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  #1  
Old 01-02-2018, 12:04 PM
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Default Old Hickory Lake Milfoil!!!!

I can remember when Old Hickory lake was a Milfoil Paradise back in 80's and early 90's. Are there any other anglers here that can remember those days when Milfoil lined both sides of main channel and all the creeks between 109 bridge and Cedar creek down stream? Also up all around the steam warm water discharge. I have made a few posts about back then on other fishing sites and no one seems to remember this. Did I just dream this or did we really have all that great fishing back then????
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:17 PM
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Unfortunately I was not into fishing then but I have a couple of friends that have said the same thing. The good news is it's coming back. There is some(very little) coming back to those same areas. There is also some coontail starting to grow. The coontail seems to be a little more prevalent.
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:14 PM
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Yes, when I moved here in 1998 I homed in on all that matted millfoil as it reminded me of the pepper grass beds I grew up fishing in Florida. I instinctively knew how to fish that grass from the steam plant down to a Cedar Creek. Also Drakes Creek had several good patches to fish. I miss it. I can recall when the cove at Cages Bend campground was loaded with it and frog fishing was outstanding. Then one year I saw a boat spraying around all the docks and from that point until now, no more millfoil in that area. As for the grass on the sides of the main channel, it is my belief the flood and subsequent high water flows have scoured it from the area. We may never see it again. Fishing has suffered tremendously due to this lack of essential bass cover.
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Buccaneer View Post
Yes, when I moved here in 1998 I homed in on all that matted millfoil as it reminded me of the pepper grass beds I grew up fishing in Florida. I instinctively knew how to fish that grass from the steam plant down to a Cedar Creek. Also Drakes Creek had several good patches to fish. I miss it. I can recall when the cove at Cages Bend campground was loaded with it and frog fishing was outstanding. Then one year I saw a boat spraying around all the docks and from that point until now, no more millfoil in that area. As for the grass on the sides of the main channel, it is my belief the flood and subsequent high water flows have scoured it from the area. We may never see it again. Fishing has suffered tremendously due to this lack of essential bass cover.
Be careful for what you wish for... In the mid 90's the Milfoil almost took over Cordell Hull to a point you couldn't hardly fish some areas. I tried to run Planner boards in the main channel along some bluffs up stream from Granville in 50 feet of water. The millfoil was so thick it was impossible to fish... Then I noticed it down stream in Old Hickory a little later. Apparently so did the Corps of Eng. and the TWRA ... That is when it was eradicated throughout the Cumberland River chain, or attempted. <'TK><
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:24 PM
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It was heavy in mid 90's on OHL you could hardly fish from shore.

I would be more than happy to let a small amount continue on the lake
as it has to be better for Bass!
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:06 PM
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Default milfoil

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Originally Posted by Halli View Post
It was heavy in mid 90's on OHL you could hardly fish from shore.

I would be more than happy to let a small amount continue on the lake
as it has to be better for Bass!
Yep, it was heavy all over the lake along the banks and on the shallow flats on the main channel but it will never be that way again. The lake has become a Money Persons Paradise now. They will keep killing it to keep the rich folks happy. Back years ago I use to fish the Milfoil mats on the point of Ski Cove in Station Camp Creek. Now Congresswoman Diane Black owns that house located on that point and there will never be weeds on that point again and the entire lake is now having houses like hers built all along the shorelines of all the big creeks. 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....JMHO
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Old 01-02-2018, 08:59 PM
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I remember it was so thick you could hardly get past the steam plant...it would be nice to see it again...and yes, I believe the fishing was better then.
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:52 PM
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I'm pretty dumb to this, what's the difference between milfoil and the grass that currently grows in old hickory?


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Old 01-02-2018, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddyyak View Post
I'm pretty dumb to this, what's the difference between milfoil and the grass that currently grows in old hickory?


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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. It's what makes lakes like guntersville and chicamuaga so special.
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Old 01-02-2018, 11:44 PM
Brian37075 Brian37075 is online now
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There is a cove up river that used to full of lily pads. It was always a lot of fun back in there. The lily pads all left about the same time the milfoil left. I attached a picture of what used to look like several years back. I figured they TWRA killed it so the duck hunters could get to blind easier 3 months of the year.
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File Type: jpeg D33D0A32-9847-46FC-AB98-6816C398FCC6.jpeg (156.2 KB, 49 views)
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2018, 03:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softbaitmaker View Post
Yep, it was heavy all over the lake along the banks and on the shallow flats on the main channel but it will never be that way again. The lake has become a Money Persons Paradise now. They will keep killing it to keep the rich folks happy. Back years ago I use to fish the Milfoil mats on the point of Ski Cove in Station Camp Creek. Now Congresswoman Diane Black owns that house located on that point and there will never be weeds on that point again and the entire lake is now having houses like hers built all along the shorelines of all the big creeks. 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....JMHO
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><
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Last edited by tkwalker; 01-03-2018 at 04:20 AM.
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2018, 11:24 AM
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Not pushing politics, but Diane came out on day when buddy and I were fishing in front of the mansion this summer. Asked if we were having any luck and said she was dropping a line for a crappie dinner. She proceeds to catch 6 nice crappie from under here pontoon boats and tells us to keep her spot a secret. She talked with us for several minutes. Oops guess I gave away here secret spot.


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Old 01-03-2018, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
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.
You mentioned: 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.
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
SMB...................
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ddyyak View Post
Not pushing politics, but Diane came out on day when buddy and I were fishing in front of the mansion this summer. Asked if we were having any luck and said she was dropping a line for a crappie dinner. She proceeds to catch 6 nice crappie from under here pontoon boats and tells us to keep her spot a secret. She talked with us for several minutes. Oops guess I gave away here secret spot.


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Oh yea, she is very friendly. My Son In law and I have spoke with her several times when fishing around her dock and that point of the creek.....
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:21 PM
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Smile Yes .. <'TK><

SBM, We are looking forward to your fishing input and hopefully pictures on all of your outings. Remember at our age, what we think is common knowledge may not be to a young and upcoming fisherman. The beauty of this site is it is based on the fishing community and family orientated. Again welcome aboard. <'TK><
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