Friday, November 30, 2007

Float and Fly 11/30/07

JB and I had hit a section of stream yesterday with good results once we hit my last pool.

Inspired by a bit of Float and Fly success I hit another section of stream where I figured to find some bronze. This pool is known as 'leaf pool'. It's been very hard to fish at times this year.

It holds a lot of fish and is large, the challenge is to find what part of a pool that big holds the fish.

The answer was everywhere. For the second time in three weeks, I hit double digits out of that pool. Fished only FnF this time, with some Johnny on the spot jigs in the mail from a buddy.

I'd catch a fish or two then the spot would die so I'd move to another side of the pool and catch a couple more, when that died out I went back and hit the first spot. Seemed the fish would spook after catching a couple, but were also holding there for a reason.

Started out with some smallish fish in the 9-12" range, hit one 15". I had been fishing just slow water and eddies when I decided to cast out in the main channel with a 3.5-4' leader- whump! The float ducked under and I knew immediately it was a bigger fish. It went 17, but felt like a whale on the set up from 25 yards out.

Finally missed a strike on FnF and lost a couple when I didn't keep enough pressure on them.
It was cold. Windchill in the low to mid 20's with sleet and Icy rain for a while! Ice was forming in my guides and my line started to freeze. Wasn't prepared for that.

As dusk came, caught fish on 5/7 casts from 13-15". Broke off on a log and desperately tried to retie in the near darkness to keep up with the frenzy only to make the next cast the first one into a tree of the day! That was it!

I ended up with 14 SMB in about 4 hours on about 17 float dunks. Pretty efficient technique.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

11/20/07 Twin 20"+ Smallmouth Bass on Chatterbaits

Decided to hit some water for a wade this afternoon. Wanted to hit a spot I knew attracted baitfish- hopefully catch half dozen SMB. While on the road, heard a forcast of 68 and 38 tommorrow. This could be a good day. Perhaps the pigs would strap bib on like they often do in summer before a storm?

It didn't start out very hot. I hit a very large pool with deep holes to 4 feet. The water temps were 47-48F. Didn't get a strike on fluke or jerks, but a couple casts did scare some fish in shallow water. Probably carp. Lots of minnows sunning on that slow bank too. Leaves were just bad enough to make treble hooks not an option :? . Water was clear but dark brown color to it. I could see down 3', but not make out very good detail.

About an hour in, I was tossing a 3/8 OZ white chatterbait along a waist deep pool to the slow side. Undulated the chatter a couple times before a slow retrieve. Smack ! Quite surprisingly, a fish nailed my chatter and took off on several powerful runs.

I saw it was big and it made a hellacious run for a boulder. I turned him just in time and got him heading towards shore and beached. When I gripped the fish, the Chatter easily fell out of the skin behind the upper lip! Whew!

There was a midstream obstruction just upstream that I knew from a previous visit held lots of baitfish. 2 Casts later, after dragging the chatter over the laydown and undualting the bait a couple times on the drop, the bait got hit again. Like the twang of a bow, the strike was solid. I again saw the fish and it was again large. It went on several pissed off runs before I finally beached it on the opposite bank.

Pulling it out of the water my jaw nearly was in the water. It looked like the same fish. I had hooked it on the opposite side of the upper lip in the thin skin again. There was no hole where it had been hooked minutes before. Different fish ! Caught them both within 30 feet of each other.

Needless to say I was very excited after that. I had dreams of half dozen 20"+ fish. A couple more slaps and a couple follows, but no more fish. Probably was too amped up and failed to duplicate the retrieve. When the fishing failed to remain good I bailed early. So I went home after 3.5 hours with only 2 Smallmouth. Both in the 20-20.5" range.


Monday, November 12, 2007

11/12/07 wade for Late Fall Smallmouth Bass

Went and hit a wintering hole where I was hoping smallies stack up bigtime. Brought Float and Fly for the second time this year.

Got there about 12:30. Threw a fluke because anything with trebles would snag on subsurface leaves. Tubes were out due to dying algae and leaves collecting on the bottom.

The pool I was aiming for is at least 50 yards across and 300 yards long. Last time Mike and I hit it, it was unfishable due to leaves everywhere. The rain had done a great job of sinking the leaves for the most part.

I worked the fluke on a slow pausing retrieve. As it turned out fish were fairly active. I caught them in many of the same spots I did in the summer.

It took a couple hours to fish the pool this way. It was hard, I wanted to run and gun but resisted and was rewarded with 10 SMB 10-nearly 18" on the fluke.

I tried tossing Sammy up to the front of the pool. Was surprised when a fish took a swipe at it. Working it slow above the riffle I caught a 14" and then back down the slow side caught two more 13"ers. Thunder and lightning rolled up and I got soaked.

Went home with a smile. 13 SMB in 3.5 hours. Definately a surprise at the topwater fish. Would have continued, but it was raining cats and dogs with thunder and lightning. Didn't give Float and Fly much of a shot.