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Cumberland Lake


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#1 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 12:39 PM

Well my long time friend and I went south to Lake Cumberland for the annual spring striper fishing trip last week for two days. We got our limit both days plus some mixed bag of smallmouth bass, channel cats, and a nice flathead cat. Cumberland lake is still way down from a full lake because the dam was suspect to repairs so the Arm Corp of Engineers have been working on it for over two years now. Even with lower water levels this 110 mile long lake is a fisherman's dream come true.

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My imitation of Jimmy Houston kissing his bass. The stripers were just a bit smaller this years for us but we went a bit later too this year than in past years. I had some of my wife's family over for dinner last night for some striper and cat fish and it was the best eating fish I can remember for a long time. Considering I don't like fishy smelling fish like trout to eat these didn't have the first odor and firm clean white meat was excellent eating. :)-

Edited by Rowdy Yates, 05 May 2008 - 12:41 PM.

"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#2 irinman2424

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 01:40 PM

some nice Fish there Mark Congratulations I know when we went down last year we cought a few largemouth and cats but didnt have any luck with the stripers might have to get with you and get some pointers there was 3 of us that went and none of us had any experience with the stripers
I believe in fillet and release!

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#3 Leo

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 01:59 PM

That's a really nice smallmouth! I hardly get to see those anymore. Bet that one was fun!
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#4 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 03:17 PM

That's a really nice smallmouth! I hardly get to see those anymore. Bet that one was fun!


Thanks Leo, you would have enjoyed the tug on your line with this fish, I know I did. Yea it started off with a run like a striper but once I got it turned it did a tail walk and we all resounded "Oh that's a nice smallie". It fought a good fight for 6 lb smallie.
"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#5 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 03:25 PM

some nice Fish there Mark Congratulations I know when we went down last year we cought a few largemouth and cats but didnt have any luck with the stripers might have to get with you and get some pointers there was 3 of us that went and none of us had any experience with the stripers



Todd we go out of Aligator II docks and run about about 20 minutes towards several of the creeks that feed into the main river, one is Harmon and the other was Difficult creek. We banked the nose of the boat and fished out the back with heavy slip weights and a short leader to the shad baited hooks. If we didn't get bit in 1/2 hour we moved. The guys we talked to that trolled and some with planner boards didn't get a sniff at their baits. Bottom fishing paid off. We threw back 6 smaller stripers each day and that many smallmouth bass. Oh in one 5lb sheeeeeeeep bah head that didn't make the trip to the dock.
"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#6 WayneBizzle

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 05:21 PM

Great pics Rowdy. Looks as if you guys had a ball.
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#7 irinman2424

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 07:09 PM

we were down by Sumersett Mark (you go about 8 miles south of town and turn left and go back about another 8-9 miles and there was the river/lake)(its by the town of Pine Knot on 27 off 74) it was ur first time down there we threw nets for shad and then used it for bate as long as it stayed alive. we also used spoons and other artificials. at night we tried what the local bait stores told us which was using a floating light and when a "meatball formed drop a trebble hook and yank it up to catch some shad on it and then lower it back down to try for the stripers. we had a blast but wish we could have gotten a couple stripers.

Edited by irinman2424, 05 May 2008 - 07:13 PM.

I believe in fillet and release!

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#8 McBruce

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 09:30 PM

mark do you pack your bow along in the boat just to have more gear ??? :)
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#9 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 08:32 AM

mark do you pack your bow along in the boat just to have more gear ??? :)


Bruce the idea did cross my mind down there. :doh: Memories of bear hunting in Canada with 3 sets of fishing gear and a large SKB bow case on both sides of you in a 16 ft boat with two other friends. Makes for tight fit EH! :boone:

One of the guides told us at the dock that the carp were spawning way up at the ends of some of the creeks in the weeds and I suggested bowfishing to him for some carp. :ermm: He gave me one of those looks like more gear in the boat deals and turned and walked away. :D
Cumberland lake is still deeper than most lakes I have been on. The water depth even drawn down runs 40 ft minimum and you find 120 foot depths pretty easily right off te banks a few yards. Bowfishing would be a challenge.
"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#10 Monk

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 11:57 AM

Looks like some good fish'n! Nice!
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#11 Leo

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 01:23 PM

A six pound smallie beats many folks personal best! That's a good-un! Personally my best was 16 inches long and perhaps just a hair over 3 pounds. A six lb smallie would be Taxi worthy to me.

The freshwater drum (AKA Sheepshead) are edible. They are quite slimy and coarse fleshed but boiled and with much melted butter they are decent table fare. I caught one 10 1/2 lbs once on 8 lb test and it was a brutal battle.

Stripers are much better tablefare without the "Red-meat".
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#12 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 01:51 PM

A six pound smallie beats many folks personal best! That's a good-un! Personally my best was 16 inches long and perhaps just a hair over 3 pounds. A six lb smallie would be Taxi worthy to me.


Leo the keeper size limit on this lake is 18" and we had several this trip we threw back that were 17.5". We caught a few darn near this big ones size last year and you're right the size does make me think wall mount it. The coloration of this fish was oustanding too. I've done several fishing trips in Lake Erie for smallie around the western basin islands using soft craws many moons ago now and had a few this size and maybe one larger but they didn't make it to the wall of fame. There is a few rivers in Central Ohio that hold smallmouth around 5lbs. and some you can wade around with a spinning rod and a tube bait and hookup a bunch of them in a day. You don't want to eat them out of these waters so I catch release them to have fun another day.
"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#13 Leo

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 02:59 PM

IMHO, an 18inch length limit on smallies is a BAD idea.

Overpopulated bass stop growing at around 12inches. When you start pulling scales from 12inch fish that are 3+yrs old YOU GOT A PROBLEM! In those cases you should keep every dink you catch. I've given up on trying to get a predominantly catch and release minded fisherman population to understand this. But it is honestly how it works out.

Most pond managers just throw up their hands, kill the lake and start over re-stocking again.

I've seen this far too many times to count.

Size limits are a good idea on a healthy population but when 12inches becomes the rule it's time to take a look at if the population is indeed healthy.

I've hooked plenty of bigger smallies but that was before I was more savvy at their hook throwing prowess. Where I'm at now, there simply are not any.

Don't ever let coloration sway you on a mounting decision. Even skin mounts are bleached and painted. Coloration is not perserved, the pattern is sometimes but coloration isn't happening.
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#14 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 07:54 AM

Leo I do agree with your thoughts on catch and release. I fish for the meal mainly but the pollution in the local waters is the issue for me to release what I catch. I don't have one fish mounted on my walls. Just not me. One of my sons caught a fish Ohio walleye out of Lake Erie, 29" and 10lbs if I remember correctly, and I had it mounted for him.
"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#15 Leo

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 10:59 AM

Leo I do agree with your thoughts on catch and release. I fish for the meal mainly but the pollution in the local waters is the issue for me to release what I catch. I don't have one fish mounted on my walls. Just not me. One of my sons caught a fish Ohio walleye out of Lake Erie, 29" and 10lbs if I remember correctly, and I had it mounted for him.


Just another quick note about getting fish mounted. Some fish, particularly saltwater species do not lend themselves well to taxidermy. Skin mounts are practically impossible with really oily fish. The mounts on these fish don't hold up for very long at all. Get the length and girth measurements and a fiberglass reproduction ;)

Skin mounts on Bass usually hold up pretty good. Stripers sometimes do and sometimes don't. It depends on how experienced your taxidermist is with that species.

Sometimes the reproductions are cheaper and sometimes they are a little more. It's a demand driven thing but bottom line the reproductions will last longer, every single time ;)
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