I went down to the river this afternoon around 1:00 to go try my 6" bullshad swimbait out. I told myself I would throw it once I caught a few on the smaller 5" bait. I found out today that I definitely need a new rod for the bigger swimbaits. I was using my 7' MH cranking rod with 25lb mono and I just couldn't get a hook in the fish when they hit. There was just too much stretch with the mono and undersized rod. I ended up missing all three fish that hit the swimbait. Two came off almost instantly and the bigger one fought for a few seconds then just came off. It really felt like fishing with a rubber band since I am so used to braid. I am sticking with the mono when I get my Dobyns 795 SBMT rod that's designed for swimbaits and magnum topwaters. That will have enough backbone to throw that big lure and also get the hook into those thick lipped lunkers.
I took the daytripper again today instead of the Coosa because I was by myself and I have a Nissan Xterra. Just too hard to get the Coosa up there by myself. I was fishing my way downriver and came to an area that I usually catch a fish or two from. It has some deep water with fast current that sweeps up close to the bank and into some blowdowns. By deep I mean 6-8ft. I tossed by the bullshad up into the shallow water above the blowdowns and deep water. Let it sink and was swimming it parallel with the tree and it got hammered. I set the hook and felt some strong head shakes. Tried to lead the fish out of the trees and it just came off. Felt like I never really hooked the fish. I put down the swimbait and threw my shakyhead with a green pumpkin trick worm up where it could tumble into that deep hole and it was picked up almost instantly. Put the hook into a feisty shoal bass about 2lbs. He put up a good fight and had some awesome colors.
I rigged my worm up and threw back into that hole. Again, the shakyhead was hit almost instantly and this time there was a little more weight when I set the hook. The fish jumped and I could see it was a nice bass then it dove into those blowdowns. Luckily they don't have a lot of limbs on them from being in the water a long time and I was able to hold steady pressure on the fish until in swam out of the trees. Then it bolted straight under my yak and began peeling line. It was a big spotted bass and they pull like freight trains. I backed off my drag and the fish took some line a few times. After playing it out I eased it up to my hand and lipped the bass. I noticed it had a huge scar on it's jaw. You could tell it had been caught when it was younger, ripped it's jaw, and then it healed. The fish measured just over 19" long and weighed a tad over 3lbs. I love them big, summer time, spotted bass!
Two nice fish out of that hole was a pleasant surprise. I fished on with a few followers on the 6" Bullshad and then I caught my smallest shoal bass this year on a 4" tru tungsten. The fish was barely bigger than the lure. I do admire it's tenacity though. I worked my way all the way back up to the area I put in and decided to continue upriver and try the slacker water. I had some shade on the bank so I began tossing a pop r. About 5 minutes into throwing the pop r I had a nice fish blow up on it 5ft from my yak. It startled me so much that I didn't set the hook quick enough and when I did the pop r just came up from 4 or 5ft deep without the fish. I saw the fish strike and it was a nice largemouth, at least 3lbs. That was the only fish I could get to show any interest in the pop r so I decided to paddle back and pack it in. I didn't sleigh them today but I was happy to feel a good tug on the end of my line.