Sunday, September 12, 2010

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.

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