I caught a ton of smallies yesterday at the reservoir... unfortunately, none were over 8-inches long!
I met my friend from work on the water and he had started fishing from his bass boat hours before I got there. He and his partner had caught a few with spin gear but nothing close to the normal numbers or size.
I was planning to fin upriver to where I have caught larger smallies (larger smallies??) in the past but he told me they had gone upriver and something that sounded like an algae bloom was up that way and they didn't do well at all. Plus, the water temps were too low in the river for me to catch bass with fly gear so I headed back toward the big water.
He had mentioned that the bass they caught were very deep (which made sense considering the water temp) so I switched from my clear intermediate sinking line to my type 7 sinking line. Sure enough, that was the ticket. I started catching small bass once I switched and something broke off a chartreuse and white baitfish pattern with a savage strike.
However, that was the one and only strike a baitfish pattern produced. I kept trying different baitfish and seal bugger patterns that have worked for me in the past but the only pattern that worked consistently was this guy:
I did try a new double barrel popper when I first arrived at the lake but that resulted in no strikes. The bass were deep.
I finned around a point and my friend was fishing a spot with a rock wall where I have done well in the past. They had caught a few but nothing to shout about. As they had been there all morning and the motorboat crowd was starting to show up at the ramp, they decided to head for home.
I continued fishing and trolled close to the rock wall and followed it until I reached some overhanging trees. That is where I found a massive number of smallmouth. I couldn't keep them off the seal bugger. Bass after bass after bass but like I said, none were over 8-inches long.
I tried finning further into the lake and away from the pod of bass in hopes that I'd find larger ones that were waiting for a small guy to break from the school... didn't work. If I finned away from the hot spot, I caught zip.
So, I risked life and limb and made my way across the lake to the opposite side ... dodging jets skis and speedboats along the way. Again, caught no bass of any decent size.
Then wham! Something hit the seal bugger that was not small. However, I was suspicious because while I could tell it was a larger fish, it didn't fight like a smallmouth bass.
Sure enough, it was a 17-inch NPM (aka squaw fish) and not a bass.
I took that as an omen that there was no way I was going to catch a large smallmouth and decided to call it quits. Besides, the waves generated by the passing speed boats was becoming annoying.
No photos of the bass I caught because none were photo-worthy.
This has not been a good year for me but I'll give it another try next Saturday.