Sunday, April 27, 2008

Annual Fairfield Glade Fishing Trip

For the past 5 years my cousin and I have gotten together for a weekend of fishing in Fairfield Glade. Originally, it was just the two of us, and it grew to include his wife, then my wife, and now his daughter. Typically, I am a catch and release fisherman, especially when trout fishing, but my wife loves to eat bass and bluegill. So I usually try to bring some home from this trip, and since we are fishing for food I will even use bait to keep her happy. On Friday, when we arrived the wind was howling and the conditions were not looking too good. Because of this, I chose to leave the fly rod in the car and break out the finesse worms. First cast, bam fish on. A 14" largemouth, that did a nice tail dance across the surface. It had been a while since I had used plastic worms, so I was quite surprised that I hooked up so quickly. Since there is a slot limit on the glade lakes, I had to release it. We continued to catch another dozen or so bass is the next couple of hours, all just inside the slot. We ended the day by getting some barbecue at Big Boys BBQ, which is always nice.

On Saturday we planned on targeting bluegill to fill the wife's request, and then we would have some fun with bass. Another day, and another bass on the first cast. A little different than I had planned, but still much welcome. I am looking into buying a 'toon, so my fishing buddy Scott let me borrow his to see what I thought. Since I was unfamiliar with it, I spent around 30 minutest putting it together, the finished product can be seen at right. The wind made controlling it a little difficult, but with an anchor it shouldn't be a problem. Also, it was nice being able to access water that is normally inaccessible to other. My primary use for a 'toon would be on some of the local tailwater, mostly the Clinch and Watauga. I had a few concerns/complaints about the casting deck/lean bar, but those should be remedied in the one I am looking at. North Fork Outdoors, Fish Cat, and Outcast make toons with sliding casting platforms and fold back lean bar. After taking it out and playing around in it for awhile, it was back to business.

We broke out the crickets and crawlers and continued to catch about a dozen slab sided bluegills before lunch. I am talking about rod bending, pan filling, hungry gills. At lunch we went back to the room to relax and replenish our bait supplies, and managed to snap this quick pick of a future fisherman.

We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening chasing bass, and catching up on one every so often. I think the approaching frontal system had put the lock jaw on the fish because previous patterns had became unproductive. We ended up calling it a day and spending the rest of the day hanging out just enjoying the evening. This time next year there will be two more added to the annual trip, my son and my cousin's baby. That should make for an interesting trip, but I am still looking forward to it. I am very thankful for the opportunity to take this trip every year, and I hope to keep this tradition alive for years to come.

Next up:
May 1st and 2nd camping trip to the South Holston. I have some private property access that allows us to camp, and the sulfurs are hatching. This will be my last camping trip for a few months, so I am going to make the most of it. Should be an exciting trip, and I hope to have lots of pics and stories to share.

God Bless and Tight Lines

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19" Clinch River Brown