Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Best of 2006- Fishing the James River for Smallies

Imagine this- it is summer time, 90 degrees and very humid. Not always the best for other types of fishing, but my favorite weather to fish for Smallies. The photos are the largest smallmouth I caught that day- around 15" in length. We caught this a couple of hours into our float on the James River on the east side of Springfield, MO. (before you get to Lake Springfield).
My friend, Kevin Hanks, and I grabbed a canoe and some cold ones and headed upstream, with the intent to float down. This is an interesting river. From first sight, it appears to be "dirty", but looking closer, it is a very healthy river- it just does not look like most ozark rivers. This is probably due to the fact that there are not many springs that feed this river- it does have the same rocky bottom, however, that most ozark streams and rivers have. There are some HUGE common carps in some of the deep pools upstream- very impressive!

I was using a bait cast rod and 10# Red Cajun Line, Stand up Jig and Orange/Brown hula grub (Chomper). I have a lot of friends that approach waters like this with ultra lights, and I can imagine that would be a lot of fun as well, but I really dig using heavier gear (especially with all the cover- look at the front of the canoe- that is where this smallie came out of)
We absolutly tore it up on this day- I caught around 15 smallmouths, a couple of large mouths (none of any real size), and some rock bass. We caught so many fish, my elbow was sore the next day- absolutly increadable.
Here is why I am writing this article- when all the lakes are frozen, and the fishing is real lean, it is nice to think about what is to come in 2007!


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