Huguenot Flatwater 5-2-2003

2 05 2010

I was able to grab a few hours on on Sunday so I ran out and put in for some fishing at Huguenot Flatwater. As I was heading to the launch, an old timer told me it was a bit “choppy” today. Great, I haven’t been out in my kayak in over 3 weeks and I have to deal with crappy conditions.

I finally launch and get to fishing…the wind is horrendous. It’s blowing at 20+ mph with gusts greater than that. I start cursing some more. Air temps are around 90 and water temps are 72. The river is at 5′ and would be perfect were it not for this damn wind. I’m throwing a nose hooked brown Culprit 3″ water beetle and a Bomber Model A crank in Fire Tiger. I’m also testing out a Rapala Skitter Popper as well. For the first 2.5 hours, the only thing I’m catching is a crap ton of wind. I speak to a few other anglers and no one is catching anything.

The wind finally dies down a tiny bit and I find a large rock jutting out of the water creating some calm water from the main current. About 15 yards behind the rock, the water drops off to about 10 feet and is calm. I anchor here and start throwing to the slack water behind the rock.

I see and hear some rather large smallmouth bass behind me hitting the surface; looks like they’re hitting some of the leaves that are in the water. So I try throwing my popper with no action. I start throwing back to the slack water. By now I’m tossing a 4″ white Culprit tube, t-rigged with a heavy bullet weight. I cast and I give a few turns of the crank and I get what I think is a tap. I go to set the hook and my leader/braid knot fails (Alberto, I need a lot of practice tying this knot). I’m thinking it was probably hooked on a rock and that’s why it came loose. I grab my Culprit beetle and start throwing back to the same place I lost my tube. I get a tap-tap so I set the hook. FISH ON!!!!

This smallie IMMEDIATELY hits the surface and makes a beautiful 2′ jump. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a smallie jump this high and it’s a sizable fish. I catch myself yelling “YEAH!!!!!”. The smallie is running back and forth…left to right. He takes a few runs at me and I have to maneuver him around the kayak. Another paddler sees the fight and paddles over….I’m still fighting the fish. After a solid 90 seconds of fight with numerous clicks of the drag and several long runs, I land it. It’s a beautiful 16.25″ in SMB. I don’t think it’s my personal best as I’m sure I’ve caught a few larger, but it’s my PB since I’ve started officially measuring them.

As I’m setting the fish on my Hawg Trough, I realize the fish has 2 leaders coming out of his mouth. The esophagus is closed, but I take my pliers in and grab the leader and pull. Out pops out a white tube!!!! This smallie had just engulfed my tube only minutes earlier and then decided it was going to eat my beetle as well! SWEET, got my hook and tube back! Anyways, this was the only bite (technically 2) I got in about 3.5 hours of fishing, but this fish made that time worth while. Here are a few pics. Notice the leader coming out of its mouth on the trough, that’s from the tube still in its stomach.

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