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Brad and I had a club tournament coming up on the 11th. While prefishing the G hasn't EVER done us any good and the lake has been the bane of our existence for the last three years....we decided to prefish anyway.
To be fair, it is ledge bite time and you HAVE to prefish or at least get out there and search for the super school.
We put in at Seibold and immediately began scanning ledges. We began looking at the 14-18 foot range. The first set of ledges, out on the main river in front of Seibold, looked promising. We were marking bait balls and larger fish, but they didn't seem to be grouped up nor relating to any structure. For the rest of the day, we scanned ledges from Seibold to Goose Pond.
In the meantime, we did do some fishing, but we weren't getting bit. In fact, the ledges we started at ended up being the most promising area, even if we couldn't get a bite. As I've said elsewhere, the top water bite on the Tennessee River has been off this year. Of course, if you know better, comment below!
We quit around 2PM after arriving at just 9AM. We figured it would be better to save our strength. After all, I would have to get up at 2AM in order for us to be on the water at 5AM.
Along the way, I made some phone calls to try and gather some information. I wasn't looking for a winning bag or any secrets, just something to get us on fish. Several guys had been catching ledge fish and all said that their bites were coming in 18 foot while the boat was in 30. That might explain why we weren't getting bit on ledges. Everyone agreed that the top water bite was still way off.
We decided to start on our ledges in Seibold, but after 15 minutes without a bite on top water and chatterbaits, we made a change and ran to some shallow humps in front of Seibold. I was throwing a Z-Man in a green pumpkin color with a PTL Swinging Hammer swimbait. On my first cast into five feet, I caught a nice keeper.
Minutes later, I had a second keeper and we were one away from a three fish limit.
I had another come unbuttoned, but Brad hung into a nice fish and we boated 4.5 pounder. It was a great start and exactly what to guys who have struggled really needed.
I added a fourth fish, though it didn't look to add anything.
The sun came out and the chatterbait bite died.
We moved to the ledges. Nothing. Over and over we checked spots from the day before, even idled around and tried to see if the fish had moved. We couldn't get a bite. We got desperate and started scanning for new schools, but none of them ever bit. Brad eventually boated a decent fish on a lizard, but it didn't help us.
We threw a collection of crankbaits, lizards, and big works. I even tried to throw a magnum shakey head. Nothing.
We weighed in a little over 8 pounds in our three fish, which I believe was good enough for fifth place. First place was 13 pounds, second was 12, and third was a little under that. There wasn't a fish over 5.82 weighed in and very few five pounders weighed. The fish have not recovered from the spawn just yet.
On the day we had just five fish on six bites. The water temp would begin in the high 70s and creep to 85 by the end of the day. Grass is coming along, but not topped out anywhere. The water level is incredibly low and I imagine the frog bite will be very good, as long as there isn't much rain.