Cherokee lake, a beautiful little lake in Tennessee that can be a finesse angler’s “dream come true”. Cherokee Lake is a deep-water impoundment in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains that has clear water, rocky banks, and full of big Smallmouth Bass. This is truly one of the best finesse fishing lakes for smallmouth bass outside of the great lakes up north. Many professional bass fishing tournaments have been held on this body water of Tennessee, as well as some championship events in years past. For the BFL anglers fishing this event in the Volunteer Division, they will want to be thinking about reaction baits that smallmouth cannot resist, but more importantly finesse tactics. Make sure to read to the bottom to see How Revital Outdoors Premium CBD Products help anglers fishing Cherokee Lake.
Smallmouth Bass Fishing
Finesse rods and Smallmouth Bass go hand-in-hand like Batman and Robin. Whenever anglers are targeting Smallmouth Bass, it’s very rare not to see at least two finesse rods on the front deck of the boat. Smallmouth Bass, although are very aggressive, tend to react better to smaller profile baits and light line applications. This means shaky heads, drop shots, Ned Rigs, and small finesse swimbaits. Anglers on Cherokee Lake can target numerous areas throughout the lake to catch their fish, but once they establish a pattern, they want to stick to it throughout the entire lake to try to catch the biggest limit they can. Fish will be caught in multiple ways in the springtime on Cherokee Lake. However, even though there’s multiple different applications to anglers will fish for the smallmouth and Cherokee Lake, they will predominately do all of these on a spinning rod and light line. For this blog on Cherokee Lake in the upcoming Volunteer Division BFL tournament with Major League Fishing, let’s take a look at a few of the different finesse applications that anglers will likely be using in the tournament.
A Ned Rig has been a finesse application anglers have been using since the early 80s. This evolved when outdoor writer Ned Kehde was cutting down soft plastic worms and attaching them to mushroom-style jig heads. His original plan was to replicate small crawfish that were hatching out in the early spring, and that the bass were feeding on. The way he made this bait be popular, is the way many anglers fish it today and are still successful. Casting out a Ned Rig and letting it hit the bottom, and then slowly working it across the bottom with sudden twitches along during the retrieve have proven to be the best way to work the Ned Rig. However, anglers will want to fish the bait as slow as possible. Yes, there is twitching during the retrieve of this bait, but that is only applied after dragging the bait several feet through the rocks and bottom content. Many angles are successful with this technique casting the Ned Rig across long-rocky points, such a secondary and main lake points, and then slowly working the bait back to the boat. Another application is to throw it around brush piles in the ditches leading into spawning areas.
Drop Shot Baits
The drop shot application is one of the most successful ways to catch Smallmouth Bass. This is where anglers will take a finesse hook and attach it to their line 1 foot to 2 feet above a dropshot weight. Anglers will use weights specifically designed for dropshot applications. Typically, these are lead weights that are long, and cylinder shaped, with a line keeper at the top. This is such a great application when fishing for Smallmouth Bass because it keeps the bait off the bottom and is perfect when the fish are related close to the bottom, or just suspended off the bottom. A drop shot is deadly because it keeps the bait in front of the fish’s face and has a lot of action. There’s no special way to throw a dropshot, however many anglers fishing Lake Cherokee will throw a drop shot application at Smallmouth Bass relating to brush piles and those fish who are relating to bluff walls in Cherokee Lake.
Small Finesse Heads
The final application that many anglers fishing tournaments on Cherokee Lake are using, are finesse tubes with a small finesse head. Again, these can be fished on spinning rods with light line and are a lot more sensitive for anglers. The way that this pattern works, is anglers will buy packages of soft plastic tubes, and shove a small tube head up into the tube. A tube head is a finesse hook with lead melted onto the hook. This helps create a lot of action for the tube, but also stay attached inside the tube. This bait is a lot like the Ned Head we mentioned earlier, it resembles the small crawfish in Cherokee Lake. Smallmouth are more inclined to eat a crawfish meal in the springtime because it provides them the essential vitamins they need to stay warm , and is a meal full of protein.
Finesse fishing for Smallmouth Bass in Cherokee Lake has helped anglers win tournaments that pay more than six figures. It is a very fun lake to go to in the early spring to catch a lot of big Smallmouth Bass on finesse applications. It’s also a great place for anglers to take their children to experience while fishing, and learn more about finesse fishing.
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