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Shattered my PB smallie

Discussion in 'Fish on the Fly' started by TheCream, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. A buddy called over the weekend and wanted to see if I'd tag along to the Ohio River on Monday morning. I know that I am going to receive some ridicule from him when I break out the fly gear on his boat...I do it anyway. We had no solid plan for the day, sort of "whatever seems to be hot" would dictate what we would do. We started by looking for bait and active fish near a riverside industrial plant. The hope was we would find some skipjack and that would give us fresh bait if we wanted to try for cats. No skipjack were caught, but I did pick up a little smallie that was busting bait near a piling.


    No skunking, so that's off the table. The fishing there was slow, so we decided to try for cats with the frozen bait he had with him. The cats were not cooperating where we were, probably more of a location problem. We decided to give the rocky shore below the tailrace some attention. There was a lot of bait there, and fish were busting it often. Most of the action seemed to be small skipjack, but every now and then there would be a more violent, bigger boil. I started pounding the bank with a streamer and quickly came tight to a solid fish.


    Nothing huge, but a solid fight and a chunky fish. Good fun, even on the 7wt. As we fished along, we kept seeing a lot of feeding activity near a little outcropping of rock off the bank. I had to make a long cast to reach it, but got the fly where it needed to be. Strip-bang. I hadn't moved the fly a foot and felt a strong grab. I set the hook and said "good fish." I knew it was solid but had no idea how big it was until a split second later it jumped, clearing the water. I looked back at my buddy and shouted "Holy ____!" The next several seconds saw some strong surges to the rocks followed by an aerial show. I didn't count, but there must have been 6-7 jumps. I got the fish near the boat several times and it would surge back down. My buddy was not able to get a hand on it, but when I got it back near me on the back of the boat, I was able to quickly get down and lip it. My mind was blown.




    She measured at 21" on the button. I, personally, had never seen a smallie this big in Ohio in person. I have never seen a paddle on a smallmouth that big, either. CPR'd and released to go make more. It's still hard to wrap my head around the way that happened and the show that fish put on for us. Incredible experience.

    And this was the fly that caught her. Same pattern, same color combo, just bigger. These are size 6, I was using a size 2 version.

  2. WOW , what a beauty.
    Neat dark color as well, congratulations.
    Guess that saying, big water Big Fish is true.
    Good luck and Good Fishing
    TheCream likes this.

  3. Congrats on a truly Ohio River giant. Thanks for sharing the story and pictures. Those fly's are a great looking pattern.
    TheCream likes this.
  4. What was your previous PB?

    That fish definitely has the look of a 21"er ...just dag gone BIG!

    CONGRATS man. When they jump like that they really live up to thier reputation but in that size it's like a welcomed heart attack!!! Well done. Thx for sharing.
    Salmonid, cane pole and TheCream like this.
  5. Only a hair over 18", like 18 1/4".
  6. RiparianRanger

    RiparianRanger Bronze > Gold

    That's a monster worthy of a replica mount
    cane pole likes this.
  7. Wow beautiful smallie yes it does have a big paddle
    erie sniper and cane pole like this.
  8. Well done, congrats!
  9. I've always told my wife that if I caught something really special, I'd probably have a replica made. This might be it.
    SMBHooker and RiparianRanger like this.
  10. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

    Nice smallie (biggie;)).

    The only other time I've seen an Ohio smallie that big was at the Pike Island dam. Misfit and I were there fishing and two guys carried a big cooler down to the water from the parking lot. One of them caught a huge smallie earlier in the day on the PI pool and took it to the bait shop to get weighed. They were bringing it back to the river to be released alive.
    Saugeyefisher, Salmonid and TheCream like this.
  11. It is definitely worthy of a mount Cream.
  12. ttipul


    Great fish!!!!

    YAK_THE_FLIPPER Just South of Cincinnati

    21incher+in Ohio+on a fly rod = mount. It's really a no brainer.
    I will be expecting you to reply to this thread in a few months with a photo of the mount.

    TheCream likes this.
  14. Would had been wee nicer during the spring spawning run a loaded toad! Nicely done! They don't come up as often.

    YAK_THE_FLIPPER Just South of Cincinnati

    Still waiting on the photo of your replica mount..... It's been a couple months now!
  16. Haven't even started that process yet. I'm in no rush.