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Is it autumn yet? For fishing purposes, not entirely. But we’ve all felt the fall creeping closer this past week. One of the seasonal shifts we can count on is well-rounded outdoorsmen devoting more of their limited leisure hours to scouting and hunting. It’s a time of year that tugs on divided loyalties. A more aggressive bass bite and the resurgence of striper activity coincides with a drop-off in recreational boater traffic. More often than not, October rocks on area reservoirs. No need to rush things. We just got past Labor Day. But this is something to eagerly anticipate. Rod Collier at Colgard Outdoor Sports in Norton reports that the bass fishing has already improved noticeably on both Pound and Flannagan Reservoirs. “It’s getting better. The crankbait bite is starting to get good and we’re even starting to catch a few topwater fish,” said Collier, who noted Flannagan is fishing ahead of Pound.
“The shad colors have been best. Bass are starting to move a little bit and bunch up, running the baitfish.”
His customers coming back from Northeast Tennessee reservoirs report similar trends.
Tom Austin of Striped Bass Unlimited reports that Boone Lake’s water surface temperature at Point 2 as of noon Wednesday was 77.4 degrees.
Stripers and hybrids aren’t as shallow as they’re going to get, but you can see that day from here.
“Fishing has been good. The fish have schooled up and tend to stay below 20 feet due to the warmer water temperatures and low oxygen in the upper level of the water,” said Austin, who advises setting baits 5 feet above marked fish.
“I expect the fish will move higher in the water levels as the surface temperature drops to 70. You will also see the fish begin to feed on the surface more.”
In other fishing-related news, the Church Hill-Mt. Carmel Department of Parks and Recreation will hold its Trout Rodeo on Sept. 17 at Jaycee Park. The event is offered free of charge to kids from age 4 to 16, but advance registration at Church Hill City Hall (open Mon.-Fri., from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.) is encouraged. Prizes will be offered to boys and girls in three age divisions.
Fishing is slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. and wrap up at 11:30 a.m.
“Some say fish bite better in the rain,” said Johnny Wood of WCYB-TV5 in Bristol. “We certainly got the rain this weekend. The question is, did we catch some fish?”