A mixed bag of smallmouth bass

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of hitting the Juniata River with two good friends for a fun day of fishing and goofing off. Due to my guiding, it’s not often that I”m able to get a weekend to hook up with friends. It was definitely a very nice outing. We even stopped at a local BBQ joint, which was totally awesome! I love BBQ!

It was a mixed bag in terms of the spawn. Most fish seem to be in the post spawn. The bite was very light in general and big fish were a little hard to come by indicating that the bulk of the big spawning fish where probably in post-spawn mode. We all managed double digit smallmouth numbers. Mike landed the biggest smallmouth of the day on a small soft swimbait. Most bites where best characterized by the feeling of “weight” on the end of the line. No tell-tale tap or thump.

Most of the smallmouth bass where caught in deep water current breaks or slow moving water near the top of pools. The two best presentation where swimbaits and surprisingly spinnerbaits. All my smallies came on the Winco’s River Darter Swimbait rigged on a Flutter Head and a Winco’s Bronze Eye Bullet Spinnerbait.

I really feel like I need to talk a little more about the Bronze Eye Bullet Spinnerbait. It was at least a year in development. The goal was to produce a smaller “finesse” style spinnerbait that was durable and effective in catching smallmouth bass. Many of the smaller profile 1/4 oz spinnerbaits on the market become bent so far out of shape after a few big smallies that they have to be thrown on the “junk heap”. The Bronze Eye is durable. I used it last fall and now in the spring extensively and the durability of this spinnerbait is great! Also, don’t let the unpainted head put you off this bait. Believe me, we tested a number of configurations. The eye’s on the bait are enough to let the predator smallies know that they need to attack this spinnerbait! It’s a proven fish catcher in my book!

I also got to test drive my newest river fishing kayak the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120. It’s a great versitile kayak if you want a little more speed, fantastic stability, and want a kayak that’s easy to maneuver. I owned another older 120 for a number of years but this one his a big upgrade with a lot of cool comfort and fishing friendly features that my older Tarpon 120 did not have.

I want to leave you with a great picture of a 26″ walleye that Jamie caught on our trip. This is a great catch. She is the queen of multi-species fishing on the Juniata River!