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A Tennessee Ticket and Some Smallmouth Fishin'

    Well, I guess my trip from South Carolina to the Holston all came about one night when I hit a deer with my truck. After spending around $2000 to get it repaired, I figured it was probably time to just sell it and get a new truck anyway.  I sold that 96 Tacoma and started looking for a newer one somewhere in the southeast.   As chance would have it, there was a silver 2002 located in Kinsport, TN. Kingsport is surprisingly closer to Greenwood, SC, than one would imagine.   You just get on I-26 and keep going until you get to Kingsport (about a 3 hour drive).


    On my way up I passed many beautiful rivers including the Pacolet, French Broad and Nolichucky.  I was dreaming of how one day in the late spring I would make this easy drive again to fish some of these great rivers.   The excitement surrounding the purchase of my new truck was soon drowned out by the sound of sirens behind me!  I was being pulled over in the town of Erwin, TN, for speeding.  I wasn't even going that fast.  I was ticketed for 10 miles over the speed limit and would have to make a return trip if I was going to contest this ticket.


    Eventually I did make it to Kingsport, and I did buy that silver Tacoma.  I went a little slower through Erwin on the way back.   I passed all the same beautiful rivers and thought about how that ticket was bogus!  Then the wheels in my brain started to turn.   I thought, why wait until the spring to come back.  Why not come back in January and at least let the judge hear my side of the story and then fish the second half of the day?   I could hook up with some guys on the TFR site and they could show me how they do things TN style. 


    Well, I immediately made a post on the TRF message board and got some great advice on the river to fish.  A very kind member, Larry McDavid, offered to take me on his boat for the day. 


    On January 12th I found myself in the courtroom and then later that day on the Holston with Larry.  So, thanks to that deer, all this has transpired.


    Larry and I met in a Wal-Mart parking lot and headed off to the river.  We got to know each other on the ride to the ramp, and like most guys on these river fishing sites we certainly had a love for river fishing in common.   It was during this ride that I realized that the only thing I left in my truck was my camera!!  At first I though, "oh no," but then I realized that whenever that happens it sure seems that someone lands a nice fish.   So, time would tell.


    As soon as we pulled up to the ramp I had a minute or two to kill while I was waiting for Larry to get ready.  I decided it couldn't hurt to just make a couple casts from the bank.  On my first cast on this cold winter day I miraculously hooked into a 12 inch smallie.   I knew that was either a very very bad sign or a good sign!  Larry walked up and said, "Well, that didn't take long."  We were just hoping not to get skunked so at least that was no longer an issue.   I realized that my cell phone had a camera and in an attempt to capture these memories I snapped a picture with the phone.  Hey, it was better than nothing.  




    Larry launched the boat and we started fishing immediately.  He was even kind enough to let me float downstream first so I could have first cast at the fish.   Not 10 minutes into our trip I was fortunate to hook into a smallie that hit and fought like a linebacker on steroids!  It had been some time since I had really fished for smallmouth and I forgot how fast these fish are.   Finally, I landed the 19 1/4 inch smallmouth that weighed 3lbs and 6ounces.  At that point, the trip back up here because of the ticket had already been worth it to me.   The camera phone came in handy, yet again.



    Later, we passed by a fishy looking log on the backside of an island and immediately my bait got hammered!  The fish came off within a few seconds and it really felt like a good one.  Before we floated too far away from it, I cast my oz spinnerbait all the way back to the log and WHAM, fish on!   This one went 18 inches and then shortly after I hooked into a 16.  Larry also got into the act with a solid 18 inch fish that had a bigger one with her.   A few more dinks thrown in between and that pretty much summed up our day.  The water from a nearby dam release finally hit us a few hours into the float and killed the bite.  


    However, the trip was special for so many reasons.  All in all it was good to be able to meet another member from the American River Fishing network of sites and catch a few nice smallmouth on a beautiful river.  If you haven't joined the message board for the state you are in, you might want to do it soon and you too can meet and go fishing with some great folks.  Thanks again to Larry for taking a stranger named BasserDrew fishing.





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