Saturday we had a little different tournament format. This was a tournament located on the Cumberland River that was random draw location. Nobody knew where they would fish beforehand, although they did know the four available launches we would be using.
Friday I figured I’d see what it was like to paddle upriver under 2 generators, so I put in at the dam at 6am and floated about 3 miles until I could see the Old Hickory Bridge and that was around 1pm. I then decided to paddle the 3 miles against 2 generators, the ATAK done well, and it was a good workout. Paddling upriver against generation and trying to fish is not an easy task. I ended up catching 3 drum over 20”, and several more in the 17-18” range, 1 largemouth, 1 shortnose gar, 10-12 or so largemouth, and 1 channel catfish. I barely dodged one storm and just received a little rain and a lot of wind. I met several people on the water who were very helpful and polite, much different people than on the lakes. I ended up getting back to the ramp at the dam around 4pm, so it was a 10hr fishing trip, which was much needed.
Everyone met up at a central location at 5am Saturday morning to register, go over the rules and draw ramps. Now the ramp you drew you could put in or take out there so if you wanted you could have a partner and do a float between the ramp you drew and another ramp of your choosing. We had 12 people team up, and 14 people going out as individuals making our attendance a total of 26. Everyone drew, some were happy. Some were not. The ramps drawn were Old Hickory Dam, Heartland, Lock 2 and Shelby. Sarah and I got Lock 2 which neither of us had ever fished. We let everyone go from the Captains meeting at 6am, but nobody could leave the bank from their ramp until 6:30 to give everyone a chance to get to their spots.
The generation was much different only 1 generator was to be running, and we had winds out of the west/southwest which counter acted the current. This made for lake like conditions which I’m wasn’t fond of.
The fishing was hot, I started catching fish and getting bites immediately, but they were all short. These are catch photo and release tournaments, but we still have a minimum length of 12”. All my fish were 9, to 11.5”. I tried switching techniques, and still the same results. I met up with Sarah on the water around noon and she was having the same results. So I figured we’d just hang out on the water until around 2:45 when we had to get off the water and get to Hook1 in Hendersonville to get check-in, setup and get organized. Shortly after meeting up with Sarah she had a good one follow a jig, then she caught a 16.5” on a jig, and then I caught a 13.25” on a shakey head. She rallied back with a 13.25”, and I caught a few more dinks that wouldn’t measure. Then we were fishing the same hole and she had a good bite, and then a follow, I casted past her and caught a 14.5” Spotted Bass. Neither of us skunked, but we sure didn’t get our 5 fish limit neither. There were 6 of us who fished out of lock 2 and only one got his 5 fish limit and was even culling fish. Nobody skunked out of there, so that was good.
The winner Craig Dye fished out of Lock 2
2nd Bronson Locklear fished out of Shelby Park
3rd Josh Stewart fished out of Old Hickory Dam
4th Logan Ardry fished out of Old Hickory Dam
5th Mike Ernst fished out of Shelby Park