Thanksgiving week -cheoah,calderwood,santeelah,fontana - Page 3
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Thread: Thanksgiving week -cheoah,calderwood,santeelah,fontana

  1. #31
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    Sep 2016
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    WEST PALM BEACH
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    yup
    The wife and i are there for the week -fri 11/20 -fri 11/27 --then on to cherokee KOA fri am and sat all day to see some elk and bounce around the reservation's trout streams & ponds before we head out early sun back to Florida.

    Can not wait.

    good fishin

    Coach

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  3. #32
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    Nov 2012
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    Bryson City
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    FWIW if you fish Santeetlah and use a recent Garmin unit, I've been mapping some of Santeetlah. Snowbird, W.Buffalo pretty much done. Some on Santeetlah, Ground Squirrel, and E. Buffalo and some selected spots. You'll need a free Garmin account and the maps are free. They're called QuickDraw Community. Someone else has also been doing some mapping on Santeetlah. It looks like a 2d transducer used while they were trolling. You can determine which ones I've done as generally mine are bank to bank on clean 1ft contours. I don't know how much of this I will keep doing. It would help if I could find a few walleye while doing it. I've had some luck at that but not much. connect.garmin.com
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    loganwayne likes this.

    My wife asks if I'm going to fish everyday. I can't fish everyday. Some days I might be sick.

  4. #33
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    May 2019
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    Clyde
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWinchester View Post
    FWIW if you fish Santeetlah and use a recent Garmin unit, I've been mapping some of Santeetlah. Snowbird, W.Buffalo pretty much done. Some on Santeetlah, Ground Squirrel, and E. Buffalo and some selected spots. You'll need a free Garmin account and the maps are free. They're called QuickDraw Community. Someone else has also been doing some mapping on Santeetlah. It looks like a 2d transducer used while they were trolling. You can determine which ones I've done as generally mine are bank to bank on clean 1ft contours. I don't know how much of this I will keep doing. It would help if I could find a few walleye while doing it. I've had some luck at that but not much. connect.garmin.com
    Ive graphed a bunch of the lake down towards the dam and the main channel. But Im using lowrance


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  6. #34
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    Jun 2012
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    And just to make it a "full house".....I've been graphing Santeetlah for several years with Humminbird Autochart. The pic is of a flat area that drops from 15 ft into 80 plus ft. I have caught trout there consistently for the last two years. The flags show the most recent trip (Dec. 2019) and represent Trout Strikes while trolling. You would never know from the shoreline that this area existed.

    I have also found that Mapping....which I enjoy....is a double edged sword. You can get lost trying to figure where the "fish should be". I've learned to stop telling them where they should be....and concentrate more on just locating them. I then graph and sidescan the spot to try and learn more. Sidescanning revealed some rocks in this area and no trees. For whatever reason....the Trout Love it! But....I still don't know why? I look forward to seeing if they are still there in a couple of weeks.

    Water Temps and Weather will likely determine what happens....but, they were there two years in row in November and December. I will let you guys know what I find. Best of Luck....D
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  7. #35
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    May 2010
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    Knoxville
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    I've been reading about the Jay Fair Trolling Flies and his trolling lines too over at Arctic Fox's website. Jay Fair is deceased but Arctic Fox continues to sell his trolling flies that look a bit like colorful woolyworm patterns to me. What I've found very interesting is the two packets of preassembled trolling line to fish the Jay Fair system. They both have braid backing. The shallow system line has floating (mono ?) line and then one half color of 18 pound leadcore line and then the leader. The deep system has regular line that sinks and then 3 colors of leadcore before the leader. This had me thinking if some variants of these rigs might be a good way to fish hoochies or trolling flies in winter when the Trout get really shallow.

    I made myself a 4 color leadcore rig specifically to fish shallow Chilhowee Lake with mainly hoochies but sometimes other stuff. If I fished in the dead of winter, I think I'd make myself a variant of the Jay Fair lines. I might do one or one and a half colors of 12 or 15 pound leadcore line to fish hoochies shallow. For ya'all that are gonna fish in winter, a shallow leadcore set-up might be just the ticket...? I've caught Trout and Smallmouth in Chilhowee running a relatively heavy 4" flasher keeping my hoochie just underwater, no leadcore or downrigger, when the fish were on the top chasing. One or two colors might be just the ticket...??? I think I'd try this with no flasher in front of the hoochie.

  8. #36
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    The learning curve is Constant. I have a dozen Beautiful Trolling Flies that I've never even bothered to use (sad?). It sounds like the Jay Fair rig uses lead core basically as a "weight" ? I will be using lead core only next week......for Trout Trolling. Last year I simply flatlined at different lengths of 50-100 ft to control depth.....easy peasy.

    At one point last year I was coasting with the motor idling and talking to another boat that was asking for information on what I was doing. I had about 15-20 ft of line out. I shared a few things with them ....showed them a hoochie and put the boat in gear to head back into my trolling pattern and was about to start letting my line out. An 18 inch Rainbow slammed my hoochie right in the prop wash and scared the crap out of me. I had laid the rod down....and it was bouncing all over the place making a loud racket! I landed him while they watched....and just shrugged. I never expected that and it was just dumb luck. It just goes to show that the length of line you have out may or may not matter, depending on the day. I was in about 20 ft of water and heading deeper.

    Troutgirl, you mentioned the "Double D" dodger earlier. I started using them last December. They basically eliminate the need for planer boards on my boat ....Simple....Love It!. I also started playing around with different "bends" in the dodger to change the action. I have many, many new things to try....including Walleye rigs. Coach should already be up there. Anyone else out and about during Thanksgiving Week ....be sure to say Hello. Good Fishing to All....D

  9. #37
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    May 2010
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    Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artisanthe View Post
    .....At one point last year I was coasting with the motor idling and talking to another boat that was asking for information on what I was doing. I had about 15-20 ft of line out. I shared a few things with them ....showed them a hoochie and put the boat in gear to head back into my trolling pattern and was about to start letting my line out. An 18 inch Rainbow slammed my hoochie right in the prop wash and scared the crap out of me. I had laid the rod down....and it was bouncing all over the place making a loud racket! I landed him while they watched....and just shrugged. I never expected that and it was just dumb luck. It just goes to show that the length of line you have out may or may not matter, depending on the day. I was in about 20 ft of water and heading deeper.....

    It can be crazier than that. On two occasions I've seen Bass jump out of the water to get a bait or lure. When I was a teenager, I was just finishing a cast into a cove on Watts Bar Lake. I was throwing a Heddon Top Secret plug. As I was lifting it up out of the water a 14" Largemouth jumped for it, hooked itself, and I swung it over the bank.

    I was on a float trip on the Nolichucky River. We caught Hellgrammites, Grampas, for bait. We caught most of the fish in the shoals. I was in the front of the canoe and this is what I saw out of the corner of my eye. The guy behind me, his rod was leaning over the side of the boat. It was baited and the Hellgrammite was hanging about 15 inches above the water. A 17" Smallmouth jumped up for the Hellgrammite, hooked itself and my buddy grabbed his rod just in time to prevent it being pulled out of the boat. He lifted that fish right into the boat.

    I wish I could fish this coming week but I have an important doctor's appointment on Wednesday. Maybe I'll get to try shallow hoochie fishing before I put my boat up for the winter. I'm gonna put a new leader on my four color lead outfit. I'll make it about 160 feet long and then I'll fish one to two colors out. I think I'll try it without a flasher to start. If I go to a flasher, I'll use the Father Murphy mini dodger. It's the lightest flasher or dodger that I've ever used. I think that they're made out of aluminum. They're so light that they don't add much sink to your line. They became a favorite of mine when I was developing my leadcore techniques in shallow Chilhowee Lake. I got snagged more often using the heavier flashers/dodgers.

    Chilhowee Lake taught me to avoid getting leadcore rigs snagged, get longer leaders and put less lead in the water. I liked fishing the hoochies about 190-220 feet behind the boat. When I was rigging for Chilhowee I started using leaders in the 90-120 foot range. 50 feet might be the standard leader length but longer has worked very well for me in relatively shallow conditions, like Chilhowee Lake and the upper end of Calderwood.

    I really like fishing leadcore at Watauga! No matter how much lead I put out and how much dive is in the plug, I almost never get snagged as long as I stay in the channel.....and I've caught most of my biggest Lakers and Rainbows on plugs running at about 40-75 feet. I have to go deeper as the year proceeds into the hot season when I'll put out 7-9 colors with plugs that can add another 15-30 feet of dive.


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  10. #38
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    May 2010
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    I hope that the lot of ya'all are all out fishing. I hope I will be able to go again by spring. I'll be having a serious heart operation in the not too distant future. Happy Thanksgiving to the fish and the fishermen!
    SurfRider likes this.


  11. #39
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    Feb 2012
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    Pensacola,FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troutgirl View Post
    I hope that the lot of ya'all are all out fishing. I hope I will be able to go again by spring. I'll be having a serious heart operation in the not too distant future. Happy Thanksgiving to the fish and the fishermen!
    I don't fish the mountains but I have enjoyed your posts; I hope you do well and will throw out a prayer for ya! Tight lines!
    - Sam
    "Things are only impossible until they're not!"

  12. #40
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    May 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurfRider View Post
    I don't fish the mountains but I have enjoyed your posts; I hope you do well and will throw out a prayer for ya! Tight lines!

    Thanks !!!

  13. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    WEST PALM BEACH
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    Hi folks-
    Trout Girl--good luck with surgery!!!

    Just back from the Fontana area. Fished Cheoah sat 11/21,sun 11/22 and tues 11/24--Fished Calderwood Mon 11/23 and thanksgiving day--3-5 hours of trolling each day 1.8 mph all over the lakes. averaged 3-5 fish a trip. Weird --only wanted spinners and nightcrawler rigs and you better have a chartreuse blade. Biggest fish jumped off my copper spoon 3.5-4 lb rainbow on cheoah at the boat--only hit on that all week. All fish were between 5-40' deep --1 brown 15'' and all rainbows were 14-18''--we brought home 14 for my mother in law. and released the rest.

    Hooked a big smallie on calderwood -4-5 lbs but he took off with the trailer hook in his lip at the boat as he flopped off the net.

    No monsters this trip but steady action all over both lakes--surface temp was 59 degrees

    Weather was beautiful and always great to have the lake to ourselves too.

    good fishing
    coach

  14. #42
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    May 2010
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    I'm glad ya'all caught enough fish to keep well occupied. Did you hook the Smallmouth trolling? I've never caught a Smallmouth trolling Calderwood. I've caught some pint-sized ones fishing minnows down near the dam. I've seen a couple of Smallmouths jump that were over 5 pounds down near the dam but never have hooked one.

    Most of the Browns in those lakes were probably at Spawn-a-palozza...? The last couple of years, Cheoah has more Browns than ever before. Summer before last, we caught more Browns than Rainbows. There's Browns in Santeetlah too. You should try it, or try it again. There's a big variety in Santeetlah, including Walleyes.

  15. #43
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    Sep 2016
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    i like Santeelah very much--It was windy so we went with lakes that were protected.

    It was a great trip.

  16. #44
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    Mar 2008
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    Hey all. I have learned a lot just reading all of your posts over the years. I have been to Santeelah a few times but only in the spring to trout fish the streams. I am FINALLY able to make a trip up that way next week and I really want to catch a walleye. I've never caught one so I've been reading up on technique and such. No powered boat this trip, I'm stuck with my Old Town and a depth finder and a paddle a lot of determination. Wind will hopefully cooperate but I might have to fish sheltered waters. I'm thinking of using bottom bouncer type rigs with a crawler harness or simply a pink or chartreuse jig head with a crawler. Since I'm paddling it's going to be a near vertical presentation and a lot of drifting I'm thinking. Are the 'eyes in the creek arms with moving water this time of year or do they tend to be on long deep main lake rocky points? I've read as much as I can but some of the advice seems to conflict when discussing this time of year. I have a Lowrance HDI so it should be able to pick up bait schools OK and hopefully the old find the bait find the fish advice will hold. Any suggestions on a good place to put in? It looks like a creek comes in right near the Santeelah dam so that is where I was going to start. I'm not married to the Santtelah idea either if anybody thinks that another lake would be better suited to paddling. Troutgirl I'll be praying for you, you'll be back on the water in no time. Thanks and tight lines to all, stripes.

  17. #45
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    Sep 2016
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    Stripes
    Put in at the ramp close to the dam-it is just around the corner--Fish the points as you described--at this time of year 3'' shiners on the jig head might be better--you will see the fish on your fishfinder

    I'll bet you catch a mixed bag

    water temps up around 48 degrees so wear your vest.

    good luck

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