My fishing buddy from West Virginia made a trip down to East Tennessee to explore some new water. We decided to fish for stripers below Melton Dam on the Clinch River. Rumor had it that a good number of stripers had moved up the river and were occupying miles of water below the dam. Once TVA turned the water on at noon we begin drifiting Gizzard Shad through the turbulent water and it was not long before Robert hooked into and landed a drag burning 12 lb. striper (pictured above). No long after I that I hooked into a good fish and as it began to tire and as I started to work it to the boat the line went slack. As I reeled in the rest of the line to the boat I was shocked and surprised to so that the 1/0 circle hook was broken near the bend in the hook.

I have never had this happen before. It was Robert’s pole I was using and he said that next time he would “not file the hook” to give me a better chance. In reality he said that the hook came from a pack of hooks that was very old and we discovered a little later in the day that they were indeed brittle and not fit to fish with. Robert hooked another good fish later in the day, but it too was able to pull the hook late in the fight. We could see that the other anglers in the area were having a slow day like we were, but it was enjoyable to fish the beautiful clear cool water of the Clinch on this hot July day.