Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another Excellent July Wade 7/29/11

This one was a lot of fun, but started bad for me and good for Brett. All's well that ends well. I guess we got to the water around 11am. New water. Stained green 2' visibility and not much flow throughout. We set out to bike shuttle a 3 mile wade.

I tied up some loose ends while Brett got the smallies loosened up with 2 at put in.

Brett got this 17.5"er from off some rip rap in shade on a cb:

Corn Stalk Bass Warrior:

A few more SMB came to hand for Brett while my fingers were stuck in my pocket. I did get a nice 16.5" smb on impact hit CB. We'd catch a bunch in this size class today.

Brett was getting some on cranks occasionally for a while. I was getting bit most on Sammy with only an occasional connect for a couple hours. River had a lot of limbs with wood and deep scour holes. Casting for me was sub par and I kept getting wind knots and rod tip wrappings. Not good. Got a couple on a WTD popper but it didn't seem to take. Pattern was fish were of scattered location.

River habitat really started to look great about 2/5th's the way through the wade. Riffles increased, log jams decreased, and we were often in shade. Brett lost a 16" fish just before lipping. I just kept with Sammy with connections increasing but still a low catch rate. Got one on tube. Lots of cookie cutter 12-13" smb, but few dinks. Delightful.

Brett started fooling with a 5" fluke and started catcing fish. A thin 16"er, then I got a 15" on a zulu fluke, and Brett another.

Sammytime happened to the tune of a 16.75" smallie for me that had most of its lips removed by a poor hook remover. Three more to hand on Sammy when I had a large fish come completely out of the water. Viewed the entire fish tail up to head in the water.

Brett fluttered a fluke deep into a deep root wad. I saw a nice smallie come out and turn away with the fluke in tow. Another 16"+ SMB for Brett. I picked up a couple nice ones on fluke and then a couple 16.5"-16.75" smallies at the backs of pools on Sammytime. The pattern had developed. The backs of pools, but not necessarily the fronts. We each traded off dinks and 12"'s then Brett hit one short of 16" and another two as I picked up a 15" on Sammy at the back of a pool.

Later I bomb casted a 17" as we ran into bikini hatch that spoiled one of the best looking pools.

Then we found a pool 15'+ deep. I hooked up with a pig that came off to it s front, and Brett picked up a fish on spinnerbait. half mile up from the 15' hole we found two parts of the stream rejoining like a pincer. After a couple poor cast by me I hit the tail end of the pool where the swirl created any eddy. BLAMMM! Finally the bigger fish we had been wondering about. When I got it close it was really bigger than I had expected, a full 20.25"!!!

Brett fished the top of the swirl and had a giant explosion fail to connect his Sammy. A few casts later I saw another huge brown bass come half out of the water and it was at least 18", but I'd guess also in the heifer range. Two misses, two hard splashes and dejection. Brett pounded around the fish's ambush point and finally pulled in a much smaller bass. i caught a couple more on fluke, had some more Sammy action, but it seemed like they could no longer see it well enough to connect as the Tstorms rolled in.

The second half of the wade was a blast and a complete surprise. We could have had another dozen or so fish with bass flopping off or staying hooked, numbers a little low for an 8-8.5 hour wade, but plenty og 16"= and a couple of chances at real pigs!

BH 23 SMB (17.5", 3-16-16.5", couple 15"'s) 1 goog, shiner.

BT 21 (20.25", 17", 4-16-16.75" couple 15"'s)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pic dump from 7/27/11 report

29 bass-28 smb (18.5", 18", 17.5",17.25", 2-17", 16.5" 3-15"), 1 lmb, 3 misc fishes

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Run and Gun Topwater Maadness 7/13/2011

Got on the water shortly after 1pm. Late start again. Had to be back in Indy around 5, so I don't know why I picked a 3.5 mile wade:oops: . Fishing was...


Almost complete Wake Bait Toss ripping in current, at the backs of pools. They chased and chased. Lost a couple bruisers due to dull hooks, or it could have been ridiculous for size too. Tried to move fast and cover ground, but I kept catching fish. Some of the jumps in quick succession were nuts.

5th bass was 19" and I knew something was up.

Sharp hooks, efficient lure, covering lots of ground fast when smallies were aggressive. They were even coming out of cover and deeper water to chase.

Lots of dinks, but lots of 15"+ bass too.

Last 17"er was on a Sammy, but the action wasn't nearly as hot.

74 SMB (19", 17.5", 17", 4-16-16.5", 8 15"+) 1 Goog. Covered 3.5 miles in less than 6 hours

Saturday, July 9, 2011

7/8/11 2 stream wade

This one had a little bit o' everything. I drew a circle on the map. The circle was to match my route downstream one flow into a bigger flow, upstream 2 miles to the bridge where Fishbike awaited me in the woods.

After camouflaging the bike on the side of a hill, I drove the one mile to the put in. Problem guy was mowing the land adjacent to my put in. Instead of the short cut 30 feet to the river past the "No Trespassing" sign, I followed the road to where a bridge used to be through the thicket. 15' drop. Oops. Well the guy saw me go in there so it was hang drop or red face the blocked path. Tossed my rod down, jumped on a thin tree which I rode down as it failed to support me. Grabbed some rocks and scaled down. Should take up mountain climbing.

Quickly discovered fish in shallow, shaded choke points at the back of pools. Destroying Sammy. This went on for about 2 miles. Lots of nice ones and stupid. Explosive. It was great fun tippy toeing in the shade and threading Sammy into tight spots to see the bait annihilated. Perfect bait for a stream like this where if the fish sense you they are gone.




I got to 32 Smallies by the time I stepped out including an 18, 17.25" and 3-16"ers.
 Fishing stunk for like a mile. Caught another 16" on Spook Jr, and then picked some up on a buzzbait as the sun got lower. Went on a good run and got to 22 with lots of 12"ers. It all came together as the buzzbite picked up right at the bridge and Fishbike was still on the hill. Maybe 8 minutes and I'm back at the car re-hydrating on hot car water thinking of what I had just witnessed.

8 hours in the sun, 54 Smallies (18", 17.25", 4-16-16.5", 3-15"ers)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Smallmouth Fishing Heating Up 7/6/2011- Sammy Time!

I am trying to get out early rather unsuccessfully this year. Something slows progress. I did get to the water today just before 10, with bike up one bridge in the woods.

Water was looking sweet. Low and clear, lots of shade.

Started out with Sammy 100, Wakecrank, crank, tube . All they hit was the Sammy, so I stuck with it. For a while it was all dinks, but later the big girls woke up. In a rock strewn, shady, chokepoint a big fish connected. As it headed downstream I could see he was foul hooked and easily in the 17"+ range. Lots of pressure on that one hook, finally it pulled free. . Threw back slightly upstream of the last fish and several attacked. I got the smaller one at 12", played it, watching another 17-18"er contemplate taking the Sammy out of its mouth. Using one fish as bait worked to some degree as big boy took a swing and I felt it nail the Sammy. All the hooks were in the hooked fish! Foiled twice in two casts!

Neared a bend with deep water on the outside bend. Sweet spot. High bank on the bend, laydowns without too many branches, rocky substrate. Nothing bit until I got the start of the bend in shade at a riffle. Walking Sammy back, I saw a fish turn back, so I quickly threw back out. About 8' of walking and WHAMMO! In my face. Good fish, good fight. 17.5":

From there, the 'faster' water exploded left and right with hookups every other fish or so. To my surprise a 15" and 16" smallmouth were both caught out of fast shin deep water below a huge pool.

Hit another nice riffle run. Nailed a 12" on a competition strike. Next cast went a little further under low branches and the water erupted in froth! Airborne! Zig>>>>>>>Zag<<<<<<<<. Another nice 17"+ smallmouth. At the top of this pool was a foam cover eddy with a small laydown that sunk into the small hole there. Most of the 'hole' was on the other side of the laydown. Sammy was getting ignored, so I tossed a chart crankbait just across the laydown. Paused. No sooner had it landed, when the water erupted. Impact strike!

This fish was quickly on the laydown, so I let him have slack and he swam off the laydown for me. Fight was again on. She got in fast current and bulldogged, but came to hand. Another 17"+ smallie!

I stepped to the back of the next riffle gingerly, it opened into a wider pool patchworked with shade on the surface and torn flat stone below. First few casts with Sammy, dink action. I moved up and had a few violent explosions resulting in misses and 13"er. On the other side of the river, I stayed in the shade of a high bank and watched two large smallies on patrol. Thought they saw me for sure. I was glad I hadn't waded up the middle of the creek, instead sticking as far away as I could manage. There were smallmouth of all sizes everywhere. The big boy was very interested in my Sammy. Three times he made a play for it and turned away.

As I moved up slowly in the shade, I threw further and further. Now I was getting the fish at the head of the pool. I had pulled a handful but now was past the spot and figured the bass were good and spooked because the attacks had stopped. On last hail marry downstream into the area I had seen the large bass--->>>>>>>>>BOOSH. BOOOSH!!!! The big girl struck! BAAAAAAAM!!! Impact hit. Fight was on and seriously ridiculously long fish for this little stream. Measured a hair short of 20".

Got a few more below the bridge then powerwalked to a cut in the bedrock. Maybe where they got the got the stone for the bridge? Smallies were hungry in there: 15", 16", 12", 2 dinks and lost a real chunk on a jump. Sammy time is here!

Got 28 SMB in just over 5 hours (19.9", 2-17.5", 17", 2-16" 2-15") one on a tube, the surface hit on the crankbait and the rest Sammy 100.

Tried to get rolling on 5 streams in a day, but the next stop was too quiet, I headed home early.

Thinking back on the day and how important it had been to stay out of sight. Bass were everywhere in the water, but I could seldom see them first. When I was quiet in the shade they often revealed themselves. Sight fishing is exciting when you can get it.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Quick Wade 7/1/11

Waded a small stream with bike shuttle intact.

Second cast was the largest of the day, just under 17".

Mostly wakebaits, with tubes in the rootwads to pick up a few more. Was at 21 smallies in the first hour. Tore 'em up.

Noticed smallies would try to grab the bait away from hooked fish, so let the hooked fish play a couple times to go for doubles. It worked:

Got off the water at 5 pm with 39 smallmouth (3-16-16.99", 2-15") and 1 goog in 4 hours. Less than 5 minutes to get back to the car on bike shuttle. Beautiful.

Got the old pull up, "Did you catch anything?" He said they used to catch 19"-20"ers in there. I think I've hit thin 18" once or twice, but they are rare in there. Lucky to get 17". On the DNR list of "slow growth" streams. Good for action though. Didn't see any Smallie fry.