Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Sunny Day Smallies

The dog days of summer were dragging on  and the heat had been constant, barely getting below 20 degrees at night. After getting a taste of Smallmouth Bass fishing recently, it was time for another trip.  The nearest lakes with smallies are a 2 to 3 hour drive away so it was a very early start. The moon was full and the Perseid meteor showers were on their last few days, we passed many young of the year foxes prowling the highway shoulders as well as a few owls. As we got close to our destination we witnessed over the course of 20 minutes, what I believe was four pieces of space junk burn up in the atmosphere and sparkle downward.

Being fairly new to bass fishing I lacked the confidence I typically have going in to a day of fishing, that all changed after my first cast. A light tap at the end of my line and I set the hook only to have the fish instantly torpedo out of the water and shake it. A few more casts of my four inch tube and another bite, the fish didn't feel to heavy and I got it to shore with ease, a nice 12 incher quickly released.  Frodo had one hit and a miss on the top water lure he was trying and it seemed the tube was getting more action so he tied on a 3 inch tube and cast out to an almost instant hit. The battle was on and I reeled in to be net boy, the fish made a few acrobatic leaps out of the water and he kept the line tight. After a few short runs it was in the net, in my opinion it was the nicest coloured of the day and measured out at 16.5 inches.

We tried many lures throughout the morning but it seemed that the bass were holding to the bottom and finesse jigging tubes or swim baits was the ticket. There was the occasional take of a top water lure but sadly no reel hook ups. I've gotta say that the feeling of a bass on the line is second to none, I hooked into, fought and eventually lost one that felt like a log. Slowly zigging and zagging along the bottom going where ever it wanted to, it suddenly burst out of the water when I least expected it and spit the hook. It looked like the grandma to the 16-17 inchers we were landing. It was clear I needed all the practice I could get fighting these feisty smallies.

After about 2 hours, the bite seemed to die off, before moving to a new shore spot I tied on a power bait swim bait and tried bouncing it along the bottom for a few casts. After my third retrieve something slammed the lure at full force and I drove the hook home. It peeled off like a pike on a run, and that's exactly what Frodo thought it was, I thought differently however and as it breached a few feet out of the water we saw it was a smallie. Many more gut wrenching runs and a few more leaps and it was near the net only to tear off on one final charge and head shaking leap. To my relief we finally got it in the net and it measured out at 17.5 inches, my new personal best. Without another bite for 30 minutes we decided to move on and try other spots.

We spent a couple hours throwing everything in the tackle box at them only getting a few bites each. We worked a rocky shoreline finding 3 to 12 inchers with one bigger smallmouth cruising the shallows, we were spotted long before it was I'm sure. We also fished some weedy bays as well without any luck. The mid day heat was getting to me and I took to dipping my hat in the water providing a few short minutes of cool. With a lack of action at all the spots we tried, we decided to head back to our original spot and hope for the best.

Earlier in the day I had mentioned that the only thing that could make the day better would be one over 18 inches. Wouldn't you know the last fish of the day would be just that. Frodo had spent a lot of time working different top water lures and after countless casts he had a huge splash of a take and a solid hook up. After an impressive fight and two passes at the net it was landed 19.75 inches of brute bass. The biggest I had seen in person, it motivated us to fish on and that we did. Alas another hour of fishing and not a bite, with over 2 hours of driving home and some things to take care of that evening we were reluctantly on our way. The long drive home we contemplated what the evening bite might have been like and when we could get back next.