Floating Grass Issue
Since the onset of the eel grass several years ago the fall can be a tough time of year to work a lure because of the amount of floating grass around the lake. The eel grass that was more than likely brought in here from Florida on other boats is just a pain when you cannot get a lure through the thick eel grass clumping and clogging up the lake. Not only is it an issue for the anglers but it is also causing issues at the dam and power plants that need the water to cool their systems or regulate the lake levels. I know that TVA has recognized the issue as they have sub-contracted a company to help curtail the amount of floating grass moving down river, as they are scooping up the grass with machinery and will be working through December and beyond. The problem is this eel grass keeps growing, expanding through-out the lake and what ever they do to scoop up the floating grass will be temporary.
As goes the eel goes so does the ability for you to work some of my favorite fall baits like crank baits, any bait with treble hooks as you are constantly caught up in the clumps of grass. This unfortunately limits your ability to use many baits around the lake and limits you exclusively fishing worms, or jigs. There are a few more baits that seem to work and here are a few of my suggestions that may help you expand your bait selection. The first for me has been a swim jig, this bait rigged with a weed guard has been a good bait in this floating grass; it gets caught up some but works well. Another fall bait is a fluke, if you bury your hook into the fluke, it is also catching fish for me. You can also use a double fluke set up and have some fun time with it, catching two fish at a time is always fun. Lastly and is always a great fall bait is a frog as it is designed with the hooks over the top to stay grass free and unaffected by the floating grass. Stay vigilant and you will be successful regardless of the eel grass.
-Captain Mike Gerry