Thanksgiving week -cheoah,calderwood,santeelah,fontana
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 40

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

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WEST PALM BEACH
    Posts
    71

    Default Thanksgiving week -cheoah,calderwood,santeelah,fontana

    FELLOW FISHERMAN-
    We are staying at Fontana village 11/20-11/27--fishing any of those 4 lakes---any suggestions.
    i have fished them all but never this late in the year.

    Any info will be of great help--lake preferences--spots, trolling patterns--specific lures you had success with, etc.....
    I eagerly await your responses.

    Thanks

    be safe
    good fishin

    coach

  2. Remove Advertisements

    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Longs
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Hi Coach. I will be there next week......and Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks. 2020 has kept me off the water so far.....but, that is about to change. Fontana and Santeetlah were very hot last year. i expect the same this year....but, it's Fishing....so, you never know?

    I spent last year focused on Bass in the mornings and Trolling for Trout the rest of the day. The Bass hit Damiki Vaults and Spybaits readily. Both of those lures allow for long casts. I found them schooled up the creeks on both lakes. I plan to try some other lures this year including jigging spoons and chatterbaits.

    The Trout fishing was Very Good....and I caught them every day in good numbers. I used wiggle hoochies, spinners, spoons and Rapala's.....and let the Trout decide what they wanted. Wiggle Hoochies ruled the water last year.

    I will also be targeting Walleye this year for the first time. I find Fall/Winter to be my favorite time of year up there. Your mileage may vary. The Weather is a Big Factor. Two years ago Thanksgiving was COLD! Get some Merino Wool if it looks like it will be on the Cool side. Last year it was Mild.

    There is plenty of info on here in the archives. The pics below show a Thanksgiving 3.5 lb Smallie, a half dozen Trout I kept 14-18 inches and my Boat covered in Frost from two years ago. Best of Luck!....D

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version.†

Name:	!4to18Trout.jpg‎†
Views:	377†
Size:	105.8 KB†
ID:	198145Click image for larger version.†

Name:	FrostBoat.jpg‎†
Views:	389†
Size:	62.4 KB†
ID:	198147Click image for larger version.†

Name:	3.5SmallmouthFontana.jpg‎†
Views:	356†
Size:	91.6 KB†
ID:	198143

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WEST PALM BEACH
    Posts
    71

    Default

    I have an 18' deep vee aluminum walk thru windshield and full enclosure if needed and we have all cold gear as we are up there in mid march too.

    I lean toward cheoah and calderwood for trout--although I have caught plenty in Fontana and santeelah. We have caught quite a few walleye in both as well--just not in late fall. We usually troll spoons and plugs with some worm spinners thrown in at all depths generally running 5 lines. I'll grab some wiggle hootchies too---do you use a dodger in front?

    What areas do you troll on santeelah?

    thanks

    coach

  5. Remove Advertisements

    Advertisements
     

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Longs
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Lots of folks on here troll around the big point on Santeetlah....the "Town". I troll near the dam.....and as the weather gets cooler and the Trout turn to spawning.....I follow them up the creeks. Thanksgiving is about a month early for the Trout spawn. On Fontana you will likely find them stacked outside the big creeks (Hazel, Eagle) getting ready to head up.

    Yes....I use a small flasher in front of the wiggle hoochie. Mack's Lures and Crystal Basin Tackle have everything you need. I do best with some custom ones I make....after that....chartreuse and pink. Some folks on here like the purple colors. I have Great Confidence in the wiggle hoochie and always have one in the water when trolling.

    I don't know if you have a thermometer.....but a Fishhawk thermometer will tell you quickly what is going on. It will be Fun either way.....No Jetski's and less lake traffic. You can take your time and just enjoy the lake. Best of Luck Fishing!....D

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WEST PALM BEACH
    Posts
    71

    Default

    Thank you again--one ? left. What temp do you like to fish in? I would think as soon as it breaks 60 would be good although i fish 48-49 for Landlocked Salmon and Lakers in New England summers--I have very good electronics and a fish hawk I clip on my downrigger ball for 5' increments. Soon I will have the blue-tooth model with the stand alone screen.

    i went on macks and ordered the wiggle hootchie stuff--i have plenty of dodgers. a buddy of mine fishes wiggle hootchies with just a smile blade above the swivel up in NH.

    Thanks for all the help!!

    coach

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Longs
    Posts
    56

    Default

    So....last Thanksgiving....my Notes show Air Temps of 54 to 60 degrees and lows around 40. The overwhelming factor was the Wind.....Lots of Wind. You don't want to be on Fontana on windy days unless you're way up the creeks and sheltered. Even then, just crossing the lake from the Marina or Cable Cove Landing is no fun. If that happens again (wind), head for Cheoah or Calderwood.

    Water Surface Temps were also 60 on Fontana and 55 on Santeetlah. The Trout were up in the 15-20 ft range and if you use Lead Core.....you can simply flat line.....easy trolling. My largest trout of last year came on my Thanksgiving Trip. I caught two over 20 inches. I caught many in the 16-18 inch ranch. The largest trout came on Rapala's. The most trout came on wiggle hoochies.....a slightly larger custom version I make myself.

    The wind was a force to be dealt with....but, the fishing was great where I had boat control. The pics below show 5 trout I kept 18-14 inches. The other pic is of a double....two 15's that hit almost simultaneously on a different day. I usually keep 5 or 6 trout a day in the 15-17 inch range for my freezer. If a fish is injured or hooked badly I will also keep them.

    You should find ideal conditions for trout.....and the shad should be balling up nicely. Bass and trout both will be on them. Electronics are key. Check out the mouths of every creek on Fontana and Santeetlah. Cheoah and Calderwood are a different story. I look forward to your reports on here. There are some members on here who live in that area and can dial you in further. Let us know what you find....D

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version.†

Name:	Five Trout.jpg‎†
Views:	348†
Size:	62.4 KB†
ID:	198151Click image for larger version.†

Name:	Double15.jpg‎†
Views:	340†
Size:	36.0 KB†
ID:	198153

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WEST PALM BEACH
    Posts
    71

    Default

    I figured the temps would be in the ranges you stated--i have trolled the mouth of Hazel in March and caught a 5 lb brown in 2016 along with a few 15'' rainbows.--How far up did you troll last fall?? Where did you get the Brookie?

    Thanks again--I troll sutton spoons and others & I do fairly well on the rapala flo-orange x-rap on all trout/salmon & smallies, walleyes too. The walleyes should be around those points near the mouths of the creeks as well.

    coach

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Longs
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Sutton Spoons are solid! I've been using Natahala Nailers.....though I haven't seen Scott on these boards lately. I have added Thomas Buoyant Spoons for this year....as a Buddy uses those and Kastmasters to great effect. I've actually got more new lures to try than I will probably have time for.

    Despite the vast and often frustrating waters.....Fontana is my Favorite Lake. I can almost always find Spotted Bass and Rainbows.....but, it's the Brown Fish that I love most.....Smallies and Brown Trout. They are still plentiful....but a bit more sophisticated in their tastes. I chased Bass up into the bends of the creeks, where they were smashing shad. I did not troll too far from the creek mouths at Thanksgiving, but, at Christmas (Spawning Time) I went up the creeks and found the Trout stacked there. You should find them still in open water over the channels and near the creek mouths during your time.....D

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WEST PALM BEACH
    Posts
    71

    Default

    D
    sent you a pm

    thx again

    coach

  12. #10
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Clyde
    Posts
    53

    Default

    Itís all been pretty well covered fontana is huge but if you can find the places they are holding around you can do well.

    Santeelah can be a pain and tough fishing but to me consistently has bigger fish just not as many and harder to find than the others you listed. It can also have some stupid strong winds.

    Personally Iíd start on calderwood and get some fish then try the others. Iíve always had good luck on it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knoxville
    Posts
    693

    Default

    Just Lately, Calderwood and Chilhowee are overrun with seaweed. Fontana is generating 6500 CFPS 24-7. Brookfield slows down at night and refills their lakes. When daylight comes they generate at 10,000 CFPS for many hours in a row. It rips the weeds loose and it's hard to fish as your lures get fouled in a hurry. A friend was on Calderwood last week. He said the weeds were terrible in the top end but most of the fish were in the middle of the lake where the weeds were less problematic. TVA has a long way yet to go dropping Fontana for the winter. The heavy generating is gonna be happening for at least another month.

  14. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Longs
    Posts
    56

    Default

    I was hoping others would chime in. While I have Not traveled yet this year to fish....I have hit some local spots. I have seen an explosion of weeds (duckweed, watermeal) on lakes in my area this year. We had a mild winter, and waterbirds, geese and ducks carried the weeds from lake to lake and they nearly covered some lakes completely. I said this last year.......we NEED some Cold Winter Temps to kill off the weeds and have the Lakes Turnover. Obviously, it's beyond our immediate control.

    I am headed up Very soon now. Logan......do you have anything to share on the local fishing? Anyone?

    Thanks and Good Fishing to All....D

  15. #13
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Clyde
    Posts
    53

    Default

    I havenít fished any of those lakes since June. Water has been way to hot. And I been busy with work. Almost went last Sunday but still need to work on my downriggers May end up out there next week


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  16. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Longs
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Thanks Logan. Looks like they'll be a little deeper this year. I may head over to Cheoah to check things out there. I'll post a report of what I find.....D

  17. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    55

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Troutgirl View Post
    A friend was on Calderwood last week. He said the weeds were terrible in the top end but most of the fish were in the middle of the lake where the weeds were less problematic.
    The floating weeds are thick all the way past Parsons Branch. Save yourself the headache and fish Santeetlah and Fontana. Plenty of fish to be caught right now.

  18. Remove Advertisements

    Advertisements
     

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts