Got to wade a far northern Indiana stream that didn't spike much with recent rainfall. Surprised to see the water crystal clear and less stained than before it rained. Rock on. Got out of the car and in the water when Russ C showed up with the same idea in mind. 2's better than one!
We pretty much bs'ed half the afternoon away while tossing all over the place. Russ introduced me to his new Buzzanator, a 1/4 oz counter rotating dual blade job with a [i]clacker[/i], pointy mustad hook, and wire form about 4" long! This seemed strange to me at first, but I had to try it. It tossed pretty good for the shape. Better than I thought it would.
In the midst of monolouge, the Buzzanator got killed by a 15.25 spawned out Smalljaw. Then I got another 11"er (there will be a pattern here) while Russ got one about 11" on a fluke. I was trying everything to try and find what would make the SMB go nuts.Throwing a fluke, Sammy, Crank, Chatter, and tube at the most high percentage spots. I didn't really get the hint from these two fish until later.
Russ was telling me about a cold spring up ahead I had fished before and how good smallies key on it in the warm summer. We didn't get anything there but there was a very deep pool at the bottom of a dropping run with a log pile for cover. I basically threw a tube into the log pile with wreckless abandon- then was rewarded with a solid thunk from a good sized fish. I put pressure on her immediately and realized the fish was wrapped on a log. I had to get that fish off the logjam, but it was probably 5' of water and fast current. I backreeled to shore, tore off my vest, threw the suspenders of my waders over my shoulders and waded downstream, backreeling and then taking line to keep that fish pinned to the log. Climbed up over the logjam and was able to free the bass from it precarious postion, unhook it and release. Went 17.75" and was spawned out. No way I catch that thing without braid short of using heavy mono.
We moved up and caught a few more on swimbaits and flukes. Russ had to dee-dee, and we said our goodbyes. We had caught some fish but most were 9-11"ers immature non spawners. Hmmm. I rounded a bend and saw another cold spring. Working the riprap with the Buzzanator, I caught three 11" Smallies and then as I tossed near the spring and slowly retrieved the BZNR, slurp! The fish went on some crazy runs, but I kept the pressure on and bulldogged her in. Looked like it could go 20", measured a spawned out 19.75"!
Next cast a 16" slurped the BZNR and fought like mad. Then 3 more 11"ers. Hit another deep riprap run slammed a 16, then a 16.99"er, then 11"er all on a fluke near current. Thing started getting crazy with 11"ers. They were hitting Russ's buzz and getting hooked every attempt it seemed! I was getting like 90% of the fish that a hit in, until the walk back.
A 15", another 16" below the bridge, most spawned out, above the bridge this 17":
Couple more 11"ers, then along long deep riprap, slurp!
This one went 17.5". Caught a few more then started walking back. Got another 17, 15 on the walk back and a hard fighting 16"er at the first spring Russ showed me.
Pretty crazy day-2 miles each way. Only a handful of 12-14"ers. Saw some around beds. Most of the 16"+ fish had spawned, a couple of the 16's had not yet done the deed. Awesome day of topwater and fighting PO'ed smallmouth.
39 SMB (19.75, 17.75, 17.5, 2 17, 1 16.99, 1 16.5, 3 16, 3 15-15.25) 1 Rock Bass