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