Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mike Hits a Nice Tippy Bass

MC and I did a float of the Tippecanoe river on Saturday. Started out awesome with MC hitting a thug 20.5" smallie:
Then, not so awesome. Our 9+ mile float was 50%+ wind coming upstream as we floated downstream. Those are upstream waves in the picture! Oh, did I mention we forgot our anchors and people were leaf blowing straight in the river?
Best I could do was 3 13"ers and 3 dinks and a Drum. Mike got 4 and a drum. Brutal. Sometimes you take your lumps. It certainly was worth it for the one nice bass. It happened very early, so there was a lot of paddling and not really effectively touching most of the fishable water on the float. Boat position was a big problem.

I can officially say I hate fishing out of a kayak. I like to be on my feet so much better. Most of my worst times fishing have been in the seat of a kayak. Sure there have been some great times. Drifting mostly sucks.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Transition is here!

Looks like run and gun summer fun is over. The colder overnight temps to go with the low volume of water in most rivers and creeks is leading to a late bite. Leaves in the water column rotting and floating, making only a few presentations presentable and many creeks are looking like a clear coffee. So, in combination with the streams that have no water. We now have those completely choked with leaves. Options being to drive an hour + to a larger flowing river to find it ice cold have me out in the cold.

Funny how stream fishing is, if we had any water to hold some of the heat in, the daytime temps are more than enough for some solid action.

Rain has been more regular recently. It would take a deluge to catch back up.

Like soup without much broth. More broth the bits and pieces move around some.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Crawfish color in Indiana

I always wondered about crawfish color. It seems we see a lot of orange clawed craws in fish gullets, regurgitated during a fight with a smallmouth bass. Fish attempts to regurgitate hook in its mouth by emptying contents of its stomach.

I have never seen an orange crawfish in the water in Indiana. Craws come in many colors. 

 I got to thinking how shrimp turn orange after you cook them. They are typically gray and then change color. A nice doneness test when cooking! Could it be fish's stomach acid 'cooking' the craws like we do in our pots?

Which crawdad species have you seen?

Sloan's Crawfish

Devil Crawfish
Digger Crawfish
Calico Crawfish
Ghost Crawfish
Northern Clearwater Crawfish
Rusty Crawfish
White River Crawfish
Prarie Crawfish

Red Swamp Crawfish

Virile Crawfish
Indiana Crawfish

Monday, October 11, 2010

Beautiful Fall Day Fishing in Indiana

Pulverizing slow drifted flukes in the AM.
15" Kentucky Spotted Bass
Spotted bass jaw doesn't extend past the eye like Largemouth Bass

Spotted Bass tooth patch (absent in LMB)
Spotted Bass have connected dorsals (LMB do not)
Spotted Bass 'Spots'

Lots of Chunky 14-15.5" bass today.

17.75" Walleye on 3.5 white grub
Watch that rock doesn't snap you!
Chunky fish who jumped through my topwater 18" in the air with bait in mouth!

9 Hours 30 Bass- 22 SMB, 8 KYB (15 - 14-15.5") 1 Walleye. Lots of ground covered. Bike shuttle worked like a charm. As water warmed up, bite changed from slow flukes in shallow water near current to grubs and buzzbaits/Kelly J prop (fast with sputters and pauses to draw attention).

Invent that, Science!

When I was a kid, to say I grew up outside was an understatement.

We played sandlot football and baseball all day. When we weren't playing neighborhood team sports, we we collecting baseball cards, throwing rocks at each other, bashing each other's brains with homeade weaponry, setting off found fireworks, smash 'em up Big Wheels,  making tree houses down by the river, looking at ripped up porn mags in burnt down houses, spying on teens making out, running through other people's yards, sneaking in their garages, riding our bikes off homemade ramps. Basically breaking our heads. Except we didn't. We learned how the world WAS. We learned how to survive. How to contract ringworm and control the local cat population.

One thing we used to love to do was invent cool kid gadgets like tennis ball bolas, or wooden tanks based on Big Wheels. If there was a logistics problem we'd come up with kid ruffian solutions.

So when I'm out fishing these days on some rivers, I think fondly back on those dreams we had of hang gliders and ultra light homemade areoplanes w/ rotten egg baskets. Why can't science come up with something better than my own feet for wading when a boat just won't fit or is too spooky?

No noise, no ground vibration transmitted, but the ability to cover the straight stretches of river quickly. Look out smallies, the Japanese will have us all fishing from these soon. "F" kayaks and jet boats.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Enemies at the Gate: A river angler's 40 foes.

Here are some of my worst enemies while stream fishing for smallmouth bass. No particular order.

1) Wood Nettles

2) Poison Ivy

3) Wind knots

4) Fresh Laydowns with lots of grabby underwater branches

5) Nosey, protective landowners

6) Bad boots/footwear

7) Cold rain/cool day.

8) Sunny sunshine- unless Spring, late Fall.

9) Silt

10) Meat fishermen who eat bronze basses

11) People who litter

12) Cotton- Wet cotton- Wet cotton rubbing thighs.

13) Rodents- Beavers, Muskrats, Ground Hogs, Possums,  etc. Furry swimmers can go to HELL. Stay the "F" away from me.

14) Carp- I don't care if they are fun to catch fly fishermen. They are trash waste of biomass and deserve an arrow through them.
15) eroded banks

16) 10#/2 dia braid- Sammy launcher sans line.

17) Dehydration.

18) Indescrimminate shooters who can't contain their load.

19) Ride revoakers.

20) Mr. Race to the best spot guy so I can cast first all the time and let you catch dinks inbetween guy.

21) Slimey, slippery algae.

22) Knee buster wades

23) Sweat in the eyes

24) Salt from sweat in the eyes.

25) Out of Backpack Buddies

26) ATV'ers

27) Monster truckers driving in the creek

28) Ticks

29) Deer Flies

30) Gnats in the moutheyesandears

31) SNAP!

32)Peoples with nets

33) Crazy Wood Folk

34) Algae blooms from our runoff

35) 0' visibility water clarity

36) Broken tip top

37) That road ain't supposed to be there/ There is supposed to be a road here according to the map.

38) Grumpy fishing partner

39) Overly competitive fishing partner

40) Energy overload- Red Bulls, cigarettes, Power Bars- you just might turn into the HULK.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Some reports meld together

I'm still fishing. Low, clear water. Chuck this topwater or that topwater a long way. Guage fish reaction. Find lure that illicits the most response. This has been the pattern for 2 months.

Saturday was the worst day I've had since going south to Kentucky in July. Buzzbaits early caught a couple. By afternoon bass were slapping and missing Sammy 100. MC and I tried out a Sammy 65 and started catching everything in the river. Ended up with 28 smallies together with about 3 in the 15-15.5" range in 8 hours. Nothing epic.

Previous weekend saw Sammy 100 bite to the east, bunch of 14-16" chunky smb.

The day after was a lack of pattern bite until I hit the best water. Got an absolute pig 18.5 on a Kelly J Prop bait, 21 in about 5 hours.

Truly has been a great year of fishing as I close in on 1400 Smallies in under 350 hours. Since May, Smallmouth fishing has been on fire. Plenty of 15-17", 20"+ bass, but far less 18-19" than usual. Really more than anything is the lack of enjoyable places to fish with any water in them!

Might be done for a while. It is just getting a little boring. (Did I say that?) Maybe if it rains a bunch.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

River Smallies, where have you gone? See: What is your favorite color tube? is gone. Hail the King, the King is dead.

For years, was the place on the internet for smallmouth anglers to gather and converse about their favorite smallmouth bass. A place to learn other's opinions on smallmouth fishing, schedule camping and fishing events on the east coast and midwest.

The site popularized river smallmouth fishing and did it a favor promoting CPR (Catch, Photo, Release). A place to gather and voice environmental concerns affecting your rivers and the brown fish therein. The cutting edge of river bass fishing tackle and gear, best techniques, most problematic rods, lures and reels all discussions tackled. The site popularized river kayak fishing, launching a mini industry that is just now coming into its own.

Some great fishermen and great guys, as well as some not so great. Isn't that just life?

Truly sad to see it go. Who will carry the CPR torch into the next generation?

Sleep tight.