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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This summer has been just like previous years for me. Chasing smallmouth from riffle to riffle. But this summer my stomping grounds are in new territory. Well I shouldn't exactly say new, I've been going to school in Athens for 3 years now and have had a blast getting to know the smallies of the Hocking River and Salt Creek. Which are excellent fisheries by the way. But I have never been down here for the summer bite until now.

The unfortunate storms the past few weeks has kept me off the Hocking, as it's still too high/fast to wade. I couldn't wait to visit home for the weekend and hit my home waters of the Stillwater because I knew it was going to be fishable.

I've missed the Stillwater. Being reunited for a short 3 hour wade was awesome. I started the morning with a tube tied on, figuring I would try to pick up where I left off before all the rain. After about 10 minutes of working my first spot with no results I decided to change my approach because I was convinced there were fish there. I tied on my fallback bait, a green pumpkin senko wacky rigged. First cast with my bread n' butter and bam! Fish on! I land a healthy 11 inch smallie. I continue to work a long rocky stretch picking off rock bass after rock bass and a pair of 12 inch smallies. A pretty nice start to the morning, no biggins but I'm happy to be catching fish. I keep trecking downstream and fish a similar long rocky stretch thats slightly deeper. This stretch looks like it holds big smallmouth and I was dead set on finding one. I manage to pull out several more smallies in the 10-12 inch range, with a few small largemouth mixed in. Towards the very end of this stretch is a nice laydown in about 3 feet of water with loads of rocks covering the bottom. I'm convinced my biggin is hiding here. I cast my senko right up against the log and almost instantly my line gets sucked under the log. Drag was screaming as I struggle to pull the fish out from under the woody cover. The fish decides to help me out and bolt away from the log and from that point on the fight was really on. The bass pulls hard and swims deep making several strong runs. My excitement was building in anticipation of seeing just how big this beast is. Fortunate enough for me the fish changes its gameplan of running deep and heads for the surface. I watched one of the most amazing aerial displays I've ever that gave me confirmation, I had found my biggin. The struggle continues for another minute or so and I land just my 2nd 18 inch smallmouth of the year. I ended the wade by catching a chunky 13 and 14 inch smallmouth with a few rock bass thrown in. Great day on the water.
 

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bass-o-matic
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Nice report. Congrats on the 18"er. That's a nice one.

How do you fish the Senko? Weightless? Bullet weight? Snag-proofed? Do you fish it in still water or can you fish it in current? Finally, what size Senko?

I've caught lots of great largemouth in lakes and ponds using a Texas rigged Senko (actually use the cheaper Strike King Shim-e Sticks), but I've never used one in the rivers. I've also never caught an 18" smallie, hence my question ;~)
 

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A healthy looking Stillwater PIG. Nice work!!!

I've never had a bad day on the river with Senkos. I like the smaller size red w/red flake it just angers the smallies into a hard strike.

I like how you switched it up until you found a workable pattern. The Stillwater is lookin good right now. The levels are at its lowest this year so far. I might gear up after work and go on a smallmouth hunt myself?


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Angler
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice report. Congrats on the 18"er. That's a nice one.

How do you fish the Senko? Weightless? Bullet weight? Snag-proofed? Do you fish it in still water or can you fish it in current? Finally, what size Senko?

I've caught lots of great largemouth in lakes and ponds using a Texas rigged Senko (actually use the cheaper Strike King Shim-e Sticks), but I've never used one in the rivers. I've also never caught an 18" smallie, hence my question ;~)
I usually throw it weightless, wacky rigged. And you can catch them in both current and still water. I use the 5 inch size, but have had good results with a 4 inch.
 

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bass-o-matic
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I usually throw it weightless, wacky rigged. And you can catch them in both current and still water. I use the 5 inch size, but have had good results with a 4 inch.
Thanks. I'll give one a try next time I'm out. Got out today on the LMR and had good success with a small white grub and a green pumpkin tube.
 

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That in deed Is a great looking Smallie. I heard yelling down river Sunday Morning and I knew it was you!
Great pic as well. It's always great fishing with you. Always willing to share info. Strategy. Makes it nice in only my second season to learn from someone that is willing to share knowledge.


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Angler
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A healthy looking Stillwater PIG. Nice work!!!

I've never had a bad day on the river with Senkos. I like the smaller size red w/red flake it just angers the smallies into a hard strike.

I like how you switched it up until you found a workable pattern. The Stillwater is lookin good right now. The levels are at its lowest this year so far. I might gear up after work and go on a smallmouth hunt myself?


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Ill have to give the red w/red flake a try, cause I like 'em angry!
 
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