I had a lengthy conference call lined up at work today that was suppose to go well over my normally scheduled hours. After lunch I get notice that it was moved to a different date. Immediately my heart pumped harder with excitement . . . change of plans, heading for the river!
The Stillwater is extremely low at the moment but, I knew I had plenty of time to hit a few good stretches and a couple honey holes. If you're familiar with a body of water the low period of the year can be quite promising for those in the know. Fish are stacked up in selected areas and such was the case today.
Armed with a packet of zulu's and a spinning outfit I ventured off toward the stream at the stroke of 5 O’clock. First hole produces a few 14'ers that knew their aerobatics. This area has some water run off moving over a stretch of boulders that creates some oxygen that is scarce this time of year. Much fun was had there with these fish before moving on.
Moving farther up river I stalked the eastern bank with selective casts. I focused on the deeper pockets that I knew. Halfway down this stretch I'm encouraged by some surface activity. With the low water I'm cautious with my aim and bring the lure over my target after lengthy casts so I don't spook any fish. With the lure bobbing and weaving with sharp darts I get just the activity I was looking for. A massive swirl chokes my lure under the surface that put immediate weight on the line. The rod loaded with a heavy weight and I set the hook with an equally heavy load of excitement.
Without notice my reel shrieks loud with line stripping away. Once the fish knew it had been deceived it turned back and hurtled out of the surface of the pocket I just plucked it from. I knew then I had a great fish on and good fight ahead of me. Several times the fish took its nose into rocks in the shallow water attempting to dislodge the lure and breakaway. After several explosive runs and other crafty maneuvers I brought a big smallmouth out of the water. I marked its length at 18 inches!
Working off the shakes from that last big smallmouth I continued on down river with several more 14” and 15” fish. Every smallmouth caught had some thickness to it. I ended the wade with a total of 12 smallmouth with none but a couple under 14”s. It was Monster “Live Action” the whole wade.
You know what they say about work and fishing . . . I’m soooo glad the conference call was cancelled.