In Loving Memory
Kevin Barnett 7/16/1956 - 12/1/2013
On December the first of 2013, the world lost a very knowledgeable and talented individual. Kevin was a carpenter by trade, and passionate fisherman anytime he wasn't working. He caught Bass where most people thought only trout existed, and he caught trout where others thought only Bass and Crappie existed. In his guide service, which he began after moving to Tennessee in 2007, he specialized in Crappie and record size Catfish. In his pastime, he loved mechanics, and tinkering with anything mechanical.
As he walked onto the dock one day in Rockwood, TN, he told someone he was going to see if any stripers were near the dock. A fisherman standing nearby said, "you have to go south of the Dam to catch any stripers". Less than fifteen minutes later Kevin pulled in the striper pictured to the left, right there on the dock, and it wouldn't be the last. The regulars on the dock looked on in gaping awe, no one had ever seen that done before.
As one Guide customer said, "All my life, my dad taught me to fish for catfish on the bottom, and for Crappie on the top, you do it just the opposite", as they pulled in a forty pound Flathead Cat.
It was common for Kevin to invite other fishermen who were striking out, to tie their boat up to his so he could help them catch their limits. He would walk out on the dock where others had been fishing all morning catching nothing, and pull in a keeper Crappie on his first cast leaving onlookers shaking their heads and talking under their breath.
We don't know what it was with Kevin and fishing, but we called him the 'catcherman'; he didn't fish, he caught. He had secret techniques and baits which he tried to pass on to others whom he held dear, but it just didn't seem to work. There just had to be something else, and we don't know what.
With carpentry, he was simply an artist. As described by a fellow builder, Kevin had incredible talents and a lot of knowledge. Kevin began his career as a builder at the age of fifteen when he went to work for a blind relative who was also a builder despite his blindness. Kevin later went to work with his brother-in-law James Coulter for Perry Coulter, where Kevin learned a tremendous amount, an experience he would talk about for the next 30-years. Carpentry was like fishing for Kevin, it just came natural, and he did it well. When Kevin built something, it was nothing short of perfect; complete artistry.
Kevin was a very generous individual. He would give anything he had to anyone who he thought needed it or whom he thought would appreciate it. It didn't matter if it were money, clothing, or tools. It is just the way he was. He would help anyone, do anything, at anytime.
As a hobby, Kevin enjoyed mechanics. He had acquired a lot of tools over the years, and in passing, he gave them to Jesse, whom also worked with Kevin as a mechanic. As he knew his time was near, Kevin, showed the same generosity that he had shown all his life. He requested that the majority of his possessions be given to those he loved. He could have sold everything and enjoyed the cash for the last seventeen months of his life, but it meant more to him to give these things to those he loved and thought would appreciate them.
Kevin was preceded in death by his sister Marcia in 1955, his mother Irmadell in 1989, and his father Charles just four months earlier in 2013. Kevin is survived by his brothers, Rodney, David and Tyler, and his sisters, Terri, Kelly, Linda, Tina and Sam, and his son, Richard. Kevin also leaves behind the woman he loved the most, Diane Shipwash and her two sons; Jesse and Jake whom he looked upon fondly, and lovingly and treasured as sons of his own.
Kevin will be sorely missed by those he loved and touched. RIP; see you in the next life oh brother of mine!!
For information on What is happening with Kevin? follow the link. The remainder of this site remains as it was prior to his medical diagnosis for historical purposes.
Watts Bar Lake Fishing Guide
Some people fish, and some people catch. If you want to catch, you need to be fishing with Watts Bar Lake fishing guide - Kevin Barnett. Catching a specified number of 'keeper' fish can not be guaranteed however in the unlikely event that no fish are caught, a half-day pass will be issued for a future fishing trip. All guide trips will leave from Whites Creek Marina, near Rockwood Tennessee.
Based in Rockwood, Tennessee - Call Kevin at: 847-301-2389 or email
Guide Rates Lake Facts Photos Links Rockwood Marina
Crappie season 2012 has begun!! Now is the time to schedule your trip!
In the photo to the left, the shore of Watts Bar Lake near Rockwood Tennessee. In the photo to the right, mess of Crappie; the small fish placed sideways is a 10 incher view album for more details. Tennessee Crappie and Bass fishing is good on Watts Bar Lake year-around. As with any lake, obtaining a fishing guide who knows where and what to fish is the secret to having a good time, any time. You will hear from some that certain fish are out of season, or in other words no longer catchable. The fact of the matter is however that all fish feed year around. If they didn't, you would have some pretty skinny fish. You just need to know where they are and what they are hitting on. Again, the best method is to get with a Watts Bar Lake fishing guide like Kevin Barnett who knows the lake and the species of fish in it. Rockwood Tennessee lies on the northwest shore of Watts Bar Lake, and features several of its own boat launch areas as well as many nearby.
In the photo to the left, a nice string of crappie caught with Kevin near Rockwood. The 2012 Tennessee Crappie season now in full swing. The height of the season has begun, people are catching a few Crappie off the docks, but the real stringers lie in wait somewhere offshore. Soon Crappie bag limits will be filled and pans will be full; kind of kicks off your taste buds doesn't it? I can smell the Crappie cooking myself; it is, after all, my favorite fish.
Tennessee Catfish are moving as well, with some of the big ones beginning to move about as they feed on their most sought after bait. Can you guess what the most desired meal of the big Catfish is? Everyone has their own idea of what will bring in the big ones, but Kevin has a secret that really does land the big ones. I can tell you this, catfish are not bottom feeders as I have heard many say. No, they don't have any relationship to sucker fish either other than they both swim in water.
In this photo to the left, Titus with his fishing trip trophy catfish. He's a believer now. Double click the photo for a larger view. This customer took home 34 pounds of fish fillets from this one-day trip. Titus said that this fishing trip made is stay in Rockwood Tennessee one of the best vacations of his life!
Watts Bar Lake is a man-made lake in east central Tennessee, and therefore dam controlled, and has two seasonal levels, summer pool is April through October; during this time, the lake is at the high water level which can be visualized by the water at the vegetation level around the lake. November through March is known as winter pool and the lake is about five feet lower. During winter pool, there is a significant shore differential from the high water level. The best fishing times may be somewhat seasonal depending upon the species you desire. Watts Bar lake is known for its record size fish primarily due to the fact that it was grossly under-fished for a number of years. Watts Bar Lake is the largest lake in the Tennessee River chain of man-made lakes at 72 miles long with 722 miles of shoreline, and 39,090 acres of water surface area. Obtain a Watts Bar Lake fishing guide and see just what is in the lake! The photo to the right shows a nice string of Crappie caught in Watts Bar Lake near Rockwood Tennessee.
Fish these species with Kevin Barnett on Watts Bar Lake in Tennessee
|Species||Sub-species||Best Season||Bait||Bag/Possession Limits*||Size Restrictions*|
|Black Bass||Large Mouth||All Year||Proprietary²||
5 in Combination
|Small Mouth||Proprietary²||18 Inches|
|Striped / Hybrid Bass||Stripers aka Rock Fish not same as Rock Bass||Apr-Oct||Proprietary²||2 in Combination||
2 In Combination
|Crappie||White||Spring and Fall||Minnows||15||10 Inches|
|Black||Spring and Fall||Minnows||15||10 Inches|
|Catfish||Flathead||Spring and Fall||Panfish/Sunfish||None¹||1 over 34 inches|
|Blue||Spring and Fall||Panfish/Sunfish||None¹||1 over 34 inches|
|Channel||Spring and Fall||Panfish/Sunfish||None¹||1 over 34 inches|
|Panfish/Sunfish||Blue Gill||Early Summer||Worms/Fly/Poppers||None||None|
|Red Ear Sunfish||Early Summer||Worms/Fly/Poppers||20||None|
* When fishing with Kevin, he will ensure that limits and restrictions are complied with; otherwise each sportsman is responsible to ensure that they are in compliance with state law in all respects. ¹ Some restrictions apply, see other columns, ask Kevin, or reference state law for more information. ² Kevin uses some baits and techniques which are proprietary in that he will divulge these secrets only to his customers.
In this photo, a 47 pound flathead catfish. I have heard people telling stories of the large fish they have caught in Watts bar lake, but I can tell you that with Watts Bar Lake fishing guide Kevin Barnett, I have caught on a regular basis, cat fish as large as my leg. That isn't any stretch of the truth either. You can and will catch very large fish, and you can and will get your bag limit on most occasions. As always however the secret is obtaining a Watts Bar Lake fishing guide who knows where the fish are and what they are hitting on!
Record Tennessee Crappie and Bass aren't the only fish hiding out in Watts Bar Lake, it also contains some of the largest Catfish in Tennessee. The big catfish of Watts Bar Lake have some great hideouts in the lake as well. I have been on the boat with Kevin while he has caught many Catfish of record size, and it is not unusual to catch several on every trip. It is also not uncommon to find a 6/0 hook straightened out or badly bent. One of their favorite holes is near Rockwood Tennessee.
for Scheduling or Information
* Table of Rates - Limited to 6 persons - Children ok, please notify at booking
|No Beer Supplied**||Half Day² - 4 Hrs||Whole Day³ - 8 Hrs||Exclusive¹ Half Day||Exclusive¹ Whole Day|
|$150.00 plus $35 per person.||$275.00 plus $35 per person.||$165.00 plus $35 per person.||$295.00 plus $35 per person.|
|Bait Only Supplied||$150.00 plus $20 per person.||$275.00 plus $20 per person.||$165.00 plus $20 per person.||$295.00 plus $20 per person.|
|Bait Drinks and Snacks Provided||$140 plus $30 per person||$275 plus $30 per person||$165 plus $30 per person||$295 plus $30 per person|
**Guests may bring their own beer but drinking to the point of intoxication is not permitted
All Inclusive = Gear, Bait, Drinks** and Snacks Provided
*With the exception of exclusive scheduling, other persons may be included in the trip AND/OR fishing times may include early morning or late evening. ¹Exclusive rates include up 4 persons maximum from a single party. ²Half day equals 4 hours dock to dock time. ³Whole day equals 8 hours dock to dock time. Rockwood Tennessee is home to Kevin Barnett, Watts Bar Lake Fishing Guide.