Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Figuring Out Trout & Smallmouths

The trout in Dry Run Creek were tough customers today. With so many fish in such a s small stream, you'd think that catching them would be like shooting fish in a barrel. That's not the case, though. In fact, sometimes they get very finicky. That's especially true during the spring, when a lot of school groups visit this special "youth only" catch-and-release stream, and the fish get caught and released a lot!

Nathaniel had the stream to himself today, but the fish were wary, and he had to experiment with a variety of lures and presentations to figure out how to trigger strikes. Eventually, he figured out that a black Fuzz-E Grub was pretty tough for some fish to resist.

Tomorrow we'll be floating the Buffalo River with smallmouth bass as our primary targets, and we're already pondering what might work best. The river is notably higher than when I've fished it before, and it actually is on the rise and has a bit of color. The small baits and subtle colors that normally work well for me might go unnoticed by the bass.

 I sort of think that jerkbaits and crankbaits will produce better than soft-plastic offerings tomorrow, and that the best soft plastics will have opaque color pattens and lend themselves to fast presentations through ambush zones. I also think that picking the best locations will be critical as the smallmouths will be laying low but will be ready to ambush easy meals. The challenge, I think, will be making good presentations through key fish-holding areas.

Those are just guesses, though. I"ll have a much better idea once I'm on the section we will float, and hopefully the pattern will develop as the day progresses. Either way, I"ll pass along the report!

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