Sunday, April 11, 2010

4/11/2010 Micro Chatterbait Steals the Show

I've been commenting how many stream fish populations in Indiana were decimated by the floods of 2008. Since then, it has been remarkable how small the bait fish  are in many of our steams .5-1.5". This is not what I remember previous to the floods.

2009 saw a 3" fluke bite to draw some action, a 5" fluke, so deadly in 2007 became hard to get bit on. Was this because the standard smallmouth meal has shrunk in size?

So, I saw the 1/8th oz panfish chatterbait in Wallyworld, thinking I might downsize from the large 3/8 oz chatterbaits that I make myself...

Hit a rocky choke pool just above an obvious winter hole....

This fish was close to shore in an eddy. I actually saw the boil and strike on the 1/8th oz white chatterbait.

We took a break and within a few casts, another 18"+ SMB came out of the center of the stream:

Used the white bait to drop over boulders slow retrieve, sometimes ripping and some times allowing to drop.

Mike and I had some excitement when he hit a ridiculous 15"er:

Then I hooked a 17.5" fighter dragging a tube along a seam, it was followed by a couple of suckers and a larger black smallmouth that contemplated, it's mate's fate before darting off.

Still, numbers were not there, but I can't complain about the catch as these bass fought hard in the swift current.

BT 9 (18.25", 18", 17.5")
MC 4 (15")

In about 4:30 hours.


  1. BT,

    Good looking dog from other post.

    Great looking fish, nice sunny day with clear water conditions.

    Were these floods in the winter or spring? We have had about 3 1/2 years of cool, wet conditions with some big floods.

    Numbers of bass are down considerably with fewer small bass. Bad silting and spawns have also played a factor.

    How quick do your streams rise and fall? Is run off becoming a larger problem?


  2. Flood of the century were in late May to June 2008. 10-14" of rain in 10 days in 2008 depending on locale.

    Silting has gotten much worse in some areas.

    In short streams, elevated streams, along with streams with more bedrock faired better.

    In 2009, we had high water during the spawn months. Not floods just consistently higher than normal. It brought a lot of nutrients into the streams and some algae 'events' happened on certain waters. Probably put a lot of stress on recovering spawners.

    The fish just aren't there. Still catching big ones, but the overall populations has been halved in some streams.

    In terms of turbidity: I live in the center of the state. Within 1 hour and 15 minutes are 30 rivers or creeks to fish for smallies. Usually one is running clearer, comes down quicker, etc...

  3. The White through Indy is the worst culprit. Because man diverts water so quickly into the stream and any heavier rainfall is accompanied by tons of raw sewage outflow. It can take forever to come down.

    The water quality is generally less than other places. I live 5 minutes away but barely fish it despite a solid reputation for big fish and numbers.

    The rest depends on how much rain falls if it's been dry, they can take a lot. Especially with natural buffers intact. Some have no cities or towns on them and fair better.