|Use your illusion.|
It started off really slow for me on Saturday afternoon. I must have gone two hours without catching a fish. There were a few sunfish nibbles, but I had nothing to show for it.
|My "big" smallmouth. Couldn't even keep it in the frame!|
I kept wading on and finally came to an area that seemed to open up. There wasn't much green on the bottom, and it had deeper (two to four feet) pools.
Finally success casting a small spinnerbait when I saw a fish come out of nowhere and attack the lure. Reeling in, it initially felt like the fish wasn't hooked on the other end, but there was still some tension on the line. It turned out to be small sunfish, which explained why it didn't fight much.
A little bit later, a tiny smallmouth bass got hooked on the spinnerbait. If the fish was eight inches, I was being generous.
Targeting exposed rocks and slow water along the shore, I ended up with four more smallmouth -- the biggest measuring 11.5 inches -- in this section. Two were caught on a Z-Man Finesse TRD Worm and two on a Campground Special Teaser Tube. With the bottom-bouncing plastics, the sunfish would nip-nip at the tail of the lure. Each smallmouth I caught, the fish grabbed it and headed in another direction.
|Sunlight started to fade, but so did the bite.|
Back at the campground, I went up to the aqueduct spanning Fifteen Mile Creek to see if I could spot "The Muskie" like when we here two years ago. No muskie but I saw a nice sized smallmouth bass cruising the depths.
Karen came back and said she ended up a couple miles upriver at a dilapidated railroad bridge that crossed the Potomac from Maryland into West Virginia. She said she caught 14 inches of smallmouth -- three fish that probably totaled 14 inches.
|One of Karen's fish.|
In the morning, it sounded like raindrops were falling, which discouraged me from fishing. Finally when I got out of the tent, it wasn't raining but there was a lot of condensation, which I think made it sound like rain with the wet buildup dripping from the leaves of overhanging trees. It was still cold, too, and I didn't feel like getting into wet, leaky waders.
We had to head out early so I packed my fishing gear up. Karen got up, and we made breakfast of sausage with eggs from a box. She offered one of her fishing rods for me to go fishing while she started breaking down the camp site, and I took off to the end of the boat ramp.
I kind of explored this area yesterday, and it was chock full o' weeds. The TRD worm on her rod almost got snagged twice, so I figured a topwater lure might be better to skim across the surface. I switched to a bullfrog-flavored Heddon Zara Puppy and had a fish (probably a sunfish) peck at the lure.
|Sometime in March, 48 degrees will seem warm.|
The cold weather last night and this morning was a slap-in-the-face reminder that good fishing is almost over. The water felt a few degrees cooler than last week downriver at Brunswick, so soon the smallies will have disappeared to their mysterious wintering holes.