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  • Mr. Crappie Attacks Chickamauga with a Vengence

    This was the third opportunity I've had to fish with Mr. Crappie (here are my other two trips: Lake Fork Texas, and Grand Lake Oklahoma). Based on those other two trips I just knew this was going to be a lot of fun. Wally doesn't just know how to fish, he's actually pretty darn entertaining.

    About 2 weeks before the event Wally calls me up and asks me if I knew anything about Chickamauga Lake. I told him I've never been on it. He said that was fine, he'd go early and find out where the fish were.

    Chickamauga Lake is a reservoir on the Tennessee River just north of Chattanooga, and is managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The lake is almost 60 miles long and is over 36,000 acres in size. It's a gorgeous lake, with lots of flats, bluffs, sloughs, channels, nooks and crannies! There are stumps fields, bridge pillars and also docks to shoot. It has a little bit of everything, which really makes finding the Crappie very interesting.

    I met Wally first thing in the morning, and he was in no hurry! Apparently he knew a little something about when the bite was gonna be on!

    We finally get out and start testing the waters. We hit three or four docks, catch a few small crappie, and just keep moving. The bite is tough. We move on to some bridge pilings and notice the current is pretty darn swift. They are really moving the water through the dam. Must be needing to generate some power, oh well. The only place we can get a bait down around the bridge pillar is right on the back side of it. There we are, both at the front of the boat, trying to keep our bait from getting taken away by the current. All the sudden bam, I catch a small one and Wally catches a big one. It's still not easy to fish though, the wind is blowing us around, and the current is catching our lines, not a lot of fun. Then the Stripers start smacking our baits, so we decide to move on.

    We took a long run down the lake looking for some other docks. Found some in deep water near where the old river channel was. Hmm, I have a feeling this is what Wally was waiting for. He wanted the sun to go up to help drive the fish under the docks. Got to love that smirk, he knew the bite was gonna be on!

    This was gonna be good. Now we started getting into some fish. Still it wasn't easy. We were dock shooting and you had to get the bait into just the right spot. 90% of the dock produced nothing, but that one spot is where they were holding. You had to get your jig back far under the dock and let it drop almost to the bottom to get a hit. And even with that, let your line drop too far and you get hung up. We were catching, but it wasn't easy. We were using 1/16 Mr. Crappie jig heads with his Strike King Jokers! Killer combination in pretty much all chartreuse. Nice and bright so they would easily be seen.

    Once we had a good stringer of fish (see the first pic in this story, nice huh) we went back in for lunch where we found out others were not catching anything at all. It seems, with how fast the water was flowing, the Crappie fishermen, and the Bass fishermen too, were having a heck of a time catching anything at all. Leave it to Wally to find the few fish that were biting. Atta-boy Wally, I knew you could do it. Always a pleasure to fish with you Walt.

    We used Wally Marshall Signature Series Spinning Reels, and the Signature Series 7' Crappie Rods. Wally filled the spools up himself the day before with his Mr. Crappie Hi-Vis 6lb test line. You may have heard me say this before but I like a 7' rod as opposed to the shorter rods I see most people dock shoot with. The longer rod is more forgiving. You can shoot further without straining the rod. I find when I'm a little off dock shooting with a shorter rod, I end up hitting the roof of the boat house! Not so with the longer rod cause you don't have to bend/stress it as far to get the same distance.

    Wally is coming out with all sorts of new products including filet knives in two different sizes, and a knife sharpener/hook sharpener fish degorger. These will be made in the USA by by Buck. I love my Buck Knife, and I'm really looking forward to their new fillet knives. Especially the sharpener/degorger. I have to have a sharp fish hook. The fact is, I absolutely hate losing even one fish! lol
    Comments 24 Comments
    1. Eagle 1's Avatar
      Eagle 1 -
      great read/pictures .
    1. kickingback's Avatar
      kickingback -
      Really nice!
    1. sooners08's Avatar
      sooners08 -
    1. bowhunter63's Avatar
      bowhunter63 -
      Thanks for sharing
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