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Go Small Or Go Home

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© June 2013


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We hit the water around 5:30 or 6:00 and after launching The Cat in
that little backwater we headed down the way a bit. Was mostly
throwing Club-Os. I was switching back and forth between C0-4s and
CO-H5s, and I caught a couple small bass, but the bluegills were just
harassing the heck out of my baits. I decided to fish for them with
some 1.5" curly grubs I make myself. I use a simple dropshot rig with a
couple #6 bait holder hooks. They were smacking the bait and spitting
it pretty quick, but I started to get a feel for them, and managed 7
that were big enough to become a late dinner last night. I also stuck
several small bass on them, and had one decent one break me off on the
jump. I wasn't surprised as I had been bumping the rig through some
rocks for several casts to get bit. I just have 6 or 8 pound test on
that rod too.

As the sun fell and the light level started to
noticeably change I decided to try another area where the gills had
been harassing me earlier. On my first cast I felt tension on the line
almost instantly, and I loaded it up. It didn't feel like a bluegill.
At first it was solid, and I was thinking it was a 2 or 3 pound bass.
Then it started to pull, and I thought maybe a little bigger. Then
she started to take some drag. Enough were I just let her take drag.
In fact I checked the drag because at one point the rod was really
loading up and I wasn't sure if the drag was going to slip like it
should. It was fine.

When I got a my first look at the fish I
thought it was atleast a 5 or 6 pounder. Then she dove taking drag
again. Patti grabbed the net and set it in the water. Of course the
fish saw the net and took drag again, but I was ready for that. Then
it went under the net, and we had to get it out of the way. Patti was
awesome on the net. After 7 or 8 runs taking drag on almost every run
she was finally ready to come in. Patti set the net down low in the
water, and I was able to lead the fish up over it. When I was about
ready to say pick it up the net just disappeared. So did my fish.
Patti swooped it up and had it down in the bottom of the boat in the
flick of an eye. At that moment I was thinking solid 6+, but when I
picked it up for a picture I thought over 7. Later when I weighed it
on D-Mans scale it showed at 7lbs 5ozs.

D-Man paddled over
while I was messing with the fish to borrow a pair of pliers. He was
trying to get the hook out of a solid fish of his own at the same time.

I got a couple more small bass on the YTC 1.5" Curly Grub
after that, but I was basically done for the evening after that big

I'm not suggesting anybody go big bass hunting with a
1.5" curly grubs. That was incredibly lucky. Year old light line.
Tiny little hook. Insignificant little bait. Everything has to line
up just right to get a nice fish like that in the boat on such a rig. I
can go further to say that sometimes when I just want to feel a pull
on my string, I'll throw that rig, and more than once I have seen a
bigger (2-3 pounder) bass eat it in clear water. Swim up, bite down,
and hold it, and then see the bait and hook slide right out of their
mouth as I try to load up and hook them. The hook is just too small
for consistent hookups on big bass.

Prior to last night I had
caught bass upto about 4 pounds on my tiny baits, but I have always
considered it just luck and I was never "really" targeting big bass
with them. Its just not a good choice for getting them in the boat.

they are pretty hard to beat. I've got a lot of small fish on the YTC
1.5" Curly Grub. Last year my son caught 30 or 40 fish including 6
back to back doubles out on the canal bank one day dropshotting little
curly tails. Bluegill, redear, striper (yes striper), crappie,
largemouth, and smallmouth have fallen to this simple rig for me.
Usually lots of small fish, but as I have said before, "Fishing beats not fishing, and catching beats not catching."

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