Saturday, December 31, 2011

Creeping Close to a Couple of Personal Fishing Landmarks

1597 smallmouth bass, just 3 fish on NYE will hit the 1600 mark for 2011. 57 smallmouth 18"+, 204 smallmouth 16"+, 24 19"+.

26 19"+ would break my personal big fish in a year record.

Same stretch, different hole produced:




Water was a slow rise, I got steadily rained on, the 19" came from right behind that line dangling from the tree, then not long until the 17"er went airborne. Hell of a fight from that 19". I got a crankbait off that line later.

Got 8 in slightly less than 3 hours.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

After Xmas, but Before New Year's Twilight Zone Smallmouth Bass Float 12/29/2011

Dave and I floated a totally new cold water stretch of river today. One big pool in the middle I always wanted to investigate, but a mile or more from any bridge and hard to fish in warm months because of chest deep+ water. We gave it a float in our kayaks, hitting green water about 10:30am. Good flow, though maybe a little more in the wide pools and a little less in the narrow pools would have made locating fish easier.

I got a dink on float and fly in the first pool, not too long after put in. Getting that first bite is always a confidence builder in Winter. The wind was sheltered at first depending on river direction, but later it made presenting a bait hard and casting difficult all day. Floating between pools was quick and fun on the stream.

Soon I landed a 7"er. The wind whipped up, started to rain, then sleet. Fear not it lasted just a few minutes, then the sun was out the rest of the day.

At another pool, I plucked a 14" bass then another float dunk resulted in an unravelled knot!

We met a surprised friendly farmer who told us about his trip into the creek one December and an almost heart attack.

I picked a 16"er out of a small triangle eddy, the fish dunked my float quickly after splashdown. Gave a really nice, rod bending fight. Dave was trying, but mostly in the wrong spots "off the green" so to speak. Experience was the difference in the smaller pools.

When we finally hit the big pool it was slow going. Couple hundred yards long, 35 yards wide, slight northern bend, high banks on both sides, plentiful boulders, large laydown on that inside bend, small laydown where the pool widened slightly and created a slow water area opposite the inside bend.

Dave had a dunk and lost a fish by the laydown. I told him keep at it while I checked the deep boulder field. Too fast. Too much current. Tried the lay downs left on the inside bend to no avail and close, faster current. Dave hit the front. Was just about to give up after maybe 30 minutes blowing in the wind, when I decided to see if Dave really did have a bite. First dead drift where Dave's yak had been 15 minutes before brought a hard charging 14"er boat side.

"We've found them!" :):):):!: It quickly clicked with me why they were there, a silty drop off near slowing current, cover by the smaller outside laydown and sunlight! My float started sinking overlining, next to the laydown, near current, off the bottom, bing, bang, boom. Chunky smallmouths, 15"'s, 16"'s, an 18", 3'to 4.5' down. Hard fighting chunkers of above average girth. I had about 6 from the spot without Dave sinking once. We noticed he had braid on to my mono.


I gave him the same fly jig I had tied on with his braid- no bites. He switched to mono leader and the same jig as I. Nothing- casting to the same spots, same drifts, similar depths. I landed 3 more. :?::?::oops: Did everything I could to get him a bass, made no sense. Head scratch-er and if you can figure out what the difference is, you got me. Since this was an all new Winter adventure, this was a great find, but another fishing enigma moment! I can't believe Dave's float didn't go down a few times.


We tried a few more pools floating out, I pulled one more dink to finish with 15.

5 hours 15 smb (18", 3-16", 3-15")

Monday, December 26, 2011

After Chistmas Pig Sale 12/26/2011

7 SMB in the first hour, to 19", couple 16"'s. Couple were surprisingly close to current that was slightly faster than slow.


Went to another spot that is pretty new to me in the cold and took a long while to find where the fish held. Finally, a couple dinks (as so often happens) revealed this giant's general location:



Great fights on the 8' noodle rod. Casts a little bit further too. The big girl wanted to take flight a couple times, but just couldn't get up. Lots of heavy head shaking like jaws.

I tried two other old spots, nothing doing. One hasn't produced in anything but really high water last year, another lost a bit of the pile that caused the current break. Now where I used to catch fish in slack, is no longer slack. Was my 3 18"'s out of a garbage can spot that time with Mike. Sure they moved elsewhere, just not readily apparent.

10 SMB in 3.5 hours [20", 19", 2-16"]

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Still here. Nothing spectacular. Last three times out, 12 smallies, 3 shiners - (2-17.5", 2-16") on float and fly. Water has been high and muddy. Should be back to it to finish up the year after the holiday.

Monday, December 12, 2011

12-12-11 'Nuff Said

Method: Float and Fly
Transport: Car to river. Kayak while on river. Drag back to car
Depth: 6-8'
Action: Dead drift
Hours fished: 2.5
Smallmouth Bass landed: 17
Other fish landed: 0
19.25", 18.25", 4-17-17.5", 4-16", 4-15"

Now roll superfluous, self aggrandizing, fish porn:









On a Roll 12-10-11

Walked the banks this time. Got to my target location about 11, suited and fishing by 11:15. It was cold with some breezes temps in the 23F-28F. Water was up and moderate fast. Visibility was maybe 18".

I crossed at several riffles during the day. Cleated felt worked fine. I was dressed warm, even had White Stripes Ipoded up to keep me occupied if the fishing was slow.

Slipped and fell twice on thawed bank where I was walking on frozen ground. If you get out watch out for this. Leaves too if there aren't frozen solid, watch your step.

Fished about 6' from bank along rip rap. Float quickly disappeared three times with a 18.75", 17.25", 18.25" fighting well and to hand. Left the spot after less than an hour with some free money already. Figured I'd try something theoretical with the water up but a good bite if you put it in the right place.


Another 20-30 minutes and I'm walking upstream along a tricky, prickers bank. Float dunks in some slack a surprise 15"er to hand. Nice. Thought they could be near the straight undercut here with micro eddies and one appeared. Didn't spend too much time. Finally got to my spot. A couple 13-14"ers dunk the float in an hour. I'm ready to head back when I let it drift in the upstream swirl along the bank (not very deep) rather than the typical 'V' of the eddy. Float disappears. Heavy kicking and I think, it could be a carp. Oooh, not a carp. Basically, found the honey. Fish measures just short of 21".


Nabbed 3 more from 13-15". Went quiet for a moment. Float dunked set, weight, then nothing :( . Look at my fly jig and the hook broke below the curve! I retie, then it dunks again while I'm in the middle of taking off wet gloves. Set the hook, another fish on, Throw gloves up on shore and the fish is heavy. Surfaces. Another big one in the 18-20" range! Then the knot I just tied fails. Fish gone. Doh!

I left and tried a couple more spots including going back to the first, but nothing. Called it a day and was home by 5.

3 hours 10 SMB (20.75", 18.75", 18.25", 17.25", 2-15")

Monday, November 21, 2011

More Late Fall River Smallmouth on Float and Fly 11/22/11

Another day, another float down to target pool,  drag the kayak back. On the water by 12-12:30. Brought the baitcaster and 1/2 oz jig for some of the deep, slow stuff.
Lost a big fish on the first drift, surfaced and flopped. Dejected because I should have tied some new fly jigs up without sickle hooks. Paid the price.
Soon after, I landed a 13" LMB that went airborne from nearly the same spot. In one of the secondary currents, I let the float drift on the slower of the fast water and it dunked! Yea. Nice fight and a 16" bass to hand.
Slowed after that so I explored the rest of the pool. Experimenting with my longer anchor. This pool can get anywhere from 14-20' deep. Fortunately, I was able to anchor to one side paralleling the upstreams swirl next to a steep bank. Tossed over and the float bobbed, then sunk. Nice little fight and a chunky 9" Goog. Then another fatter one. Then like 4 more and a crappie. Crappie? Uh, oh this could get serious. Over the next 45 minutes, I pulled in a total of 14 white crappie from 7"-11", 9 Rock Bass from 5-9", 1 longear sunfish, 3 smallmouth from 5", 12",15". I thought the crappie and rock bass were fighting pretty hard until that 15"er stole the show.
The spot kind of slowed, so I threw back on the dropoff at the front of the pool, cranked the cast from the fast water to the painfully slower water that I knew had some giant ambush boulders forming a nice Barkmann's corner for piggsies. Float dunked and  didn't want to come up in 6-8' of water. Finally got the fish boatside and it was a fat lard brute. Made up for the early lost fish. Measured 20". Thug at that.

Turned back to the crappie spot but threw downstream where the current was coming back towards me along the deep bank. Wow. Just wow. In like 30 minutes, 12" that jumped 18" in the air twice, then a 17"er, fat 16.75", and another 16", capped by another thug 18.5" smallmouth.

So much action. 37 fish in 4 hours with more float dunks I think were longears and small crappie. Died right around 4 pm again, different river.
13 Bass 1-lmb, 12 smb (20", 18.5", 17", 3-16-16.75", 2-15") 14 White Crappies, 9 Rock Bass, 1 Longear Sunfish in 4 hours.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

11/20/11 FnF

Went today which turned into a short trip. Float down paddle up. Picked up this 18.25" smallmouth which went berserk underwater.

Picked a dink after the fly bobbed over a rock. Was trying to work this ledge without being able to see it. Mixed results. Later the float dunked and a big fish of some sort was on, swam hard without budging, then came free. Felt really good :( . I've been skin hooking fish a lot in the roof of the mouth. One yesterday right through the lip bone, 3mm away from a miss.

Made my way down to another area fishing slow current via still drifts past a shallow, protruding root wad. Float dunked, fish jumped and was free, another skin hooked fish! Might have to go away from the sickle hook.

Went back the original spot and picked a 14"er off the ledge. That was it, thought of going to another spot. Decided I didn't have the time.

Today was harder because there was less current and thus less of an indicator where to drift the fly. Still, I could have had 5 fish from the pool, including two really nice ones.

Water is getting low again. Need more rain...

3 SMB in 3 hours. 18.25", 14", dink

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Smallmouth Bass on Float and Fly in Indiana Rivers- Pigs Missed Me

Finally, we had rain rivers and creeks rose and flushed a little.

Took my kayak along to fish now that there is some flow in the streams. I learned from the last time out with Matt, pitching Fnf of high banks was ****. Better to float and have room to cast. Stream was in good shape. 18" visibility, leaves deposited up the banks a couple of feet from the high water mark of this week. It had dropped more than I had hoped, but at least the fish could see!

At the first spot, I just walked up without suiting up. Nothing in the usual places, but lower than I usually fish this high water spot. Surely they weren't out in the pool? Had I missed them? Fished a drift of float and fly further out towards pool middle on the current seam. Float kind of dunked, I set pressure. Something big and immovable. Then gone. :( Rats! Felt like it could have been a carp. Tried again a few times in the same area and finally a 16" bass maybe a foot or two closer in. Still maybe 25' from shore. Nice fight. Fish was skinny. Kept at it, it was maybe 15 minutes before the float disappeared just downstream of me and 13' from shore. It was a bigger fish and fought like it/ Finally grabbed her up. Exactly 18":

Kept patiently with the spot now that I had found fish. Threw further upstream and the float quickly disappeared. Big and lots of pressure, drag peeling, rod bent in half, fish all over the place. You guessed it. Carp. Big one. Head the size of a large bulldog. Fish finally to hand in a tricky situation. Lipped the grotesque and measured 30" (if rather skinny). It wrestled free so you are spared a carp pic. It had torn the hole to hell, so I didn't bother to cast again.

Drove to my put in and launched the yak. Would be a quick 10 minute kayak ride to the target. On the way I threw to a couple of eddies and picked up two dinks and a 14.5"er.

Finally, got to my 200 yard long by 60 yard wide pool and fished the current seam. Immediate 14"er. Then another the same size. Dink. Chunky 17"er:

I think I got 6 fish in like 10 drifts. Highlighted by this fat 19.5" smallmouth:

Couldn't find the male part for the larger tripod, so I had to use the small bendable one, so shots are from a low angle.

Bite seemed to die after the last pig, so I moved the yak down the seam, picking up a dink and losing one. Made a bomb cast after a couple dozen drifts back to the original seam. Float disappeared. The fish was big and about 30 yards out. It pulled drag and made for my anchor lines several times. Measured at 20"!

Picked another 12 and 15". Combines were driving close by. Fish seemed to quit after 4, but maybe I got or spooked 'em. Nice to know the pigs missed me as much as I did them. :D

15 SMB in 4 hours 30 minutes (nothing the last hour) (20", 19.5", 18", 17", 16", 15") 30" Carp

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Indiana Smallmouth Regulations Public Hearings-October 11th/17th

Public Hearings scheduled for proposed rule changes to black bass rules in streams

The Natural Resources Commission will conduct two public hearings on proposed changes to the black bass fishing rule, one on Oct. 11 in Spencer, the other on Oct. 17 in Peru. The term “black bass” refers to smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and spotted bass.

The DNR has proposed changes that will replace the minimum size limit of 12 inches for black bass taken from rivers or streams with a requirement that black bass taken from rivers and streams must be less than 12 inches long or more than 15 inches long, with not more than two being greater than 15 inches long. The bag limit of five in aggregate per day will remain the same.

The DNR believes that this proposed slot limit will afford increased protection, particularly for smallmouth bass populations, and may increase the quality of smallmouth bass fishing opportunities in certain streams. Allowing some harvest of bass less than 12 inches is aimed at preventing “stockpiling” of small bass, and the resulting slow growth that occurs. It would also allow the take of spotted bass, which are plentiful in some streams, compete directly with smallmouth bass, and seldom grow larger than 12 inches.

The proposed rule language can be found at:

Individuals can provide comments at one of the public hearings scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, October 11
Canyon Inn, Oak Room
McCormick’s Creek State Park
Spencer, IN 47460
6 p.m. (EDT)

Monday, October 17
Community Building
Miami County Fairgrounds
1029 W. 200 N.
Peru, IN 46970
6 p.m. (EDT)

Submit comments regarding these proposed changes to the NRC at: and click on "Comment on Proposed Rule" next to the “Smallmouth Bass (Black Bass) Amendments.” The deadline for submitting comments is Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011.

Comments can also be mailed to:

Natural Resources Commission
Indiana Government Center North
100 North Senate Ave., Room N501
Indianapolis, IN 46204

All comments sent to the NRC regarding these proposed rule changes will be provided to its members and DNR staff and will be publicly disclosed and searchable on the Internet and in a paper docket as part of the final report.

For more information: Phil Bloom, Division of Communications, (317) 232-4003.

Monday, September 19, 2011

One of Those Days 9/18/11

Sometimes you pick a bad stretch of creek. Sunday was just such a day. Mike and I hit a few fish in the middle of this 4 mile wade on tubes. 18.25", 17.9", 16.25", 15.75". 7 bass between the two of us in 7 hours.