Hendersonville, Tn : Fishing style is a personal preference and for me light tackle fishing has reigned supreme for not only catching numbers of fish but also plenty of big trophy size fish. Normally when I go out I’ll have 4-6 rods rigged and ready to go, with line test ranging from 6 – 10 lb. It may seem strange to some but I will target different species at the same time depending on how they are biting. One of my favorite ways to catch fish is with a crankbait and one of my favorites is this Bagley Killer b2 that I have been using since the early 80’s. I have caught many hundreds of fish with this one lure including large and smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, rockfish and even bluegill and drum.
Next up is a 3″ grub on a 1/16 ounce jighead , then a 1/4 ounce spinnerbait, then a 4th rod rigged with a slip float and a small hair jig or a bare jig which minnows can be added. Start searching for brush piles / planted structure at the points leading into the coves/cuts off the main lake or in any of the creeks, as this is where the majority of crappie and other fish will stage. On Old Hickory Lake there is a lot of planted brush in 15 feet or so of water. When you find a good spot your fishfinder will really light up. Use a marker buoy close by but not directly on the pile. I will flip out the grub to quickly determine if they are active and normally catch quite a few right off the bat, if action slows change lure colors and then you can always go to the live minnows. When your fishing the brush piles for crappie in the spring It seems you always get some nice bass as well, such as this one who hit a live minnow fished on a small jighead. Normally when I start fishing in the morning I like to start shallow and cover water quickly casting the bagley or using a spinnerbait. I have caught some of my biggest OHL bass up shallow in the early AM. If I get on ’em shallow I will then go back through the same area with my other lures and then eventually make passes through at deeper depths and eventually end back at the deep water brush piles.
A 3″ grub on a 1/16 ounce jig head is one of the all-time great lures,and can be mastered with regular practice. A slow swimming retrieve and a basic lift/drop technique are two popular ways of working it. Use a light action rod and 6 or 8 lb test line.
Get out there and get ’em! John