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Tennessee River Carp

Discussion in 'Carp Discussions' started by TimJC, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. TimJC

    TimJC Carp Angler

    Last weekend I had the opportunity to head down to Tennessee to chase 30s and break my personal best of 28-8. We left Friday morning and headed south towards Knoxville. We baited the area when we arrived and began to setup our camp for the next 3 days. We fished for 68 hours and landed around 30 carp between the two of us. We had 4 30s, with the biggest being 36-4, and more 20s than we could bother to weigh. We ended up with only 3 fish under 20 and that counts my smallmouth buffalo.

    Friday morning we left the snow and cold temps in Ohio and headed south to Tennessee in hopes of catching some big carp. Note how excited Rod is to get on the road.
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    Here was our home for 68 hours of fishing.
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    The first fish of the trip. This isn't what we were looking for but this smallmouth buffalo was a good start none the less.
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    Rod with his first fish. This is Rod's new personal best buffalo at 26lb 8oz.
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    My new personal best carp and first 30+ came on the first night. Here is a 31lb 12oz personal best that would only hold for a day.
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    "Hi. You'll do." This is one of the many twenties we caught before we stopped taking pictures and weighing all these "smaller" fish. This fish is 27lb 10oz.
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    The next morning I managed another 27. This one went 27lb 4oz on the scale. Look at those lips...
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    Here is another another angle of the same 27lb 4oz fish.
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  2. TimJC

    TimJC Carp Angler

    During the session I was thinking that this would hold me over until April, but then it happened. My last run of the run of the trip was a screamer on a leadcore helicopter rig with with a K-1 JTF boilie and a Mainline pineapple pop-up. I lifted into the fish, which almost pulled me over, and it just kept going. After watching the line peel off for 5-10 seconds the hook pulled. I checked my drag just to see if I might have forgotten to loosen it after the strong cast, but the drag was set fine. I reeled in the rig to fine the hook bent to the point where the hook almost formed a 90 degree angle. I was speechless, if only for a brief moment. After everything was packed up and we were on the way home all I could think of was getting back out on a water that has fish that could reproduce that type of action. At one point Rod and I were talking about how the Tennessee could be a better producer for large fish than the St Lawrence, a trip we have planned for May. I think Wayne and the Tennessee River have just ruined us.

    Here is the first carp for Rod. This "small" fish was the first carp from him after after 43 hours of fishing.
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    Another personal best. This is the biggest fish I have ever landed at 34lb 4oz.
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    I just couldn't resist this one.
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    Here is a much more flattering photo.
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    Here is Rod with his last fish of the trip at 35lb 10oz. He broke his personal best the night before with a 36lb 4oz fish but I don't have any pictures to post of it.
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  3. nice fish, thats just a rediculous trip. multiple 30's would just be a blast. the buffalo, do you catch them on the same baits as carp? i have never found a really effective way of targeting them, and a 26lb buffalo is just huge.
     
  4. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

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    Can't see your pics.
    I was curious as to why you chose the Tennessee River. Friends, relatives or is the river known for big carp?
     
  5. Awesome trip report dude!!!Next time you head that way, call me....;)

    Salmonid
     
  6. man those are some freaking HUGE carp!
     
  7. TimJC

    TimJC Carp Angler

    Buffalo are very similar carp. In fact, I call them the native equivalent to carp. They are suckers though, where carp are minnows so they are not closely related. We tend to catch them using the same techniques as carp, but then we don't specifically target buffalo. They feed a little bit differently that carp in that they sucker stuff into their mouth and blow the detritus out through their gills. Carp feed in a suck blow fashion, which is why the hair rig is so effective.

    The Tennessee River system is quickly becoming a hot spot for carp angling. It is probably only rivaled by the St. Lawrence at this point and may even be better. We were part of the first few people to get a chance at this swim outside of the anglers from that region (Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina).

    LOL. Mark it was a blast. We happened to be fortunate enough to be given the location where all these fish have been coming from. There has been a lot of work and bait (chum) put in by some of the more local anglers that made this place productive. It is a small swim with enough room to comfortably hold two anglers. Three is a stretch and four is pushing it without fishing in the mud.

    BTW, this swim really showed the limitation in my rods. Heavier and longer rods would have helped to really hit the channel where the fish were coming from. As it stands, Rod and I have sore hands and casting fingers from the rough grits packbait, cold water and strong casts. Landing the fish would also be murder alone. We had to start releasing the 20s at the bank because is to tiring to carry the fish back up the rocky bank to level ground.


    I owe a lot of thanks to Wayne Trapp at K-1 Baits for sharing this swim with us, and to Andy Phinn of Resistance Tackle and Scott Osmond (he drove all the way from Boston to fish the Tennessee) for fishing the week prior to our arrival and getting the fish into the mood with all the bait they put in.

    Anyone else having issues seeing the pictures? Here is the link to the album on Facebook where the photos are linked from.
     
  8. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

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    I was reading about K-1 on the CAG page. Looks as though he is having a big shindig down there come springtime.
     
  9. TimJC

    TimJC Carp Angler

    He is but it will be at the old boat ramp on the Clinch River in Kingston, TN. You can catch a lot of fish at that location but most fish are in the 10+ range and rarely over 20. I had a day there in May where I landed 20 fish in 8 hours. That translates to constant action and it was hard to keep three rods in the water. The cool thing with that swim is that these fish fight extremely well even for there smaller size.

    I won't be fishing that tournament as I have plans to fish the ACS NE regional in Baldwinsville, NY in May. After that I will be heading up to the St. Lawrence for a week. I also have plans to boat into a swim on Dale Hollow. There have been a lot of large fully scaled mirrors pulled from there by the few people that have been down there this last year.
     
  10. Great story and pics!!!!!Congrats on the fish guys;)
     
  11. catking

    catking Banned

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    Great thread Timmy Boy....;) THE CATKING !!! :B
     
  12. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    Wow man, those are some amazing pictures. Looks like ya had a helluva trip without a doubt!
     
  13. TimJC

    TimJC Carp Angler

    We were laughing when Wayne Trapp, the guy who put us on the spot and owns K-1 Boilies, told us that he didn't bother to remove fish from the water unless they were over 30 pounds. We thought he was exaggerating, but at that swim 20-30 pound fish are like 5-10 fish in most Ohio waters. At one point I was landing fish by myself in the dark. I had to start unhooking fish at the waters edge because I was to exhausted to carry them back up rocky hillside to level ground. I was afraid that I might slip and seriously injure the fish, let alone myself. When the fish are on at that swim you definitely don't want to be alone. It was easily the best fishing trip of my life. You know you are spoiled when you don't weigh or photograph fish over 20 pounds or bother to even keep tabs on the exact number of fish you have caught.

    If you want to catch big carp head to Tennessee.
     
  14. seethe303

    seethe303 Senior Executive Member

    cool thread, and great pics.
     
  15. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    I'm seriously considering heading down there this winter to try that out. Never caught carp that large, looks like a ton of fun! I might contact you at a later time for some info if I can talk someone into going. Anyone?1?!
     
  16. TimJC

    TimJC Carp Angler

    My buddy Rod is headed back down February 15th with the owner of Big Carp Tackle. Unfortunately, I have a project at work that is will start that Sunday so I can't make it. We have plans to head back to Chickamauga in March and then to Dale Hollow in April in search of more big carp.
     
  17. TimJC

    TimJC Carp Angler

    Here are a couple from my session last week:

    26LB 6oz mirror:
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    20lb 8oz common:
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    25lb 14oz common:
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    And my new PB at 39lb 12oz:
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  18. Those are some awesome fish. Big congrats on the 39 lber. I'll be heading down there sometime in April and see if I can locate some monsters. I'm sure there are lots of undiscovered spots.

    Unfortunately, this "mystery lake" on the Tennessee River system will be the site of a bowfishing tournament on May 31. The "mystery lake" is also featured on a Tennessee news site that mentions several fellow CAGgers.

    I'll be taking a day off work this Friday to do some carping and hope to catch my first one of the year.
     
  19. TimJC

    TimJC Carp Angler

    Can you PM me some links where you saw this information?
     
  20. That 39lber is a monster Tim! Congrats on the new PB.

    Jake