Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A New Jewel 5/13/09

1st time on this stream, was pretty sweet:

This 16.5" smallie had a mouth like a flathead catfish. It was followed in by another bass its size.

This would prove to be true all day. I'd hook one fish in the clear water and several would follow it. I remember this pre spawn schooling happening last year around this time. Catch one, spook the whole group. At one point, I had 6 or 7 14-16" smallmouth following a hooked fish to my feet. Of course, they wouldn't bite after. The way they were biting I could have had many more smallies today. The bass weren't trying to take the bait like they sometimes do in summer. Just following. Maybe sticking together since spawn is near/in progress?

Here's an 18"er:

It hit under the log pile north of the laydown. Very surprised I got the fish out, as it pulled off quite a bit of line under the logjam.

Long casts were in order. Splash had to be under control or it spooked the bass. Another 16" filled with eggs:

Saw some huge carp, 2 had lampreys attached to the back of their heads or necks. The lampreys were about 12" long each. I've seen misshapen carp before. My theory when you see a misshapen fish, they had a lamprey attached at some point, effecting their growth. When you see odd disc shaped scars, uneven growth like humpacks, wasting away, etc...

Here's another 18" which looks like it has been on the spawn. Came off a rootwad. On the walk back I picked up a 16" in the same spot.

23 SMB (2-18", 4 16-16.5", 8 14-15") 9 plump eater size rock bass in 6 hours

All caught on 4" tubes. Bass didn't want anything else as effectively as the 3/16th's tube. Nothing fancy. Drag it, drop it, hop it, swim it. Spotted a few beds as well.


  1. That looks like a great stream. I'm amazed at how clear it is. You must not have had the rains we have. I see you are well ahead on the species count. I'm up to 9 with a rock bass today. A crappie and white bass should be easy enough around here, but I don't know where I'll find a yellow bass. Maybe I'll go redneck and target some carp, catfish and bullheads, just to even the race.

  2. We've had plenty of rain, Jeff. Boy-o-boy! There are a couple of favorites I haven't been able to fish much.

    I live in the middle of the state. I can get to about 25-30 rivers and creeks within an hour to hour and 20 minute drive.

    High ground drains quick.

    On the species, you're in the clear from here. I added a green sunfish.

    I'll add sauger, longear sunfish, spotted bass, and a couple of incidental snagged suckers at some point.

  3. Nice! I experienced that prespawn schooling back in 2006 in early May. I hit a nice little hole and picked up six fish all about 16 and full of eggs. I also missed a few and then it just shut down. Good times while it lasted...

  4. Hey, Kev, that's good you got them all to bite.

    This was slightly different in that each time the followers clearly saw me.

    I couldn't get them to sniff afterwards.

    Glad you were able to get the whole group, they must not have seen you.

  5. Yeah, the water was very stained/cloudy. Not dirty but just the perfect amount of suspended particles to diffuse everything. I've wondered if that spot was a holding area as that year or the next year I found about 30 plus beds about 150 yards upstream. No fish though. Maybe next year it'll be a little dryer and I can check my theory.

  6. I'll say this. I expecting to do very well next week. Looks like we'll have some good stability for a change.

    In terms of spawning, the fish I caught this day were bursting with eggs. Their cavity was often red with slight irritaion.

    Imagine trying to get your rocks off for weeks at a time, only to have mother nature rain on your parade.

    What interests me is if smallmouth will spawn in high dirty water.

  7. Rereading what I wrote, I should really go back and fish this again with two rods. One, the normal smallmouth set up. Two, my ultralight with some tiny tubes for those slab rock bass. I have never seen them so chunky and vibrant in a river like that. Should have taken pics