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")