Read about all of my Fishing Adventures!
Follow my Fish of 2018
After the last few weeks of just smashing the fish on Wheeler, I thought it was time to take on a new challenge. After a 23 pound and 18 pound bag, you would think I was nutes. Here is a recap of those trips.
First, I felt like the fish on Wheeler were starting to dry up a good bit AND TVA had dropped the water several feet in just a few days. Second, even though it's time to get on Pickwick, Lou's Pickwick Fishing Reports didn't exactly paint a pretty picture. Lastly, the first Alabama Bass Trail tournament is on Smith and while February is a long way away, it's never too late to start getting the lay of the land.
Smith has been an up-and-coming lake the last few years, thanks to some dudes that "stocked" Blueback herring. The spots have gotten big and plentiful. We've had tournaments on Smith the last few years and while I've won two and gotten second in the third tournament, I never really thought I was "on them."
Quite the opposite, really. I never did catch a ton of top water fish. The suspending bass wouldn't bite an underspin. I have no faith in dropshotting. In fact, the only way I caught fish was doing a lot of the same stuff I do on every lake I fish. We found them with our electronics and we threw jigs and shakey heads.
The weirdest part was that we would prefish four of five days in the weeks leading up to the tournament and simply could not get a steady bite. In fact, we would have a bite or two on three different spots and would just say "well, that's the best we got, let's go fish it." Those one or two bites in practice turned out to be 20-30 bites on tournament day. You can read about our last trip on Smith by clicking the link below.
So, Brad and I headed to Smith. We decided to put in at the park instead of the dam because we would save about an hour of drive time. We had been told that the fishing was better around the dam, but all of our better bites have been on the park side.
We hit our spot that we've had the best luck upon and began doing some scanning. We didn't see a lot of bait, but using our side scan, we found a group of fish sitting on the side of a long main river point. Brad had a couple of bites on a shakey head before he swung one decent spot aboard.
On my next cast, I missed a fish on the ned rig. Tossed back out, boated one. Then another. Then another. Three straight casts, three fish in the boat.
For the next few hours, we did a lot of scanning, but man the fish were scattered. Worse was the rain was soaking both of us as we drove around. We would occasionally mark bait and we did find some suspending fish, but this is a part of our Smith Lake game we knew we needed to improve upon.
Tossing out in 200 feet of water, hoping to bring the fish up. Truthfully, we weren't very patient, but luckily, we did find some schooling fish.
But, we learned a valuable lesson. You cannot put the trolling motor on high and go zipping up to the schoolers. They will give you one cast and MAYBE one blowup on a topwater before they move away. This happened to us time and time again. The fish would say just out of reach. So, turn off your electronics. Turn down the trolling motor.
Eventually we did get on a school of big spots, but only could get a few to bite.
Before you knew it, it was time to head home. We didn't catch but a half dozen fish, but they were all decent spots. They were feeding on shad about an inch long and it is really hard to mimic that size of bait.