Land Between The Lakes

This past weekend, Tara and I decided to go camping at Tennessee’s Land Between the Lakes. We bought back country camping passes at the park entrance, packed up our boat, picked a spot on the map and started paddling.
We managed to pack the gear without any trouble and after a a few hours we reached the bay where we hoped to find a suitable camp spot.
Turning off the main channel we were met with an exciting occurrence:
The back of the bay was filled with nervous water (all the little circles of ripples in the picture.) Millions of small bait-fish had congregated in the warm shallows. Such a gathering doesn’t go unnoticed by hungry piscivores, and every 30 seconds or so a marauding bass would bust through part of the school with a splash.
As soon as we had set up camp I set out to try my luck fishing. I waded out into the school and tied on a clouser minnow that was about the same size and color as the bait-fish I was seeing. There were schools of bait and feeding fish in every direction so I just started casting. I began with a fast retrieve near the surface but got no strikes. I slowed my strips, pulling the fly almost leisurely through the water, and letting it sink down near the bottom of the school. It wasn’t long before I felt tension on the line. I set the hook and played the fish a few feet before it leaped into the air, a nice bass!
I landed half a dozen fish in about two hours and lost as many more. Most were bass, but I did catch an aggressive bluegill and a small drum that was cruising for an easy meal.

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