sure wish we could have landed it to get a pic and weigh it. I think we were the only vehicle in the lot that afternoon, too, as it was very cold and still very windy.
Had a great time yesterday with Dave Lambrix and Tom Gursky. Tom is a well known Michigan guide, and Dave said he wanted to treat Tom to a trip so his favorite guide from the north could meet his favorite guide from the south! Tome got to check two things off his bucket list, as he had never caught a spotted bass, and wanted to catch a bass Grand Slam. You can see Tom’s pic with his Grand Slam, another double-digit weight Slam. That’s actually a decent spotted bass in the pic, it’s just tucked in behind and dwarfed by the largemouth and smallmouth.
As long as TVA “does us right” with the discharge rate and stable lake levels, we are catching some really nice fish right now. Headed off to another weight meet for Jonathan and the team here in a couple of minutes (3 hours round trip drive), but can’t close without thanking friends Joe Romans and Jim Bruce for keeping me on the water while my boat is at Harold’s Marine being worked on. Sure do appreciate their help and generosity, more than they’ll ever know. Thanks!God bless,
Steve Hacker

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