Now’s the time to catch the trophy of a lifetime

 

BEHEMOTH BRONZEBACK-Joe Slagle of Bristol, TN recently landed this monster 8-pound, 10-ounce smallmouth on South Holston Lake using the float and fly method.  The fish measured 24" long and displayed impressive girth as the pictures show. (photos courtesy of Smalljaw.com)

BEHEMOTH BRONZEBACK-Joe Slagle of Bristol, TN recently landed this monster 8-pound, 10-ounce smallmouth on South Holston Lake using the float and fly method. The fish measured 24" long and displayed impressive girth as the pictures show. See another photo below. (Photos courtesy of Smalljaw.com)

 

DALE HOLLOW-Fishermen are starting to pour into the area here in hopes of having the chance to land a fish of a lifetime now that the water temperature on the lake is on the rise and signs of spring are showing up everywhere.

This same phenomenon is going on across the state and reports of huge fish are popping up all over, including the story of a young angler from upper east Tennessee who recently boated just that–the fish of a lifetime.

Seventeen-year-old Joe Slagle of Bristol, TN landed an amazing 8-pound, 10-ounce smallmouth while fishing South Holston Lake last week.  The giant fish measured 24 inches long and carried impressive girth.

“I caught it on six-pound test using the float and fly,” he said in a post on Smalljaw.com.  “I’ve worked hard for that fish for awhile now.  I had the fish hooked earlier in the year, but lost it–I knew right then I had to keep fishing until I caught her.”

Slagle lives on the lake and his family owns Lake View Dock, therefore he has easy access to the waters that yielded his trophy.

“My family has been here for many years and we have a long history with giant smallmouth here on Holston,” he said.  “My grandfather holds the lake record with a 9-pound, 13-ounce brute.”

Slagle said the fish was the seventh smallmouth over six pounds he had caught this past winter and said he “hoped the trophy fish, like the others, would grow to be enormous next year.”

When asked about the fight the behemoth bronzeback put up, Slagle said it happened so quick he couldn’t really recall the details.

“All I can remember was my net was in two pieces in the bottom of my boat and I was focused on getting it together all the while trying to fight the fish,” he explained on the popular fishing discussion board.  “It did make one hard run and it was all I could do to turn it.

“Somehow I managed to net it by myself while holding my rod in my other hand.  I was freaking out–I couldn’t believe how absolutely huge she was!”

Stories like Slagle’s loom in the minds of anglers this time of year and most concentrate on the next several weeks in hopes of having the chance at a fish like the one he caught.

Bass are feeding up for the spawn and are carrying the heaviest weight of the year, making it prime-time to catch your trophy of a lifetime.

The lake here has long been known for its population of trophy smallmouth–which includes the top three in the world, but fishermen have been waiting for another goliath trophy fish to make an appearance here like Slagle’s did at Holson.  Is this the year?

For more information about smallmouth fishing on Dale Hollow Lake visit www.smalljaw.com, and for info about South Holston Lake go to lakeviewdockhome.com.

First DHF Spring tourney blasts off late next month

CELINA-The First Annual Dalehollowfishing.com (DHF) Spring Tournament will be held here Saturday and Sunday, April 24-25 at the Pleasant Grove Recreation Area on Dale Hollow Lake and event organizers hope to see some big money up for grabs.

“If we hit our goal, we’ll have $15,000 in prize money, as well as some great door prizes,” DHF administrator and co-owner Preston Moore said on the website.  “We encourage everyone to get the word out now and help us make this one of the biggest tournaments this lake has ever seen!”

The format will be “any species,” allowing largemouth, Kentucky spots, and smallmouth to be eligible for the weigh-in and the entry fee will be $150 per boat.  All of the entry money will go towards the purse with the exception of a portion to be used for the polygraph.

“We are going to pay up to 10 places and offer two big-fish awards to be given away each day,” DHF co-owner and tournament director Steve Headrick explained.  “The winners will each get $250 per day per award.”

The big largemouth/spot awards will be sponsored by Harris Oil and the big smallmouth awards are being given by Punisher Lures and local author Darren Shell, who recently penned “The Big Ones”–a book about Dale Hollow’s top three world-record smallmouth.

For more information about the upcoming tournament and fishing Dale Hollow Lake, visit www.dalehollowfishing.com.  Also, watch the HORIZON for more about the event in the coming weeks.

Dale Hollow BFL tourney is April 4

BYRDSTOWN-For the first time this year, the Walmart Bass Fishing League (BFL) will hold a tournament here on Dale Hollow Lake on Saturday, April 4 at Star Point Resort.

In BFL competition, boaters supply the boat and compete from the front deck of the vessel against other boaters.  Co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers.

A release on the series’ website (bfl.flwoutdoors.com) said “as many as 200 boaters and 200 co-anglers are expected to compete in the tournament, which will award as much as $45,000 in cash, including a top award of $6,000 in the boater division.”

It also said the winning co-angler will earn as much as $3,000 in cash and explained big bass awards of $1,000 and $500 will be awarded respectively in both divisions.

Blast-off will be at 6:30 a.m. and the weigh-in will be held at 3 p.m.  Entry fees are $200 for boaters and $100 for co-anglers.

Anglers may register for the event online at flwoutdoors.com.  On-site registration will be held here at Star Point Friday, April 3 from 4-7 p.m., with a pre-tournament meeting to follow.

Big tourney set for Center Hill

SMITHVILLE-The Fourth Annual Bank of Putnam County Tennessee State Bass Championship will be held here on Center Hill Lake at Ragland Bottom on Saturday, April 4.

The event is the only officially sanctioned state championship tournament set by a state resolution passed by the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Besides having a shot to be designated as the state’s bass champion, anglers will have the chance to win a total purse of more than $12,000 in prizes, including a $4,000 guaranteed grand prize.

Interested fishermen can register online at www.tnbasschampionship.com, by calling 931-526-3672, or at the tournament site here on the day of the event.

The entry fee is $160 per boat for each two-person team if paid by March 28, with a $25 late fee applied to registrations beginning March 29.

TWRA still reports fishing to be slow

DALE HOLLOW-The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency’s (TWRA) fishing report of March 13 showed fishing to be slow here for the second week in a row.

The agency said the lake level was on the rise and reported the water temperature around 47 degrees, but it will be on the rise with the warmer weather of late.

It showed a few good smallmouth were being caught on the float ‘n’ fly method and on jigs in 10 to 25 feet of water.  A few other brown fish have been caught on jerkbaits up in the Obey river.

It said a few good sacks of largemouth were being caught in the rivers while casting jigs on channel banks around wood.

The report also said crappie fishing was fair in the Obey river while fishing minnows around trees in 10 feet of water.

The information explained all other fishing was slow at that time, but it showed walleye fishing on the upswing around East Port using jigs in 10 to 15 feet of water at night.

 

BEHEMOTH BRONZEBACK-Another view of the monster 8-pound, 10-ounce smallmouth landed by Joe Slagle of Bristol, TN on South Holston Lake. (Photos courtesy of Smalljaw.com)

BEHEMOTH BRONZEBACK-Another view of the monster 8-pound, 10-ounce smallmouth landed by Joe Slagle of Bristol, TN on South Holston Lake. (Photos courtesy of Smalljaw.com)