Saturday, September 18, 2010

Giant Creek Smallmouth Bass 9/18/2010

17.75" Smallmouth Bass (Sammy 100)

21.25" Smallmouth Bass (Rick Clunn Wake Crank)
18.5" Smallmouth Bass (Rick Clunn Wake Crank)
20 SMB (21.25", 18.5", 17.75") 1 Goog in 5 hours

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lucky Buzzbait strikes again! 9/12/2010

Got out for a couple hours today. Downstream cast with a white Wolkabuzz. Just got to 20" by the point of the chin. Really, this bass had a Marlon Brando/Benito Mussolini chin. Nice fight on 7'-6" rod from 30 yards out.

Only ended with 6 bass, losing one that looked about 16". Got tired and went home. Pretty satisfied there wasn't another run amock pig bite, just a lone hungry fish.

Buzzblitzed: Finally, Indiana Smallmouth Eating Buzzbaits! 9-11-2010

When fishing for smallmouth bass in rivers, the general approach is to throw stuff out there and see how they react. Find the right set of variables and you might hit on something big that leads to an excellent day. Sticking with one presentation, one speed,  or one bait is a recipe to fail often.

The more different looks you present to the bass, the more likely you are to get a reaction that will clue an angler in to the key to a hot bite.

Saturday around midday I hit an Indiana creek, wanting to throw more Sammy 100 for violent blowups. It had actually rained for the first time in what seems like a month. Slight drizzle. Rain doesn't stop me from fishing. Nope. Some of the best days are in the rain, before the rain, and after the rain.

Pattern has changed. Cool nights make cold morning smallmouth that are used to very warm water. I got a few assorted dinks on flukes and splashdown hits. They didn't want the Sammy, or Wake Crank, or Rico, or grubs, or chatterbait. I did get one 15.75" smallmouth on a tube near a laydown.

It was windy. The wind was at my back and mostly blowing upstream. The wind was drowning out the noise of my baits. Lack of light (overcast) and algae stain (18" visibility) made it hard for bass to see my baits (so I surmised). What bait might cause some reaction strikes, cover a lot of ground, and ring loud over the wind noise? The Wolka Buzz. Or rather my own homemade version of the twin counter rotating blades.

I discovered a Buzzbait bite. At first, it was fish making boils near the bait, as the water warmed up and the day got older, bigger fish connected as I burned it in. The more noise, the better. Here's an 18":

18" Smallmouth Bass on homemade buzzbait

I had a long walk through shallow, fruitless water. I was throwing the buzzbait up into the wind and letting it sail further than I would ordinarily be able to cast the bait. At the bottom of a large pool, off in the shallow corner the buzzbait got slurped. A little shocked when I nearly put my fish in this 20.5" bass' mouth:
20.5" homemade buzzbait

Smallies were starting to get really aggressive, though more than half of them missed the bait, the bigger fish didn't miss much. I contiunued to throw the buzz fast and crank it in hard. Covering ground would be vital to encounter more large smallmouth. I passed one bridge and headed for a third on my wade.

I was recovering from a fun night at the Rathskellar in downtown Indy. Slow to get rolling. A pig fest had the juices flowing again.

I hit several 16-17" and a few 15"'s. It was great fun to catch fish on a buzzbait again. I loved the hand eye coordination to fish buzzbaits in creeks in Indiana. So challenging and fun.

Here is another chunky 18"

Fished until nearly dark 4.5 miles from my car, then walked back along the highway.

37SMB (20.5", 2-18", 2-16.75", 16", 15.99", 3-15.75") in 8 hours with 28 in the last 3 hours.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Sammy Fun after work 9/8/2010

Started off slow when I stepped in the water. Found low, stained with algae, next to no flow. Decided to throw a Sammy 100 and cover a stretch that has produced 60+ smallies in 7 or 8 hours in the past. Checked for some other bites, but it was pretty much dead until it got closer to dark. Only picked up a couple of skinny dinks and a 13" who blasted and missed Sammy out of a rootwad. I threw on a Fluke. The aggressive fish picked the floating weighted fluke off the bottom only a few seconds later.

Mostly found bass near Oxygen sources or steep gradient. The above 17"er destroyed the Sammy in an eddy.

Missed a large fish who destroyed the surface and did get the bait. I could tell the hooks dug him so a follow up with a fluke probably wouldn't work. When I looked at the trebles, 4 out of 6 had slightly bent micro tips. Lucky Craft puts very sharp hooks on the Sammy, but they don't last long. I highly recommend changing the hooks out, if you don't, it will cost you like it did me tonight.
Straightened the points to the best of my ability. Proceeded to catch a couple of 16"'s and a 15". These fish got really violent. Like dropping a brick in the water on strike. Cool. Power walked back to the car throwing a buzzbait.

Speaking of which, man, buzzbaits have been bad again this year. Had one good day with them all year.

11 SMB in 2.5 hours (17, 2-16", 15) only a couple dinks. Rain please.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fishing Fast on a Fast River 9/5/2010

Sunday Mike and I hit the river with no bridges. Really. It is ridiculous. Sammy 100 and tubes. Got out to a 21-7 lead on MC, then my tube feel deserted me.

We found several wide, long, straight, shallow silty pools that seem to be the depositories from such eroded classics:
17.5"Chunk on Sammy 100
This pool was not silty. It was so filled with fish, I counted smallmouth into the triple digits. Rough fish by the hundreds. Only managed about 5 and they would only strike Sammy 100 schooled up- which has always been a theory of mine. You could see schools of 5-10 smallies go after the bait, trying to get an angle, pulling up short, whiffing. Once such event occurred at a pushwater funnel resulting in above thick smallie. Biggest of the day.

The long, straight pools were a pain to get through and would have been better off floated, although getting out before each and every riffle gets tiring in a yak. I see this as killing your results at the trade off of time spent on rear. So wading is the best bet. We did find two bridges to park. Last half was through a couple dozen tubers and canoers. Another smallie on a stringer out there, by a guy making his own riffles changing the stream bed by hand.

There is so much gradient. Bigger fish continue to be crazy chunky, if few and far in between. They just aren't in easy stupid places like other streams. Often deep in rootwads or wisely eyeballing you along the riverbank. Most seem to end up in coolers. Would be interesting to fish an overcast day and see results.

Mike got some Gunfish action going and got respectable at 33-22.