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How to catch fish in a different part of the country?


My name is Shaun Camp and I am an avid fisherman that just moved up into north east Tennessee, I come from fishing lakes like Lake Okeechobee and various smaller lakes in Florida. Since moving here I have had extreme difficulty catching fish on Lake Watauga here in the tri-cities area of Tennessee, and I was hoping you could give me some tips. Lake Watauga is a man made reservoir that has extreme drop offs right off the shoreline ranging from 4-12 feet when you are 4-5 feet off the shore. consists of semi-stained water with many fallen trees laying in the water and many rocky shorelines. The water temp right now is low to mid 70's. and it is mainly a smallmouth lake but does have the occasional large mouth caught. I've talked to many locals but all of them say that they don't catch fish consistently, which has put a damper on my spirits about the lake, but has not decreased my love of! fishing. Could you please email me back with some possible tips to help me be the first to catch fish consistently?

Thanks a lot for your help,



Changing areas of the country can sure be difficult. I am in western NC right now, not a long way from where you are. We have been fishing Fontana and some smaller, clear lakes in this area. Clear water is tough. But, we were able to find largemouths fairly easily. We targeted the very backs of feeder creeks and the tree blow-downs we could find in the upper reaches of the lakes. That is a consistent thing for largemouths. Smallmouth and spotted bass, on the other hand, require one to 'go deeper'. We dropped to 6-8 lb. line and 4 inch worms and 1/8 oz jigs. We used them in 18-30 feet of water on points and underwater humps we found. Those same lures have been good on rock banks (the steep dropping ones like you describe) around points and the mouths of coves. Early and late in the day, the fish have been shallow enough for deep crank plugs to take some. But, most have been at the 25-30 foot level. The fallen trees you describe sound like your best bet. But, the place to fish them is out at their ends in the deep zone. Look with your depthfinder and find the ends of the trees. The run crank plugs down along the truck and limbs until it gets too deep. Then fish the worms out through the limbs. Lastly, vertically fish with the jigs out over the ends of the trees. You'll work it out. Just stay with it. The big difference is going to be 'depth'.


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