By Ronnie Parris
Hey folks I’m sure hoping everyone is doing fine. It’s that time of year again where the heat weeds out the faint of heart. And just for the record that means me. The exception is early morning. And this will most likely be your pattern for a while. I like getting on the water at day light and fishing till around 11. As it heats up your jet skis and wakeboarders hit the water and it’s about over for the day.
My favorite fish to target this time of year is the steelhead and rainbows. I’m usually catching them between 40 and 70 ft deep trolling spoons and minnow imitation plugs as well as spinners. I do like putting a flasher or dodger in front of my spoons as this seems to make the fish more aggressive on the strike.
Both steelhead and rainbow have soft mouths so try not to horse them or you will rip the hooks out of their mouth. Colors vary as far as lure selection goes but red and purple seems like the best choice for me. I usually use heavy braided line on the reel but run a 10 pound fluorocarbon leader. As far as table fare you’re gonna want to cook them the same as a salmon. I usually smoke or grill mine.
While trolling for the steelhead I run a few lures deeper for walleye and some shallow diving plugs for the bass. Usually you’re gonna get a mixed bag, which is always a good thing. Santeetlah and Fontana are my 2 best lakes, and the bite’s usually gonna last till mid to late October. This is a great trip if you’re wanting to get the family out, so be sure an get started early while the bite’s good and don’t keep those little ones out after the sun gets too hot as you don’t want to wear them out.
If you’re interested in one of these trips give me a call at 18287369471. I’d love to hook you up on some nice steelhead. And as always take a kid fishing
Ronnie Parris is owner and head guide of Smoky Mountain Outdoors Unlimited-Fontana Lake Fishing Guides, headquartered in Bryson City, N.C., heart of the Great Smoky Mountains www.smokymountainoutdoorsunlimited.com; (828) 488-9711.