Smallmouth Party

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Detritus
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:50 pm
Species: Anything we can catch
Location: Vergennes

Smallmouth Party

Post by Detritus »

Well, we took Strike Three out for its first fishing trip with the new trolling motor, and electronics. We had a very small window of time that we could go, and an unusually large group of my kids that wanted to go.

We set out to our spot that Liam suggested, from our usual ramp, redgate. The boat was very noticeably slower than last year, with the new trolling motor, electronics, and 2 extra group 31 batteries installed to run the electronics, 3 sons, a daughter, and a full tank of fuel. Probably a good 400lbs heavier than the last trip out. Going to have to go back to the 21 pitch prop too I think, to push all that extra weight around.

Anyway, to the fishing. It's been really tough for the crew of the Country Angler lately when it comes to boating fish. The fishing reports we've done have pictures of water, boat, kids, food. No fish. Well, this report happily is kind of the opposite. I did just go out to the garage for this picture though.


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I've been doing a ton of work to this boat the last two months, partly due to the cold water frustration we've been having, and partly because I'm working on starting a Bass Fishing team at Vergennes Union High School next fall. So far, other than being slower than I'd hoped, it fishes great.

When we stopped, Liam jumped up on the back casting deck, and threw out a crawfish pattern jointed crankbait, tied to one of the Lew's baitcasters. Brody pulled out another rod, I think he had a sonar on it. He settled in on the front casting deck. I stayed in the middle with Hambone and the Baby Girl, setting those two up with night crawlers. Really nice to just hit Anchor Lock, Garmin's version of spot lock, and just do my rigging while the boys fished. About 3 casts in, Liam's got a fish on. Here's what it was.


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20" Smallmouth, 4.5 lbs. Crazy. What a fish, right? Didn't even think bass were biting much yet. I got Ozzy set up with his night crawler on a single hook, couple split shot, and a little spinner that came on the snell. Mary wanted a slip bobber rig, so I set about setting that up. Didn't get it done before Ozzy reeled this in.


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19" smallmouth, 4.2 lbs. What the heck is going on here. This fish had black on its fins, but appeared healthy otherwise. Liam says it's a parasite.

We still haven't moved off of anchor lock at this point. Once I got Mary all set up, I started moving the boat a little. Which was great with the gesture steer function on the remote. Brody was blocking my view of the trolling motor head, so, I didn't know which way it was facing. It didn't matter though, you just point and go.

It wasn't too long, and Liam had another one on.


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Same as Hambones fish, 19" 4.2 lbs, but no black stuff on its fins.

Next up, Liam again.


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That was the big bass of the trip, 20.5" 4.8 lbs. At this point, me and the boys are just cranked up. I told them that if we could catch fish like this every time we went fishing, we would be Pro Bass fisherman on the circuit. I haven't seen fish caught like this this fast since watching Babe Winkleman on TV with my Dad in the 80s. And they'd fish for a week to make the episode.

Next up, Liam again.


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This one was just a baby, 17.5" 3.2 lbs, haha.

At this point Brody was getting a little frustrated, because we'd been fishing about an hour and a half, and no bites for him. He'd changed to a crankbait a while back, and was working the weedline just like Liam too. We had about a half an hour left, and he got his first bite.


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16.5" 2.75 lbs.

His Baby sister, who had actually came with us the last three skunk fishing trips, actually jumped up and down for him and clapped she was so happy he finally got a fish. I thought that was pretty nice of her, since she still hadn't caught anything yet either.

Then Brody hooked another one. He started yelling "Mary! Mary! Get up here!" And handed her the rod.

She cranked it all the way in, the Berkley Cherrywood baitcaster just about bent in half.


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19" 4.0 lbs. I got a picture of him with the fish too, for the master angler program. I doubt Shawn or Jud would throw it out because he let his 6 year old sister reel it in after he chose the lure, tied it on, and hooked the fish. Species #1 for 2021 for him and Ozzy, #3 for Liam.


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So, in 2 hours of fishing, 4 kids in the boat, we managed 7 Smallmouth, 6 of which were Master angler fish, for a total weight of 27.7 lbs of fish. If we culled that to a 5 fish limit in a tournament setting, it would have been 21.7 lbs of smallmouth in 2 hours of fishing. Unbelievable bass fishing trip for us, the best ever.

All were caught on crankbaits, except that 1 crawler behind a little spinner blade. Mary's slip bobber didn't produce. Water temperature was 57, visibility was chocolate milk.

The best new gear benefit we used of 93sv's, Garmin Force, and Livescope, was the ability of me to pilot the boat from the center with the little ones, and keep them fishing, while the boys had their own casting decks to use fore and aft. I as usual, didn't fish. I wouldn't have it any other way.
"Country Angler" - '93 Trophy 2002 - Cold water boat
"Strike Three" - '04 Triton SF21 - Warm water boat
"The Dumpster" - '90 Starcraft SF14 - Camping Boat

Jack

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Reelax
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Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:27 pm
Species: Salmon, steelhead, brown trout
Location: Fletcher, Vt

Re: Smallmouth Party

Post by Reelax »

Wow Jack, when you said you,we’re switching to warm water.... you weren’t kidding!!

Great pics of the kids with all those lunkers. I bet you got the attention of some bass anglers.


Thanks for sharing.
Matt B

A4nier
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Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:37 am
Species: All

Re: Smallmouth Party

Post by A4nier »

Jack, The smiles say it all! Congratulations Guys and Gals! Nice job.

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Dilly Worm
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:22 pm
Species: smallmouth bass, salmon, togue

Re: Smallmouth Party

Post by Dilly Worm »

Detritus wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:50 pm
20" Smallmouth, 4.5 lbs. Crazy. What a fish, right? Didn't even think bass were biting much yet.

Water temperature was 57, visibility was chocolate milk.
amazing haul ! I would not have thought of looking for smallies in April or in that water. Did the new electronics reveal where the fish were ?
Detritus wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:50 pm
His Baby sister, who had actually came with us the last three skunk fishing trips, actually jumped up and down for him and clapped she was so happy he finally got a fish. I thought that was pretty nice of her, since she still hadn't caught anything yet either.

Then Brody hooked another one. He started yelling "Mary! Mary! Get up here!" And handed her the rod.
that's my favorite part of this great post, love to see the kids cheering each other on and helping each other to land fish !!
I do not exaggerate when I talk about fishing - I underestimate, like I say "just one more cast honey, then I'll come home" !
Keep Calm and... Fish On !
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Gecha (Gerry)
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:26 pm
Species: whatever crazy enough to bite

Re: Smallmouth Party

Post by Gecha (Gerry) »

What a great report, and beautiful smiles of very happy kids. You may want to rename your boat "Home Run" instead of "Strike Three" :D :D
Gecha (Gerry North of the Border)

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Greenhorn
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:15 pm
Species: Anything with gills

Re: Smallmouth Party

Post by Greenhorn »

Jack, you certainly have your priorities right! Your children will grow up loving a healthy and enjoyable sport which can even provide some tasty meals as a side benefit. The world would be a better place if all kids grew up with this kind of love and attention. Looks like the boys will be a threat on the school bass fishing team.

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Detritus
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:50 pm
Species: Anything we can catch
Location: Vergennes

Re: Smallmouth Party

Post by Detritus »

Did the new electronics reveal where the fish were ?
No, that was Liam's fishing instincts. But, we didn't really have much time to use the livescope to do the searching.

It's definitely not a magic bullet or anything, but, I will say once we get to know how to use it, that will be a great tool. Especially in chocolate milk looking water. You can see your lure being retrieved in real time, as long as you hit the vector that the sonar is shining in. And when a big fish swims by, you definitely see it.

However, I can see how a lot of guys end up just staring at a screen all day, instead of the water. I'm not really that type, I see it as just another tool in the box.

All you other guys, thanks for the nice words.
"Country Angler" - '93 Trophy 2002 - Cold water boat
"Strike Three" - '04 Triton SF21 - Warm water boat
"The Dumpster" - '90 Starcraft SF14 - Camping Boat

Jack

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fishfarmer
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:09 pm
Species: Piscies
Location: Brandon, VT

Re: Smallmouth Party

Post by fishfarmer »

Nice pre spawn smallies!

I know where I'm going tomorrow....up the creek. I'm expecting movement if the water temps are good, there was a bump in the flow from the rain.

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Detritus
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Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:50 pm
Species: Anything we can catch
Location: Vergennes

Re: Smallmouth Party

Post by Detritus »

fishfarmer wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:51 am
Nice pre spawn smallies!

I know where I'm going tomorrow....up the creek. I'm expecting movement if the water temps are good, there was a bump in the flow from the rain.
Cool, maybe we'll see you there.

I don't see a lot of bass fishing reports on here, maybe that's because the bass crowd is a little more secretive? I subscribe to the Matt/Jim/Todd mentality that sharing general information without giving up an exact spot can only help the sport in the long run. Although, the pictures made this exact spot pretty obvious. We'll be trying to write more bass reports when we go this year.

I told the boys though, the one thing I've heard good bass fisherman repeat over and over in their tutorials, is you can't fish history. We can't help it though, every time we have an awesome day out there, we just go back and fish history anyway.

We did get a lot of nice rain the last couple of days, I hope it wakes the fish up a little.
"Country Angler" - '93 Trophy 2002 - Cold water boat
"Strike Three" - '04 Triton SF21 - Warm water boat
"The Dumpster" - '90 Starcraft SF14 - Camping Boat

Jack

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the_doctor
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Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:24 pm
Species: Whatever's biting

Re: Smallmouth Party

Post by the_doctor »

Nice report. I've run into a few big smallmouth myself lately. It does seem early but I guess it's warm in the shallows. I went for my first swim last weekend after sweating out some yard cleanup and it wasn't awful!
If we're sharing bass tips.. this time of year, my best presentation is a very big crankbait with a big lip, retrieved slowly in the shallows so it bumps the bottom. I'm in a rocky/sandy spot, though, so maybe you'd be risking a lot of snags down there with that technique.
Detritus wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:50 pm
Water temperature was 57

Wow. Do you see any signs of pike down there? Should be hitting lures at that temperature, I'd think.

~~

Gentle reminder to anyone reading this to handle these bass extra-gently if you target them. These are prime breeders getting ready and starting to spawn. I know LCU members are good about this but I just wanted to throw it out there.

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Detritus
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Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:50 pm
Species: Anything we can catch
Location: Vergennes

Re: Smallmouth Party

Post by Detritus »

. Wow. Do you see any signs of pike down there? Should be hitting lures at that temperature, I'd think.
We didn't see or catch any. But, we only had that 2 hour window. Big pike country though. We're going out tomorrow when the weather is a little nicer for humans.

. Gentle reminder to anyone reading this to handle these bass extra-gently if you target them. These are prime breeders getting ready and starting to spawn. I know LCU members are good about this but I just wanted to throw it out there.
On this note, we like to use a rubber net, unhook the fish, and put him back in the net in the water. Then get our tape, scale, lip gripper, camera organized, and then take the fish and go through that process. It really minimizes the fish's time out of the water. Maybe 30 seconds. When you release them, you're going to get splashed in the face with a kick of their tail.
"Country Angler" - '93 Trophy 2002 - Cold water boat
"Strike Three" - '04 Triton SF21 - Warm water boat
"The Dumpster" - '90 Starcraft SF14 - Camping Boat

Jack

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