Well folks I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is there has been a very good shad spawn this year in Cheatham Lake which obviously means a good food supply for our fish. The bad news is there is so much of it that it is getting tougher to compete with the real thing and isolate an area where numbers of keeper fish are staging. I am still catching good fish around wood cover because they can hide out there until the bluegill and smaller fish come to feed on the shad and then get a substantial meal. They don’t appear to be feeding on the small shad fry. The problem is there is so much food that they are much more scattered and therefore harder to find. I used to really bowhunt for deer a lot and I can explain it this way. Early in the bow season deer love to eat white oak acorns because they fall first or before the red oak acorns and have less tannic acid in them and are therefore less bitter. When the acorns start falling it can be very easy to pattern the deer if you can determine which trees they are feeding around. Some years are better than others in relation to acorn production and if only a few trees produce it is much easier than if almost all of them produce. There are obviously no less deer but it becomes tougher to figure out where they will be in order to get close enough for a bow shot, which is usually about 20 yards. This is the same situation we have now with the abundance of shad. Fish can still be caught but having so many places they can be requires more moving on our part to locate them. As fisherman time is almost always a factor whether we are fishing a tournament or just for fun so this means bad decisions cost us much fishing time and in some cases success. I have also seen many fish deep on my electronics but for me they seem harder to catch because they appear to be moving with the bait.
The main lake or river is in relatively good shape as far as clarity and about 78 to 80 degrees depending on the time of day. The Harpeth River is still slightly stained but getting better and about 82 to 83 degrees. I’m catching fish in both places but I am having more success in the main lake. I have seen some bass chasing shad in more open water but this is still sporadic at this point. I feel it is still slightly early for this pattern.