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Thread: River Stripers

  1. #1
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    River Stripers

    I live in Bowling Green, Ky and am wanting to do some river fishing for stripers. It is closer for me to go to the Nashville/Gallatin etc. area then to go to the KY section of the Cumberland River. I am new to striper river fishing and need some pointers. Live bait vs artificial, casting vs slipping, best times of the year and other information would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    RE: River Stripers

    I'd recommend hiring a guide for a day if you seriously want to learn how to fish for river stripers. The really big stripers are not an easy fish to target, especially since they can move long distances depending on current, time of year, water temp, and forage availability. It could take you years of trial and error to learn what a good guide can teach you in one or two trips. Even if you do everything right, stripers don't always bite, and if you go out by yourself to experiment and don't catch anything, you may not know whether it's because you're doing something wrong, or whether the fish just aren't in the mood on that particular day.

    The best choices for a striper guide around here would probably be Fred McClintock or Don Schliecher.

    bd

  3. #3
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    RE: River Stripers

    Or you could just buy some planer boards, a few Trout, or catch shad or skipjack, and Pull them along the banks from the Cordell Hull Dam downstream and up into the Caney Fork.

    As far as the time of year Spring and Fall is best for the larger fish. Summer is good for numbers of fish and Winter is good for drinking Old Charter, tying flies, building rods, Trout or Smallmouth fishing. I hate Winter fishing for Stripers but others will disagree. I guess the Gallatin Steam plant is a good winter hangout but you better bring plenty of Old Charter and a shotgun to help aid with the crowds of people in a 15 ft across canal.

    Live bait is your best bet when you can get it. In Striper fishing catching bait can be as hard as finding fish at times. If you can keep them, Trout work very well in the pound to two pound range when pulled behind planers or just freelined behind the boat. And yes it is legal to fish with them in TN but not in KY! Like it or not but in TN, if you want to put a Smallmouth, or any fish for that matter on an 8/0 hook and use it for bait, you can. Just as long as you don’t have more “bait” then the legal limit.

    I limit my artificial fishing to surface feeding fish only, unless I am tossing a fly.

    Another method that works well is a three way swivel with a 1.5 to 4 oz sinker (depending on how many generators are running) on the bottom swivel, a two ft leader and hook on the middle swivel, and your line on the top swivel. Hook a threadfin on this rig and lower it into the boils below the Dam. Drift with the current and try to keep contact with the bottom at all times by picking the rig up and lowering it till it hits the bottom and do it again and again and again etc. Once your out of the boils crank up and run back to the Dam and do it again. BE CAREFUL AROUND THIS AND ANY DAM!! IT CAN TAKE YOUR BOAT AND YOUR LIFE BEFORE YOU CAN SAY OHH *&^^%.

    Of all the methods I have used the planer boards usually, at least for me, work best for the larger fish. They are a pain in the rear but they do work! Offshore Tackle makes the ones I like best.

    There is a learning curve but it is mostly learning how to cast a castnet, learning how to pull boards, finding bait, Learning to operate and read a Graph, etc, etc. Get started now and you'll be doing it right in no time.

    Hope that helps
    Mike Anderson

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