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Discussion Starter #1
After such a good morning yesterday I decided to see if I could repeat it today. I got to the river about an hour before dawn. Right away a fish blew up on my buzzbait throwing water every where but not getting hooked. I tried for a few casts then tied on a minnow plug hoping the fish would hit that. Nope. So I worked my way up to the riffle with the minnow plug still tied on. After about ten minutes I thought I was hung and gave it a bit of slack then yanked the lure shot free and was nailed by a beautiful 17 inch smallie. A few minutes later I caught a small fish and then another nice fish just under 17. I cast back to the seam where the fast water from the riffle makes a hard line against the slow water of the pool. Wham! line screamed off the reel. But it hugged the bottom doggedly. No smallmouth here. But an absolutely gorgeous channel cat. One of the prettiest channels Ive caught all year and santa claus fat. It was then I noticed two does downstream about 100 yards standing on the opposite bank watching all the commotion. After unhooking the channel and snapping a few pics I waded back out to where I could reach the seam again. I cast and the minnow plug came back spinning on the surface. I thought the line was tangeled on the hooks but nope all the excitement with the channel had broken the bill on the minnow plug. Rather than wade back to the bank I tied on the buzzbait that was in the chest pocket of the waders. I cast across the seam nothing. Then again slightly downstream. The buzzbait gurgled back till it was only maybe ten feet from me and Whoosh! It seemed someone threw a brick in the water. But nope it was a big smallmouth shooting across the riffle with line peeling off the reel. Most smallies I love to see jump, this one I stuck the rod tip way under water trying to keep it from jumping. No luck it rocketed skyward but stayed attached. After a few more heart pounding runs I finally lipped the fish. Try as I might I couldn't get 20 out of her twice I got 19.5 and twice 19.75 with the tail pinched. Man I love September smallmouth fishing. Makes you wonder just where the heck these guys are all summer. Walking out the two does were stll there aross the river watching. A very very nice morning..





 

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Annyong!
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Excellent fish OSG. That's a beauty.

Those big smallies must be way smarter than we (or at least I) give them credit for being. Cause like you said where was she the rest of the year, and what she eating?


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Awesome Smallies!! My boys and I always enjoy your posts and marvel at the big fish you catch.
We went to the GMR yesterday hoping for some smallies but ended up with 5 Saugeyes.
 

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All of those are gorgeous fish. Right now, I'm obsessing on pike, bowfin, and muskie, but this fall I think I am going to have to devote some time to smallmouth fishing.
 

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Micropterus dolomieu
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Gorgeous smallie OSG
 

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Discussion Starter #7
2 days in a row you've found some real big smallies! That buzz bait how early are you throwing it in the morning? When you say minnow plug are you talking baits like this not just rapalas?
Im throwing the buzzbait early enough that I need a headlamp to get there. Just before and after daylight.

I think the minnow I've been using is a bass pro shop speed minnow. But I'm not stuck on that one, I try to match the minnow to how deep or how fast the water is. Some minnow plugs don't work good in fast water but have great action in slow water. I carry more different kinds of minnow plugs than anything else. Im a sucker for buying the things.
 

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Im throwing the buzzbait early enough that I need a headlamp to get there. Just before and after daylight.

I think the minnow I've been using is a bass pro shop speed minnow. But I'm not stuck on that one, I try to match the minnow to how deep or how fast the water is. Some minnow plugs don't work good in fast water but have great action in slow water. I carry more different kinds of minnow plugs than anything else. Im a sucker for buying the things.

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HouseTackle
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That's a huge smallmouth Mr. Stinky! I have been noticing that the shad I was seeing 3 weeks ago have all but disappeared and there has been a switch to 2-4 inch minnows/shiners in the pools I have been fishing. Is it too soon for the Fall patterns to kick in? Water temps still have to be boiling...
 

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Big time OSG!

Moving into September it's only gonna get better. I know for a lot of people it's tough to get out on those magic hours before sunrise & after dusk but that's when the hawgs move in to feed. The topwater bite will only get better as well.

OSG, interested to know is that a PB Smallmouth for you out of the river or have you hit the 2 0 mark before?


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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
OSG, interested to know is that a PB Smallmouth for you out of the river or have you hit the 2 0 mark before?
You have to realize Im 50 and have fished the LMR as regularly as I do now my entire life. I'm guessing this fish is a top ten fish but I catch a couple in this range most years. The biggest I've measured is 20 5/8 but there were a couple back in the day when you weighed em instead of measured them that were around the same size maybe 20.5's to 21.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That's a huge smallmouth Mr. Stinky! I have been noticing that the shad I was seeing 3 weeks ago have all but disappeared and there has been a switch to 2-4 inch minnows/shiners in the pools I have been fishing. Is it too soon for the Fall patterns to kick in? Water temps still have to be boiling...
Good point. We were just talking about this yesterday. Everyone is starting to catch saugfish and hybrids again too. I think the length of the days has to be part of it along with water temps. I bet it really takes off with the first cool weather AND the short days
 

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Those are some nice fish!!!
 

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OSG, interested to know is that a PB Smallmouth for you out of the river or have you hit the 2 0 mark before?
I (or at least a younger version of me) was there for at least one 20 and an 18-19 inch fish. (but he's never caught a 20 on a flyrod, ask him about it, I do all the time)

Rumor has it there's a 25 or 30 year old picture of a youngstinkyguy with the biggest spotted bass you ever saw too.

Did I mention he's never caught a really big smallmouth on a flyrod? He loves it when you ask him about it.
 

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___upacreek
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That's a nice fish! Every time I look at this forum someone catches a smallie .25" larger than the last documented big smallmouth!
 
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