Cumberland River Trip November -14-15-16 - 2003

For a long time Donnie and I have talked about going down to Santee Cooper or the Cumberland river, when he called me and asked if I would like to go to the Cumberland with Jigger, Macfish and himself I was ready to go.

So on Thursday night at 10 PM Donnie and I left my house headed south, crossing the river in Cincinnati we could tell it was up high but our only thoughts were Blue cats on the Cumberland, the trip down was uneventful, which anybody knows when your pulling a boat all kinds of things can happen.

We arrived in Clarksville, Tennessee at 4:30am and found a Wal-Mart and got our license, we found our Motel room and unloaded the truck and sat down and kind of unwound ourselves from the trip. Jigger and Macfish were on the road and had about four hours before they would meet up with us.

We had been told by locals that the Skipjacks were not at the power plant but they were at the dam, so we asked around for directions to the dam, one fellow we talked to said go down that road till it dead ends, turn right, then turn left, then turn right then turn left the dam is right there.

Yea Right, well we ended up back in Kentucky after that piece of wonderful information, I bet that guy is still laughing. We stopped at a gas station and the lady there gave us great directions to the dam. We arrived at Cheatum dam, very nice facility, great ramp, but a small dam with a hydro electric plant attached to it. The Cumberland river is not all that big in this stretch as compared to the Ohio.

So we started fishing for Skipjacks, we caught a total of five that day with a 28 inch one being the largest, the clouds were coming in and they said that it would be raining by 8pm, and so we headed back to the the powerplant as nothing up at the dam impressed us, well at the powerplant the fish wouldn't bite and darkness was falling on us so we met Jigger and Macfish at the motel and we went out to dinner. At 8pm the skies opened up and it began to rain. On Saturday Donnie and I got up and hit the river at 9am and it was pouring down the rain, called Jigger and it had been raining on them all morning but they had managed a 26# Blue cat. So we motored around found some stumps setup and started fishing and the Doctor started out with a nice one.

dscf0105.jpg (64153 bytes)

A 21# Cumberland river Blue, too bad it would be the only one on Saturday and Sunday, Donnie caught a nice Striper but as you can see it was raining hard and never let up all day so we packed up at dark and headed for the motel.

dscf0106.jpg (32208 bytes)

On Sunday there was no rain but the fog was set in on the river. So all of us were taking it easy going down the river. we were headed to some spots that we had marked on Saturday to fish.

dscf0107.jpg (29703 bytes)

After about an hour the fog started lifting and we were able to open the boats up and rock on down the river, the fishing wasn't the greatest on Sunday but we had lots of fun running the boats around.

dscf0108.jpg (52699 bytes)

Here we are anchored down with Jigger and Macfish behind us

dscf0109.jpg (44492 bytes)

Well no fish so we are off to another spot, or you can call this our high speed trolling  set-up, Jigger and Macfish are coming up fast on us.

 

dscf0118.jpg (122017 bytes)

The normal pool for this river is were you see the white bank, down about 6-7 foot

dscf0119.jpg (99749 bytes)

Plenty of cover if it was just in the water

dscf0120.jpg (87442 bytes)

That tree alone would have held some big blues if it had water surrounding it

dscf0121.jpg (68461 bytes)

Here's the Skipjack we were using for bait, we would cut just behind the gills and get two more chunks out of it, we were fishing for just big fish so we were using big baits.

dscf0123.jpg (56237 bytes)

Well it's close to 5 PM so we are headed back to the dock and then back home 6 hours away, we are planing to go back in January of 2004 hopefully the river will be at full pool and the fish will be hungry.

A couple of weeks went by and Donnie and Dave caught the bug to go back after more fish, to there amazement on there arrival to the Cumberland the river was roaring and was real high, they told me that they were using 12 ounces of lead to keep big chunks of Skipjack on the bottom, they also hooked up and lost several big Pigs, the following are pictures from there trip, the big fish was a 38# Bluecat, come on January after seeing these pictures and listening to there story's of the big ones that got away now I've got the bug.

dave1.jpg (49994 bytes)

don7.jpg (163460 bytes)

Look where the water level is compared to the first trip we took.

don8.jpg (156121 bytes)

don9.jpg (108544 bytes)

don1.jpg (56530 bytes)

don2.jpg (59643 bytes)

don4.jpg (64522 bytes)

don5.jpg (118875 bytes)

double.jpg (81373 bytes)

dave2.jpg (87135 bytes)

dave3.jpg (64742 bytes)

don10.jpg (92542 bytes)

don11.jpg (47434 bytes)

don12.jpg (114751 bytes)

donnie42.jpg (58454 bytes)

Here's Donnie's 42# Brute

Well we had to do it again, a bunch of us guys went back to the Cumberland on January 16,17,18th to fish for the big blues.

My Son Larry, myself,Jigger,Macfish,MrfishOhio and Fishsticks arrived in Clarksville Tenn. around 6am on the 16th, we stopped at the local Walmart and got out license and headed for Cumberland City steam plant to try and gather Skipjacks.

dscf0001.jpg (55528 bytes)

Most everybody did well at getting bait. here's MrfishOhio and Fishsticks up in the outlet.

dscf0002.jpg (51012 bytes)

Jigger and Macfish are the farthest away and they were tearing skipjacks up in that area. After we gathered enough bait for the day we all just kind of went to different parts of the river looking for fish.

dscf0003.jpg (53384 bytes)

Larry and I are set-up in a nice hole with trees down in the water, but just didn't produce anything for us.

dscf0004.jpg (54843 bytes)

Larry did catch this half pound monster out of 65 foot of water.

dscf0005.jpg (37060 bytes)

It's hard to see but that barge has got the nose of the load into the bank and the rest of it is rotating towards the middle of the river, we are about a 1/2 mile away the barge Captain was blowing his horn at Jigger and Macfish to warn them that he had a problem, after they pulled up he got the main engines started again and was coming back down the river.

dscf0006.jpg (39504 bytes)

On Saturday in the rain we finally manage to land a good fish this Bluecat went 11.4#

dscf0007.jpg (48370 bytes)

It was raining and kind of chilly during this time

dscf0009.jpg (61848 bytes)

Jigger ended up getting the biggest fish for the weekend on the worst day, Sunday we woke up to 32 degrees, high winds and ice balls raining down on us but Jigger pulled this 40# Blue out of the river.

dscf0008.jpg (55173 bytes)

 

When I get the rest of the pictures from the guys I'll post them as Macfish got a 22# and a 32# Bluecat.

Cumberland river blue cat 33lb 1-17 04.JPG (63119 bytes)

CUMBERLANDmacfishBLUECAT.jpg (23171 bytes)

cumberland river bluecat 33lb 1-17-04.JPG (62249 bytes)

daves bluecat 1-18=04 cumberland river.JPG (57734 bytes)

daves cumberland river bluecat 1-18-04.JPG (58874 bytes)

Jim16Striper2299.jpg (75554 bytes)

MrfishOhio with a dandy Striper

Chris115Stripe640r2296.jpg (50966 bytes)

Fishsticks with a nice Striper

JimBluecat6402292.jpg (34177 bytes)

A rather beatup Blue cat but they live in major snags

RiverBank2269.jpg (211713 bytes)

Deep water and beautiful country side

rockybank6402268.jpg (84991 bytes)

rodsout6402262.jpg (29382 bytes)

rodsbank6402269.jpg (56186 bytes)

Chris20Blue6402275.jpg (65227 bytes)

Fishsticks with a 20# Bluecat

Barge6402297.jpg (60319 bytes)

A barge on the move

1511StriperFoot6402298.jpg (54631 bytes)

The famous foot in the picture shot

skylight6402273.jpg (41132 bytes)

At the end of a long days fishing