Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mike 2/25/2012

I pulled a thick 18" out of an eddy at the first spot. We had floated over some smallies in sunshine right off the bat. Water was clear. Day was windy. Depending on direction of stream you'd have to paddle to go downstream or be absolutely calm.

Mike yanked an old fly jig off a rock. He tried to catch a fish on it, but it didn't work out.



The middle of the float was nearly empty until I had a nice sized SMB pull off my crank unhooked.
We hit a large pool. I got one one 8" on FnF, before crankbaits started ticking over sucker schools and occasionally, a nice smallmouth.
I got this chunk 18.25" then Mike lost two in like 3 casts. I played with some suckers.

Mike had a nice fish follow his crank back to his yak before turning away at the last moment. We think he got it a few casts later. 17.5"


Chartreuse crankbaits in Winter Pools slow water to no movement.

Mike would have had more, the Strike King KVD has terrible hooks. Absolutely catch fish. Hooks need replacing with Gamakatsus.

BT 5 SMB (18.25", 18") 2 Golden redhorse 17-19", 1 Quillback 15-16".
MC 1 SMB 17.5"

Friday, February 17, 2012

Some Exciting Signs 2/17/20012

Yes, ours aren't often, bronze or brown.
Thought I'd hit a stretch of river I'd kind of given up on as not supporting the fish it once did. Haven't been to this stretch all of last year and gave up on it really back in 2010.

Water was rising from rains and stained 18" visibility. With overhead sun warming, near perfect late Winter conditions. Visibility had been nearly 5' just last week.

I started out on a high bank lined with green pricker vines that choke on any cast you try to make. Measure every cast or else. Ground was mostly frozen still. Maybe a quarter inch of thawed ground then hard. I didn't need to be slipping down this bank. There was a steep slide into chest deep water. I once took the slide to grab a pig, I'd have to do the same if I got lucky and hooked one here.

To make casting FnF less of a chore, I debuted one of my new 1/8th oz snag less BT special hair jig sans float. Basically, a 1/8th oz wire guard Wallyworld Tube jig with like a 2/0 or so hook. Tie on some black, red, brown, craw flash with the red thread. Toss. Repeat. Soon, I had a tell tale tick and yanked a surprised 13" smallie reverse cliff dive style. :)

Always a rush to land that first cold water fish. Tells you a lot. Earlier in the day, the better. I tired of the long, high, pricker bank I left for another upstream hole. Here, I nailed 3 fish in 20 or so casts with a FnF jig free lined in 5-8' of water. The two largest, (15-15.75") were hooked under their jaw. Telling me they had picked the bait pointing down on it to where the long shank was outside their mouths when they bit the front. I just couldn't figure out which direction they can from. Soon crossed to the other side of the pool. Hooked up there quickly with the braid rod and 1/8th BT Hair special. As the jig came to the end of a log in slack- thunk! Another 15.5" SMB. Then a dink flops off the larger jig on the backswirl off a sandbar. I go to the sandbar to fish and pull another hard fighting smallmouth bass off the log from a different angle, 14".

Next stop, I hit three dinks, 2 freelining, one on the float, lose what feels like a nice fish on the BT special on my braid rod (drag tightened and I'm sure I had that fish helicoptering!

Back in the car to some rip rap like they use to keep erosion from happening: Sidewalk, blacktop, etc. Not pretty, but holds fishes. Float dunks and a 12" SMB gets me to 10. I am about to quit, so I try the 1.5 RC LC imitator from Strike King Kevin Van Dam Square Bill chartreuse crank- with rattle. Parallel to the banks in the slack and not really slow. Kind of too fast. They react! Crank is bouncing along and off large rip rap, when it just stops. Hell Broke Luce! Zig-zag. Not used to braid rod getting so much abuse. I get the pig to shore with one hook of six embedded 1/4" into the skin/bone of the bottom jaw :shock: . Measures an 18.5". Thick. Biggest so far this year.


Release him downstream, from my original position firing upstream along the rip rap, into the shallowing of the eddy. Thunka, thunka, thunka, STOP! Snagged? Nope, another nice smallmouth bass of size. Fights. He's well hooked. 18"


Released downstream. Fire back the same direction. After about 5 casts, I'm really burning it in again and it stops dead like hung on a fence. Then it rips drag and feels bigger yet. Doesn't turn out to be, but maybe the coolest looking, 17":


Glad I tried the crank out, thought about it before but there was too much wood and depth for what I had brought.

13 SMB 4 hours 15 minutes (18.5", 18", 17", 3-15-15.75")

2012 INSA Smallmouth Stravaganza- Next Saturday!!!!

Great event with a great group of guys and gals. Some nice stuff to bid on, catered meal and beer available.

Be there!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Not a Bad Day 2/15/2012

Fished on Wednesday. First part was via kayak. Really quick action to start with a 17.5", 18.25", 14" in the first half hour.


Little trickle of rain shut them down after. Drug kayaks back took to another creek with less water. Guessed correctly that our slow gray warm up effected big stream less and small stream more. Bingo. 9 SMB in an hour most 13-15.5" with a couple dinks and a thick 17".


Last 4 were caught freelining black/red/brown fly jig. Slow hop, drop and sit, slow drag, shake. Combination of all those seemed to get bit. Fish were just 'on'.

4.5 hours 13 SMB (18.25", 17.5", 17, 2-15")

Friday, February 10, 2012

More Indiana Smallmouth Bass on Float and Fly 2/9/12

Failing to hook up with Jon and Brett. I floated a couple big pools, and walked a third. Maybe .75 mile float and that far dragging back.

Hit as many quick holes, hopping from bridge to bridge with my kayak in the back. 5 fish in the first hour 14-18" off a long ledge. Fell into a trap of hitting the pool below. Got a dink on the way but it was a huge time sink as I made a bad cast with my last float, spent too much time freeing, then lost the fly in the drink. A special black, brown, red, with copper colored flashaboo. So declothed and swam down after it, gripping it with my teeth like a dolphin. That's a lie. Rolled the sleeves up and grabbed her. 45 minute detour for 1 dink. :evil::evil::evil::twisted: Mistake that would cost more fish. Killing time on a hot bite.


Second spot on foot. 17"er, couple of 14"'s.


Bass were where I thought they'd be. Even saw the 15"er take the fly from above, which was really cool. Dark shadow (I think, but not sure) float barely tweeks. He's on. ;) Visibility was 4'. Really helped me drift along ledges and see target boulders. Got out in 15 minutes as the spot was spent.

The last pool and longest float down to the last pool I pitched over to some slack along a slower bank, float dunked on the dead drift, a 16"er ran all over the place. Target pool actually was a dud. Again. Just a dink, then a 13" off the bank as I was packing it in. Could have been a stellar day if only that pool was on. For a second, thought about hitting one more as it was 5:30 by the time I dragged back. The sun was out briefly. I chose to go see if the lads were done and how they'd done. Looks like they'd just finished up.

12 SMB all on float and fly (18",17",16", 2-15") about 4.5 hours of fishing including my tree mess. Smallmouth were fighting hard for the time of year.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012