StriperFun and Tennessee Walleye Charters
    (931) 403-2501 http://www.striperfun.com captainjim@striperfun.com
  • Specializing in "Trophy" fishing as the owner of StriperFun Fishing Guide Service in KY and TN and TN Walleye Charters, Captain Jim Durham is a licensed guide who has fished the Cumberland Plateau and KY and TN year round for over 50 years. Captain Jim is a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Captain and is the creator of the “Striper Fish like a Pro” instructional DVD series as well as his own line of fishing lures.



    Provided by Captain Jim Durham
    Owner StriperFun Guide Service, Tennessee Walleye Charters, Superbaittanks.com
    Captain Jim Marine Electronics & Captain Jim Lures

    Staff Writer for fishin.com

    DATE OF REPORT: November 19th, 2022

    • Latest water temperature: 58.4° F surface

    Greetings to my readers! I hope that the world finds you and your family doing well!

    About StriperFun and Captain Jim

    I personally charter out of a 2015 24-foot center console Alweld Escort Bay boat. Powered by a 2015 Mercury 150 four (4) stroke outboard, she is quiet to sneak up on big fish and fast to cover a lot of water!

    With 24-mile radar, full Humminbird electronics, Minn Kota trolling motor, this rig is the ultimate guide boat! She has "tons" of for moving around and fighting big fish and also has comfortable seating for the trip. The boat is covered to keep our clients dry during inclement and a heater is provided when it is cold.

    All StriperFun guides have similarly rigged boats!

    My Cherokee guides (Gary Garris – Fred Hoskins and Bracken Castle) are all State and USCG licensed, insured and are well trained in CPR & First Aid, with many years’ experience per man on Cherokee Lake! We have worked to be one of the largest and best-known guide services in Tennessee and we will work hard to deliver "big trophy fish". You can count on the fact that your group will be treated with the utmost professional care and safety.

    Recent Activity on Cherokee Lake

    The fishing has been steady for all StriperFun guides on Cherokee Lake. With the colder weather coming in, it’s just going to get even better!


    We are currently trolling Captain Jim umbrella rigs to target suspended schools of fish.


    The Umbrella rig bite has also simply jumped off the chart with great numbers of nice keeper fish being caught! MY TENNESSEE THUMPER AND SPECIAL MODELS HAVE ONLY 3 HOOKS TO MAKE THEM, LEGAL IN TENNESSEE!

    When I am trolling, looking for schools of fish and the Stripers will be absolutely “slamming” my Captain Jim Special Dominator umbrella rigs (in Chartreuse color and “Tiger” pattern).

    What you see below are TN Thumpers with 3 hooks but also with jig heads with trailers (that look very similar to the jig heads that have hooks)!

    Many times, at daybreak or at dusk in June, the Stripers will gather to feed (strength in numbers!) as they drive the bait fish into tight pods and then attack them. However, naturally like most big game marine predators, they will prefer the more “moderate” temperature zone for most of the day. Once the morning “blitz” bite is over, you will need to hunt to find them for many days.

    This is where fishing the umbrella rig can pay major dividends!

    As always, find the bait and you find the predators! But pulling live bait around you can only travel at most about 1.0 MPH on your GPS without stressing and killing your bait. You cannot “hunt around” much at that speed. You also do not want to just be “cruising” around searching with nothing in the water (and “0” chance of catching anything!).

    So, what is the compromise? It is the umbrella rig!

    By fishing an umbrella rig, you can cover a lot of water quickly as you hunt for schools of bait and fish but can also be fishing at the same time! I equate it to a “search and destroy” mission. Being, that once I begin to hammer the fish on the umbrella rigs (I have found the fish!), I can then go back and drop live bait on them! Many days, I will just stay with the umbrella rigs if they are producing well.

    Fishing an umbrella rig also gives you the added advantage of not having to get up at 2:00 am to catch bait. Additionally, some of the best Striper fishing with umbrella rigs is in the heat of the middle of the day! The big Stripers, once the morning bite has subsided and the sun is up and hot, many times will simply lie on the bottom on the edge of the temperature variance zone and will wait for a nice meal to come to them. When you run a set of umbrella rigs right over their head they get “excited” and it is “kabam” and “kapow” as the rigs get nailed!

    So, what exactly “is” an umbrella rig?

    Basically, it looks like an infant’s mobile turned sideways coming through the water. It has a weight in the center (generally at least a couple of ounces) and 4 to 6 metal arms that stick out various lengths depending on the type of rig. Off of various places on the arms of the umbrella rig and from the center of the rig will hang lines of various lengths on to which you tie or clip lures (see the photo).

    I run a minimum of 40-pound test line on my umbrella rigs with 12-inch arms and 9 one-ounce jigs (6 Teasers) and a minimum of 25-pound test line on my umbrella rigs with 7-inch arms and 5 one half ounce jigs (2 Teasers). All reels must have line counters as well, as the distant back you run the rig in conjunction with the speed of the troll will control the precise “depth” at which the rig is running.

    You can go to the StriperFun website to click and watch my most recent TV show to see umbrella rigs demonstrated. I demonstrate these techniques on my “STRIPER FISH LIKE A PRO” Trilogy series. Click the link below to go to the StriperFun website for more information on how to order this informative “how to” DVD Trilogy series:



    STRIPERFUN GUIDE SERVICE FISHING ON THE CUMBERLAND RIVER - TV SHOW ON PBS! Click this link to go to the PBS WCTE website to watch the episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrJFDDOlJTk.Click the above link then click the airplane photo - Scroll the video to 5 minutes 6 seconds - hope you enjoy it

    During the episode I had the pleasure to host the “Wish You Were Here” crew on the Cumberland River. It was a beautiful morning then “kabam” with host correspondent Rafferty Clearly nailing the largest Striper of the 2022 season!! It was a super fat 48-inch fish / 31-inch girth that inhaled a big 17 inch Trout!!!

    I hope you enjoy it!

    You can watch the videos of them catching their fish (as well as many other customers catching their big Stripers!) right on the StriperFun You Tube page:


    Please also follow us on Facebook:


    While you are on our Facebook page, please “like” the page!

    Click this link to order: https://striperfun.com/product-categ...r-magic-lures/

    See the photos of recent clients catching big Stripers and Hybrids!!

    About Cherokee Lake

    Cherokee Lake in Eastern Tennessee covers 30,300 acres, is 59 miles long and has 463 miles of shoreline. Fish densities in Cherokee Lake are greater than most of the other TVA Reservoirs due to the high-level dense forage base of Threadfin Shad, Gizzard Shad, and Alewife. Cherokee Lake is noted for big Stripers but is also “loaded” with big fat “Hybrid” Stripers as well!

    The Striper and Hybrid fishing is simply off the chart! 10 and 30 fish days are frequent (TN allows catch and release!), with a limit of 2 keepers per fisherman!

    Seeing the big predator Stripers hit is like watching a prehistoric moment! It is “KABAM” and the rod gets “ripped” down in 1/10th of a second!! Sheer adrenaline and pure excitement! Yee Hii !!! Bam! Bam! Kapow! “Zing” – your rods will be bent with the reels singing!

    You can watch the videos of them catching their fish (as well as many other customers catching their big Stripers!) right on the StriperFun You Tube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/STRIPERFUN


    To really hit the “monster” Stripers, you need to use the freshest live shad. Not only can catching fresh shad be tough, keeping them alive used to be virtually impossible! Not any longer!

    The SUPER BAIT TANK has a triple filtration system, a built-in oxygen infuser, a built-in light for night use and is insulated. This system has been tested to hold gizzard shad & blue-black herring for up to one week. I have only ever used the SUPER BAIT TANK. Every guide I know uses it and so should you! StriperFun is the exclusive NATIONAL "online" dealer of the SUPER BAIT TANK.

    For “new” Super Bait Tank orders - call me or click:


    Please also follow us on Facebook:


    While you are on our Facebook page, please “like” the page!

    You have got to come do this! Click here for more information: http://striperfun.com/pages/bookacharter.php


    When it’s time to go boating and fishing, you want to make sure your boat is ready to hit the water with all the equipment you need to have a great time!

    StriperFun and its related companies can help!

    With a full line up of the most modern marine electronics (fish finders, GPS, radar and more..) at "way below" national chain store prices, you need to let us get you the most modern marine electronics you have really been wanting! StriperFun also sells Striper Fish like a Pro “how to” DVDs, Super Bait Tanks, Hydro Glow Fish lights, Fitech bait nets and more. Captain Jim and StriperFun have everything you need to have a safe and fun year!


    The gift of a weekend package deal (or even a one-day fishing trip) with StriperFun Guide Service makes a great Christmas or birthday present for Dad, a brother or for the family and kids, or can make a great bonus for an employee or a promotion for a customer! We fish year-round and our trips are very popular and our booking dates fill up fast!

    Fishing is family friendly and wholesome. So, if you are interested in giving the perfect gift to that special someone, order a fishing gift certificate today!

    Call me at 931-403-2501 or email me at: captainjim@striperfun.com

    Many of our customers do not initially realize that the Striper fishing is 365 days year-round. However, all of our boats are covered and we virtually fish almost every day.

    We live for this type of fishing and you can too! Come see us!

    Do not be afraid however to call last minute if you want a trip as we have numerous guides and can accommodate your schedule!

    If you have any other ideas, techniques or subjects you want me to write about, drop me a line!


    As a former United States Air Force Airman - military veteran and as a current U.S. Merchant Marine Captain and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Patrol Coxswain (Captain), I understand the great importance that our brave service men and women play in our society.

    We also cannot forget the duty and service provided by our Policemen, Fish and Wildlife Officers and Firemen.

    STRIPERFUN OFFERS A 10% DISCOUNT on all charters to currently active Policemen, Fish and Wildlife Officers and Firemen as well as to all active military AND retired military veterans (with proper verification ID provided by the person booking the trip).

    This is our way of saying “THANKS” to these important men and women for your service.

    God is amazing in his creation! I am blessed to spend another day pursuing my passion of putting clients on big fish on our magnificent lakes of Cumberland and Dale Hollow and the Cumberland River! I give it all to God!

    I am many times asked “What are the advantages to hiring a guide”? In essence, you hire a guide to utilize the guide’s many years of experience and lake knowledge, to learn new tactics and techniques to increase your chance of “landing the big one”. Guides use top of the line equipment and the freshest live bait. Also, if you cannot afford your own boat, it is a very cost-effective way for you or your group to fish (cost per fisherman). Even professional fishermen hire guides to learn a lake and new techniques!

    Fall is here. With the time change, Dawn rolls around a little earlier each morning and “Twilight” now rolls around just a little later each night. It is great to be alive and be a “free” American! I look forward to seeing all of you this year on the water.

    Count your blessings each day and live “in the moment”, not in the future and always remember to stop and shake the hand of a person in uniform or wearing garb that shows they are a veteran! Their service is why you speak English, can vote and can enjoy the freedoms you do!

    Remember also to always obey all TN fishing regulations while on Cherokee Lake or any or Tennessee waterway. Following the rules is a must! It is important that we all be good stewards of our fishing resources.

    Until next time, blue skies and tight lines!
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