Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve Pig Smallmouth Bass on Float and Fly 12/31/07

Started out with 3 from 12-14.

Then fish got larger as I went deeper:

Then a lot larger:

Thought this one was a flathead it dug deep:

Ended up with 11 SMB in 4 hours (20", 19", 17.5, 17, 16, 2 15) all on FnF. The all came in 4-6' of water with 3-4' of leader. Most of the action was around noon when the sun made a surprise appearance.

The startling part about these larger fish this winter is simply I've never caught a Smallmouth bigger than 18" in this stretch.

Great year. 10 Smallmouth Bass 20"+, 53 18"+

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More Winter Action for Smallmouth Bass

Got out to try my new Gorillapod and maybe catch a couple of fish. I actually made it on the water by noon. Water was still up, but not as much as it has been. Visibility was less than a few inches. FnF jigs with some black were in order.

FnF all the way today. Caught a 15" right off the bat. Then like a brutal hour where nothing hit while the sun climbed higher and I adjusted depths like 5-6 times. Then finally another 15" before another long period without a bite.

Then just like that fish, fish, fish: 15", 14.5, 13", 16", 14":

Then it died out and I moved to another spot. I had 1.5 hours until dark and 7 SMB. I returned to my previous spot when casting proved difficult.

After about a 30 minute period, the float sunk another 15", then a 13", a 16", a bunch 12-15" I was casting out into current and bringing the float to the pausing water on the seam where fish kept hitting the fly. Rapid hopping the float and then pausing it was the ticket. Last 1.5 hour I caught 13 SMB and 1 goog with a 17"er being the largest.

20 SMB in 5.5 hours no real hawgs, but no dinks either:(17", 3 16", 5 15") 1 Rock Bass. Caught on a mixture of Black/White blue/pink blue/black hair jigs.

What fun, I love seeing that float sink. After I hook up there is like a 3-4 second period where you aren't sure how large the fish is. Could be a monster or a dink. Pretty exciting. Almost as much fun as topwater. It's also nice not being frustrated by missed fish. Stuck 21/21 today.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

How High? How Fast? How Cold? Float and Fly Smallmouth at Flood Levels 12/22/07

Mike C and I planned to get him a December Smallmouth Bass. He was late buying tiddlywinks, so I went and checked out a hole early. Overnight, the river had turned into a raging mess. It was up almost 2' from melted snow overnight!!!

So, discouraged I went and met him at 1PM and told him the bad news. Chocolate milk and high water.

I suggested a pond to practice FnF. We did this long enough for me to drink two beers and say let's go get some flowing water.

After wading through the woods and seeing a deer with arrow in hind quarter we finally hit the pool. There actually was some slack water up near steep bank. We started fishing it from above.

A few minutes in I caught a 12 then a 15" on FnF. There was a lot of flotsam in the eddy and both fish came 2' from the shore.

We got into some of these guys:

The Rock bass we caught were extremely pale with none of their customary greenish hue.

Most were small, but I did get 2 about 8-9" slabs.

Visibility was about 6". All our fish were caught within 2' of the bank.

I was just bouncing that float a couple feet in front of me when the float sunk and it was a big SMB. Fought like crazy. Heaved it on the bank where my line snapped and I grabbed the fish.

It caught on one of Don's FnF jig! So this pic is for him:

Then Mike caught a couple of Googs once he switched to black fly. Finally, he broke through with this monster:

We only fished 2-3 hours and expected to catch nothing with the water so high. This was a terrific surprise!

BT: 3 SMB (18.5", 15) 8 Rock Bass Mike: 1 SMB and 3 Googs.

Shocked when I looked at the flow guage to see 2180 CFS!! Thursday was about 600. Summer was as low as 29 cfs!

I can't recommend enough winter fishing for the things you learn about Stream bass. Fun.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

12/19 and 12/18/07 Float and Fly Action for Smallmouth Bass

After sending a few invites for Tuesday and Wednesday FnF action, it ended up being just me both days.

With 90 layers of clothing, some FnF, and a lucky feeling I set out, hoping to find a spot I could park my car without getting stuck.

I hit a spot JB and I had done a few weeks ago, fish were very hard to find with the higher current. The slackest bank was the hardest to work be cause it was steep with bramble everywhere. After 2 hours of nothing I waded down the slow side and was rewarded with 2/3 fish 12-14". Still fish.

FnF has been pretty consistent everytime out. I was just remarking to a friend that I hadn't gotten anything big yet on FnF, my largest this year was only 17" on FnF.

I hit a different pool Wednesday hoping for a better selection of hawgs.

It was painful slogging a mile through the snow and woods until I got to my destination. A large flat wide pool with a slight right current veer.

At first I took the slow side froom the back, but my dirt was kicking up and carrying right to the target. I got out and headed up to the riffle and fished down the slack side. This seemed to work better as I could hold the float in postion without slack and there was no silt to kick up.

I had a Purple/black 1.25" 1/16th hair jig tied on. Finally, the bobber dunked and I landed a 10" SMB. A couple casts later a larger fish took the bobber under fought like crazy in the current I was standing in, jumped then came to hand. It went 15" and was fat.

I worked down the current seem on the slack side. I knew the hole was getting deeper the further away from the riffle I got. The float again dunked this time it was big and tore up and all over the place. I was shocked by the furiocity of the fight. Actually had trouble getting it to hand because I was standing in current and the float wouldn't let me get him close enough to land. A nice hefty 18" :-)

Caught another dink.

Then it happened, I had tossed even further along the current seem into the slack. The float dunked and immmediately there was a hell of a 'kick' I muscled the fish up near surface and all hell broke loose, this fish was bigger and pissed I interrupted his slumber. Standing right there in that seem made it hell of fun to bring in. It looked like it could go 20" but I couldn't get it close enough to land. So kept the pressure on and carefully dragged the bass to shore where I grabbed him up! My heart was pounding a mile a minute and legs were wobbling.

Added another 15", then it got alot colder. Most of the day the sun was warm, but when it turned, either the spot was spooked or the fish turned off.

Tuned my new homemade Chatters, and went home.

6 SMB in 3.5 hours (but really all were caught in a 1hour period) (19.25, 18, 2 15)