Went for a wade this morning and couldn't sleep so hit the water by 5am. At least an hour too early. It was pitch black with no moonlight, so I waited in my car until it started getting light around 6.
Caught a 15" on buzzbait at first riffle. By 10 I had a few blowups and a bunch of googs on topwaters, 8 more small smallies on tubes.
I noticed that fish seemed to be chasing the tubes, but wouldn't hit them on the move. As the day went on, a cast let it drop,long pause then jerk-jerk pause-drop worked very well drawing extra bites. The bait would often need to sit a few seconds, but they'd hit it! :)
I hit 7 fish 12-15" in one long pool then moved up into a skinny shallow area where 3 more 12-14" on ripping tubes came to hand. Kept getting bit in the shallows and near riffles with shade. Topwater bite completely died off by 11am.
Hit an area where the stream formed two branches, at the top of one branch, the perfect ambush pool leading to a deeper narrow channel with high banks and ample wood laydowns. As I approached up the bottom of the deeper branch towards the ambush pool I nailed another couple Smallies. The last one bent my snap up and my next cast hung across the stream on a branch. As fate would have it the line snapped and I had to retie. I moved up to the ambush pool intending to come back to the other side for my tube on that branch.
I flubbed the ambush pool by getting hung twice and since it was my last venom Smoke gray/red flake tube I went in after it. When I went for the other lost tube here's what I saw from the opposite bank of the narrow channel:
From my high position on the bank, I could see a few large carp swimming up the laydown. When I noticed one wasn't a carp, I pitched out in front of the fish with the flick of a wrist landing the tube about 6' in front of him. The large bass moved towards my tube and I rip paused it to get it's attention. The fish responded. Instinctively, I watched my line for movement over the fish in the water, having been victim of premature hookset when eyeballing fish before. When the line jumped, I set hook and the fish came up out of the water and I immediatley thought 'huge' and don't give her any slack. I kept my rod bent double and dragged the big bass over this log:
Now this smallmouth was the biggest I have ever seen in a creek and I was not going to lose it so I dragged rear back up the bank from the roots I was standing on. Furiously headshaking, I could see my tube hook through the upper lip bone. Hand grabbed my 20/6 braid and hand over fisted her up through the roots. Lipped!
The action went something a little like this:
Put the camera on interval timer and here they are:
Sorry to be self indulgent on the pics. Couldn't pick one. Came in just shy of 22" at 21.5"- tying my best length Indiana Smallmouth Bass, but clearly a heavier fish.
That was fish #25, which I wouldn't have caught had a brought extra tubes and not broken off or gone up on that high bank. The bass took its sweet time- good 6 seconds before he engulfed. I didn't feel the bite, I saw my line jump. Didn't let that fish get swimming near that wood. Hail braid. 8-)
Above the ambush pool in some push water, I hit a 16"er, again on popped and dropped tube, always picked after the drop. Got another 16" and 3 more, then off to the races after this football hit in some shade near mutiple laydowns: She went 18.25"
Fished clear through until 3pm catching fish after fish right where the should be enticing them to bite with the cadence I discovered. Bite then seemed to die down and I began the long walk back to the car.
43 Bass 42 SMB in 9 hours 15 minutes (21.5", 18.25", 2 16", 2 15") 1 LMB- [i]tubes, tubes, tubes[/i], 5 nice rock bass- mostly topwaters-weird