Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Reel Foot Lake Adventure - The Rendezvous

Conditions were horrible from mid-day on. LOFR-BR nailed it.

In hot, hot weather - this place is a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery but the fish are there because it is jurassic!!!!

Adventure 

I took a stump in the rump on the way out (while it was described to me- I wasn't really hearing that we would be banging off stumps in the front, middle and motor). I nearly jumped out of my skin right after the stump hit when a 25 lb. -  fish jumped up about 3 foot from me to my back and then smashed down in the water like a cannon shot, dropping spray over the bow where I was sitting. I peed a little...

 

White caps off to the left coming all the way across the lake and sending current into the canal spillway we were fishing gave a few fish the wake-up call. No matter where you fish, this can happen and 2 days can be bad with one day good - that is fishing. We never really got to the really good but I know this lake is magical. 

I got to see it all while I was there - giant jumping fish (still need to catch one in a net), boat-bumping travel across fields of submerged stumps and a really swampy-look'n cyrpess paradise along with some of the best Southern hospitality you could imagine. I am still full from all the food that LOFR-BR (Lord of the Fly Rods & BBQ Ribs) prepared for us before the trip started and during the trip!!! The members that shared their passion for fishing, lots of stories and even a tackle-swap you could find no where on the planet, this was a really great time. Adventure!

Fishing Reel Foot in Slow Bite

Reel Foot has a lot more to offer so we will have to visit it when the temperatures haven't reached 100 or when they have started down in the 60's because it should offer up monsters on structure consistently. I didn't set a personal best there for fish, but I did for BBG.com adventures.

I think I cracked a little bit of the code late on the last night - and I caught one hump-head mixed with 8 cats or so. I had a Green sunfish earlier so I got to see them.

These fish were literally on lock-down. They were deep in the base of those stumps and not coming out. We switched sides of the lake for the evening and the temperature came down 15 degrees, wind-whipped shores on the South end got the fish going a bit. This is where the spillway was.

We should rotate back on this lake during a slightly better fishing period (later September, early October or in Spring) because I know this lake has beast fish hidden in it. In order to fish this you have to snag up on cypress root - if you aren't snag'n - you aint catch'n.  That said, I did have some success with chumming the fish to bring them up a bit. This is tricky business because if you do it wrong- you will actually drive the fish deeper down into these roots (rooty fish cribs). If you do it correctly - you can put some interest above the roots and get the fish to slowly come up to the root edge and strike.

Tackle Down

This would have to be done anchoring at each stump this time of year with the most delicate gear you can use. I picked up on some local posts where they were talking about going to 1/80 oz. jigs and, I think a 1/1,000th ounce hook was the way to go. I had a chance to fish my prototype hooks and they held on some small and  medium-sized channel cats- I didn't get a hook to straighten up. I had one hook pull out early, but I think I only got a tiny piece of lip on that fish (guessed it was a bullhead from the fight). The hook points didn't dull too fast, of course, I caught as many cypress stumps as I did fish so the hook got a little work-out. We can do better on a mission hooking a volume of gills to test these hook points but early returns are that they are very good. 

Float Rigs

Where I fished that evening, I was able to do two things that I couldn't on the boat. I used the tree I fished to hold the rod tip in place. This kept the bait still down below - despite some good surface current. If you are not controlling your float by holding back on the pole tip or float tip (I used both a rod and a telescopic pole the same. Using the longer rod 10' with a spinning reel, I was able to hold onto some bigger fish). I did land a small 2 lb. cat on the telescopic pole. The extended pole lengths gave me enough reach to get to the outside of the tree trunk where I could hold the hook bait in place. If the hook bait is still below- the fish can easily "sip it in" - see the video on my page. If the hook is moving and the fish are in a funky mood- they won't chase.

Chum + Loose-Feed - Draw Them Out

One, I was able to feed a small area with a very, very little bit of loose grub and tiny amounts of ground bait. The ground bait was imported and was cut down to simulate how I normally fish. Imported ground baits are very rich! Too rich for our fish. Exotic flavors are not needed. I add some crumbs to the bait to both cut down on my cost (crumb is 1/4 the price of some ground baits) My ground bait had freeze-dried grass shrimp and bloodworm in it. The fish really dig this in the water column - it perks them up, gets them moving around and looking instead of just sitting and sulking. The fish activity above the roots then attracts the fish to look and move closer.  Note that I was catching channel cats about 8" off the bottom. I was going for bream - but I am not picky when a chunky cat is going to take my hook bait. Eventually I did draw a hump-head gill out of the cover so - they were in there. Now I think back at all the stumps I could have chummed when I was there!!

Return to Reel Foot

Well, I can go visit them again because they have been there for several hundred years. I will again pack fresh grubs and try to really crack the code of Reel Foot Lake. With another day and some good weather, I think we could have seen some more gills and more cats. Keith had put out a bunch of jugs - really cool foam jug lines he made and the fish were just picking at the hook bait. We didn't get a single bite to stick on those lines. This was telling as to how little the fish were feeding and how light the bite was under the conditions. The lake had several weeks of high 90's so these fish were sulking and melting in that water. A front came through very late in the day and actual cool winds started changing the game. This happens on trips. My next trip I will plan three days on the water to make sure I get one real good day and hopefully a chunk of time on the other two days.

Reel Foot- you have not beaten us, we are plotting and rigging. A plan is forming.

Views: 1162

Comment

You need to be a member of Bluegill - Big Bluegill to add comments!

Join Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Comment by Marty Lemons on November 18, 2014 at 6:37pm

Wow, I use to go to Paris, Tenn back in 1970-1974 to Mansard Island Resort on Ky. Lake for summer vacation when I was in Jr. High and High School.  Huge lake so there should be plenty of places to choose from to hold as a base camp.

Comment by carl hendrix on November 18, 2014 at 3:27pm

Marty  we're making plans for one this spring;;  Parris Tn. possibly.  around Mrach- April I think;; Lord of the Fly rods is the one to contact!!

Comment by Marty Lemons on November 18, 2014 at 2:23pm

Where will the Rendezvous in 2015 be?  Is there a place where this topic is discussed other than on this post?  This is the only place the word came up.

Comment by Lord of the Fly , Rods on September 10, 2014 at 8:47pm

Walt, I never claimed to know more about Tennessee than you,my research came from books that had actual eye witnesses of the event and these are the first hand knowledge story's they tell.  What they give as proof of the river flowing backward is that there were boats and barges that were tied up to the banks near Blytheville, Arkansas that tore loose from their moorings and floated with the current  in the main channel and were found around Cairo, Ill., so if you believe these first hand accounts it proves that the main current didn't pass through the Reelfoot Lake area otherwise the boats and barges would have been caught in the trees and would have never made it to Cairo, Ill . History is History and it does not stop at the State Line.  LOFR

Comment by carl hendrix on September 10, 2014 at 4:51pm

guys;;  we did leave a little bit out of our adventure on the water.  Keith Ritter volunteered his boat to take Johnny Wilkins and myself fishing.  And it was really windy; water was extremely choppy;; almost white capping.  You can only go;; just over a idle speed in the boat;; because of hitting so many stumps!!  I lost count at how many we hit!!  Keith had been on the water there many times; and wasn't to concerened; so we went on.  We hit one stump;; and got STUCK on top of it!!  the back end of the boat was up!!  couldn't get off it with the motor;; so;; after Keith turned the motor off;; I stuck my foot down on top of the stump; finally pushed us off it.  OK; Keith was trying to start the motor then;; BUT IT WOULD NOT START!!  Here we were;; close to the middle of the lake;; high wind;;  very choppy water;; stumps every where;; so;; being good old country redneck boys;;  Keith dropped his trolling motor;; and we went to a little calmer water!!  wind was only around 20 mph there I think.  As Keith was operating the trolling motor;;   what do you think we did??  WE GRABBED OUR FISHING GEAR!!  STARTED FISHING RIGHT THERE!!  I had a spinning rod ; small crankbait;; started casting!!  Keith got us to calmer water;; so I then turned to my old trusty fly rod!!  Ken;; if I had a camera at the time;; we could have put the whole thing on;; funniest home movies!!  or else;; the guys with the white coats would be looking for us!!  NOBODY else was crazy enough to be out on the water that day!!  All in all tho;; it was FUN!!    I'll do it again  any time!!  Fish or no fish;; it was hilarious fun!!

Comment by Lord of the Fly , Rods on September 10, 2014 at 3:50pm

Jim , yes the Survey does do aerial searches for sand blows the first hand reports that were recorded report that they were sand fountains  that shot into the air because of ground liquidification because of the ground shaking. These blows can be seen from the air in the spring because of it will be big circles of sand in a field of what we call gumbo dirt. When we trench the edges of these sand blows you can see where the sand has shot up, whats crazy is that if you dig deeper you can find where this has happened 400 years earlier and 800 years earlier than the New Madrid earthquake, These dates have been checked by carbon dating so with that cycle I guess it will be another 200 years before we have another big one , although we get little shakers on our graphs daily . LOFR

Comment by Tony Livingston on September 10, 2014 at 3:18pm

Ken, my comment wasn't directed at you, or any one individual anymore than it was myself....I sat behind the computer and mulled over what I would've done had I been there, and wondered if it might have made a difference. I think that's just the fisherman in me, wanting to be successful on every outing and believing that I can be.....ego, in other words.

My comment was more of an admittance of guilt on my part, and not meant to be critical of anyone else. Sorry if it was taken that way by yourself, or any other members.

Comment by Slip Sinker on September 10, 2014 at 2:48pm

Tony brings up a good point if it was directed towards me… im guilty… im a terrible backseat driver. Good friends that like to fish. I would hate to damage that. My intentions were not intended to be negative but curious. If you guys had GoPros strapped onto your foreheads id be one of the first in line to watch the footage. Sounded like a great adventure you’ll always remember.

Comment by Walt Foreman on September 10, 2014 at 2:46pm

LOFR, I think it's great that you're a historian and have been for seventeen years.  I don't by any means think that makes you more knowledgeable about the state of Tennessee than someone who was born here and has been studying the state for forty-four of his forty-eight years on the planet.  The state park system of Tennessee provides the same information that I linked to previously from the state government, i.e. that the lake was formed when the Mississippi flowed backward:

http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/reelfoot-lake

I would think that the average thoughtful person would likely give my state more credit than to suggest they got their info about a major state landmark from online, disreputable sources; if one actually takes the time to follow the link I provided in my previous post, one will find a good deal of very specific incidental facts and details about the immediate area of the lake, from the immediate time period when it was formed; I did not find said incidental facts at any of the sources from other states or areas that I consulted.  I am not a historian myself, but having a graduate degree in English I have spent more than a little time studying history, and know that the more specific details there are from the immediate time of the event, the more credibility is given to the account.

This is not an event that took place before the invention of pen and paper, or for that matter historical records; I would think the average person would likely attribute more validity to the info compiled by historians in the state where the event took place, than historians from other states.  I teach high school English when I'm not managing ponds, and we have to teach the difference between primary and secondary sources.  Primary are considered more reliable because they were there.  

If the Mississippi did indeed flow backward, even for a brief interval, it is entirely possible that its main channel went right through the spot of land that is now Reelfoot Lake, and the brief time of its flowing there would not have been long enough to eliminate the stumps.  And, considering that a river can be wide or narrow according to the topography of the land it flows through, it is also entirely possible that the present Reelfoot lake is the width the channel was when it flowed there (the Mississippi is not a small river).  

Comment by jim cosgrove on September 10, 2014 at 2:00pm

LOFR i know the lake is not old it just has the look of some movies and the way they portray dinosaurs,i almost had a stroke when they were talking about lake michigan being millions of years old on the local news.the great lakes did not exist until after the last ice age.10-12 thousand years.i would think people would look at that massive BOW and wonder how it got there.people seem to just accept any idiotic thing they are told and worse yet repeat it.

Latest Activity

John Sheehan posted a status
"Spoons and Pickerel today in the Drizzle."
4 hours ago
Jeffrey D. Abney posted photos
yesterday
Jeffrey D. Abney posted photos
yesterday
Jeffrey D. Abney posted a status
"A Short but Productive trip after work today.....wanted to beat the next front.....a very bountiful trip on the coastal marsh......"
yesterday
Jeffrey D. Abney commented on Jeffrey D. Abney's photo
Thumbnail

Most Of The Crappie Were This Size

"Thanks Tooty.....hope you're doing well!"
Sunday
DAVID L EITUTIS commented on Jeffrey D. Abney's photo
Thumbnail

Most Of The Crappie Were This Size

"NICE ONES JEFFREY........"
Sunday
Jeffrey D. Abney posted photos
Sunday
Jeffrey D. Abney commented on Jeffrey D. Abney's photo
Sunday
Jeffrey D. Abney commented on Jeffrey D. Abney's album
Thumbnail

Flier Features

"Very good question John......I most often use a 1.32 ounce jig and catch alot of fliers on this…"
Sunday
Jeffrey D. Abney posted a photo

Side Profile Flier.......Open Mouth

Good perspective of the mouth.....larger than a bluegill's and smaller than a Crappie////
Sunday
John Sheehan commented on Jeffrey D. Abney's photo
Thumbnail

Side Profile Flier.....10/19/2019

"How does the Mouth size on a Flier compare to a Bluegill?"
Sunday
dick tabbert commented on Jeffrey D. Abney's photo
Sunday
Jeffrey D. Abney posted photos
Sunday
Jeffrey D. Abney commented on Jeffrey D. Abney's photo
Thumbnail

Also Had (20) Solid Fliers At The Party........

"Thanks John.....today was an event filled trip in a good way........"
Saturday
John Sheehan commented on Jeffrey D. Abney's photo
Thumbnail

Also Had (20) Solid Fliers At The Party........

"that is a solid looking fish ,you're right!"
Saturday
Jeffrey D. Abney posted photos
Saturday
Jeffrey D. Abney posted a status
"Great Fall weather ahead of the approaching Tropical Storm.....over 100 tidal crappie and several other sunfish species.......Alot of fun!"
Saturday
John Sheehan commented on dick tabbert's photo
Thumbnail

My Kitty Cat Supper 10/18/19

"Thataway Dick ! Enjoy !"
Saturday
dick tabbert posted photos
Friday

© 2019   Created by Bluegill.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service