Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Streaking 18"ers And Joe Dimaggio

Joe Dimaggio's 56 game hitting streak seems like an almost unbreakable record today. It required consistency, patience, luck.
I think a similair record in Indiana river smallmouth fishing would be landing an 18"er in 10 consecutive outings. Looking back in my notes I have the following streaks: 6 consecutive outings at least one 18" smallmouth bass in 2011. 5 Consecutive outings at least one 18". Four times, I've done 4 outings in a row with at least one 18"er. Numerous three game hitting streaks. Even had a 4 outing 20"er streak last year.
I know some of these probably ended because I was unaware of the streak and fished a low probablity creek or river. Maybe I gave up too soon. But it would be very hard to aim to hit this streak going after an 18"each time. I would just get bored. I don't like to fish the same stretches of any river very often. Feel like this is bad form. After all, I want to know it was my fishing skill and not a lucky spot.
So against me accomplishing the 10 outing 18"er streak is my own spreading the love around. The weather is also a key factor, as well as the spawn.
I like the idea of trying to one day hit this in Indiana. Here's to Dimaggio and the 10 outing 18"er streak. May you start one soon.


  1. BT,
    If you can meet your challenge we might have to start referring to you as "The Joe D. of the Smallmouth World." My best streak of 18 inchers last year was only 3 straight trips.
    I remember going over 2 years worth of fishing notes during the past winter and discovering a general fact that I usually caught twice as many 16 inchers than 17", twice as many 17 inchers than 18" and so on. Going up just one inch in the size class led to a 50% reduction in the number of fish caught. If this rather broad principle is generally true, then 16inchers are roughly 16 times more common than a 20incher, an 18incher 4 times more common than a 20" smallie; this might be fairly close to the actual results we find in a season's worth of stream fishing.
    I believe you're correct focusing on the 18inchers; I've always believed trophy SMB begin at the 18" size, at least in the middle TN streams. Good luck with your challenge. JQ

  2. Ive caught 3 18" smallies in my 30+ years of fishing here in east central Illinois. All I know is you must have some awesome water over your way and I hope your streak continues. I went today and caught 4 dinks 5" to 10" on my fly rod lol. You ever try fly fishing for smallies BT? Highly addictive!

  3. Thanks for the comments guys. I appreciate your comments.

    CM66-Does Indiana have awesome water? Hmmmm. I've only fished here, but looking at the huge fish caught in other rivers in other states- not awesome, we're not Wisconsin, MN, PA,MO,MI, VA. It requires A LOT of effort to do what I do. The 63 fish day on 8/3 was a wade of 5.5 miles, 12 hours, hundreds of casts. That's not the 'water', few people are willing to put that much work in and really study year round smallmouth behaviour.

    I don't fly fish. It just isn't that effective for smallmouth bass in a lot of situations. It doesn't adapt well to changes. The casting range is too short for low water, the lures don't sink well for high water, so you're left with needing somewhat perfect conditions and I question whether it is good for your wrists. That said I'm glad people do it. Fly fishemen are a great crowd, generally.

    John, when you say 16"ers, do you mean all the bass between 16-16.99"? It varies from year to year. I do know I've gotten better at catching larger bass. I know the types of places to find them and in the Cold months I target them there.

    Typically since 2010, I'm catching as many 17"-17.99" SMB as 18-22"ers combined. Some years like 2007, I caught almost twice as many 17's. In 2007, I also caught more 17's (93) than 16's (88). A nice crop of 2009 saw me catch more 18-21"(58) than 17's (47) by a wide margin. I typically catch 25-33% more 16 than 17's. The random variances of fishing many places, weather, and strong year classes. Also, growth rates can be vastly different from stream to stream.

  4. Oh, and thanks on Streak Well wishes. I wasn't currently on one. Just another guy I know claimed a streak of 10. What he had was actually 6/13 or more. Fishing logs remember! I am at 5/6, and currently on a streak of two after last night.

    Get after them fellas, let me know how you did!

  5. 18"er streak has extended to 5 in a row and 8/9. Fishing was nuts last weekend. 17" Streak up to 12 in a row.