September 6, 2019

Great Music and Monster Striped Bass

Tennessee a great place to visit. This was my first time in Nashville, and it didn't disappoint. I was there primarily for work so I had the evenings to explore. I didn't actually see most of what Nashville is famous for because I spent a lot of time chasing fish. However, I did get to attend a concert at the Grand Ole Opry. Carrie Underwood was the headliner, but I actually enjoyed several of the other groups just as much. There were 12 bands that played, several of which are in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Ricky Skaggs, Mark Mills, Sister Sadie Band and Tommy Emmanuel were some of my favorites. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed bluegrass. I also didn't realize that The Grand Ole Opry is a long-running live radio show.

checking out some history at the Grand Ole Opry.

Ricky Scaggs.

Carrie Underwood.

Aside from the concert, I spent my time after work driving around the different lakes attempting to catch a blue catfish. Although I didn't catch one, I got to enjoy some beautiful views and wildlife. One evening there was a herd of 30-40 whitetail right off the road with several bucks in the group. It was fun getting to see them where we don't have them in Utah.

No catfish, but still a great place to relax after work.

A few whitetail deer.

Of the different restaurants I tried, my favorite was Uncle Buds Catfish, Chicken & Such. I had the "Bayou Platter" that had catfish, alligator and frog legs along with all the fix ins and topped it off with their banana pudding for desert. The food was great, the staff friendly and it's worth stopping by if you're in the area.
The "Bayou Platter".

The last day I was there I booked a trip with Captain Bob Angelo to chase some striped bass. I had been told that the Cumberland river had good sized stripers, but that was an understatement. We started out at 6 am under a heavy fog along the quiet river. Capt. Bob taught me the setup and I helped set out the lines once we got to our first spot. We slow trolled gizzard shad as we saw rising fish long the banks. A few sounded like cannon balls hitting the water as they exploded after bait fish.

We trolled for about 30 minutes before the first fish hit, and there there is no mistaking as the rod bent over and the drag started singing. I grabbed the rod and did what I could to try and slow the run. Luckily I turned the fish before it made it to a downed tree along the bank. I would make a little ground before each hard run. This was the first striper I had ever fought and they have A LOT of fight in them. My forearms burned as I finally got my first glimpse of the fish, and it was BIG! Capt. Bob said we wouldn't catch numbers, but we would catch a few nice fish and that hadn't sunk it until that first glance. Bob netted the fish, and the Boga's told us it weighed 28 lbs!

Bob actually laughed and asked "why I didn't believe me"? I guess the look of disbelief on my face said it all as I gazed at the monster bass in the net. we got a few quick photos and released the fish to grow bigger. What a way to start the day!!

I went 3-5 on the day with the smallest fish going 17 pounds. Not a bad day of the river in my view. I'll definitely be heading back to fish with Captain Bob Angelo. He not only kept me on fish, but he did a great job of teaching me hold to rig, and where/why the bass like to hang out.

Fog hiding the Cumberland River.

28 pound striper.

I thought this branch with all the webs was cool.

19 lb striper.

17 lb striper.

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