Reporting the stinkers, too.
Hit a small creek early friday morning, the one Mike C caught his two hogs on. In fact, same stretch. Conditions were not the same. We had hit the creek with the water up in the 200's CFS and it was less than 100 and crystal clear. I did not see one bass, I saw few if any minnows, the water was down what seemed like at least a foot. Where had the smallmouth gone? Nothing in the hog hole... nothing. The sun was bright and was only going to get worse as the day wore on. I got a bad spooky feeling and went back to the car after about an hour, drove to the next creek, third of the way across the state.
Water was good level clear with brown tint- a definate improvement. I saw oodles of 4" Smallies in some of the eddies! Good for the future! However, my baits were largely ignored except one dink caught on WBZ. I decided to wade downstream and kill the day, waiting for dusk to hit my favorite riffle/hole in the area. As the day wore, a 3.5" swimbait was getting pecked by dink smallies and longear alike (plentiful), of course I couldn't catch any of the little turds. The action was terrific, and gave me confidence to throw it in the future. Got to the end of my downstream and finally saw a couple sizeable SMB, caught a couple 10"ers and then a 14 on swimbait. On the way back up, I threw a tube into a boulder laden eddy and was rewarded by a solid 'thunk' followed by bronze explosion airborne missle 17-18"ish and tube slow motion spat in air. Heartbreaking after 8-9 hours and 5 little SMB.
At the top of the riffle, I let the current drift my tube under the front of the rootwad and hooked up with another turbo charged torpedo, it shot in the air and tried to wrap line on my leg. Ahh, a little redemption. Bass went 17.5":
Ran into a couple of guys and told them about INSA website and conservation group. Hopefully, they'll remember the URL.
Ended up with 9 SMB (17.5, 14) nothing else bigger than 10" all day. Ouch. Fav hole produced nadda, fish shut off again at dusk.
Got out with JbCook for a flotilla of INSA yak power, instead it was just he and I and more bad fishing! LOL. The creek we picked read no spike and the take out had vis about 1', but when we got to the put in, Chocolatish! Looking now it got to 281 (not bad), but because of the gradient, it was hard to stay in position.
JB threw a Jack's worm. I tried a chatter, crank, fluke, popper, and buzzbait. They only hit a black tube. Caught a 16" in 'hawg hole', then another about 12" above it. JB had lost a sizeable fish up in a shallow creek branch on the inside bend. He had the fish broadside in his yak and coulnd't bring her in. Long stretch in the middle of the day where nothing happened. I got out in front of JB and threw my tube at a good hole near a sycamore after the 7-8th cast I just let it sit and started inspecting my cranks and laying them on top my legs to check out their awesomeness. Moved the tube a little and it got whacked! Crud, good fish. Had 100$ worth of baits on my lap anchored next to current and an angry brown fish on the line, it went airborne and I saw it was good. Held the rod high with one hand while the other swatted Sammies and cranks to the kayak floor. Yikes. Fish measured just shy of 18": Here are some yak hood tripod shots.
Next time I'll get the tail up higher on this shot:
Water seemed to clear up after that and I caught another 6 Smallies in the last couple hours: couple 15"'s and a 14.5"er all on black darth vader tubage. Stained water=Black baits. Seems to be true.
JB was beat and we still had to do a couple miles. Made it back before dark. Fun to get in the kayak again. Several times smallies splashed my face wet. Forgot about that. Hard fishing as you had to let the tube sit a little or tumble but the gradient was so high we got swept along often with 5lbs anchor deployed.
JB and I both tried to boat through trees hanging over heavy current- mine had 3" thorns on it. We had floated 4.7 miles in 8-9 hours.
BT 10 SMB (17.9", 16, 2 15) 1 big goog all on tubes
JB 4 SMB I think