Monday, November 29, 2010

Need baitcaster advice

I am looking to pick up a baitcaster (combo) this winter as a new toy to mess around with next year.

So far, I have my eye on a Shimano Curado.

I think I want a faster reel (7.0.1) rather than slower (5's). But maybe I am missing something here. Do I need more power? Slower certainly could be better deep cranking, pulling in vibrating chatterbaits and heavy spinnerbaits, swimbaits, etc. More subtlety in the retrieve might be a good thing.

I like faster retrieves on a spinning reel to catch up with downstream charging fish, to crank in buzzbaits without wearing an arm off on those 1000 cast days.. I am wrong in wanting this in a baitcaster?


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fun with Bobbers 11/28/2010

Today was a good day for Float and Fly technique. I fished several large pools. Water looked great. Visibility was 18"+ with great light penetration. Air temps in the high 30's to mid 40's.

Smallies were pretty active, saw one chasing a rock bass out of the water and they both jumped. Zeroed in on that spot and started pulling them in.

Nothing big, but it was a great day for action. 17 fish in 21 float dunks most 12-14.5" couple rock bass.

Not sure if hopping the float was helping, all the bites seemed to come on the drift.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What Could Have Been 11/22/2010

 I hit an easy to project confluence with near 70F temps and high winds. Under a bridge, throwing a clown pointer 78, fish on right away. Then off, then several flashes from small fish, nailing the bait where the hooks weren't.

Finally, an 8" smallmouth on the jerkbait. Good sign, but would the massive warm up and incoming winter front have all the dinks eating, or would the big boys come out too? Rare indeed to catch an 8" fish in late November.  Moved downstream in an attempt to time the above confluence just right for peak activity.

 Trying the kitchen sink, 4.5"swimbait got pulled off the screwlock. Interesting.

Pulled a 12" bass off a laydown shortly after splashdown on a jerkbait shortly thereafter. Carp were sunning and feeding heavy in the shallow water. Nothing from the deeper water, in two common holes. Were they at the confluence?

In short, the confluence was a mess of non-flushed algae and leaves a couple feet thick, taking up over half the water column. Bottom was out. Tried the swimbait again, getting nipped and chased by several fish to no avail. The hook was just too tight on the bait for dinks to pull down on anything short of a miracle. Sure, I 'd seen a 6" smallie choke down a 5" fluke like a frat member at a keg party, but you can't expect that to happen.

The darn bass ignored a much smaller grub swimming at the same cadence and speed. I waded upstream getting hit again and again by bass up to maybe 12-13" on the large side.

I arrived at Muskrat hole. One of the former legendary stretches of river that seemed to always have a couple 18"+ bass on the first cast off an old laydown parallel to the current.

In Indiana, high steep banks leading to flowing water tend to mean depth and wintering areas for smallmouth. One january day in 2008, I pulled 32 smallies in 4 hours out of this stretch on float and fly. The last year and a half after 2008 floods, the bass populations are a fraction of what  they were. 1.5 mile wades with upwards of 70 fish between two people have turned into 5 or 6 bass.

Quickly, Muskrat hole gave up a nice 13" off a huge boulder near push water, finally hooking something on the swimbait. After two more smaller fish failed to inhale the bait. I threw a #6 Gammie treble on there, attaching via surgical tubing. A slow, steady retrieve got the bait bit 11 times off these laydowns in Muskrat hole. I landed 7 bass, all in the 12-13" range. 2 more in the pool above. Headed home.

Since hunters could be about, I walked back to the bridge in the stream throwing long tosses with the simbait. In one location where a small fish had struck before and nice bass slammed the big bait and went skywards three times before I landed the fish. 17".  It felt good to have some unexpected non- finesse bassing.

I ended with 13 Smallmouth bass (17"). Could have been quite a few more, if I had attached the treble earlier.

Looking at my results, had I picked a better stretch, the results on that bait could have been awesome. Drats! Sometimes you get the bear...

As I write, the state is at long last getting bombed by rain! Maybe some cold water action fishing current seams and eddies again soon! Maybe this weekend! Maybe tomorrow! Fingers crossed. I wanna catch a bunch on the fly jig.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

11/21 Multi Stream Hop

Rolled out early on Sunday, on the road by 11am. Fishing by about noon. Overnight temps were in the 50's, I thought there would be a good chance of a hot bite.

Lack of water continues to be a problem. Hit  three different holes and one very large pool. Almost no flow on the first stream, but at least leaves were on bottom for the most part.

Hit a 13"er on flashminnow 95 shallow jerk on the walk downstream. When I got to the large hole, I hooked and lost a largemouth bass on the lure. Wanting to fish the deep stuff I threw a clown colored Pointer 78. Was rewarded by a heavy fish that was soon off the hook. A few casts later, duplicated the task from off the deep barely visibile boulders on the pause. Got the fish almost in range when it too, popped off the hook. Looked in the 16"17" range. I had planned to fish float and fly so again I was throwing 8lbs mono. The hooks were too dull, but I also lose all sense of how much pressure when I switch to mono.

Picked a 14" on the jerk out of a cloud of suckers. Just letting it sit worked.

Left and hit the nearby bigger flow. Lots of walking on bedrock to my hole. Turned out to be about .75 mile further than I thought it was, when the massive hole in the bedrock opened up, it didn't dissapoint.

First a 14" on a 4.5" swimbait, then I threw on a 4" thin floating worm on a shakey head jig. I've never had luck with these. An lately, there has been no flow. But in this spot the current spilled through and over bedrock creating some current. A spot to work finesse!

I was shaking and hopping and deadsticking the worm when an unmistakable 'thunk', reared back and the fish was heavy and supercharged. Nice fight, nice fish. Saved my day of ineptitude. 18.25"

Sunday, November 7, 2010

11/6 and 11/7 Jerkbite

Low water? Shallow Water? Spooky fish? Flashminnow 95. Shallow diving jerkbait (1-2') that casts like a bullet.

Some pics of this weekend 13/15 bass were caught on jerk, the other two on tubes. Also snagged a bunch of suckers and quilbacks. Sharp hooks.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Indiana 2010 20" Smallmouth Bass Collection

Cutting back on the fishing this Fall. Just not in to the effort required to find a biting bass and pull it from a leaf pile. So these 8 bass may be it for 2010. Naw. Just need a reason to post them all in one post for posterity's sake. I usually forget to bring the camera when 1 or 2 of these get caught, or I drop the fish before the photo. So I went 8/8 this year. Enjoy!

1) February 28th, 2010. Dragging a tube through a huge eddy. Sensed pursuit. Miss, then got 'em. Lots of head shaking. Barely hooked. Tense and exciting. Patience and tolerance to cold paid off here with leaking waders and no float and fly bite.

2) March 24th, 2010. The water was way up the perfect time to get the pigs up out of the depth in this pool. Missed one on a tube, then these thick bass was on there. Jim A there to snap a pic of the fish. One of the better pics of me with a bass. Thanks, Jim. 21"

3) March 28th, 2010. Water was even further up. Returned to the same spot. Again only one fish and it was a dandy 20.5"er. Again on a tube.

4) May 1st, 2010. Floated the Tippecanoe river. River was high and fast. Citrus Bandit footloose ripped and paused running towards the fast water. Just reached 20".

5) July 31st, 2010. Micro flow wonder. This 20" smallmouth fell victim to a Lucky craft Rick Clunn wakecrank, cranked upstream in about 10" of water where the fish was just off the main current near a riffle. Two fish made a play, the larger scored.

6) September 11th, 2010.  A windy day and a buzzbait bite! The pigs were out in force. The wind at my back aided in long casts in the shallow rocky water. This was at the back of a large pool. Beyond where I could normally cast without wind power. The beast went 20.5" and was thick!
7) September 12th, 2010. Had to try again the next day.  Wading downstream, chucking the same buzzbait, the water erupted and the fight was on. Another 20"+ smallie.

8) September 18th, 2010. Not 6 days later another beast. Perhaps the best of 2010. Rick Clunn wakecrank in 10" of nothing water. Incredible. So big. 21.25+". Monster.

So there they are. Pretty happy with the effort in less time on the water this year and many hours on even smaller streams. I have some ideas for some winter Float and Fly pigs, so maybe I'll approach last year's 11. Time will tell.