Birthday Fishing Trip and PB

By: Jake Bussolini

The Tennessee River System has long been one of my favorite fishing spots in the world. I venture to Canada each year for good natural lakes and river fishing, but the four-hour drive to eastern Tennessee proves time and again to provide me thrills and experiences that I will remember forever. This year was no exception at the Fort Louden Dam in Lenoir City Tennessee. I took my Grandson Anthony to log his personal bests in three categories of fish and had the pleasure of watching Joseph Wilson, and his wife and children, from Kittrell, NC enjoy a family fishing outing that they will not forget. They were celebrating Joe’s birthday, but Joe told me that catching big fish was nice, but his best birthday gift was being able to share a great fishing experience with his wife and family.

Joseph’s wife Kristen was skeptical about this fast-water fishing until the group started catching stripers like those shown here. These were certainly personal bests for Kristen, Rylan, age 11 and Paxton, age 7.
For Joseph however he had logged his personal best on the same waters at another date.

I had set my expectations high for my grandson Anthony, and I’m sure he had doubts about his ability to make good on my promises but indeed he did with this 42-pound striper.

Anthony also recorder his personal best black drum, smallmouth bass and hybrid striper, all on the same day.

Of course, none of this would have happened if it were not for Bo Rice who, in my opinion, is the premier guide on the Tennessee River system. Bo not only provides fishing expertise but also provides a fishing lodge for resting and comparing notes with other anglers.

There is no other experience like the fast water, backwater fishing at any of the several dams in the Lenoir City area. It is my annual destination and I recommend it for every angler than wants a memorable fishing experience.

Jake Bussolini is a freelance writer who has published several books about freshwater fishing. His books can be reviewed or purchased at