Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Playin' Hooky 3-20-13

Had some chores to finish, took the day off from work. Figured I might try and wet a line later. Looked at the forecast. Nice and cold, 28F w/ winds up to 40 mph, but occasionally sunny too. Lots of layers helped, but damn was it cold!

Took my kayak but started on foot. A quick 15"er and then three more behind bridge piling, when I found the correct casting angle.

Went on with my float. Shelves and cracks are underwater structure that smallmouth love. Fished one pretty hard with wind trying to blow me upstream. Got a couple to 18.25" down from the shelf in the sun. Didn't take a picture of this fish as it was painfully thin and probably on its deathbed- skinny and a suction/piercing wound behind the head. Finally found the sweet spot with a float and fly drift fish. I followed this up with the hair jig along bottom for 5 more and couple pop offs.  I liken this kind of fishing to fishing on the bottom deep in a lake, you have to stay slow and keep rod movements to a minimum or you move the jig too much.

Left and floated the rest of the stretch. Lots had been changed by recent high water. Much of the wood had been removed changing things quite a bit. Couldn't get anyone knocking down deep, then pitched into a shallower boulder hole near the current and hooked a 2' carp that came to hand. Got out and hooked a dink, which I saw strike the fly jig in front of me. Later had a 13" fish follow the jig back and pull away at the last second when he saw me. Just the carp and dink in that whole waste of time. Headed back up to my ledge where I picked 4 more including this fat 18.75"er on float and fly. That fat fish tore ass!


16 SMB (18.75", 18.25", 16.5", 2-15") 1 24" carp.


  1. Admire your passion and skill to catch some nice smallmouth under difficult conditions. Leaving out the Winter season, if limited to only 4 different lures for the March to November season to catch smallies in streams/small rivers, what would you choose? I know it's more of an intellectual exercise than a practical question, but I would be very interested in knowing which 4 lures you would select. Thanks, JQ

  2. John, thanks for the kind words. 4 lures>>>> 4" tube (3/16th to 1/4oz EWG jig texposed), a Rick Clunn Lucky Craft style square bill crankbait 1.5 size (fair knock offs out there), a Sammy 100, Lucky Craft jointed Wakecrank 1.5. Really not enough to cover all situations, just lures I wouldn't want to be without at some point during the year.

  3. Thanks for sharing your top 4 lures. Over the winter I went thru my previous year's notes and conmpiled a list of which lures brought in the most 16" or larger SMB; four lures stood out from the rest. Ranking in order: 1) Flukes, 4" and 5"; 2) Rapala Jointed Minnow, can be fished as a topwater, wake bait, or shallow water crank; 3) Rebel Jumpin' Minnow, a "walk-the-dog" stickbait similar to a Zara Puppy but slightly larger; 4) Rapala Husky Jerk,especially in Tenn. Shad color, effective in early Spring and late Fall when water temps are 50 to 60 degrees. The water temp. was 52 degrees here in TN when I fished two days ago in a nearby stream and caught 6 SMB and 4 LMB, all on the Husky Jerk.

  4. John, those will work. Are you fishing mostly shallower streams? Do you have a lot of exposed roots and wood, or more rock?

    Thanks for reading.

  5. To answer your questions, I have been wading mostly small streams but purchased a kayak last fall and began to fish a couple of small rivers(100' wide, 3'-8' deep) and hope to fish the rivers more this year. As a side note, I know how you love to fish the Sammy 100 and saw where Strike King has recently introduced a pretty close replica of the Sammy called the KVD Sexy Dawg, at about half the price of the Sammy 100, in sizes 3 3/4" and 4 1/2"; might be worth looking at.

  6. Ah, neat. Sammy 100 You can get them on ebay for cheaper ,typically catch 400+ fish on one, so price is not an issue. There have been imitators for years. Buying the others doesn't save me anything if they don't catch fish as well or I have to earn the confidence in them. Lots of the imitators are junk. I'll take a look at these KVD's, though thanks. Strike King stuff- first thing I do is throw the hooks straight in the garbage, but his square bill cranks seem to catch bass well once the hooks are gone.