Thursday, June 28, 2007

6/28 All Day Wade

Met up with Riff-Raff for an all day wade about 930am we got on the water. He started working a large pool downstream a few shelves like steps that water fell over.

He caught couple or three smallies right off the bat on a chatterbait as well as missing at least that many. I was throwing a Sammy 85 with newly bucktailed treble. Caught two bass on the lure including a 15"er. I worked counter clockwise along the huge deep pool and finally made it to the water ledges/shelf. Ran a Wolkabuzz across the ledge and a couple smallies popped out from under the ledge and considered the bait before retiring back. I quickly switched snap to a black tube and pitched it gently about three feet from where the larger of the two fish had emerged. Fish jetted out and took the tube .

Went 18.5":

Jim caught one at the back of the pool, you can see him in the background thumbing for tube bites, it went 16".

We waded downstream and Jim caught another 16"er. Fishing was slow after that with Jim picking up most of the fish on Chatterbaits, occasionaly a tube. I caught a bunch of googs on a tube. It wasn't until we headed back upstream I started throwing the Sammy again and catching fish. The Feathered treble seemed to help fish locate the bait better than Monday. Caught a couple more on a grub and then a biggie hit the Sammy, my line immediately snapped- the sharp hooks had cut away at the line that had been wrapping while walking the dog. Fortunatly, like last week the fish jumped and threw the bait clear and I got it back! We waded back up to the starting pool and I caught another 15.5"er on a Jimmy that didn't fight- at all.

We left the first stream about 3:30. 6 hours I had 12 SMB and 6 Googs. Jim was around that many Smallies too.

We drove to the next stream as some very scary thunder hit right close to us. Beautiful smallie habitat. It rained a little on us during the day.

The fishing was either picking up late in the day, better stretch, or turned on due to weather. We moved up I picked up fish on tubes (15") and cranks. Some of these fish were right next to super fast current in eddies caused by rip rap with the stream being 8' wide. Caught another fish on Jimmy, then another on a long cast to the next pool that went 15". We moved up to the pool I switched to Wolkabuzz and talked to Jim as a fish came out of nowhere and destroyed it right in front of Jim near shore. To my shock it measured 18", even though it didn't look that big while fighting it. Here it is with Jim freeing Chatterbait from behind the tree The fish may have come from. He hung on and caught a skinny 15" after I moved up.

Jim caught a bunch of fish at the confluence of a couple of stream arms. We decided to split up. I went left he went right.

Saw ahead where a boil had appeared by a Sycamore tree. There were two jutting out into the current providing protection from current. I carefully worked the rear tree first, On the third cast, I hooked up with and fought this nice fat 17"er.

Put the Jimmy on and walked the dog from the top tree to the next when a really big fish attacked the lure. It bulldogged and felt heavy. When it finally came to hand it was my third 18"er of the day .

Then I tried walking the dog past the first tree as far as possible- the Jimmy played like a champ because I could make super long casts. A big fish missed then got the Jimmy as I walked it past. The fish pulled hard and I saw another good sized smallie follow. It went 16.75"

When I finally met back up with Jim he had caught 6 more SMB including a 17", I was at 28 SMB. We decided to keep going. Jim caught 5 out of the next 6 fish on chatterbaits. Including a nice fish that went a hair short of 17".

Numberwise, we were really close. It had been a very competitive day without being at all competitive. I caught 5 on tubes at the 11th hour to give me 34 SMB (18.5, 2 18", 17", 16.75, 5 15-15.5") 1 LMB and 6 Googs. According to my calculations Jim was right there within a fish or two one way or the other, and surely passed me on the Googs. I know he caught a couple of 17" and 3 or 4 16".

12 hours of fishing in the heat, sun, rain. Grueling and hellafun .

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

June 25th Wade

Hit the water for a wade today hoping for a repeat of the last couple of rainy overcast days. At first, it seemed like I might get that, but then the sun came out and it was muggy hot like no other day this year.

The fishing was hotter. I started out with an 4" Xcalibur 'Jimmy"- High dollar LC Sammy knockoff that is nearly identicle, except for the colors. I've had the lure since last year, but never really give it a shot.

The Jimmy was amazing. Fish were hitting at it from everywhere. It casts a country mile and a half and rattle as I walked the dog attracting attention. Really, I was casting the thing like 50 yards with no overhead cover.

So I missed a few fish on the Jimmy, then switched to a ZellPop and had three seperate swipes at it from near a huge boulder. The fourth connected and produced this fish that went 18":

Caught a fish on a tube and had a lot of walking through shin high water. Found a likely spot in some shade and caught 4 Googs on 4" tubes.

Then I saw some foam on the water and plenty of boulder in the stream with some depth. Several fish again missed the Jimmy, so I pulled out the ZellPop and tossed over by a big protruding boulder. A fish nailed it- it was just an 8"er but another bigger fish followed it nearly ashore before turning away. I quickly took the dink off and tossed the popper back out the fish nailed it: Another 18"

Put Jimmy back on and a 16"er smashed it as I brought it across current. Then another the same size a hole up! Nice. When I got to the top of the riffle, three more fish blew up at the JImmy- this was par for the course throughout the day. If I caught 10 fish on it, I had 25 missed strikes- violent strikes!

Caught 5 more fish on the Jimmy, including another 16" and 15.

Then I caught like 25 fish on 4" tubes and the ZellPop. It was an every other cast thing. hardly any dinks.

Caught 41 Smallmouth Bass (18", 18", 4 16" 4 15")and 6 Goggle eyes in 7 hours. Which is my personal Indiana stream best(at the time).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

6/20 6/21

Fished today with Riff-Raff on the stretch below kayaking Omish. The water was mostly empty as the sun was high beading down on us and the water. Didn't get much above knee deep for the first mile except for one good hole I'd guess Matt, Manash, and Lance might know something about.

I got a fish on a popper, then a disgusting 15.5"er on a tube that had black spots and half his tail missing or it might have went 16". Didn't fight well at all and came off impossible cover- off rootwad behind current seem behind downed tree and under branches.

Jim was throwing a chatterbait a lot and a tube as well at times. He caught a couple of fish one from a ridiculous spot- in full blasting current under a log that seemed like it might have 6" of water to its name.

I was having trouble with a newly lined reel, but managed to put a perfect WBz cast infront of a downed log that was smashed by a 16" fish. When I went over and looked the fish had come out of a tiny crack of space under the log in about a 1' of water . That and one other fish were pretty much it for me for 4 hours.

Jim caught 3 fish on cranks at the front of a deep pool. A largemouth and I missed tons of dinks on the WBZ.

Was just about to cry like a sissy when a fish hit a tube at the end of downed log and deep rootwad bend.

Fought like crazy. Went 17+".

It was fattt. Compare it to a fish I caught the day before on another stream: Yes, I am pooping.

Jim caught this fish on chatterbait 16"

Jim had 14 Smallies (16") and a LMB

I had 9 (17", 16", 15.5") and a Goog.

Worn out and a little buzzed from 1.5 beers (thanks Jim).

Good night!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Top Secret Wade

Went for a wade with Riff-Raff today. Water was low and stained with visibility 2feet. Warning: Left camera at home !

I quickly caught a 14"er on a popper. After being warned to stay in the creeks and not on the banks by a resident we were told where to catch 5lbsers . Proceeded to catch a chunk 16.75"er from that very spot on a popper! Then a dinker on Wolka buzz and Riff caught a dinker on a tube.

We worked our way to a bend and large pool where I told Riff I had caught an 18"er the only other time I fished this stretch. Pointed to a large downed tree at the head of the pool as the spot the fish was caught. From 40 yard out I landed the perfect cast, after one pop a fish destroyed the popper. I had to keep the fish up in the water column to prevent diving under the trees. It jumped nicely then dove down deep as I struggled to keep up with it's downstream acrobatics. It felt like it got hung up on something then jumped straight in the air from the depths, one more jump and a strong run and I had him to hand, right about at 18" .

Riff caught two off the opposing bank downed rootwad- one about 15".

I moved upstream and got hung up after a couple of casts and went in to get my lure. The hole was much deeper than it appeared. I became afraid I had spooked a good hole and moved on.

Riff came in behind hitting the pool I thought I had pooched and caught 3 fish one at 17"+ and another at 17" on a small chatterbait.

While he was wrangling his third fish I hooked into a solid 16"er who swiped and missed my popper but came after and nailed it deep. Caught a fish on a tube and the two more on WBz.

As we chatted, I started catching fish like crazy- like 4 in a row on WB including a 17.25" That Riff saw follow my buzz across the stream then destroy it just feet in front of us. Then I caught 3 more on a tube topped off by a nice bruiser that went 17"+. We hit a pool that produced fish for each of us then I had a very large smallie slurp a tube under a tree enough for both of us to see the length of this fish was the largest yet. My line caught a stick and pulled the tube free ! Gahhh!

Crazy stuff was happening.

We hit a hole where I caught 3 in a row on the popper that went 14", 15.5, 14, and then at the fourth cast a fish destroyed the popper when I went to put pressure on the fish my line snapped. The fish continued to jump- we could hear the popper's rattle weights shake every time it jumped. Riff said it looked 17"+. Then he caught a fish on a tube that went about 18". Lo and behold there came my popper floating downstream, complete with snap and about 2 feet of line! I had just been moaning losing a 10$ lure in a fish's mouth and possibly killing it. Sweet!

The hole was fished out so we moved up a Riff caught 2 about 12-13, then a nice 17"er all on tubes. I landed a nice 14"er on popper.

From there, the sun went into the clouds and the fishing died. We fished hard some areas that should have held fish, but maybe they were well fed?

We caught some more fish, 3 about 15-15.5" on tube and chatterbaits.

27 bass for me 2 were LMB (18, 17.25", 17.25",16.75, 16, 2 15.5, 15)

Riff had 18-20 (18", 17"+, 17", 17", 2 15.5, 15)

Lots of fun and well met.

Left camera at my computer from downloading previous photos for report.

We finished up about 8:30pm, I sent him to another spot as I went home. So he'll have a chance of catching up post game.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

What's around the corner Wade 6/16/2007

A friend once said there is something that makes you want to see around the next stream bend. There could be one more nice fish. You could find 'the' ultra hole. Perfect example today. I have a bad case of this fellows. I just keep going, going. 10 hours today.

Got on the water by 615am. Fishing stunk, did manage to hook one largish fish 17-18" on a popper but lost him when he swam under one of the millions of brush trees on the first third of the stretch. Took me 3 hours to catch my first fish a 10"LMB on the same Popper.

Smallies either weren't there, or asleep. Didn't get a sniff on tube, crank, or WBZ.

There was brush and fallen trees everywhere and few holes that fish could be caught out of. Low hanging branches and clear ultra low water don't help. Had to take a lot of chances- zing a perfect cast or try to get closer and spook the hole. I had to make a lot of medium casts between limbs and under them. Seems when I did hit target, the lure would snag or foul! Black flies swirled around me most of the day.

Took a wheelburrow break- ate to reconcentrate and down some grub.

Started at it again, and started catching SMB on the popper. 11, 15,13.5,11, then a couple on a tube and I was starting to feel better.

At about 6 hours I had 9 Bass and a Goog. Had to keep going because I wasn't going to drive out here again if it sucked, so I had to find out!

I changed from normal chart/white WB to one with shiney blades for the sun to gleam off of. Worked the WB at the end of a new pool- 'suck' a fish enslaved the wolkabuzz and tore ass. Landed him and took a couple pics.
17 3/4":

Here's the arm length view. Looks the same size really.

This different look from the gray WB started producing... 13, 13.5, 13.5, 15. the tube bite turned on and I was off to the races.

A 16" tube:

Then I saw a hole that screamed 'big fish' it had foam on it looked a deep blue green. The hole had a huge rootwad providing an eddy and had a riffle 20 yards upstream from it.

Tossed the WB across the eddie after carefully picking apart the back of the hole to no avail. Another slurp, the WB disappeared to something big. Problem was there was a tree across the stream for where I cast, so I waded in and ran to the tree while frantically trying to keep pressure on the fish. Got em! another 17.25" jem. Picked up another 14"er on a tube and moved on.

I don't know what the hell is going on with that face I'm making. Never said I was photogenic.

While sneaking up on a hole spotted a bass 5 feet in front of me and was shocked when it went straight for my short pitch tube. Landed all 16.5" of it in about 3 seconds, of course it was a Largemouth Bass!

Turned out to be a pretty good day. 20 Bass 17.75", 17.25", 16", 2 15" bunch of 13-14"ers and one 16.5"LMB. Also caught a Goog and a big shiner on my popper- guessing it wanted the feather? About half or slightly more than half were on a tube. The two big Smallies were WBZ gold and silver blade.

Then there was the small matter of 54 minute walk back to the car .

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fishing another Stretch of a Small One

Did the next stretch up from my last report. Hoping to eventually get to that one hawgie heaven somewhere in Nowheresville, IN USA.

Got in the water about 2pm and it was hot. I am starting to get a glimpse of what the soldiers in the army and marines might feel like in Iraq in all that gear. Just a glimpse, 90 doesn't begin to compare to 130.

Starting to get used to the heat . Found a nice 'C' to wade for easy walk back to the car.

Couple of hundred yards up, I caught my first three fish 12-13.5" all on tubes texposed. One got gut hooked, and in the fight started to bleed. Bent the barb, but the damage was probably done. Tried to get the fish going again, but he wouldn't have it. So long partner! I hardly knew ya. First time this year I gut hooked a Smallmouth.

Fishing was very consistent, even if the water wasn't. Each spot would produce 2-3 fish. By the time I got to number 16(all tubes), my biggest fish yet was only 14".

The next hole looked promising with some riprap and downed trees in the middle of the stream above which was a 120 degree bend.

I made a deadeye long toss with my popper in between and parallel to two upturned trees: pop, pop,POP, pop, pop, POP, pause, SMACK!
As I struggled to catch up to her downstream charge on my 5:2:1 reel, she wrapped a branch, so I ran foward and grabbed her before she got off. 17" and some change. One of the stumps you can see behind me in the pic. You can see the branch she wrapped on behind my left buttock.

The riprap ahead looked really good. I have been working on a new technique with EWG texposed tubes. By bending out the hook more, I think I'm getting a much better hook up rate. The hook can't help but catch more skin. Problem is, you snag wayyy more often. So, I tried today to use the tube more like a pendulum. Casting across stream as much as possible in the rip rap, keeping rod tip up, letting the tube glide from the opposite bank of the riprap (also where the fish seemed to be sitting). When I had to go in wood I did the same thing were I could see the branches. When I couldn't I used an identical tube unbent. So far so good.

Got three more fish off the riprap ahead including this skinny 16"er:

With this fish and really all of them in this stream, I noticed for their length they were thin. Could be time of the year, but several times I measured a fish and couldn't believe they were as long as they were. I think because they are thinner in this stream in general. Or maybe they are growing faast because of all the tree cover?

From my four trips out here, I've caught gobs of fish each time- there is an excellent population of SMB. Maybe too many? Might not find any 20's in there because of the sheer numbers of fish.

Had one more big fish encounter, failed to get a hook twice, first swiping at a WB, then a Popper. Oh, well.

Started to sound like T-storms so on the way back I pitched down from above the rip rap and nabbed a 15"er on a tube to put me at 24 smallies and 2 Googs in 6 hours. All on GM Pumpkin or Yum tubes 1/8 or 3/16(except the one popper fish). Well above 80% on hooking fish on tubes, buut still just a theory at this point and wouldn't work well out of a yak. Many strikes came when the tube was dead, or when it entered the water off shore or rip-r.

Made it back to the car in time to avoid the no rain.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New Stretch Wade 6/12

Waded a new stretch of small stream today. Water clarity was stained down to about 3'. Felt good to be in the water.

Took awhile to get to the first fishable hole, but I knew they would come. First cast to the first good hole produced a 12"er, then a dink. Bigger fish at the front of the pool swatted at and missed Wolkabuzz twice before I gave up and moved on.

Trouble was basically first time on this stream and the sun preventing me seeing what was ahead. Lots of wasted casts initially to 6" of water .

Followed someone else's foot prints for quite awhile...wonder how they did?

I tossed tiny 1.5" RC LC silver crank to a likely ambush point far upstream near current. Right after it hit the water a smallie exploded on it! Fish jumped a mile high and made it to a log pile, where somehow I got him out! Went 17.5". This fish had been caught before!

Came to another run and thought I'd try the popper again. First cast a 12" hit it as soon as it hit water. Then I worked it for a while slow and nabbed a SMB that nearly hit 15".

Then I hit a tree with it and the rear treble was kaputt.

In between holes I'd pick up a couple of fish on pumpkin tubes.

Fired GanderMT 3.5" Red Pumpkin tube with red marker on tail to a likely ambush point on some riprap near 'current. Smack! Fish hit it right away and got stuck, he tore ass downstream right at me, when I beached her she went 18"!

After that there was another fish on a tube. walked for 20 minutes and hit another 12 and a 15"er on tubes at the tail end of a run.

Found the local dumping area and caught 2 more 14"+.

Waded upstream and caught another 12" then cast into some current off a log. When my RP tube came over the tree I sensed something was amiss. Thunk, another bruiser. 17 3/4"

Caught a total of 16 (18",17 3/4",17.5", 2 15, 5 14-14.75")Smallies and 1 pristine 9" rock bass (really it was immaculate) in 6.5 hours. Lots of walking between holes but the fishing was really good when there was water.

I was 13/15 on tubes today. Sticking with my bend the hook method- again stellar. I did hang up alot. I'm sure I could have had a chance at more fish if I did not go in after the lure so much. But I may have gone 13/20 on tubes. All in all, a hell of a fun wade.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Wade 6/9 and 610

Got out for a short dip Saturday morning. Had a fish come off the crank, then another meduim size fish miss the hooks on my new Lucky Craft splash tail 90. I was trying to get the feel for this 4" topwater with front/rear propellors so I didn't work much plastic. Saw a couple of carp in the current just above push water. Thought I spooked them as they swam towards the top of the island I was standing on. Something swirled up there, so I tossed a WolkaBuzz- slam 17.25" SMB that had been caught before and released due to gash in lip.

A few minutes later I had an even bigger fish swipe at the WB amd come up empty-saw only a huge head- an aborted run or complete whiff. I looked after to see he would have been in only 18" of water.

Played around with a 4" white grub a bit, when I got a solid thunk and was rewarded with a nice 15"er.

Ended up with 6 SMB in about 4 hours- not great- would have been more acceptable if a couple of decent fish had struck a hair closer to a hook.

Got out today at the crack of dawn to try a stretch I've been wondering about since the first time I saw it.

Saw minnow play down from a riffle near current. Tossed the Splashtail 90 in there and a fished missed it, next strike a 15"er slammed the heck out of it and came to hand, then a 14" and a 12". Nice.

Waded upstream picked up a couple on push water with Wolkabuzz and some on tubes. Had a huge Gar follow the SPT 90 and chop at it- no hooks. Then I had another big fish blow up at it. I started pitching a tube in there. 3 straight 14"ers - then a spot on 4 casts.

The nice hole I was headed for produced a whale of a swat at the SPT 90. I saw the fish- it was big. No hooks.

There were gar in this stream like suckers are in others, throughout the day I'd play with them. Had one hooked for a nanosecond- Twice I set hooks on what I thought were smallies only to see my tube cut in half!

Caught a couple of 10" smb then hooked something bigger- turned out to be a 15" Spot that had a large craw in its gullet. It was fat like a bluegill and groutesque!

Ended up with 20 bass: 17 SMB and 3 spots in 5.5 hours. 50/50 tube/topwater. About a dozen fish 14-15" but no real mean fish. About a third of the fish had been caught before. Had a half dozen encounters with gar striking lures and saw a couple dozen during the day- languishing in 4" of water, behind midstream bolders, etc..

Not even a look at the popper that was succesful up north on Smalliedawg's waters

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Dip in the water with Firstrock

John's been begging me to try out a stretch of water he's had limited luck on. We got there around 12:15 or so. Forcast was for 90F, but there were winds aplenty to cool us off.

First area had a good pool then a sort of low head dam made of enormous boulders. John told me the first pool is where he landed a 17"er a week ago. It looked like it got a lot of pressure there. Water was a greenish white.

Got a couple strikes on a tube down from the dam. Bent my EWG hook out a bit and did well on hookups from there on. The stream had surprisingly little wood as flooding this spring had probably left it up on the bank.

We tried Wolkabuzzes, tubes, misc plastics, and then a small silver crankbait before we caught any fish. One dink SMB and 2 Googs I caught out of the pushwater area. This was not looking good. Ran into a couple of other fishermen and I was starting to have my suspicions. But there was plenty more water to try out.

Stream had easy access via nearby parallel roads, bridges, and the fact there was shore to walk along it many times.

John caught a smallie on a WBZ, I got another dink SMB and LMB on crank when John had to return to his car around 4pm. Nothing but dinks. I told him I'd go a couple miles further in the hunt for better smallies and evening bite.

There where many riffles followed by shallow runs- which fish could easily be picked out of by meathawgs. I saw multiple Y stick stations and left RELEASE BASS messages in the sand. Plenty of minnow and craws and larger jet black fry 1" long who appeared to be going after smaller minnows already!

Fishing did start to pick up, but I also ran into more houses on the water downstream when I thought I was headed to farmland. I ended up with 11 bass and 3 googs. Mixture of tubes, cranks, and WBZ. Biggest 2 went 14.5", after that maybe 11".

Habitat looked great, but with so much easy access, the area is clearly fished. I'd head far south of that put in if I thought about it again.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Rodeo Day 3 Big Fish Galore

Wool, JbCook, and I floated the St.Joe again, this time the stream wasn't channelized. There were actual riffles and ledges and islands. The current was kicking.

Smallies were hitting my popper and this time Mike was armed with an Xcalibur popper too. Started catching fish right off the bat, 3 12-15"'s. There were eddies created by downed trees along each bank, but they were hard to hold on and fish because of the current.

Mike was behind a particularily slack one on the slower side of the river when he yelled," Pike, pike, it's your pike!" He was doing battle with something of size. Again we were probably a couple hundred yards apart. I had been jonsing to hook a pike and geta picture with one. We all started paddling towards him and looked like the fight was over when his rod stopped moving and the fish shook loose. Found out later it was a 2' foot gar! Daresay I would have just shook the thing off too.

As soon as that fish was not getting committed to camera, my next cast produced a 'slurp', which initially felt and sounded like a 14-15"er hit my popper. Er, then it exploded and pulled like a mule, barely managed a sideways jump, and I yelled, "it's a monster!" It was. I got the fish in close after several runs and got a good look at it. Easily 20" + fat and beautiful. The fish tired- my popper was across his lower jaw with trebles about evenly spaced for my thumb. I grabbed it hard and hoisted it halfway out of the water when ole mossback somehow shook a treble stuck my thumb and I dropped her before measuring and picture taking began!

Jason had come most of the way over, but didn't get a real good look at it.
Uff, I felt as bad as not catching it at all, never getting to enjoy the look of that fish before slipping it back into the water.

Pattern was same as the day before for me. Working the popper parrallel to the bank up or down in the slower water.

It thunder stormed on us when I caught my seventh smallie another missed. Mike and I were under a tree for about 20 minutes- the rain got stupid and we got soaked. Mike had also caught a couple using a longer pause.

Jason was on the other side of the river in his rainwear, doing survival mode.

Fishing slowed a bit after the rain, I managed 6 more for a total of 14 SMB most 14-15.5", one behemoth and a couple smaller 12-13"ers. Had another huge fish splash the water hard and miss the bait.

Also caught a longear sunfish on the rear treble of the popper and 3 Googs.

Below a water treatment plant where aquatic weeds were growing in abundance I saw about 2 dozen gar playing and rubbing each other in the weeds. After unsuccesful attempts to snag them, I moved on.

Jb played and lost some big mystery fish that were either huge walleyes or big smallies- I let him tell his tale.

here are some pics of the river:

No pics of big smallies. Sorry.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Rodeo Day 2 Everybody Floats!

Wool (Mike), Rusty T, JbCook (Jason), smalliedawg (Bill), and I (me) set out to float the St. Joe river. It was a large fast channelized stream, Bill told us to fish the sea walls and whatever wood was in the stream.

The previous day, the three of us did the mule kicker of all mules aided by lots of heat, sun and hangover lack of sleep. We decided to get a later start so to avoid the scalding sun.

We got on the water about a 4 mile stretch. I quickly snagged a Lucky craft crank on a rug and spent 20 plus minutes wrangling it out. After, there was far too much weed to effectively fish a tube. I was quickly getting frustrated and perplexed by how to catch any fish with my normal methods. Further

Jason caught a nice 17"er from the other side of the stream downstream a fallen tree. That was a good sign. Bill was slowly chucking a tube or senko at the sea walls and I saw Mike chucking a Wolkabuzz. At times the river was 500 yards wide. The fishing started out slow and only Jason was catching fish intermittently on tubes he had 5 or 7 SMB. We were mostly far apart because of the immense area to fish.

I was done, fried, kaputt, the previous day, drinking, mosquitoes, lack of good sleep, sun, snags. 4 hours into the trip with zero fish, I had quit fishing halfway through.

Bill picked up some on a senko, when Mike became lustful of getting a burger at a riverside restraunt. Here they are climbing out of their boats.

I admit, the camera was out because I expected Mike to end up in 4 feet of water . His army training paid off . No sweat. JB and I were bigger sissies about going in so we went to the other side of the river and fished near a cold water drain then waited. I tossed a tube under a tree slightly downstream and took a LMB out- my first fish. I then saw a big bass chasing baitfish around and switched to a popper after a fluke got nothing.

About 45 minutes later the guys were done eating and rejoined us waiting on the opposite shore.

I decided to work the popper since so many had missed the WolkaBuzz a day before. Worked the sea wall parallel to the shore casting straight down to keep the bait in the zone. My boat was nearly on the bank, but everyone else was way ahead. A 14" SMB destroyed the popper 2 feet off the sea wall and fought like crazy. Now I was getting into it! A couple cast later a nice 15 and then a smallies about 16" destroyed it. I caught 7 fish 14"-16" in a matter of minutes. All these fish were supercharged. The fishing only slowed down when I ran into a plethora geese and cottonseed on the water, quickly fouling my casting.

Ran into Bill catching fish on a senko behind bridge pilings- caught another SMB on the Popper- this was fun.

The last seawall to the take out produced 4 more smallies and a couple of near misses including a fish that took about 4-5 swipes at the popper missing each time! I was able to rear anchor and use weed beds to slow my yak while bringing the popper right up stream. When the popper passed the second of two stairwells to the water a big fish slammed it from that direction.

It felt big, and when I saw it, I peed a little. Screamed like a chick. Here she is another 18"er:

All together I managed 12 SMB, a Green Sunfish, and 6 Rock bass on the Popper in about 1.5 hours of tossing it. One LMB on the tube. This was a bizarre and technique changing event. I've caught a couple before, but never like this. The same spots totally ignored a passing buzz. Must have annoyed fish into striking slow enough to bring them up from 6 feet of water.

The lure was an Xcalibur Popper which has an awersome look to it and well weighted for slinging off long casts.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Rodeo Day 4

As we packed to head home, it finally started to rain in South Bend. Plan was to drop me off at a stream named after swimming creature. Wool and Jb would go home at that point.

Stream was amazing, Boulder everywhere, some wood, and plenty of deep holes.

Found out I was more fried than I thought and was initially excited at chance at more hawgs but not really able to put out the effort. It rained off an on hard so I had to seek frogg toggs and shelter. Midstream boulder everywhere to fish. Riffles followed by huge deep pools with good current floating through them. Nice intact banks.

Fish completely ignored popper that worked all weekend up north.

Oh well, caught one on black wolkabuzz and one on a crank with one goog. Had about 5 fish swing wildly at Wolka Buzz. Enjoyed the scenery and powered my yak off a low head dam . Got about 2 gallons of water in the cockpit, but was fun.

Stopped and talked to a guy who lives in an awesome home right there on the creek. He told me a bit about the fishing, so I'm excited to go back.