Percy Priest Stripe

Percy Priest Lake is the most diverse lake in Tennessee. Oh any given day you can go and catch 3 or 4 different kinds of fish by just moving one mile to another area.

Let’s talk about one of the easy ones to catch Mr. White Bass or as we all call them Stripe. Now there is 2 kinds of stripe, there is the regular or white bass and then there is the yellow belly stripe. The white bass will grow to 3 lbs. or better. The yellow belly won’t hardly reach 1 lb., but don’t throw them back they are delicious.

Now you can catch stripe all over the lake but in the spring of the year I always fish the upper Stones River. Now you can put in 2 places to get there either Jefferson Boat Ramp in the Stones or my favorite ramp and dock on the Lake Fate Sanders Marina. I have never had anything bothered in my truck at Fate Sanders and a lot of the ramps are having problems with break ins.

Now stripe will hit almost any small lure 1/4 oz. rattle traps are my favorite because you will pick up some bass also. Next choice would be number 5 or 7 shad raps. Of course the all time number one stripe bait is a 1/4 oz. lead head and a 3″ twister. The best twister colors are green, chartreuse, and white.

Water temperature controls the speed of the retrieve. While the water temp is below 55 degrees use a real slow retrieve with the bait close to the bottom. As it warms up pick up the speed of the retrieve.

Now what you want to look for in a good stripe bank is good sand and gravel. Use your depth finder and find the river channel then cast to the bank with the boat over the deep edge of the channel. Always watch for shad activity because the stripe will be close to them. You will see the fish hitting the shad and that’s where you want to be. Be easy in your approach as not to spook the fish. One of the best banks is straight across from the Smyrna pumping station. When you look at this bank you will know what to look for, it is perfect.

Hope you have good spring fishing. Be very careful in the Stones River there are stumps and high spots everywhere. There are also some nuts or as Jimmy Holt says cowboys in fast bass boats that have no consideration for a man or his family in these tight areas, be very cautious look over your shoulder every time you turn the wheel.

Don’t forget set the hook wear your life jacket and may the great fish god be with you.

Jim Duckworth

Ducktrail Guide Service