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Fall fishing tips and tricks

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I've found a lot of the fishing lore and knowledge I learned as a kid in Western NY is pretty useless down here in Eastern TN (though bass still love a polka-dot Mepps). I live close to Watts Bar, though only have a canoe. Winter fishing was exclusively ice fishing - did that twice as a kid, never again. Down here if its sunny and calm in Nov/Dec ... its like 50 degrees out!!  Whadya run? Minnows? Best I can do is one of the coves around here... my tackle box has proven useless thus far.

My youngest was telling me White Bass will look for spawning beds after a frost... but we didn't catch anything. Crappie are all done now, right? Catch anything big out in the channels in the lake? Used to be you could find the occasional walleye near the mouths of streams on warm days when I tried fall fishing in my past-life up north.

Thanks for the suggestions!

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The best fishing here is Nov. for me,Slab Caappie and large fish of all kinds. You have to adjust from Fall fishing.  Talk to the customers at bait shops and sporting good store clerks for local info.  

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I like to catch crappie November and December. I just run a grub, chartreuse or white (chartreuse if the water is muddy) and will crank deep and slow around structure. Sometimes i will find them around docks still submerged several feet in the water. When im fishing shallow ill usually run a slip bobber and let the grub drop 4 to 6 ft under, or just on the edge of visibility where they can feel safe to come out and strike. This also works great for small mouth. The most success I've had is when I keep in mind that its cold, theyre metabolism is slow and so are they. They just don't want to do fast hard strikes like when the water gets warmer in April and May.  If you want to catch something big just go toss crank baits by the dam or use a live shad and you can catch big hybrid strips any time of the year. Catching smaller striped bass is best when the dog woods bloom. You can catch smaller striped bass the same way you fish for crappie. Little spoons (like road runners) are fantastic for stripes

People seem to fixate on grub color too, I've found when i get into the fish the color doesn't mean anything I've swapped grubs every fish for a couple dozen fish and it didn't matter, but when I can't seem to find them or they're not super active making the grub a visible color does seem to help. Check out Bobby garland as well. I like they're baits.

Check out Richard Gene. He's a great man with really good advice.


Edited by JunkiCosmonaut
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Only fish I go for is crappie. For now they are in deep water. One spot I can fish from the bank in 27 foot of water. I put a 2 oz sinker on the line, don't tye it. 3 foot from the hook baited with a big minnow is a bead lined in place. Cast out to that spot, give it an extra 5 to 10 foot of line. Reel to click it closed, set the rod so the tip is close to the water. My rod holders might be 10 to 15 degrees. Watch the line not the rod tip. Any line movement reel it in. Most fish will strike, crappie won't.

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  • 1 month later...

My sons and I met up at Sardis lower lake last Wednesday for some kayak crappie fishing. Paddled out to find 12 foot of water and dropped a jig to the bottom. Slow paddle backwards, let the line come up them fall straight down. As the jig was coming off the bottom that's when we would get a strike. We got our limits of 15 in 3 hours.

Edited by DeepSouth
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