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Middle Tennessee Creek Smallies

Mark H

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I had a chance to visit Nashville over the weekend. My son and I spent most of Friday with Mike Dial of Tennessee Bass Guides. Mike specializes in fishing the small creeks and streams of Middle-Tennessee. We got a late start, getting in the water around 9:00 a.m. on a bright, warm, humid day...temps were in the 80's. It has been an unusually hot and dry spring...not enough rain to push the larger smallies upstream. Nonetheless our first stop netted 10 smallies in a little over 1 hour. The smallest was around 12", two were in the 17"-18" range. The next spot brought us another 15 fish including two more 18". Our final destination proved to be the most productive, resulting in 25 fish including several rock bass. We caught a couple of 17" and two 19". All fish were caught on spinning tackle. We had to stop around 4:30 because we had to attend another function that evening but the fish were still going strong. Mike did a terrific job putting us on fish and attending to every need. His price is extremely reasonable. We plan on going back...maybe in the fall. On a side note, I dunked my digital within 30 seconds of getting in the first stream so it was on the fritz all day. Mike took some pics though. I will post a few after he emails them to me.

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We fished Smith and Stones Rivers. Also fished a tributary of Hurricane Creek. They really have some nice water down there. The Harpeth runs through Franklin. The Buffalo, Duck, Elk rivers are also in central Tennessee. Not to mention Pigeon and Gatlin in Eastern Tennessee.




The guide did not fish for the most part. He brought along an extra spinning outfit (we could have used his but wanted to use our own since they were new and we had not fished with them previously). He did make casts but would hand off the rod if he was getting any action. I was doing pretty well so he spent alot of time working with my son. He was very attentive. He fished for about 10 minutes late in the day, right before we left and landed a nice 17" smallie. We were with him from 8:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and he only charged $175. He provided lunch, snacks, transportation, all tackle, etc. Not bad when compared to other guides prices.

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