Dale Hollow Lake Part 4

(You can find the first part of this story here.)

Never Give Up

It took us a while to get there just off Little Goat Island in the Willow Grove area. Daniel has two first generation Hummingbird Helix 10s (Depth & Fish Finders) on his boat. The one on the console is side and down imaging. The one in the front is down imaging only. Once again combining his accomplished technical skills with his knowledgeable fishing experience, in a short time Daniel found just the right spot.

For the last day and a half because of the wind moving the boat off the fishing spots while we were fishing, we discovered one anchor was not enough.  Earlier, Daniel had purchased another anchor at the Willow Grove Marina when we had lunch there. http://willowgrove.biz/ He had us drop both anchors to hold the boat over the spot where the shallow flat underwater terrain dropped off steeply into deeper darker water.  Along this ledge is the prime habitat for the fish. The fish can quickly move from the shallow water where they are nesting and feeding into the secure safety of the deeper darker water.

Baited up with lines in the water, we hadn’t been there long before I reaped the reward of all their hard work. I enjoyed landing that beautiful Smallmouth Bass on Dale Hollow Lake. In that Dale Hollow Lake setting in the awe of the exhilaration of the moment, I was standing there holding that beautiful Smallmouth Bass taking it all in when I heard Ryan- “Hey Dad, hold it up so we can get a picture!”  We all celebrated our collective victory in outsmarting that fish! Ryan and Daniel, Good Job! Thanks again!

Another Of Nature’s Unexpected Delightful Displays

All three days we were out on the lake we were layered up with clothing just like we would have been when hunting on frigid winter days. On Thursday it warmed up slightly. But Friday started off cold and a cold front was coming in later that afternoon. Knowing how cold it was forecasted to be on Saturday, Friday afternoon we decided to move our juglines into the Fanny Creek Cove area of the lake because it was closest to the Dale Hollow State Park Marina.

Temperatures being already unseasonable cool, ahead of the cold front that was coming later that night the temperature was already beginning to head south on the thermometer. We were about halfway into the cove diligently putting out our juglines, so we could get back out on the main lake to finish up the day fishing for Smallmouth Bass. Our progress was paused momentarily as we noticed movement in the sky above the boat. We were pleasantly surprised with yet another gift from the great outdoors.  

Stripped bare by harsh winter winds torrential rain and heavy snowfalls the majestic wooded hills were standing tall in the reflecting sunlight. The forest still had its winter skeletons of trees. The main branches forked angling upward from the tree trunks the limbs growing out to the end becoming small twigs.  The skeleton trees looked as if they had upraised arms with open hands whose fingers pointed skyward preparing to receive the spring blessing of being individually clothed in their own unique nature’s best foliage wardrobe designed exclusively for them.

It was from one of these trees that a stately young Osprey, a fish-eating bird of prey, flew authoritatively from one side of the cove to the other. He soared back and forth across the cove multiple times as we passed through on his homesteaded waters. He landed again positioning himself high upon the limb of a tall skeleton tree on the opposite side of the cove from which he came.  From here he had a better vantage point from which to keep vigilant surveillance over his habitat intruders.

Again, in a little more than 24 hours we watched in stunned awe at another one of nature’s unpredictable displays of unscripted magnificence.  Sir Osprey held us quietly spellbound as we put out our last few juglines and turned the boat around releasing back to this honorable bird of prey the silence and solitude of his stealth-fully guarded dominion. Back out on the main lake we fished until dark.  Reeling in the last line so we could head back to the Marina, we topped off our day by catching a Warmouth!

Making The Most Out Of It

Winter still going strong in Kentucky, the water temperature was in the low 50 degrees.  We knew that the cool temperatures of the water and the air plus the wind was going make for a challenging three days of fishing.  It was. We enjoyed every minute of it. We agreed that we’ve never had a bad day fishing. Each day offers its own unique rewards. However, some day’s rewards are much more rewarding than others.     

Saturday morning when we got out on the lake, the temperature was in the 20s and it was snowing! Pressing on we pulled a few more shivering catfish off the juglines tossing both the catfish into the live well and the juglines into the boat. Then we headed back to the Marina.  

Even with caps and or fur lined hooded jackets on our hands and faces were burning cold. We remained hopeful that our lips would thaw out before lunch. However, the deeply rewarding satisfaction of the new memories warmed our hearts and conversations as we were already planning our next fishing trip to Dale Hollow Lake.

Fish Caught: Bluegill 1 Smallmouth Bass 5 Largemouth Bass 2 Spotted (Kentucky) Bass 1S Channel Catfish 6 Yellow Bullhead 2 Warmouth 1

Don Bebee                                                                                                                                                              Texas