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Old 01-03-2018, 12:36 PM
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softbaitmaker softbaitmaker is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Gallatin, TN 37066
Posts: 10
Smile Milfoil

Originally Posted by tkwalker View Post
Wow! First off welcome aboard to our Forum and FTI Web site SoftBaitMaker (SBM) ... I will address the Political , and Housing rant at the end of my post.

Now, This is a great subject Milfoil, It has it's Pros and Cons ... After reading the threads It appears, do to the age of most of the posters with the exception of SBM who is two years younger than I, and I am 72. That most of you fished the last 25 years during the invasion of the foil. And I am sure you think it is similar to Lilly Pads as an inviting place for old Bucket mouth to lurk which is true. But unlike Lilly Pads which only has a stem and then produces a Flower (Pad) Which Old Hickory has had in some of it's back waters every since I can remember. But Member TEXAS RIG is correct about the Foil, and I quote: "It's submergent. It grows in deeper depths and doesn't necessarily grow on the shoreline. The water may be 15 feet deep and it will grow from a couple feet tall or all the way to the surface." End Quote: The milfoil produces leafs along it's stem deeper than Lilly Pads which means it grows in the Channel and the Corps has to keep it at a depth of 13 feet. Now this was not a challenge to the mighty Tow Boats but the back wash was playing havoc on the smaller pleasure boats.

Also, the Corp of Eng. as well as the US Coast Guard reported that the milfoil in some cases impeded channel navigation. Not the commercial Barge traffic but pleasure boat operation do to propeller fowling. My personal thought on this is more of complaints from commercial (nets&baskets) and non-commercial pleasure troller fisherman. Now remember only about 25 miles upstream from OH dam is back water ... The remaining 75 miles is basic narrow river channel all the way to Cordell Hull with hardly any massive mansions or housing developments. And believe me the big old sows live and hatch other places rather than the bedrooms of Gallatin and Hendersonville. (Hey, all their Massive docks and boat houses produces a lot of structure)

Now I am going to debunk Mr. Richards Statement: "The lake will never be the Bass lake it was back then because the bass fry that hatch in spring have no shelter in which to hide anymore".

Okay, I am going to assume SBM has not lived on this lake all of his life. But I have pretty much. In 1954, I was eight yrs. old. ... Old Hickory Dam closed it's gates and started back filling OH Lake. My Dad and I sat on the hood of his 1953 Ford at the end of Lock Four Rd. with only about one foot of the Lock Spillway showing, I watched a train of barges pushed by a tow boat overcome the spillway and head upstream carrying materials for the newly constructed Gallatin Steam Plant.

I fished Old Hickory lake every since. In the 70's Bass Tourneys came along ... We formed a local fishing club in the 70's I was a charter Executive member of GABA (Gallatin Association of Bass Anglers)... We had a max membership of 50 members. And back then releasing fish was an option, even though you got an extra point for every fish you released which went toward the end of year points... ,A lot of fish was put in the freezer ... And it was not uncommon for the big fish of the tourneys to reach between 5 to 7 pounds with a mix of large fish in between .

Then I commercial fished in 1980 and 1981. There was a Russian Embargo on Cavier ... So Paddle fish (being in the Sturgeon family) was in high demand . $24 per processed pound and a 35 pound fish could produce 7 pounds. ... Hard fishing with nets in the heart of winter... This is a story in it's self.

And Lastly, Stripers were introduced to OH in 1973 .... I did not start fishing for them until the 80's and started guiding shortly after. I used Paper Graphs to chart both sides of the channel and Islands from Cunningham Island close to where the first stripers were released in 1973 to OH Lake, all the way to Cordell Hull Dam. Yep! it took a while and I wore out two Graphs.

Now what all of the above is saying is this. Milfoil depriving Bass fry no hiding place ... Don't think so... There is plenty of structure in Old Hickory lake to support any amount of Hatch for any species year round... Cold water, Bait, warm water, (steam Plant) ... Folks Old Hickory is used as a balancing lake for the Cumberland river chain, which in turn, do to High water and current releases from CH, causes washouts, and land slides which produces submerged structure (Mainly upstream) that is why there is No fishing Pressure upstream for Bass. For most folks except the Pros who come in here ... no one fishes upstream...

Most weekend and working fisherman like the over pressured, over fished, Multi tourneys every week for the convenience of the lower 25 miles of the lake ... And I'm Sure the hundreds of 80 MPH Plus ..$80,000 dollar Bass boats doesn't help the lower 25 either.... THE MILFOIL AND FISHING PRESSURE OF THE 90'S TO PRESENT ON IT'S BEST DAY WILL NOT SURPASS THE GREAT FISHING BEFORE IT CAME.

When I was guiding I was hired by Bass Pros for my incite on good spots were on OH. I showed them and they produced .... UPSTREAM!.

Now as for the political rant, The fishing forum is no place to express that, But I can see where SBM needed it to get a point across, no problem ... Since it was brought up I will say this ... Diane Black is not my favorite person, But I will have to vote for Her for Governor . I hope her replacement in congress is worthy of my vote. And am Glad that Marsha Blackburn will most likely take Corkers Seat. Now remember all Political Posts should be expressed in the Sports Lounge.... <'TK><
First off I want to thank you for the nice welcome and I am glad to be here. I didn't mean to make the post political by using Congresswoman Diane Blacks home as an example but I assumed most folks would be able to relate. I could have used several Tennessee Titans names also that own homes in the Plantation also. I see you lived quite a life on the Cumberland River as were a lucky person. I also was on the Cumberland river a lot as a kid as my Uncle owned a fishing camp below the dam on Pennington Bend Road that ran along side the river and is now located behind Opryland Hotel. My Uncle started me out trot line fishing on the river when I was 6 years old and I would run his lines with him every morning. Even before school we would be up at dawn to run them. As I got older I moved away from running trot lines on the Cummberland when my parents moved to Cheatham County and began running limb lines on the Harpeth River during my school years. Then I went into Navy for 4 years and when I came back I got Married and did not get back into fishing until the late 70's and spent about as much time on Percy Priest Lake as I did Old Hickory. I began fishing tournaments in the mid 80's on Old Hickory and learning to fish the Milfoil was an adventure and I caught a bunch of big fish in and around the milfoil and I never had any issues getting around from place to place while fishing it. Now with that said. I don't doubt at all that commercial fisherman did have issues with it and the big pleasure boats did have issues with it and even the small pleasure ski boats had issues with it. With that I am sure the Corps and TWRA did get their share of complaints. Now with that said, I have some friends that are Game Wardens on TWRA and have been for many years and according to them they had no connection to the eradication of the Milfoil at all. They had no say so at all in it.
I have heard several different stories about what actually happened to the Milfoil so not going to get into them.
You mentioned upstream above the dam. The 109 bridge in 11 miles above the dam and that is about the dividing line were the lake ends and river channel begins. I live 5 miles from Bulls Creek and that is where I launch from about every time I go out fishing. I have run all the way to the Cordell Hull dam several times fishing. I catch a lot of fish around the mouth of the Caney River. I catch fish in Second Creek, Little Cedar, Rocky Creek, Bledsoe Creek, Spring Creek, Bartons Creek and oh yea don't let me forget the pocket and Bentley's Landing and boat ramp just to name a few places I fish up stream. You are correct about there being fish up there. I even fished a lot up there when the milfoil was on the lake. Now with that said.
I don't have an issue with them getting the milfoil under control, my issue is complete eradication of it. Other lakes around the Southeast like Guntersville, Chickamauga and even Kentucky Lake have weed issues but they don't completely eradicate it all but do controlled kills.
I am not sure about that but won't argue the point either as I didn't do as much fishing on Old Hickory before it came but I do know that since it left the weights at tournaments have dropped by an average of 10lbs per bag at the weigh-ins so there has got to be some kind of explanation as to why there is not as many big fish being caught as there was when the weeds were here.

I will close by saying I do appreciate being welcomed to your site and I have only been here a short time but have read some great reports and hope to be able to post some fishing reports when weather permits an old man to get back out and chase the bass once again........Thanks
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