Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Small River, Stream Smallmouth Bass on Plastic Baits

Last I stream fished smallmouth bass, I tried plastics for ten minutes after shiners ran out and turned away despising these imitations. Today I fished the South Branch Raritan under an hour with five-inch Senko-type worms to catch three bass, miss too many hits, and suffer the sting of a good bass breaking the line at the knot just after catching the 14-plus- inch bass I photographed.

Senko worms are an old standby. They cast a mile--that's an advantage. But the disadvantage for long casts is the bow in the line the current quickly creates. Even if you set almost immediately--and quick sets prevent gut hooking--chances are high that you will just pull the worm out of an opened mouth, the bass reacting to tension too loose to drive the hook.

Stepping into a wild space really lets you know you have brittle nerves if you happen to be stressed out. I had spent most of the day unaware of my condition until I stepped onto gravel and rocks and had a difficult time at it. Honestly, even after hiking well upstream, slogging against strong current in my sneakers, sneaking through thick aquatic vegetation and algae thigh deep and wondering if a snapping turtle would claw out ahead of me, nature did not restore me to normal today. But while marching back to meet a schedule felt very stressful, the good-size stream bass I caught did make it feel worthwhile. 


  1. Bruce, I'm surprised we have not crossed paths on the river. Sounds as though we have much in common, a desire to be on the water as often as possible and young sons following in our footsteps. It's a time in life for me right now I would'nt trade for the world. Keep the lines tight Brother!!!

    Johnny Miller

    1. So John, that was you commented way back. I am so amazingly slow at learning the technology, I honestly didn't think to simply respond by a reply. I think I wrote something or other in the next post.

      Anyhow, hope you managed to fish the South Branch this past year. And I hope that we meet on the river yet.


Comments Encouraged and Answered