Wade 1: Mike and Nate. 5 bridges. 4.26 miles over uneven ground. Dropped them off, parked Mike's truck at their last bridge and waded up to my car 4.06 miles upstream.
We arrived on the water after 11:30am. Plenty of time for a good numbers day. Only the creek had come down close to a foot! It never does have a lot of water in it. This was as skeleton as I have fished and summer low water yet to come. The sun was intense as I got out of the truck. Forgot my hat, so I grabbed Mike's Gortex OP hat and got moving.
Initially, the bass were lethargic. Only found active fish in the shallow riffle seeking food. Got a 15"er on splashdown with a spook jr. Hard fishing for 3 hours picking up a couple on R2C, 3" yum dinger casting to boulders, and 5" fluke worked hard. Started to think about bagging the day and calling the other guys when I hit a deep hole where a bridge is out. Smallies looking at me everywhere. Spooked. But the ones upstream...
Threw a R2C upstream towards a deepwater ambush point. The bait got ambushed by a chubby 17"er! The fish was beautiful and thick and squirmed free while I was setting up the camera. I decided to throw a buzzbait. Sunfish and dinks were slapping it. Pulled in one longear who took a trailer hook in the eye. Threw him over towards where I saw some smallies waiting in ambush but spooked. Boosh! Sunny was gone, chomped down by a 15" smallmouth with a mean streak.
So things were looking up despite the intense sun. Bugs were much reduced. Throughout the day I just couldn't stop my face from sweating. Drenched. Wow. It is hot.
Above the bridge, I hit a long straight pool below a bend. Wood and some depth to one side where the bedrock shelved deeper. I threw over to a rootwad where a 13" bass responded. The fish was followed in by 4 more like it. This was one of those moments where you spot some structure after passing it up. To the left the shade was blanketing the root strewn bank.
I threw over under the tree with the very next cast: RATATATATATATATAT...BA-Boosh! Big one! The large smallie tried to manuver to jump, the water was so clear I could counter his each move with corresponding rod movement, when I wouldn't let him jump, the fish tried peeling drag. Kept him peeling in one direction, then into some willows for landing. Stunning bass. Set up a flat rock on top of the grass for a camera table. Fish hadn't given up. Shaked out of my hand. Gone. Darn that was two!
The very next cast, I again threw over and under the tree limbs as far back as I could line drive and still control presentation. RATATATATATATATATA...BOOSH! Another large fish. I could see it trying to back up with headshakes to get an angle to jump. No sir. Then it ran for some limbs. Nope. Peeled drag until it was also laying in the willows for landing. 17.25"
On the 4th cast, again under the tree...RATATAATATAATA...BOOSH! Another + smallmouth. Another drag peeling fight. 17.75".
4 Smallmouth in 4 casts with the last three going 18.5", 17.25", and 17.75". Storms heard off in the distance seemed to coincide with the more aggressive bite. They threatened, but only drizzled on me.
Buzzbait bite was cool, but I often couldn't cast it far enough to get deep into cover. Finally tested the LC Wake Crank again and there was a definite bite waking it across the surface. Got on a dink to 14"er bite as all sizes were represented.
Man was it hot. Oh wait, that's my simmering head. The F hat was retaining heat like crazy. I couldn't recover by resting. 2 apples, 4 waters, couple of food bars. Should be plenty of hydration. That darned F hat. Wore me out, and I didn't know it was the cause.
I fished on, nailed another 18" on the WC this time. Closed in on 50, couldn't seal the deal, had to get cooled down. Head was seriously hot. You can see it in this crazy-arse pic.
Went and checked on Mike and Nate. There was a run over dog in the middle of the road. Nope. Just waiting for master to come home. As luck would have it, Mike and Nate got off the water about the same time around 7:30PM. I'll let them tell their tale.
48 Bass 47 SMB, 1KY Spot (18.5", 18", 17.75", 17.25", 17", 3-15")11 misc fishes green sunfish, longear, shiner- buzzbaits.
Feel much better today.
Now Mike and Nate did pretty well downstream of me. When I met up with them, Mike remarked I was better off not wearing a hat than to wear his winter hat. Uggh.
They got 41 bass and half dozen misc fishes. 3 17" or better. Nate's largest was around 18-18.5"!