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Opinions about the Chick 2022
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   Fishing Fishing Discussion

Posted by ChooChooSnakeMan
11/14/2022 11:53 AM
Ok, I hope this starts a lively discussion. For me 2022 on the Chick was kind of disappointing and I've seen many posts that echo that. Maybe for you it was your best year ever! Anyway I invite you to post how you would grade Chickamauga bass fishing or for that matter fishing in general for 2022, list the species that you base your grade on. For example Bass or maybe Bass and Crappie or Catfish and Bluegill.

A = Better than ever or really, really good year
B = Pretty good, maybe down a little from what you're used to the last several years on Chickamauga
C = Not so good, down a lot
D = Really not good, down to the point that you started going less or started going to another lake
F = Forget it, Chickamauga totally was a waste of time for me in 2022 compared to previous years

It would be good if when you turn in your grade if you also give us your opinion about why Chickamauga earned the grade you gave it.

I'll start:

Grade = 'C'
Species - Primarily Bass but also crappie and bluegill
Reasons other than maybe I don't know what I'm doing:-) are: I think the enormous fishing pressure has caught up to the lake and the crazy spring we had in 2022 with rain, temps, and water flow hurt the prime time fishing (for me) and the spawn.

Thanks in advance for your posts and opinions!
Posted by FishingwithRusty
11/14/2022 12:11 PM
C from me, definitely think the pressure has gotten to this lake, it fishes so small.
Posted by Oldman
11/14/2022 2:20 PM
C
Posted by kingcab
11/14/2022 3:17 PM
Definitely a C.
Posted by Springmillvol
11/14/2022 4:36 PM
Unfortunately a D for me. Fish alone quite a bit and got to the point I wasn’t looking forward to it. Always nice being in the water but the tough trips just wore me down.
Posted by alicia ayers
11/14/2022 5:23 PM
F forget it!!! was definitely a waste of time in summer and fall and not even going now ! Was great in spring when all the new grass came in , caught a lot , just nothing over 6 lbs this year , and that's saying a lot for me. I can usually manage to catch an 8 lber at least . I think way too many txs. and way too much spraying to kill the grass . I usually am fishing from the banks or docks , and saw all kinds of dead fish floating everywhere after the weekends . Once the summer heat hit , I pretty much was over it , and now , no water left to fish in so will just wait till spring and hope it will be better than this year .
Posted by Fshn Cpa
11/15/2022 10:11 AM
C for me. fish mostly from the power plant to the dam. Caught some every once in a while but had a lot of zero to three fish days.
Posted by elwestb
11/15/2022 10:38 AM
I have to give it a C also.
Posted by drdetroit
11/15/2022 10:42 AM
C-
Posted by Springmillvol
11/15/2022 2:22 PM
Seems the consensus is this past year was down for most. How do we reverse the trend or do you think it’s the new normal of the chick?
Posted by ChooChooSnakeMan
11/15/2022 6:51 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone. I honestly am a little surprised at the average low score. Seems like right now it's a C- for the Chick. Hopefully a lot more people will post a score and reason why. I think Chickamauga has dipped for sure but hopefully it isn't the beginning of a long steady decline. The tremendous fishing pressure had to take a toll, I know we all hoped it wouldn't but it does seem clear that something prompted the decline and the pressure and maybe unstable water levels and temps in 2022 didn't help. Anyway this is interesting reading and I hope more will post what they think.
Posted by billyc
11/16/2022 10:07 PM
I would rate it at a D at best. Two factors I think cause most of it . Florida bass become more aware of fishing pressure according to biologists. We have a collection of guides that have absolutely pillaged this lake for their profit because they guide their clients on the same places other anglers have fished for years and when you go back there the area is dead. When an area of the lake gets hot watch out the guides will swoop in and pound it to death until someone else finds fish and then the process repeats.
Posted by drdetroit
11/17/2022 7:37 AM

The internet does not help! Every report, picture or video does not help. Look at the license plates in the parking area.

 

Dr Detroit 
Posted by ChooChooSnakeMan
11/17/2022 12:10 PM
drdetroit - 11/16/2022 8:37 PM

The internet does not help! Every report, picture or video does not help. Look at the license plates in the parking area.

 

Dr Detroit 


Agree, the publicity of Chickamauga being featured in Bassmaster magazine's top 100 lakes as just one example surely brought a lot of visitors. It is a two edged sword. If you owned a tackle store or campground, or any of the many businesses positively impacted by all the people who came here to fish you would feel that publicity was a great thing. If your living was made guiding people on the lake you would want the word to get out. I know back several years ago when I fished the CFF events with Jmax we were fishing in an area and most all of the boats we came upon had Kentucky decals so the lake has been hammered for years by out of town anglers and a lot of it is organized groups. The fact is that for those of us who just fish, we want a world class fishery but we want it kept secret. I think there has to be a balance, I don't know what the answer is and I hate a lot of government rules. I've seen ideas such as have a tournament permit system lake wide to limit the number of events and to raise funds for fish habitat enhancements. That all sounds good to a point but should the government be able to tell a bass club they can't hold an event on public waters when they want to? Then there is the problem of once a system is created for example to regulate and police the number of tournaments you have to have the infrastructure to do just those things which creates another government excuse for a department with employees and costs for someone to pay. Hard questions for sure.
Posted by fischnrod
11/18/2022 8:57 PM
F, DEAD AS A DOOR NAIL SO MUCH SO I DON'T EVEN FISH MUCH AT ALL NOW DAYS
Posted by xpress19
11/19/2022 8:38 PM
D for disappointing...
Posted by WaterChap
11/19/2022 11:15 PM
The Spring was maybe a B- for me. D- for the rest of the year. Thought it was just me. Agree with Alicia. The spraying can’t be good. The lake does fish pretty small as Rusty pointed out. I suspect the fish are there but have become very conditioned to the pressure (Billy). I don’t think we could every regulate every club that fishes on the lake, but perhaps we could set up a permit system for tournaments over a certain size. I say “we” meaning, I have no idea who would have authority over that but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t care what I think!
Posted by Cstick1
11/21/2022 7:05 AM
They were spraying the lake when it was one of the best in the country so whats the difference now?


WaterChap - 11/19/2022 11:15 PM

The Spring was maybe a B- for me. D- for the rest of the year. Thought it was just me. Agree with Alicia. The spraying can’t be good. The lake does fish pretty small as Rusty pointed out. I suspect the fish are there but have become very conditioned to the pressure (Billy). I don’t think we could every regulate every club that fishes on the lake, but perhaps we could set up a permit system for tournaments over a certain size. I say “we” meaning, I have no idea who would have authority over that but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t care what I think!
Posted by WaterChap
11/21/2022 11:08 AM
You may be right, but spraying around the park certainly kills the fishing for the bank fishermen. I don’t have data on fish catches correlated with defoliant sprayed into the water. I’m guessing that the effect wouldn’t be immediate, but would take a few seasons to really show the effects. An instant effect would produce floating fish in large numbers. One of the reasons that Florida bass have flourished here is the vegetation. The more we remove, the less they will thrive. And that assumes that there are no long term effects of defoliant spraying on fish (or people!). I know that Agent Orange and Round-Up are perfectly safe, but who knows about what they’re putting in the water now? It’s probably safe. Defoliants generally are. Nothing to worry about….
Posted by Oldman
11/21/2022 11:40 AM
agent orange safe?friggin joke right?
Posted by FishingwithRusty
11/21/2022 1:20 PM
Oldman - 11/21/2022 12:40 PM

agent orange safe?friggin joke right?


yes he's being sarcastic


intersting line of thought though Travis
Posted by Oldman
11/21/2022 1:49 PM
yep, i thought so.
Posted by ChooChooSnakeMan
11/21/2022 4:42 PM
Thanks for all the input, this is interesting reading and for me personally perhaps it makes me feel a little better that I wasn't the only one having a hard time on Chickamauga. For me it just seemed like the number of fish just weren't there. Maybe they were there but just conditioned not to bite our baits. It was a very tough year for me. I'd fish and fish and fish and not have anything to show for it. I even diversified and tried different baits and tactics but it just was no good. It was discouraging to fish hard for hours and only have maybe a couple of slicks to show for the effort. I hope others will post what they think. Let's remember that everyone has an opinion and are entitled to it. The last thing I would want is for this thread to spiral down to snarky comments and insults. Thanks again everyone and please post your score and ideas for what is going on with our lake.
Posted by billyc
11/21/2022 8:20 PM
Five or ten guides pounding lake every single day with no let up is the only thing that has been introduced in the last few years that has been different than in years past. I know spraying grass does have a negative effect to a degree but we have dealt with that for years. Certainly the twenty or so tournaments of 200 to 300 boats a year that we were having does have some responsibility too. Also all the electronics that we have now like this live scope stuff its not fishing anymore its catching. Chesterfrost park has been single handly wiped out by two guides that pounded the living hell out of every place in the park that held fish to the point there's not even any little fish left little lone big fish like it used to be. This lake unfortunately does fish very big like some its comparable size.
Posted by billyc
11/21/2022 8:20 PM
Five or ten guides pounding lake every single day with no let up is the only thing that has been introduced in the last few years that has been different than in years past. I know spraying grass does have a negative effect to a degree but we have dealt with that for years. Certainly the twenty or so tournaments of 200 to 300 boats a year that we were having does have some responsibility too. Also all the electronics that we have now like this live scope stuff its not fishing anymore its catching. Chesterfrost park has been single handly wiped out by two guides that pounded the living hell out of every place in the park that held fish to the point there's not even any little fish left little lone big fish like it used to be. This lake unfortunately does fish very big like some its comparable size.
Posted by rsimms
11/22/2022 9:43 AM
So if you apply a Grade Scale to results of the recent CBA Classic (2-day tournament):
40 lbs.+ = A
30 lbs.+ = B
20 lbs.+ = C
10 lbs.+ = D
Less = F

There were 3 A's, 4 B's, 13 C's, 11 D's and 12 F's. Hence, all these comments are about on par. Just food for thought.

But I'll argue that this is a subjective debate. The measure of success is all about expectations. I fished Chickamauga back in the days when a single 5-pound bass could get your picture in the paper. Now expectations have been totally screwed up because of a decade of "Glory Days."

It is human nature to always want "more." So yea, it is painful when suddenly we're getting "less." IMHO, everyone just needs to gauge their expectations based upon "long-term trends" (the last 50 years) rather than the short-term (the last ten years). Do that and the grades get better.
Posted by ChooChooSnakeMan
11/22/2022 11:54 AM
Richard, thanks! that info is very relevant to this discussion. Looking at CBA scores is a great way to gauge the lake and I don't disagree with your "calibration" numbers using weigh in weights. You are also right about expectations. I remember back in the day when a 40 lb bag wouldn't have even entered the discussion so the fact that we think of 40+ = A for a top level tournament that says something right there. I do think that it is human nature for expectations to play into the discussion. After all we have had a world class fishery here for the last decade or so. For it to decline there has to be factors. Now I for one don't discount nature, nature may in fact be the principal factor. A lake or any ecosystem for that matter will experience ups and downs even if totally left alone by man. Weather factors such as temperatures, rain fall, current rate, diseases, amount of sediment in the water are just a few. It is a complicated collection of factors. This is a great discussion and I really value all the opinions and ideas. Thanks to everyone, let's hear from others please!
Posted by Flathead
11/22/2022 6:18 PM
ChooChooSnakeMan - 11/22/2022 11:54 AM

Richard, thanks! that info is very relevant to this discussion. Looking at CBA scores is a great way to gauge the lake and I don't disagree with your "calibration" numbers using weigh in weights. You are also right about expectations. I remember back in the day when a 40 lb bag wouldn't have even entered the discussion so the fact that we think of 40+ = A for a top level tournament that says something right there.


Those weights are 2 days combined not a single day.
Posted by ChooChooSnakeMan
11/23/2022 11:39 AM
Flathead - 11/22/2022 7:18 AM

ChooChooSnakeMan - 11/22/2022 11:54 AM

Richard, thanks! that info is very relevant to this discussion. Looking at CBA scores is a great way to gauge the lake and I don't disagree with your "calibration" numbers using weigh in weights. You are also right about expectations. I remember back in the day when a 40 lb bag wouldn't have even entered the discussion so the fact that we think of 40+ = A for a top level tournament that says something right there.


Those weights are 2 days combined not a single day.


Thanks for the clarification. The spirit of my comments still stand. I remember when a 20 lb 5 fish limit on Chickamauga would have been the talk of the fishing town and then we found ourselves with 20 lbs sometimes not getting you in the money and 30, 40, even close to 50 lb 5 fish bags being reported. My main point is that everything is relative but my informal poll seems to bear out that the lake is in decline. The reasons are varied and I wonder how much nature is the primary factor. Thanks for everyone's input, keep them coming.
Posted by Pointer 78
11/23/2022 8:37 PM
C overall.

Mat fishing was a definite F.
Posted by Shadman
11/25/2022 6:47 PM
F
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