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Smallmouth Bass

by: Lloyd Tackitt 11/13/2013

I catch smallmouth bass every once in a while.  On a good day I will catch two of them.  Typically they are in the 12" size range or smaller.  But yesterday...

I had finally decided to replace my fly line, it was getting kind of old and stiff and cracked and furry in places, but it still cast okay.  Just for fun though I bought new line and put it on.  It wasn't a good day for fly fishing though, the wind was blowing hard out of the north, very hard. 

Still, I had the new line and wanted to try it so I leaned into the wind and waded up river and started casting.  The new line is great, or it's great when the wind dropped for a minute or so every now and then.  I caught a dozen or so bluegills and was thinking about heading home to get out of the high winds when I hung a heavy fish.

Heavy and hard fighting.  When I got it up to me and raised it out of the water I was looking at the biggest smallmouth I had ever caught.  Given the size I think it must have been a female, she was about 20" long and probably around six or seven pounds.  A beautiful fish, they don't call them bronze backs for nothing. 

I caught her on a wooly bugger, black with tinsel, about an inch long, dead-drifting with the current.  I had cast close in to some brush and the fly was drifting parallel to the brush and only a few inches away from it.  This was in clear water, about three feet deep, with a gravel bottom and the current was fairly slow.  The surface was chopped up from the wind, it was mid-afternoon and mostly sunny.  The brush was in shadows from overhanging trees. 

I guess I'm going to have to start carrying a camera and a tape measure.  I love it when I go fishing with low expectations (just checking out the new line) and pull out a behemoth.  This proves to me, yet again, that I should go fishing whenever I can, not just when the conditions are "right".

Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Member comments
Bassackwards, CO   11/13/2013 2:51:22 PM
you should've know when you leave your camera at home is when you realiize that you wish you had it. Congrats on the catch, and the story, but without a's just a story. LOL
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   11/13/2013 5:56:28 PM
I have a waterproof camera - somewhere - that might be interesting to try and use to take a pic with the fish under the water. Could work, maybe.
opencage, CO   11/14/2013 10:02:54 AM
Bass, that's always the case with me. Every time I forget my phone I catch something picture worthy. Lloyd, those under water pics can look great! Definitely give it a shot and post it up for us. I've been half thinking about it too, but can think of a lot of other things (waders, float tube) to spend the money on.
Coyute, CO   11/14/2013 10:10:26 AM
Without the accompanying story, an unfamiliar picture is only an image. It reminds me of guys who use to say they subscribe to Playboy for the articles. LOL. Horsehockey! When it comes to a story or a picture, I'd take a story from Lloyd over a picture any day of the week. Then again, reading isn't for everyone. :)
catchn, CO   11/14/2013 10:33:40 AM
I can't read so pics are a MUST!,... nice story though
Bassnfly, CA   11/14/2013 5:27:33 PM
Like the plastic worm has long been considered the most consistent bass catching lure, the wooly bugger must be the most consistent fly lure. I know that at one time the record brown trout from AR was caught on a wooly bugger. I prefer to cast dry flies with buggy whips, because of the top water strike, but when that's not happening a wooly bugger is 2nd in my fly box.
Lloyd Tackitt
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