Saturday, July 26, 2008
Lucky Craft Sammy 100, the Fish that Walks 7/26/08
I wanted to check to see if there really was no morning bite in the face of mounting summer evidence that afternoon-dark is the time to fish. Caveat- I had to be home by/before 2 so I could set up for the chicken party tommorrow.
Made it to the stream slightly before 6am downing a Mcgriddle and huge hznt Ice coffee from Mcwasteland. Walked up a half mile over the rock in the pitch black, nothing really happened as I fished the first couple riffles and first couple pools. I was halfway through one of my favorite BT psuedo science holes, when I decided to use a Sammy and really force the action by ripping the thing in (by my standards). Almost immediate response- a dink, 16", dink 2.0 to hand.
Nice time to 'Rainman' Sammytime, snipe a tube at likely spots, and use a 3.5" shad swimbait in between for a different look. I picked up a couple on the swimbait and had some multiple blowups on the Walk the Dog. Wry smile. This would be good :) .
I was getting reaction strikes to the Sammy 100 and some fish didn't get a good look, but I was landing a good 65-70%.
From a bedrock cleft, I picked up a couple more tossing my tube under big rocks. Not far above, at the top of the cleft there was plenty of large chunk rocks that had broken off the bedrock creating a riffle with several large ruts. Working Sammy 100 across this terrain, it got destroyed and the fight was on. I could see the bass was in the large (18-19") range. I overmuscled it with a tight drag and it escaped within a stride's length of getting lipped.
Every summer, I go through the pains of figuring just how loose to keep my drag with Sammy and braid. Loose is better. Much better. Harder to yank the hook out on the fight. The fish can really get leverage to throw such a large bait unless your hooks are sharp, drag is light, and you keep the rod bent and line coming in. Slightly heartbroken, I moved up the bedrock and had a fish belch on my Sammy again, the drag of course was now too loose and I barely got him in. Went 17"
Not two throws later directly below a dropping shelf- riffle the Sammy had a huge bass do a whale turnover, completely missing the bait and sinking my heart further. Easily 20". :cry:
Moving fast and keeping the bait walking as much as I could I caught several more fish on the way to the pool where Mike had caught an 18"er last Friday. At bottom of that pool a small fish slapped at it and missed then turned and hit Sammy. Only it wasn't a small fish, it was an 18" SMB. Pretty sure the same one Mike caught, then I dropped. Well, I got it's piccie for the Mchammer.
Lost another about 16" in shallow rocky flats. Looking over my trebles, a couple were bent. Sharpening these led to more hookups as the next couple hours was all fun. Slowed a little and I thought the bite was over, until a 17.5" slurped the Sammy near another riffle (pattern?) landed the fish and fumbled it away pre-pic.
Some bank fishermen ahead on a bend a couple hundred yards up and put on a clinic for them, nailing about 8 SMB on Sammy off some midstream boulders. Wanted to talk to them to see if I could camp nearby sometime, but they left before I got in talking range. Waded up on their spot and pulled two 14"'s from right near where they were standing. Guys appeared to be throwing bobbers and worms.
Headed back home I went down a newly freed channel that usually has very little water. It was blocked by a logjam. Pic at the top of the post of the stream through there. Must have caught close to ten fish in that little 200 yard stream fork up to 15", most on tube.
Walked back and hit a 16" on Sammy and a big goog. Called it a day. Wouldn't say they were frothing, just kept moving and finding riffles with active fish. Slow sammy, buzzbaits didn't get a sniff...
42 SMB (18, 17.5, 17, 2 16, 1 15") 1 big Goggle in about 7 hours.