A Family Competition
October 7, 2006
I fished with Jim and his wife Marie for 2 days on Lake Champlain for smallmouth bass. There is always a competition between these two, but today Marie brought a score pad! Apparently, she wanted to keep score of the beating she planned on giving to her husband! The weather was a little chilly as we began day one in temperatures below 40 degrees. Fortunately, there was little to no wind as a wind chill would have really made it feel cold. Water temps were barely 56 degrees at the start and almost 60 degrees by the end of the day. Jim wasted no time drawing first blood with a nice smallie of 3.5 pounds on a tube in 5 feet of water. Marie couldn’t let him get away with that one and hooked up on her own bass at the same time and landed it before he did. The bet is usually first fish, biggest fish and most fish. Score one for Marie with the quick landing! Plenty of other smallies were being taken by both parties on tubes and spinner-baits, but not to the degree that I had expected. I think the water was a little too cold to get into the numbers of aggressive fish and we tried another area nearby. This time it was to be slightly deeper as we dragged tubes in water 10 to 12 feet. A number of smaller fish were being caught once again and I relocated once more. When the sun finally warmed the shallower water, the fish began to cooperate. We spent the rest of the day in anywhere between 2 & 8 feet deep and they continued to land a mix of both small & large fish up to 4.5 pounds. Day two found us more in open water on the lake and at the mercy of Mother Nature. The weatherman had called for light winds and waves of 1 foot or less. We were greeted with 10 knot winds from the south and 1 to 3 foot rollers in our starting spot. The water temps on the open lake were almost 60 degrees by the start of the day and slightly higher towards the end. Air temps were upper 40’s at the start and closer to 70 by the end as well. Spinner-baits and jerk-baits were thrown at the start and some fish up to 3 pounds were landed soon after. The wind was making for tough casting in certain areas after a while and I thought we would try some of the deeper water offshore. By utilizing the wind and doing a drift & drag, we were able to get into some of the larger smallies of 4 pounds or better. Marie managed to catch a bunch of fish on spider grubs and football jigs whenever we drifted over the rocky areas in 25 to 30 feet of water. There were definitely plenty of fish as well as bait marking out in 20 to 30 foot deep. I wish some of these fish were a little more cooperative! There was even a freshwater drum of about 7 pounds landed in amongst the bass. From the deep water, we decided to try a little more shallow water once the sun had warmed the rock piles and both Marie & Jim managed to land a few more before we called it a day. They probably managed to land around 60 fish in the two days on the water and Marie lost track of who led who. Eventually, they decided to call it a draw! It was a chilly weekend, but a good one nevertheless!