Heavy rain hasn't so far washed out area fishing

George Thwaites • Jul 18, 2013 at 11:34 PM

So far, it looks like area fishing is holding up better than some of our storm drainage systems.

Joe Slagle at Lake View Dock on South Holston Lake reports that trolling anglers continue to catch lake trout during the daytime. The bass action during the sun-lit hours just hasn’t been very encouraging.

“Bass fishing has been mainly at night. They’ve been biting pretty good out there on the regular pig-and-jig and all,” Slagle said.

During all the commotion back in the spring, some area experts were speculating that Alabama rigs might come back into play during the post spawn. So far, Slagle hasn’t seen that.

“Down in Alabama (for the Collegiate Championship) there wasn’t anything going on with the Alabama rig. I was using single swimbaits, mostly,” he said.

He agrees that the Alabama rig is an incredibly effective springtime bait. So much so that any competitive angler who doesn’t throw one risks getting his “butt kicked.”

“I’m not going to say it can’t be beat, because it can. But you really have to be on your game to do it. It’s just too hard to do (consistently),” said Slagle, who won a BFL event on Dale Hollow using the multi-lure rig.

He suspects that a lot of tournament trails are going to eventually follow the lead of the Bassmaster Classic and Bassmaster Elite Series and ban Alabama rigs from money competition.

“Those are the rumors out there right now. Other than that, I can’t say for sure,” he said.

The Watson’s Marine Open bass tournament will be held on on South Holston Lake Saturday night. Fishing is from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Sign-ups will be held at the ramp at Observation Knob Park. Entry fee is $60 per team.

Rex Pendergrass at Watson’s Marine reports that the Pop-R bite and the flippin’ jig bite were both holding up nicely on Boone Lake prior to Wednesday’s deluge.

Boone has muddied up a bit since, he said, but not as badly as he expected. He anticipates that the topwater bite may be thrown off a bit, but the flippin’ bite should hold steady.

He is, however, eager to see the topwater conditions return to Boone. The shop just got its first shipment of Strike King KVD Splash baits and he’s eager to see how they do.

“Hopefully, right now is the time we needed to be getting them in,” he said.

Rod Colyer at Colgard Outdoor Sports in Norton has a solid and very fresh report on the spinnerbait bite on Cherokee Lake.

“I had a friend who went out (Wednesday night) and they caught several good keepers on the spinnerbait,” Colyer said.

“That’s all those guys pretty much throw at this time of the year. They’ll pick up a jig every once in a while. But if they made 1,000 casts, probably 999 will be the spinnerbait.”

On the fly fishing beat, Ben Walters at Eastern Fly Outfitters in Johnson City said Wednesday’s deluge sparked an unusual midsummer hatch on the South Holston tailwater.

“When the storm hit, there was a big Blue Winged Olive hatch — and the fish got on them. We had several people catching them on Blue Wings. But that is kind of a rare thing,” Walters said.

The majority of the time you can expect sulphurs to remain the dominant hatch. The streamer bite has also been worthwhile, he said.

If you have a 7- to 8-weight outfit, striper action has been decent in the South Holston tailwater during high water. The big fish chase bait schools out of the lake up into the cooler water from Bluff City on upstream.

Streamer flies in the 3- to 4-inch range that can mimic an alewife or threadfin shad are the cat’s meow.

George Thwaites is a Sports and Outdoors Writer for the Kingsport Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @KTNSptsThwaites. E-mail trophy fish photos to: gthwaites@timesnews.net. We want to see them!

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