I hadn't fished my old favorite in a month and a half. The last couple of years of high water Springs and extra nutrients in the water have it fishing weird. The big fish are there, but smallies seem to be gone from a lot of places. Numbers are way down. 40-60 fish days have become 8-20 fish days.
When I say gone, until recently the water hasn't been clear enough to see much in the water. A sickening brown with floaty brown algae unlike anything I've seen this side of the 2009 White River.
Returning this Sunday, I was surprised to see the water a more normal color. The algae growth was what I would expect this time of year. I saw plenty of fish. Suckers, Quillbacks of size and everywhere. Didn't see many Smallmouth Bass, but that doesn't mean they weren't wedged under rocks.
We were expecting rain. It never happened. Grossly disappointed. I wanted a prestorm feeding binge to lift my spirits over rough time at work.
Started off well enough. I nailed 4/5 fish on one of my homemade buzzbaits in the first 15 minutes. This was the nicest bass, a bit over 17".
The next hour saw no action in places there always is. I caught a 15" on Wakecrank splashdown. In the next 5.5 hours, I caught 2 smallmouth and a Goog.
Unhappy about the results, I waded downstream and fished a deep pool with multiple laydowns. I pulled the buzzbait across the front rootwad of one laydown. Just as the dual prop bait was about to climb over the next log a enormous smallmouth launched deep out of the rootwad at it, flipped in the air, landing on the second laydown and then the water. Complete. Whiff.
It's always hard to guess how big a jumping fish is. From 50' away it looked like a legit 4-5 lbs smallmouth. Very thick. Tried the whole bag of tricks to get a second strike. Tube, fluke; cast after cast hoping to piss the moster off. I waded downstream then came back to try again. Nothing.
Very promising area. Easy to walk to. Several linked pools with lots of wood that are probably hard for novices to fish efficiently. Pretty safe against sustenance fishermen as well.
Wish I would have hit another small one.
7 SMB (17"+, 15) 1 goog in 7.5 hours