||March 3. I started the year with one nice 16"
fish in mid-January. Then a squeaked in a couple of February fish near
the end of the month. As the weather improved things got easier and this
fish came along with two others in a few hours of fishing today.
It was a 17" beautiful fish and took a white spinnerbait. The only
negative to this quest is that the fish don't fight as much in the
winter as they will in a few months.
||March 17. The weather has warmed and things are
improving a bit. I have caught a few more smallmouth, but have had a
couple of big surprises this month, CARP. In the past week I have had
two big carp take a tube while hoping for smallmouth. This one came
today and was probably around 15 pounds. These river tarpon fight well,
but I am always disappointed after the initial strike when I realize I
don't have a smallie on the end of my line. Note my St. Patrick's Day
||April 1. April Fools Day proved to be OK for me.
This 17" smallmouth produced an early in the month cushion for my April
fish. I like to fish the lake out front as often as possible in April,
and don't get to the river as much. The fish took a spinnerbait on a
tail water flat. It's a bit hard to see, but the new cap is a Boise
State cap. I guess if Bill Dance can wear a Tennessee cap, I can wear a
BSU cap. Especially after their 2009 Undefeated football season, and #3
||April 15. Tax day brought me my first real
picture fish of the year. And it was a great fish. This fat old female
took a small Chatterbait in about 3' of water on a gravel bar. She put
up a great fight, jumped once, and covered a lot of water.
She was 21" long and weighed 5 pounds 4 ounces. She was the heaviest
smallmouth I have taken from the river, but not the longest. The rod was
a G.Loomis Bronzeback SMR812C-JB, the reel was a yellow Daiwa Pixy
loaded with 10/2 Power Pro yellow braided line.
In all, it was a fine day - even if taxes were due.
||June 1. Most of the month of May was spent on the
Lake due to high water in the river. I started off June with a bang,
catching several nice smallmouth, headed by this 19" brute. I had a hard
time finding any fish, but then they all came in the same area when
found. This fish was caught on the exact same rig and lure as the 21"
fish above. It was a good outing.
||June 18. It is always a thrill when you get the
thump of a strike and the fish doesn't move as you set the hook. This 9
pound channel cat was lying in one of my favorite pockets for
smallmouth. I thought I had a near record smallie for a while. It took a
Zoom Speed Craw plastic lure and put up a great fight.
||July 1. The July fish didn't come easy for a
while. After a very frustrating 4 hours to start the day. I finally hit
a bunch. In the same pocket that produced the channel cat in the above
photo, I landed 15 smallies, ranging from 12 to 17-3/4". I tried, but I
just couldn't make that fish into 18 inches. I decided it was worth a
photo anyway. This fish was caught on my Loomis casting drop shot outfit
and a 2" stubby tube in "Puke" color. That's correct - PUKE.
|July 13. It wasn't Friday the 13th, but the
fishing results were a bit unusual. Fishing was good, and the 19" fish
in the upper photo took a Zoom Super Fluke bait and put up a good fight.
I noted that the fish had several black blotches in it's coloration
before releasing it.
About an hour later I landed the very unusual
fish shown in the lower photograph. This 17" spawned out female was in
fine condition and fought well. While fighting the fish it was obvious
this fish had very unusual coloration. Upon landing the fish, it was
even more striking. One side of the fishes head was black - even the
eye. The rear fins were also very black. If you turned the fish over,
the other side of the head was normal bronze color.
||July. The water in the river is crystal clear
now. The other day I was fishing a riffle that ran over a long gravel
bar. I was looking at the bottom when I suddenly realized that most of
the "gravel" that I was anchored on was made up of mussel shells. There
are lots of new mussel shells always shining up from the bottom, but I
never realized that all those empty shells become a part of the gravel
bars, or maybe I should say shell bars.
||August 5. This month has started off great. The
fish shown here, which wasn't as black as he appears, was 20" and took a
white spinnerbait. Two days earlier I caught a 19.5" fish on the same
spinnerbait. Both fish were in shallow riffle water. Neither one
actually fought as well as some of the 14-17" fish I have been catching,
but this always seems to be the case. I know I don't have the stamina
and energy I had when I was 30 years old.
||August 16-20. I had two retired US Fish &
Wildlife fisheries biologists come out and fish with me for a week. We
had a great time and caught 403 smallmouth in five days of fishing. Not
too bad for a trio of old men. This one was a little better than the
average size fish we brought to the boat.
||August 19. This one was the best fish we caught
during the week. I landed this 19.25" fish using a drop shot rig in 12'
of water. However, Fudge the fishing Boykin Spaniel doesn't seem too
||August 31. This ended a great month of river
fishing. This fish was 21" long and took a spinnerbait. This day I
landed 33 nice smallmouth and quit when about an hour after landing the
21" fish I caught an 18" fish on the same lure.
The fish in the picture looked even bigger in the water, and I
thought he might be the first smallmouth I took in the river that would
top 22". As you can see from the clothes, the weather is cooling.
||September 10. I got my wife back into the boat
today, and she landed the best fish. This nice 17 incher took a
spinnerbait. Fudge the Boykin examined it and approved it for release.
As you can see it was a beautiful late summer day on the river. In all
we caught 15 in a couple of hours. However, the water temperature has
dropped and the fish are moving. They are scattered more than they were
a few weeks ago and a bit harder to find.
||"Damn it - to the starboard...or is it the port".
It seems it is impossible for me to get my boat on its trailer without
some help and kibitzing from my brown friend. He always has to be the
first one on the boat and the first one off. Along the way he has to
tell me how to trailer my boat.
However, he has been doing much better
and has only fallen off the boat a couple of times this year.
||September 28. I ran up to one of my favorite
areas of the river and found a new piece of "structure". I knew that
people were landing seaplanes in this long pool on the river, but had
never seen one before. It would have been interesting to have seen it
Incidentally, the fishing was terrific with a 31 fish day and
lots of hefty fish. Nothing over 17", but there were three of them and
most of the fish were 13-16" - and it was a beautiful fall day.
|October 14. Today the fish shown here took my
drop shot worm in about 8' of water. It fought so hard I thought it must
be huge. Then when I finally saw it I was disappointed in its size.
However, when finally in the boat IT WAS HUGE. This fish was 16.5" long
and had a 14" girth. It weighed 2 pounds 15 ounces on my scale. It was
built more like a crappie or bluegill than a smallmouth bass. No more
Happy Meals for this fish.
||December. Well, you win some and you lose some.
After having a decent November with 57 smallies, the weather crashed. I
was planning on fishing the day this photo was taken. I did get to make
three trips to the river in December, and finally did catch a fish on
Dec 27. It was a nice 16" fish caught on a pearl grub on my drop shot
I did not make my other goal for 2010, however, for I ended the
season with 1885 smallies. There were some real highlights this year as
shown above. 2010 was a very memorable year.