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Will Wetline

Light Gear For Heavy Smallies, 5/12/16

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Felt good about the likelihood of late prespawn fish activity today. Finally, after a week of unseasonable, cold, dark and damp weather, we had several days of sunshine and increasing warmth.

When I arrived at my favorite Outside flat I checked the water temp: 56º! I wasn't quite ready for that, not having had as much of a jerk bait bite as I would've liked for this season. In denial, I made a dozen fishless casts.

 Alright then. Maybe it was time for the Duo Realis Spin Bait 80 to work its magic. Two years ago almost to the day, I took my first smallmouth on this odd lure design, a bait made of plastic and steel that sinks, wobbles and sports a whirring prop fore and aft. The first fish weighed 4.5 lbs. and, if I may borrow a phrase from the late, great Yogi Berra, today it was deja vu all over again!

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This 4.52 lb. smallmouth was followed by another which registered 3.96 lbs. on my Accu-Cull Digital Scale which is so user friendly it says "hello" when you turn it on and "bye" when you shut it off.

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See the guys in the boat in the background? They're looking for fish on beds in about 10' of water. I'm in 15' - 20' retrieving along a line that separates a sand bottom from a dark bottom. And it's my delight to watch sizable smallies cruise by.

Here's my third which I did not weigh. Would you go along with 4+ on this one?

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The day is warming and the water is going flat. Not good in water so clear you can see bottom 20' down. I'm off to find a ripple.

Worked a couple of sandy and rocky areas ("Inside" The Pass) but found no takers for the Spin Bait. Motored to another rise and fan cast from shallow to deep. Still no response. Then I anchored on top of this rocky rise so I could present to the far side which dropped quickly into deep water. No love for the Spin Bait here. Maybe they wanted something moving even more slowly - and right on the bottom. A small, hairy snack. I plucked an 1/8 oz. bucktail jig from the box. A 2" Strike King ElazTech chunk trailer looked about right and would give it a tantalizingly slow drop and a wiggle across the bottom. It got heavy at one point during a retrieve so I set the light wire 2/0 hook with a firm sweep.

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Mid afternoon I moved again. Water temp was now 60º. Made only a few casts with the Spin Bait and then put the little jig back to work, letting it drop to maybe 25' and dragging/twitching it back. Here's a 3.99 lber. wearing a hair jig mustache:

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I took one more, smaller fish from this area and called it a day. Thank you, Quabbin!

Let's have a look at the stars of today's show:

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The Duo Realis Spin Bait 80 is 3 1/4" long and weighs 3/8 oz. A St. Croix Avid 7' medium light rod flings it way out there and has the shock absorption you need when battling bruiser smallies on light line, specifically 6 lb. Seaguar Tatsu. This stuff is top of the line fluoro re both quality and expense.

The jig set up is the same except for rod length which is 6 1/2'.

You do want a reel with a smoooth drag. Shimano's Stradic 2500 fills the bill for me.

Keep your drags light and your line tight!

WW 

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Nice fish, good pics and a GREAT post!

 

:fishing-026:

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Great chronology of your outing.  Congrats.  

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awesome day, awesome fish and awesome post there Will!  

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Great bag of Beautiful Bronze backs ~

Clear flat water can be tough - comfortable to fish in but not much net use going on.

Did you switch out the trebles on that Spy bait ?

Congrats

btw - might want to dress that battle wound

:)

A-Jay

 

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Another good outing on Quabbin,...congrats to you

 

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22 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

 

 

Did you switch out the trebles on that Spy bait ?

No. Somehow in the photo they came out looking like tinned trebles, don't they?

I do keep Gamakatsu size 8 round bend trebles on hand for replacement. I've had several bass that chomped down on the rear treble and got hooked in both the upper jaw and lower. I was not able to remove the hook without destroying it. (Sorry, bass, I mean no harm . . .)

Congrats

btw - might want to dress that battle wound

Thank you. I do dress it with Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion but it hasn't completely healed between trips. If it's not closed before the next outing, I'll super glue it shut.

:)

A-Jay

 

 

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Great post and great smallies! Well done sir!

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