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It was another chilly day fishing for smallies on the French Broad River. The water temperature has been hovering around the fifty degree mark for the past couple of weeks. The generation schedule at Douglas Dam continues to be all over the board throughout the day making it a challenge to find active fish. That is the information that I shared with Luke from Arkansas. He is an avid outdoorsman and said that he understood that the fishing has been tough and he wanted to give it a shot regardless of the less than rosy picture I had painted for him over the phone. As luck would have it Luke caught a nice seventeen inch smallie on his first cast. I joked with him that catching a fish on the first cast is bad luck and that he may not catch another fish during the rest of his trip. He confirmed that with a phrase that I have never heard before “First cast last fish”. Fortunately, that wasn’t his last fish. He managed to catch four more smallies during his four trip. One was a real stout fish that was just shy of eighteen inches and weighed three pounds and three ounces. A picture of Luke proudly holding that drag burner is included in this report. Luke was a great guy to have on board. We shared numerous stories of our hunting and fishing adventures as well as our respective experiences that we had as collegiate athletes. I told him that April is a hot month for the smallie bite here in Tennessee. He is also an avid turkey hunter, so my sense is that he will be in the woods and not on the water when those French Broad smallies begin their spring migration up the Little Pigeon River to spawn in 2022.

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