Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 11/16/2017

Fishing is good on the Clinch River right now and that is where I'm doing most of my guiding and fishing. The Smokies have been good as well.

In the Smokies, the brown trout are wrapping up the spawn. Over the next few weeks, the opportunity to catch larger than average brown trout is definitely elevated. I like to throw nymphs or streamers right now and through the winter. Next spring should be good with hatches starting by the first of March and peaking by late April or early May. This is one of the best times to fish in the Smokies so start planning that trip now!

The Caney Fork is about a week away from seeing some more reasonable water levels. If the flows drop, expect some very good fishing as we move into the winter.

Photo of the Month: Evening in the North Woods

Photo of the Month: Evening in the North Woods

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Panfish Action Heats Up

Spring panfish crappie tail shot


What a difference a week makes if you are looking looking for panfish! 


When I took a few minutes to run to a nearby small lake last week looking for some crappie and bluegill, things were pretty slow and ice was still melting in a few spots. One hungry bass did grace the end of my line, but that was the only fish spotted.

Fast forward to this week and I'm naturally wondering whether things have improved. With much warmer air temperatures and at least a couple of sunny days since my last quick trip, I figured the fish might be more active. One rod was already rigged and I decided to string up the seven weight in case I found some larger bass willing to plan.

The lake was again devoid of other fishermen. That won't last very long with such nice spring weather finally here, but I'll take it and enjoy it while I can. When I first walked up on the big rock that I normally start fishing from and peaked over the edge, I saw fish spook every which way. That is always a good sign.

As it turns out, the fish had mostly moved up into the shallows, probably enjoying the warmer water where the sun could do the most good. Oh, and they were hungry. I caught more and larger fish than I have caught in a long time from that lake. All the larger bluegill and crappie were hungry and were the more aggressive than even the little guys which meant I only caught three smaller fish.

Spring panfish bluegill

spring panfish crappie

In the end, I didn't fish all that long but caught a lot of fish. From now on, things will only get even better for panfish. Along with the warming temperatures has come a huge increase in the number of migrating birds which leads me to believe that spring might actually be here for real this time. Sandhill cranes, ducks, geese, and of course plenty of robins and other indicators of spring have been arriving. Some pass on to points much farther north, but every spring and fall I enjoy seeing the variety of feathered friends heading north and south respectively.

Even though spring appears to really be here, if we have learned anything from this winter it is to expect something unusual. In Tennessee, some of our largest snows have come in March so its not over until its over. Still, with hatching bugs and rising trout, not to mention hungry panfish, I'm fairly confident that we are starting to turn the corner.

spring panfish crappie

spring panfish crappie eye closeup

10 comments:

  1. David
    Seeing that bluegill and crappie makes me really antsy to get out on the water, no trout fishing here for some time with all the rain we are having. The generators are running non stop for the next week. Were the bluegill and crappie taking subsurface or surface flies? Thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill, they were eating subsurface and were all caught on that Simi Seal Leech I like. It is getting warm enough that we should see some surface action any day now. They are already rising to midges occasionally...

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  2. Those are some slabs! I have tried a few millponds recently but it is still too cold.

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    Replies
    1. Hope it warms up enough to catch some fish for you soon!

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  3. David, you have my full attention. Been awhile since I have seen a good Bluegill or Crappie on my favorite blogs. You are right, Spring looks like it could be getting closer. Then, again, I live in Colorado!

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    Replies
    1. Mel, you know for sure that spring is arriving when the panfish action heats up. Hope you are able to enjoy some soon!

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  4. "Buds and blooms" when you start to see these appearing on the stone-fruit trees like pears (fruiting or non), or on the sycamores and maples, its time to hit the back waters and small ponds.
    once bugs are on the wing, you can mocve to the larger BOW's
    Its old fashioned, but it always works

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    Replies
    1. I love all of those "old fashioned" tips and tricks. They work for sure!

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  5. Tis the season! Nice pics and great fish David! Love the closeup...nicely done!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I could not get over how beautiful these fish were when the light hit them just right. It was fun trying to capture it with a camera.

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