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.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Things That Can Go Wrong Wading Indiana Streams

So you want to catch smallmouth bass in Indiana? A little afraid of what might happen when you get down in the creek or river valley?

Fret not, here is a list of things that might happen to you.

1 Dehydration
2 Broken rod
3 Broken/bound reel
4 Gravel sand in your shoes
5 Stinging nettles
6 Poison ivy- no immediate effect
7 Beaver traps
8 Barbed wire fences strung across the creek or eroded off a bank strung amongst river structure
9 Sore ankles/knees from walking on river rock
10 Worn out from walking on sand.
11 Break a shoelace.
12 Spring a leak in your waders
13 Landowner confrontation
14 ATV's in the river or creek
15 Hunters
16 Shooting practice-stray bullet/arrow
17 Darkness
18 Rain
19 Snow
20 High wind
21 Falling branches
22 Hook yourself
23 Sweat or other substance (bug spray) in eyes
24 Lose car keys
25 No cell phone service
26 Lost
27 Run out of fishing line
28 Cold
29 Hot
30 Cuts from brush/ handling fish
31 Rabid dog/raccoon, etc...
32 Territorial dog
33 Slips, trips and falls
34 Infection from water
35 Bathroom use
36 Bad fishing
37 Expensive lure in tree
38 Path blocked by log jam, thick thicket, fence, etc...
39 Water too deep to circumvent
40 Spider bite, snake bite, etc...
41 Hunger
42 Heat exhaustion
43 Allergies
44 K-bar jutting out from rip rap
45 Rock slide, mude slide, bank collapse
46 Inadequate foot gear leading to loss in comfort or ease of travel
47 Running out of the 'hot' lure of the moment
48 Conservation officer
49 Vines tripping you wearing you out
50 Stepping in an animal carcass, smell an animal carcass
51 Annoying locals- noisy, punks, aggressive, etc...
52 Ticks
53 Leeches

So as you can see, no reason to leave the house!

2011 INSA Camp and FIsh 8/26-8/28/11

Indiana Smallmouth Alliance has a tradition of putting on a Camp and Fish event each year. This year we were at Tippecanoe State Park near Winamac, IN August 26-28th. Thursday to Sunday. Lots of great times, yummy food, and new favorite lawn game "Kubb Spiel". We had 15 attendees this year.

Andy got 9 Northern Pike on a wade Thursday

Weird stream. You can see down 4-5' in direct light with perfect clarity, yet would have a hard time making much out due tothe dark brown and yellow bottom. All they would hit really were 5" flukes.

Multi species day SMB, pike, googs, crappie. We ended with about 16 SMB, 10 Northerns, 5 Rock Bass, and a crappie. biggest smallie below, 14". Lots of slaps on the fluke which were 8-10" smb. Probably would have cleaned up with a 3" fluke.

Zach M and I did a wade on Friday, driving about 35 minutes south to fish a creek there. Big difference instead of swamp and wood we had rock and silt no flow. Tubes and grubs we had 33 SMB biggest 3 16.5", 15.5", couple 14"'s.

Saturday MC and I floated the Tippecanoe river down south. Dead sea for 4 hours, but we knew it would be a PM bite on a sunny day. Fish went absolutely nuts for 2-3 hours and we paddled out in the middle of the frenzy to finish the 9 miles before dark. Too long of a float to ever finish and we left a lot of fish behind in the hour+ of paddling. Action was great. Nailing a lucky craft splashtail 90 again and again. Fun. Topwater. Can't beat it.

53 SMB/2 LMB/2 KY 1 sauger. Wakecrank then LC SPT 90. Biggest 19.5" then a 15".

The Birds and the Bass 9/13/11

Got on the water by 9am this morning. Haven't been this way in a month at least. Not much flow and lots of leaves on the slow pools made them hard to fish.

Got 10 on the found spinnerbait in the AM before the bite died off. Then a couple on fluke, then that was useless for a long time. Fish were there. Been on this stretch earlier this year with Brett. Wood ducks here and there, maybe a turtle, some vultures- then....

Redtailed Hawk. Was about 30' from me up in a tree. Never been that close without being in a car or kayak.

I threw shakey head french fry and pulled this 17"+ er off a deep rootwad. Chunky.

Next cast, a bass about 15-16" yanked my french fry. I only had one left and the seemed to want it if you let it sit in likely places. later a 15" from deep in wood. Then I lost the other worm out of my pocket after doing everything to keep it together- matches- reforming the tear etc. I was halfway through the wade. Nothing was working and I was halfway through the wade when I decided to run and gun a buzzbait and get out of dodge. Predictable results.

Burning the buzzbait as fast as I can was one thing I haven't done recently. It worked. First cat, this 17" fish and then another a couple later:

Found this fresh dead Wood duck-I guess it was dead didn't poke it. Great actor if it was faking.

Buzzbait bite was on.

Highlighted by this 19" chunk in the same spot Brett missed several fish way back in the day. It initially missed a buzzbait, but I threw a fluke in and it got nailed. What a fight and 17" followed him in. Turned and fired up the other creek branch and nailed another 15" on BB.

Got done at 5.

25 SMB (19", 17.25", 17", 4-15") green sunfish, shiner, chub, Goog in about 8 hours

Friday, September 9, 2011

Now that's different 9/8/11

59 degree air temps, overcast,  and a spinnerbait bite.Quite different from running and gunning topwaters just last week in 93 degree temps.
25 SMB in 5.5 hours (18.5", 17", 3-15")
Been a good year.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Techno Minnow Cometh 9/1/11

Several things planned fell through, when that happens, it opens up for FISHING. *Interlude* Can I just say how great it is to have mowed my lawn once in the last two months?

I got to my place via giant golden octopus. Get yourselves one of these. It really helps with bike shuttles and whatnot. Slid down the yellow brick road to the creek and was immediately greeted by a wave of heated butter on my face and other moist parts. I could see out of my sunglasses less than 15 minutes today. No matter. Water was super low and fish were sucking up that breathable stuff.

Stepped a couple feet in and whammo 17"+ on impact. Off. I had returned the Pflueger President XT (blue gold) for the second time in two months. This time I picked up a Shimano Stradic. Smooth, so smooth, casts like a dream. A couple bail closing issues. But so far so very good.

At the first riffle, I must have had 15 strikes. Most missing and losing most of those who did touch the Techno2000. One was another nice bass that was followed by a larger. When I let him swim to try to hook the larger he got off. So there went a 16-17"er. 2 lost already. A bass was causing waves and chasing all over. Threw in and got a 16.99" smallie to hand.

Run and gun to the next bubbly stuff. Big miss. Shallow water. Something told me the fish would hit again since it had completely missed. Did. Green-brown mouth monster with fins. 19.5"

Run and gun to next bubbly. Pick up a dink amoungst many misses. Sucking slaps that wouldn't connect. SUUUUCK. SUUUCCK. SUUUCCCCK. Zilch.

Throw over by rock....KERBLOOOSHUSS!! See fish turn and gone. No more play. Couple more slaps. Run and gun to next bubbly. This is hot like being on the sun. At least there is no water to get in to cool off. 3.5 mile wade+ bike shuttle? Why would you do that?

Dink. I say Dink. Can you give me a dink now? Dink on the hook. SUUUCK. No dink. SUUUUCK. that's a dink, follow?

Then: BOOMSPLASH!!!! -Man and fish are doing the line to mouth below water limbo. Him shaking head and me counterpressuring like a game of chess and his royal pigness aims skyward to launch Techno2000 back into space from whence it came.

Upon landing-

I look close. The FISH HAS NO FACE! Someone has removed one lip, then recently another. Looks alot like the millionairess that keeps having all the work done. It was big though. Tried to get it's better side so as not to humiliate it. 18.5"

A 16" to hand. He was frisky as all creatures with energy and a tendency to wobble can be splashing and swimming back and forth trying to get free from my cruelty. Numbers piled up. I had a choice between branch A and branch B, with branch A typically being loaded with dinks and a 15"er. I went down B. I was tired of the SUUUCKS, which would not connect. It worked. The other way was the meal ticket. A 15" in some push wanted Techno M for dinner. Then a 13" off a rootwad topped off by a long skinny 18.25"

Kept working this normally empty wood along side B and nailed a 15", then a 14" then a dink and another 15". Bass were connecting now as it had passed 5 pm.

Picked this 17" off a rootwad like we used to do back in the day. It too displayed notable frisk.

Kept going picking off a few more 10-13"ers. I was pretty beat and skipped the last pool. Got on Fishbike and headed the 4= miles back to robot car shuttle then home base. Wife had grilled me up tomato mozzerella basil grilled cheese that was off the hook. Actually 2. MVP.

33SMB in 6.5 hours (19.5", 18.5", 18.25", 17", 16.99", 16", 4-15")