Draggin’ Em Up
October 15, 2007
Today, I fished with Glen & Chris on a local body of water, mostly for smallmouth bass. The weather was a little nippy in the morning with air temps barely over 40 degrees and heavy cloud cover. Fortunately, there wasn’t much wind, but it was still from the NW making it feel even colder. The water temps seem to be dropping each & every night and this morning, the best I had was 56.5 degrees. The fish were a little lethargic at the start, but once the sun poked out, they began to feed. I knew that it would be another slow bite, so we threw tube jigs and slowly dragged then in specific areas for the bass. Both Glen & Chris were new to this type of presentation, but once they began to get into a few fish, they were on their way. The hardest thing about this technique is to have the feel for the lightest tap and know the differences between weeds, rocks or the fish. Keeping a tight line at all times and allowing the jig to bounce along the bottom will definitely produce more strikes! They both caught plenty of bass in the 1.5 to 3 pound range and several that were closer to 4 pounds in a few areas as well. By moving around a lot and taking advantage of the aggressive biters, we were able to get into fish in every location we fished. In the mid afternoon, I decided to try & see if I could get them into a Muskie and started to troll for these creatures. They both knew that there were no guarantees, but were willing to give it a try and relax for a while. I set the rods out and began trolling over deeper water looking for any sign by either baitfish or big fish-hooks, but never really marked anything worthwhile. One of the reels did fire however, but the fish came off before I could get it out of the holder. Apparently, the reel jammed when the fish grabbed the lure and the line didn’t go out. It turned out to be a minor problem that only required tightening the thumbscrews on the side of the reel. Somehow, they came loose and the gears weren’t lining up correctly causing them to jam. Tough break! We weren’t having any success in this area and decided to change locations hoping to change our luck as well. The next area was about as good as the previous one and we just kept on moving until I hit a location that I had never fished before. It looked good and I was marking bait and an occasional hook and then the reel screamed. Finally we were into what I was looking for and Chris took the rod and began fighting the fish. I could tell that it was a good one and we cleared the other rods to make sure there were no mishaps. It was a decent sized fish and I lip gripped her with the boga and removed the hooks before bringing it aboard for the pics. It measured 45 inches and would have gone about 25 pounds or so due to its girth. Looks like they’re feeding well on my smallmouth! I quickly returned her to the water for the release and moments later; she bolted to the depths where she came from. I was glad to have gotten into this fish, but wanted more and reset the lines hoping for another pull. Unfortunately, that was all she wrote and we had to settle for one fish and one missed strike. Not too bad for less than 3 hours of trolling I guess, but I always want more and never seem to be satisfied. It’s an addiction! All in all a good day with about 40 smallies caught and plenty of others lost and the first Muskie for Chris!