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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/23/2018 in all areas

  1. 23 points
    Recently, I competed in a tournament on Milford Lake, out in Kansas where @Bluebasser86 resides. I could talk for quite some time about the tournament itself, but I think most of you know enough about it already, so I won't go into detail about the format. I will say, those were some strange smallmouth out there, they didn't read the smallmouth rulebook. We only had one practice day, so our competition days were also used to dial in the lake further, because one day can only teach you so much about a place. Much of this post is going to be about how I adapted to changing conditions throughout the week, I am really proud of my decision making and how well things panned out. I am working on treating each tournament day somewhat like a day of fun-fishing, where I would never try to force something even though "it worked the day before". I think we can all learn to be better tournament anglers and fishermen in general if we are willing to go with the flow a little bit while out on the water. I have kept an open mind and adjusted lot this year during tournaments, it has helped tremendously. (and yes I know I'm not even close to the first to say this!) Competitors are allowed to talk to one another about the lake, so my tournament partner Casey and I shared information about our practice day. We both spent about half of our time shallow, and half of it out deep. I started on the north end of the lake, and spent about 3 hours there. I didn't catch a single bass, but Casey found some topwater smallmouth action on the south end by the dam where he started, so I headed that way. We both assumed that the smallmouth would be in the 20'+ range this time of year, but we spent a considerable amount of time fishing deep without a single fish to show for it. It seemed like most of the (catchable, for us) smallmouth were in less than 10', topwater seemed to be the best way to catch them because you had to cover a lot of water, but if you did locate an area with some concentrated fish, a ned rig and football jig were good ways to get them to bite. Our practice day was fairly windy and overcast/rainy, so the topwater bite produced well. Casey was catching his fish on a whopper plopper 110, and I was using a super spook. We determined that the best fishing was in areas with large rocks, some type of point either main lake or secondary, and immediate deep water access. Rock transitions in particular would produce bites, but you would also catch them away from those areas. The best topwater bite during practice was after 12:00, but it was windy and rainy. I only caught 6 smallmouth on the first day of practice, which ran from daylight until 5:30, and only one of them was on a topwater. I didn't spend much time with the topwater, but Casey caught so many on it that I decided to make it my main game plan for the first day of competition. I made one really good discovery, a main lake point with all of the right stuff. It had good chunk rock that transitioned to gravel on the creek side of the point, and had a small flat in the 3-7' range, which then dropped off into 20' past a bluff that was about 10 yards out from the point. I caught one small fish on a ned rig, and a few casts later a 3lber on a football jig. Oddly enough, both fish were up on the flat, not off of the bluff like where you would think a summer smallmouth would be in 80 degree water. This further solidified the idea that we had about the bass being relatively shallow (at least when they were feeding) I left the spot after catching the nice fish, and decided I would start there on day one. Day one of competition was a night and day difference in terms of weather conditions. It was fairly calm, but still overcast, so I assumed the topwater bite would be stellar. I started on my main lake point and caught a 3lber on probably my 5th cast of the day with a super spook, I was pumped about what I assumed would be a great day of topwater action. I ran some secondary points in the creek that produced fish in practice, and it was pretty dead everywhere I went. I went back to the main lake point and caught one more keeper before we had our half-time, this time on a super spook jr, a downsize that ended up being a very good call. Despite what I thought were "ideal" topwater conditions, Kansas bass are so used to the wind that they get pretty lazy if it isn't blowing. It makes sense though, bass are very in-tune with their environment, so when something that is usually consistent changes, they are going to be sensitive to it, and it is all relative. I decided to start on that point again after halftime, and hooked a solid smallmouth on the small spook, but it jumped off. I was using 14lb mono, and after jumping that fish off I switched to braid with a leader, these fish were being very timid about eating the bait, and when a fish barely touches a hook, the braid helps it stick even if you don't react in time with a hook set. 5 casts after losing the first fish, I hooked one about the same size and got it in the boat. I caught a small keeper shortly thereafter on the spook jr, and then had 4 different blowups on consecutive casts in a small area (still on that same point). I picked up the ned rig and made a few casts into the area, picking up my 5th fish for the day. Since we only had to beat one fisherman, I decided to back off of the point, he had only caught one fish that morning and I knew he wasn't doing well. I ran some new water but didn't discover a whole lot. I ended up advancing while Casey did not, he stuck with the topwater all day and didn't have much to show for it. Had the conditions been the same as practice, he probably would have crushed them, but the fish were in a completely different mood. That main lake point was the only thing that saved my butt, I caught all 5 fish off of it that day. Day two was much better for me in terms of conditions, we had lots of wind, and it was overcast. I started on my main lake point again, prepared to throw topwaters, but that was definitely not going to happen! My trolling motor was barely staying in the water! I threw a crankbait for a few casts with no love, and decided to rig up a jerkbait. I hadn't caught any on it in practice, but it made sense to throw with all of that wind pounding the point, I figured there were probably some jacked up baitfish twirling around up there after getting smashed into the rocks by a wave. Whether or not any of that was happening, I did boat a keeper on the jerkbait fairly quickly. This was a huge confidence boost, because I hadn't been able to get any other reaction bite besides a topwater, and this gave me a different approach if there was too much wind on an area. I headed back into the creek, and fished all of the same stuff as the day before. I had to shift back and forth between a super spook and an evergreen shower blows 125 (pencil popper). There was enough chop in some places that the spook couldn't stay on the surface, and that is why I made the switch. However, the spook still seemed to be the best bait if it was calm enough to keep it on the surface, so I used it when I could. I was getting a decent number of bites, but they were being typical smallmouth and blasting the topwater into the air most of the time. When I did manage to get a hook in one, they were quality fish (over 1.5lbs, not the 13, 14, and 15oz fish that many other anglers were catching). I had one secondary point where two fish swirled on my bait and didn't get hooks. There was a decent amount of wind there, so I picked up the jerkbait and fished back through the area, picking up my best fish of the day, a 2-6, right where I had a fish chase the topwater. Again, big confidence boost! We had our halftime and the guy I was fishing against didn't have as much weight as me, but certainly wasn't out of it, and he had caught them well the day before. I was feeling great about the conditions, but it was hurting the way he was fishing, which was what I had hoped for with the weather shift. I went back out and ran the same stuff as the morning, picking up another fish in the 2.5lb range, this time on the super spook. After that , I had another fish swirl on my spook in the same place that I followed-up with the jerkbait that morning. I gave the fish about 5 minutes, then headed back down the bank to where it was, and bam-- caught it on the jerkbait, right where he was when he missed the topwater. That put me over 10 pounds, so I left the creek and looked for new water. I upgraded by an ounce but that was all, I didn't need it anyway, I advanced to the final round with about a 2 pound lead over my competitor. Day three was VERY calm. I started on "my" main lake point, and could instantly tell that things had changed drastically. During the first two competition days, the hybrid striper and white bass were thick on every bank, you could constantly see them chasing baitfish, and had to catch about 10 of them for every one smallmouth. I didn't have a single one of those buggers chase my topwater, and I did not like it at all! I fished the secondary points that produced on day one, but had zero takers, the lake seemed dead. I started running new water and got into some sub-keeper sized smallmouth on top, and finally caught one that weighed 13oz, but that was it. We had our half time an hour early because of a thunderstorm. I knew my competitor would be ahead of me before coming into the weigh-in and I prepared myself for it. He had been fishing solely with a spinning rod, and calm conditions played to his advantage. When our weights were revealed, I was 9 pounds back, and I knew he wasn't going to slow down. I hoped the storm would be followed by wind, but that didn't happen. I knew I had to make a big change. I started again on "my" point, and caught a 2 pounder on the small spook, but that was it for topwater. Part of me wanted to run my secondary points again, in hopes that the storm changed the fish's mood, but I knew I had to slow down and catch the fish that lived on that point. I had seen and caught quality fish each day there, I just had to figure out how to catch more of them. I picked up the 1/2oz football jig that I caught one fish on during practice, and caught a good fish on my first cast! I had a limit within the next 5-7 casts, and proceeded to have one of the craziest flurries of bass catching in my life. Within an hour, I had passed the biggest bag of the event by over a pound! It felt like it was all coming together, and I was feeling like it was "my time". I continued to catch fish on that point, until things slowed and I was only catching fish around 2lbs, when I needed a bite around 3lbs. I opted to leave and let the spot rest for a while, then come back for the remaining hour of fishing time I had. Upon my return, I caught two fish on the jig, but neither would cull out a smaller one. I switched to the ned rig, and got two more bites, but again, no cull. I really thought it was my time, but I ended up getting beat by 4 ounces. I didn't lose any fish, and didn't make any regrettable decisions. We both smashed them and unfortunately there can only be one winner, I just got the short end of the deal. The only thing I would do differently if I had a replay is to stay on that point for the whole time, but those fish were pretty sensitive to pressure, so I still think giving them time to rest was the right call. I had a blast out on the water, and was blown away by all of the support I got, especially from BR! Hoping to get another crack at it before my time at WVU is up! The one thing that ruffled my feathers was how many locals wanted to come up to the college competitors and tell us how much "stuff" we were "missing". For one day of practice on an unfamiliar lake, I think we had a pretty good showing, we were all dialed in on similar stuff. It's easy to talk about how much is being overlooked while you are parked in a chair watching it on a t.v. screen
  2. 22 points
    PA Fish... T-rigged ol monster, 3/8oz brass weight with a glass bead to make it go clackity-clack in the dark. Pulled it into some stuff and shook it around as I slowly brought it over whatever it is down there. I actually didn't think it was a fish, even after I set the hook! Ol' girl was heavy.
  3. 22 points
    Day 3 of my trip to my parents, caught over 40 bass today, it was a much tougher bite with the cold front rolling through after a bunch of thunderstorms came last night. We finally found the active larger ones this afternoon around some big, thick cabbage beds in about 8-10’ of water. Caught a few on spinnerbaits and a couple on a dropshot 4” Gulp minnow, but the bulk of the damage was done on a strike king rage swimmer rigged on a wide gap football head. We managed quite a few fish between 3-4lbs and several over 4, losing a couple more about 4lbs, but couldn’t seem to find anything much bigger than 4 today. Got a few small pike as well.
  4. 21 points
    So after a month of waiting for my river to clean up so I can see to wade it again, I got one day on it... It rained like a hurricane the night after and its up three feet and solid mud again. I might get to fish it in another month! Either way, my buddy has been getting big into fly fishing and he wanted to catch a smallmouth on the fly. We hit the river Sunday at 7:30 am and he caught his first smallie on the fly rod after about 3 casts! He kinda struggled the rest of the day, trying to get the hang of fishing different lures in the current while wading, but I think he got a dozen or so. We only fished maybe 3/4 mile stretch of river in 8 hours, but it is loaded with 8-12" smallies and has the occasional 2-3lber cruising around. I did what I always do, and went with a bag of senkos, some blue and chartreuse keitechs, and a bluegill plopper 90. Got one to hit the plopper but didn't hook it. I ended up with maybe 18 for the day (didn't really keep a close count after ten) Bunch of short strikes and/or missed hooksets especially on the Keitech for some reason. My biggest of the day came out of a hole that I fish all the time and know it's kind of a hot spot for these brownies to sit in when the current is up. Can't compete with AJ but I SAW one that's gotta be close to half the weight of that last giant he posted! Still had an awesome day. Haven't had the time lately to fish like I want to and the next few weekends will be much the same, but I'm looking forward to a big charter trip out to the Gulf Stream for a day!
  5. 20 points
    Did a little finesse fishing today from the bank in a clear water weedy lake just to test a few things out. Turned out rather successful overall. This one, along with the others, came on 3# yellow braid fished with a 5# fluoro leader (~4 feet). Managed 10 total - never retied - Palomar knot, not wetted. I'm sure I broke some other "rules" I'm forgetting -
  6. 20 points
    Finally ended my skunk streak near a cliff wall with a zoom finesse worm on a 1/8 oz swing head
  7. 19 points
    In the last 25 days I have been catching lots of 7-9 lbers including my PB of 9 lbs 8 ounces. All of them were caught and released. My streak of catching all of these heavy ones however ended yesterday. I have been on my Ob/Gyn rotation and catching lots of babies! Due to the long long work hours of the rotation its been 25 days since I’ve wet a line, but after my exam today I picked up a little reward for myself and stopped by the lake by my house to try it out and break the streak. Low and behold I caught my first rat fish!
  8. 19 points
    Two Tanks in the Tank today ~ Combined for 11 lbs 7 oz. Sick ! A-Jay
  9. 19 points
    I got off from work early today and was on the water by 5 or so. Fished until dark. Decided to fish the south end ( furthest from the house )Bite was slower today. Windy at first, so I fished the calmer water by the island. Caught 2-3 on the 4 inch yum dinger but it was slow. Got out past the island in the wind trying to fish weed edges .Switched to a 5 inch green and red sparkle watermelon senko, that they have been all over lately- nothing. So I decided to fish the other side of the Island out of the wind around brush and eel grass and switched to a ruby sparkle baby brush hog, on my little finesse rod .Caught 7-8 including the pictured fish. Then, with remaining daylight I went back to the far south end and caught a few more on the senko on eel grass edges. Ended up with 14.
  10. 19 points
    [August 24, 2018] As mentioned in my previous post, fall is fast approaching. The forecast for today showed a high of 73F, low of 49F, with an 11mph wind out of the SW. Arrived at Jeremy's after work around 1:45pm, (already rigged up baits the previous night for our planned trip) here is my bait selection for today... Had a few delays before the lake (Gas, Store, Construction) combined with it being a Friday and traffic at the boat ramp. We launched the boat and where headed out at ~3:00pm. We were pleased to see that even though there was high wind today, the lake was fairly calm. There is still a good amount of smoke from the local wildfires that seems to blow in or out depending on the conditions each day. We arrive at our First Location, Water Temp ~69F. Jeremy quickly hooks into the first bass of the day... 1 lb 04 oz Soon I hook into my second bass of the day (actually caught my first little dink on the grub while we were at the launch ramp earlier). After that we stopped getting bit, so we decided to move. Second location, Water Temp ~70-71F. I kept seeing a lot of activity on the graph out deep in ~30ft, so I decided to throw the lipless around for a while. Tried various retrieves, letting it sink to bottom, yo-yo, etc, but never connected with anything... Even tried fishing up shallow using the other baits, but nada. time to move... Third Location, Water Temp ~70F. This has been a common sight I've been seeing on the graph lately, and its lead me to make multiple short casts behind the boat with the grub, and I've caught numerous small bass by doing this. So... I decided to swap the plastic worm (which I wasn't using much) for this... Strike King 6XD Crankbait (Natural Shad) Had that combo in my hand for most of the early evening that we fished, and lets just say they were "chewing" cranks. Caught 4, one being my "Fish of the Day"... 16 & 1/4", 1 lb 08 oz Whats interesting was Jeremy was throwing a popper during the low light hours, and though he caught some early on with it... as the light faded the bite slowed down for him but stayed steady for me out deep. Was a good day. We each caught 5+, I caught a total of 9, and we had to leave them biting... WolfyBrandon - - - - - - - - - - [August 27, 2018] Congrats to my fishing buddy Jeremy for catching his new PB Smallmouth Bass!!! 4 lb 09 oz Post WIP, Coming Soon... WolfyBrandon
  11. 19 points
    Had another guide trip this Thursday. Rained about as hard as is physically possible while I was driving to the lake, then it just stopped 10 minutes out and only sprinkled on us a couple times. Much cooler, a good south wind, cloudy, they were biting like crazy. Had a couple guys from Georgia that were in the Navy that were in town visiting family while on leave that had never really caught any smallmouth, safe to say they have now. One of them caught his first walleye and drum also (which he was way too excited about but it was a big fish so good for him). I had a shiny new 75 Plopper waiting for me in the mailbox when I got home from work, that was pretty much what I threw the whole time and they were killing it. It accounted for my largest smallmouth of the day and likely of the year so far but my scale got wet while driving to the lake and wouldn't work. Well off the end of my 18" board and very thick would put it towards the high 3-low 4 range, biggest smallie I've caught in a few years probably. I also caught some nice ones dropshotting a wacky rigged Berkley Maxscent Hit Worm and caught some spots and largemouth flipping the Maxscent Creature Hog, first time I've gotten to mess with those baits and they seemed to work well. By the end of the day, in addition to those baits, I'd caught fish on a tube, jerkbait, 6th Sense Speed Glide, spinnerbait, jigging spoon, Ned rig, even had a couple blow up and miss on a Slammer. I "only" pushed my Bulleye 42 times by the end of the trip, but there was a lot of small ones I didn't push it for, and times where they were just coming in the boat so fast that I forgot to do it. Even sent the guys home with fillets from 2 keeper walleyes that they were super pumped about since neither had ever eaten walleye before. https://my.anglr.tech/shared/Trip/b5abc3a0-e2a2-478c-94f4-a94600f7ec90
  12. 17 points
    Last morning of my northern trip, major cold front came through last night and it was 45 deg. this morning and clear sky’s. We found the fish had slid a bit deeper and didn’t even want to touch anything fast ( no surprise), but we managed to put the smack down on em with a Berkley power tube and drop shot Gulp minnow. For a while it was a fish on every cast, we managed another 40 or so, not bad for the first major cold front of the season. Best fish was right around 4lbs but most of them were between 2-4lbs.
  13. 17 points
    Got out for an hour and a half yesterday evening with the G-daughter, mainly to make sure my trolling motor was fixed right. I decided to fish traditionally less productive areas as a challenge and they were all over the senkos again.We ended up with 12, including 3 that were 2 1/2 to 3 pounds. Trolling motor worked good, had a successful rescue of Mackayla after she got stuck up in the big oak on our island , caught some fish, and enjoyed a pretty sunset on the way home. Life is good !!
  14. 17 points
    Went out with my buddy this early morning for some top water action on the lure (hawg wobbler) that I just bought, thanks @MarkH024. Went directly to spot, shallow with some weed around island. I caught one and missed one, my buddy caught one on buzzbait and a catfish on 5" bluegill swimbait. Went to try plastic around dock and I caught only a dinks so we move again. While my buddy trolling to our last spot at pretty good speed, I let the hawg wobbler in the water about 5-10' feet behind the boat, on the sudden line pull, I yelled to him to stop and pulled in another 2-3lbers. I was laughing so hard becuz we just talked about never get top water bite far from shoreline but this happened right in middle of the lake. All in all, it was a pretty good Sunday, we spent a few hours caught a few fish, came home relax right before the sun start burning us. Video add*** be advised a lot of **** talk.
  15. 16 points
    PB’s are meant to be broken. At 3.81lbs this girl weighed in just shy of 4lbs. My biggest Hudson River Smallmouth ever. I got her on of all things, the Ned Rig. I have been shorebound this season due to some back and shoulder issues. It has been tough going so far but I was experimenting with the heavier Shroomz Nedlock jig heads on baitcasting gear and 10# line for max distance and less drift in the currant. It worked for sure today as this big ole river girl choked the TRD. The fight was intense. I had to lock down the drag and use my thumb to stop her from peeling line. Once I landed her I was able to stop a lady on the walking path to take a pic of me with it. Probably scared her half to death but I thanked her and she could see my excitement. She knew it was a special fish. Got some vids on my phone of the release soon to come. I spent a good while reviving her but she was Ok in the end. I look forward to catching her at 6lbs
  16. 16 points
    Caught this guy a little after 7pm on a green frog at Nat Caldwell Park in Hendersonville, TN. Got him by those trees you see in the background just over my right shoulder. Using 20lb mono and pulled him out of the sticks. He was 15 in, didn't have a scale though but maybe 1-2 lbs. After seeing where I hooked him, I'm lucky he didn't come off. Set the hook a little too early on another in the same spot. Can't wait for another couple weeks for the action to start picking up.
  17. 16 points
    The postal service delivers Amazon only on Sunday in our area. They're now taking pictures of packages as they're being delivered then email it to you. This is something new here for us. We have a Great Pyrenees, this breed is a flock guard dog and are supposed to be protective. Well mine is FIRED!
  18. 16 points
    Hit the river this morning with a couple of buddies. We had a quick storm blow in on us and it rained for about 10 minutes. Long enough to turn the bite on for a few minutes. The big smallie smashed a 90 whopper plopper in some swift water and gave a couple of jumps for a show. I think it went around 15-16 inches.
  19. 16 points
    we had a low of 57 last night and i could really feel it while cruising across the lake in the little johnny this morning. but i aint gonna complain about it one bit! blue bird skies and a pesky NE breeze, changing to SE, never seemed to bother the fish, just the fisherman. caught close to 25, mixed bag of spots and largemouth. life is good.
  20. 16 points
    Any day I get 3 over 3lbs, it's a good day. It's a good day
  21. 16 points
    I'd say he is pushing 210 lbs, although the farmer tan sometimes makes accurate predictions difficult.
  22. 15 points
    While I enjoy fishing alone, taking someone new out can also be enjoyable. My buddy got a new PB on a weighted wacky trick worm......3.4lbs He even learned how to long arm 😂😂
  23. 15 points
    It's been HOT, and my river cleared up enough to wade again, and it's been nice and cold until today. I think the water temp went up about 15° since yesterday. Felt like bath water. Three days, three adjacent sections of the river, maybe 1/4 mile each. Spent about two and a half hours each day after work before sunset. They were eating anything that moved yesterday and the day before. Monday Got 8 or 9 decent smallies plus a 17.5" chunker that came in just shy of 2lb. Lots of short strikes from smaller fish that couldn't quite eat a 5" senko in one gulp. Had tons of followers. Had one group of 5 other fish chasing one that was hooked. Watched one run up and steal the worm off the hook and swim away and the others chased off after it! Tuesday picked up another 6. Couple dinks and a couple 12-15". Nothing spectacular. They were sitting on rocks in current and would chase down a twitching senko or swim bait if it came within sight. Today only got three. If it was moving they didn't want it, and they weren't gonna chase it. It had to be on their nose and just drifting with current or rolling on the bottom.
  24. 15 points
    Waiting on the other couple to start wading today and this happened. What an amazing start!
  25. 15 points
    Ordinarily, I wouldn't be posting a picture of a 3.25 lb bass, but this one earned it's 15 minutes of fame as the second hardest fighting bass I've ever caught. She turned my boat 90 degrees and nearly wedged me between two docks. She stayed deep and pulled so hard that I just knew that I was hooked up with a double digit bass. The pictures don't really do justice, but this girl was buff! She reminded me of one of those overgrown bluegill whose body looks too big for their heads. I'm pretty sure that she would have tested positive for PEDs! The only bass that has ever fought me harder weighed over 12 lbs.