Monday, April 20, 2009
Blue Bells, Morels, and Smallmouth 4/20
Today was forecasted a high of 55, rain intermittent and thunderstorms. A cold front. Except the overnight low was 53. Time to do a wade. The warm up plus overnight warm temps and bad weather should have the smallies moving about. Only thing missing was water clarity info. It's been about 2 weeks since I've been out to this particular river and its been running high and getting pretty regular rain.
If the water was stained I'd throw chatterbaits and big crankbaits. Luckily, clarity was no problem. Drizzle and grayness made it hard for me to see my yellow power pro against the water. I worked a tube in some eddies, rewarded with 9 bass from dink to 15" in the first few hours in the AM.
I moved fast and caught a couple more before I finally missed a fish on the tube jig. I fish very fast when I know a stream or know fish are keying on riffles, for example. Target the high percentage areas until the time of year where bass are everywhere in the stream. Not quite yet. Getting there.
I was walking up to a large pool I wanted to fish. Disheartened to think how slow I would have to fish that tube in the large pool. I hadn't had a sniff on crankbaits, chatterbaits, jekbaits, or flukes. I noticed a Morel mushroom sticking out of the ground in front of me. I stopped paying attention to fishing. An hour or two later I had found about 9 Mushrooms ranging from tiny to about 4". The drizzle stopped and the sun came out.
I tried on a chart/white spinnerbait, slowly dragging it across the bottom letting it nick everything. A huge fish made play for it right in my eyesight. I yanked the bait away trying to set the hook. The bass had whiffed. Turning point. The gold blades were really catching sun. I started catching smallies on the spinnerbait. The 17.25" above came right in heavy current.
Not far up I caught this 17" bass in a spot I never catch any fish. I was on to something dragging the spinnerbait slowly across the bottom, bumping, bumping. I have heard about this technique, but never applied it until today.
This 17.75" Smallmouth was also in a spot I don't usually catch anything:
This 18"er fell as I let the spinnerbait fall to the bottom in 5' of water right near shore. Slowly brought it in banging roots, just as I was about to pull the bait up, Smack! Smallmouth fought hard. The rain was falling pretty good at this point.
Will be interesting to see how the dragging spinnerbaits works. I've always tried to impart too much action or pulled them in too fast. Bass like to attack bait fish that foolishly knock into things I guess.
Caught 6 or 7 dinks. Looks like they are on the verge of waking up for the year.
20 SMB (18, 17.75", 17.25", 17", 2-15") 1 rock bass