A Species Change Up
August 16, 2008
I spent the day with my wife Christiane, fishing on a local lake for what was suppose to be smallmouth bass. Air temps were a beautiful 78 degrees and water temps were a little lower than I wanted at 72 degrees and the smallies weren’t cooperating at all. After yesterday’s results, I thought we would have a great day catching smallies once again, but was in for a big surprise. We ran out to our first spot with the sunshine above in little to no wind and started casting tube jigs in shallow water. On her second cast, Christiane landed a nice smallie of almost 4 pounds and I thought we were going to get into them just like yesterday. As bad luck would have it, I was so wrong! I managed to catch about 5 others with the largest going 3 pounds and we were out of there after over an hour. I knew the next spot would produce because I saw close to 50 or so smallies yesterday all in the 4 pound or better class just roaming around the area. What we got however was a big goose egg! Christiane had a good one over four pounds on, but it came off before we could get it close enough to net. This was the only fish we were to see and decided to have lunch instead. After over 3 hours of fishing and another useless spot, I knew I had to do something drastic in order to save this day and opted to troll for muskie. Although reluctant, Christiane agreed as I set the lines out and began. I don’t think they were in the water for more than 3 minutes when the deep line screamed. Soon after she was landing the first muskie of 36 inches and we were glad we had changed to trolling! After a quick pic & a release, we were back trolling once again. Maybe 20 minutes had passed since the first reel had fired and another reel began to scream again. This time I knew it wasn’t another small fish and cleared the other line to give more room for the battle. When it got close, we were both amazed to see the mass of this fish as I grabbed it with the boga. I had to cut a couple of hooks in order to free the fish without harm before I could bring it in for another quick shot and measure. This one measured 43 inches and was quick to swim away as I held her in the water momentarily. By now we were really pleased to have given up on the bass and set the lines once more in hopes of a possible third lunge. We had been trolling for almost 30 minutes when the next fish hammered the plug and even with a tight drag, ripped enough line off the reel to ensure it was a big one. Once again, I cleared the other line and made way for Christiane to reel it in. Another big muskie appeared beside the boat as I lip gripped it and cut all three trebles due to its voracious appetite. It had the plug crossways in its mouth and managed to get all the hooks in one place or another. No harm done with the cutters and another quick pic and measurement before an easy release back to the lake. This one measured 48 inches and was probably between 25 & 30 pounds due to its big belly and girth. It was turning out to be a great day despite the lack of bass and we weren’t complaining one bit! I set the lines once more without any thought of another fish and the reel went off again. This time it was a smaller fish of 37 inches and another easy release was made. Four lunge in less than 3 hours was great and were blessed to have had an afternoon like this, but we set the lines in for one last pass. Although I didn’t expect anything else, I still had high hopes! There was a short rip or as I like to call it “A Drive by” on the deep line, but nothing got pinned. We finally reeled in the lined and called it a day. This was to prove to be a very memorable end to a dismal start at fishing for smallmouth bass. I know neither one of will forget it for quite a while!!