As 2009 comes racing forward threatening to close the book early on 2008 winter bass. It's time to look back at what I think I learned and accomplished in 2008.
1)Fishing with another person is great for discover a pattern quicker and sharing great moments. 2 Don't have to carry as much gear as one individual does on a long wade. A good fishing buddy trades casts and communicates well potential danger zones for spooking fish. Mike and Jim are great guys for this.
2) When summer months hit and water got low and clear, the majority of 'awesome' days were by myself for size and numbers.
3) I taught Jim a lesson on throwing heavier weights on his tubes in March, couple weeks later, Jim returned the favor big time in April. Weight makes a huge difference getting bait down to the fish.
4) 2008 Indiana summer stream fishing pattern was crazy different from the all day onslaughts of 2007. Hard work was required. Predusk bite was king from mid June on. We had a lot of sun and very little rain after the early June flood.
5) Small streams covered in trees often have better all day summer fishing because of the lower temps and higher O2 levels. Hitting 3 or 4 streams in one day is aces!
6) My clear winner for most productive lure of the year was the Lucky Craft Splashtail 90. The Lucky Craft Rick Clunn Wakecrank most promising new lure. The Workhorse ubiquitous 4" tubejig 3/16th oz head caught the largest share of fish and 3 of 4 20"+ SMB in '08.
Honerable mentions to 5" fluke, chatterbait, Pointer 100, Sammy 100.
7) Smallmouth bass will ignore one topwater while destroying another. The noise a topwater makes can spook or incite depending on excitement levels.
8) Last year up sizing was king, this year down sizing worked on occasion, at least with Sammies. The Sammy 65 is a keeper.
9)Big early spring creek bass hold really close to shore where depth and shelter are found.
10) Check good spots in late fall and winter when the water is clear for bottom structure.
I think I am most proud of finding fish consistently this year in all conditions, fishing with over a dozen different smallie anglers, and catching at least one fish out of 33 different Indiana creeks, rivers, and streams in '08.