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Power vs. Finesse

Posted: 10.29.2014

It was a great one-two punch that worked!

I had to push a scheduled Guided Kayak Fishing Trip to Sunday so that opened up my Saturday for a little “me time” fishing. This gave me the opportunity to hit the river with long time kayak angling friend Ray B. for some fun fishing! Ray and I go WAY back. We’ve made many a trip down a number of flows together including a fantastic expedition down the fabled Devil’s River in Texas. Needless to say he’s a seasoned veteran kayak angler. We were totally immersed in our fishing so unfortunately, I have no pictures of fish today! Now that’ a first!

River levels were about normal for this time of year with a slight green coloration.  The water had definitely cooled significantly since my last trip several days ago. The weather had cooled about 8 degrees since yesterday and there was a predicted cooling trend for the next two days. That kind of weather can put the breaks on the bite. The bite started out slow but we put the pieces of the puzzle together and broke things wide open landing over 50 smallmouth bass. No monsters today but a lot of fish between 14-17.5 inches. It was hard to leave the water because we were still catching consistently when mother nature was turning off the lights.

We came out swinging with 5 quick catches but then suffered a long stretch of about 2 hours without a bite. We had started out with craws dragged on bottom and soft swimbaits cranked in the middle of the water column. That initial bite died quickly so we had to make some adjustments. During a water break we discussed the bites we did get trying to get a read on the mood of the fish and their level of aggression toward our baits. It was pretty evident that the fish where biting very light and not committing totally to the soft swimbaits. I had more that a couple tails bit right off!

We settled into two new presentations. One that would produce a reaction bite. A `1/4 oz. Bronze Eye Bullet Spinnerbait with a swimbait trailer and a trailer hook added. I rarely resort to a trailer hooks but when fish are in a “swiping” mood, as they were, it’s an integral part of the presentation. Many of the smallmouth where caught on the trailer hook. The spinnerbait produced on average the biggest fish of the day. The second very effective presentation was a 3″ River Darter Swimbait in a custom “river dace” color. We rigged it on a specially designed 1/8 oz football head with a “rock guard”. This bait produced the biggest numbers but slightly smaller average size. We alternated between the two working the spinnerbait on shallow water targets and the finesse bait in the deeper runs or pools. It was a great one-two punch that worked!

Fish were located in front of small grass islands and large rock formation/ledges. It was a day that you had to make a lot of casts to produce fish. We did find a few pockets of smallmouth in small pools with moderate current but mostly it was a single fish on a single target.

Another great day on the water!…. but isn’t every day on the water great!!!