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I keep browsing the forums to see what's going on and it's a bunch of nothing! I know it's the Great White North and all but it's mid-April. Did you all take up golf or something? OK then, just to stir you up, down here the bass are starting to go on the beds. Our group has been on a tear for shoal bass from 4 to 7 lbs. I recently got a 4+ on a Fodder and one just slightly smaller on topwater. If the weather stays stable, Ed Dahmer should hit it just right when he comes down here next week. Remember, the fish are always in the water, so whenever you go, it's the right time.

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Craig ,

 

I've been out fishing just about every day, still haven't decided on doing a report for todays trip. If I posted a report for every trip so far this year the Chicago reports forum would be burgeoning.

 

Natures cues indicate that if some fish aren't spawning already they soon will be. The biggest problem right now that the water has never got down to "normal" spring levels as far as flow rate, height and visibility.

 

Good to hear that you are doing well down south. My territory I dispatch is Jackson Ms and points south. The company may send me on a tour of the territory this year, may be able to slide a day in to visit. It would pretty much depend on the mode of transportation the company uses to get me there.

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Good to hear from you, Craig! High & cold water has limited the opportunity to flyfish the rivers so far but that should change soon.

 

No reports?Has squinting over your tying vises damaged your guys eyesight?One final question, John.Why no response to the 2 emails I sent you re leader links we'd discussed at theblowout?

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If Norm has shown anything, its that Smallies can be caught in all conditions. Waiting around for perfect weather misses out one of the prime times for big fish. Fish still eat, in fact, they have to! Big Smallies have been hitting rediculous baits for the better part of two months now.

 

No complaints about not catching big Smallmouth if you aren't willing to fish when they are easiest to catch.

 

They are about to spawn here too.

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Too cold.

Too high.

Not pleasant.

Too expensive. A trip to the Kank now costs 20 bucks in gas maybe more.

Not worth it for a few hours of bank fishing. Maybe a fish.

 

Norm's numbers are totally irrelevent to me. I've never come close to those. Ever. Not even a tenth.

 

I'm not a hard core hawg guy, either. I catch a few descent fish I'm happy. More into nice conditions and an overall pleasant experience, which is what drew me to fishing the Kank and smallie fishing.

 

I'm waiting for lower warmer water.

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The rivers have been too high to jump in and wade to fly fish. I've been doing some smallie fishing, but it has been lunch break fishing where I walk along the shore dabbling with a spinning rod right along the shoreline. That fishing has been pretty slow, with just a few fish and a few more hits in several outings. It has been nothing to get excited and write about.

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what are you basing them getting ready to spawn on? I'm not saying ne one is wrong its just i think the rivers are colder than the lakes, and they are just moving up in lakes. :blink:

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Spawning is based mostly on water temp. Most of what I've read smallmouth spawn at around 60-65 degrees. They'll spawn in a little colder water up north and a little warmer down at their southern range. Some rivers just run warmer than others for whatever reason. It could be farther south and running south to north. It could be spring fed or run through open farmland or have warm discharges. I'm in Rockford IL and the Rock river flows north out of Wisconsin. Its in the upper 40's and some of the tribs have finally warmed into the low 50's. I would guess our bass are a good 3 weeks to a month to spawn. If someone is on a river with water temps in the upper 50's then the spawn is just around the corner. IL is a big state. The weather can be quite different from one end to the other.

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what are you basing them getting ready to spawn on? I'm not saying ne one is wrong its just i think the rivers are colder than the lakes, and they are just moving up in lakes. :blink:

 

 

Small rivers warm much quicker. We've been in the 50's for a couple weeks, bass have bellies of eggs- even the 15 and 16" fish.

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Hmmm, interesting thread about Smallies spawning. Is water temp the firm indicator? Here in the Sacramento Valley of California my local creek is at 76 degrees. It really never gets very cold by midwest standards. Do you suppose the fish adapt to the 'ambient' temp and adjust accordingly? I know the bass adapt to the rapidly changing stream bottom of this creek because there are quite a few older, larger, fish present. This creek changes bottom structure in almost any good sized storm. A really heavy winter and the creek can move several hundred yards from where it started. It sits in a wide, gravel and cobble floodplain, almost devoid of trees.

 

Craig, I hit the creek for a couple of hours on Sunday, after almost a week of 70 degree weather. Water up a little and cloudy, I think from the runoff in the coast range. The one Smallmouth I caught took an olive Hairy Fodder tied on a #4 circle hook. Have you used circle hooks on any of your flies? I've had problems in the past with Smallmouth and Stripers taking the fly all the way into their throat. The fat 2 pounder on Sunday was neatly hooked in the lip, despite my being rather slow on the draw. Ed

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I have not tried circle hooks. I'm a 60 degree jig hook fan because they do not hang up on the bottom as much as other hooks and that's where I do most of my fishing. I thought of the concept but never really had much problem with deep hooks. Besides, I don't think I could train myself to stop setting the hook, I've got cat reflexes on a strike and would pull a circle hook from every fish and drive myself nuts. Do fish really hang on to a fly long enough to get hooked? I always figured that they'd figure out it was a fake long before a circle hook would set itself. It's a subject I know little about, enlighten me please.

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I'll let you know how my enlightenment goes. I'm trying it out because of a lot of deep hooked fish last year. I know some serious striper guys that won't use anything else. We're having an unusually cool spring so far, when things start to heat up I'll start doing some side by side comparisons. Ed

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