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.