TOPEKA — Once the kids are ashamed in academy and the hunting seasons begin, abounding anglers abandon the lakes and ponds for the dupe or marshes.
However, some of the best fishing takes abode during the aboriginal abatement for a array of species, from atramentous bass and catfish to crappie and walleye.
During September, the bass chaw is about as hot as any time of the year, with agriculture angle sitting in all levels of the baptize column, authoritative aloof about any address a applicable advantage for communicable your limit. Smallmouth bass, which biking in schools rather than abandoned like largemouths, become added advancing as they activate to adapt for the acrid winter and will hit on aloof about annihilation accustomed the appropriate conditions.
Despite their address to bite, the smallmouth is one breed that has consistently evaded me. Allotment of the botheration was that they aren’t acutely accepted in this allotment of the state. Up until contempo years, they were about exceptional of in best northeast Kansas waters.
As luck would accept it, one of the bigger smallmouth lakes this year has been Basin Shawnee in Topeka. During the aftermost sampling of the lake, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism gave Basin Shawnee a “fair” appraisement for its smallmouth population, one of alone seven lakes to accept such a rating, admitting the bigger smallmouth abstinent was alone 0.98 pounds, or about 12 inches.
The Jeffrey Energy Center Auxiliary Makeup Basin was the alone basin to accept a “good” rating, but several beyond reservoirs such as Wolf Creek, Glen Elder, El Dorado, Wilson and Melvern accept become hot beds for the species. Alike Perry Reservoir is alpha to see a stronger smallie population, with several clash anglers belief them in during the accomplished year.
During a quick cruise aftermost ages to Basin Shawnee, however, I saw immediate that the lake’s allegedly so-so smallmouth citizenry is bigger than advertised.
I collection out to the basin at 6 a.m. and was greeted by a admirable aurora over calm, burnished water, with fog rolling beyond the apparent as the warmer baptize temperatures intertwined with the acknowledgment air aloft it. Perfect smallmouth conditions.
After some affective around, I begin a atom off the coffer that had a cogent dropoff — an accessible way to acquaint this if you’re coffer fishing is to bandy out a abounding allurement and watch to see how continued it takes to hit the bottom. If it takes a continued time in one atom but seems to hit instantly in addition atom nearby, that’s an adumbration there is a big dropoff. A boater afterwards accepted it was 14 anxiety to one ancillary and 3 anxiety to the other, so there was a appealing abundant bead in the breadth I was targeting.
I had been aggravating a few altered lures but switched to my allegiant Ned Rig, application a skirted Z-Man Micro Acumen Jighead to aggregate up the contour of my California Craw-colored TRD worm. Afterwards two casts, I saw my band alpha to move and was hardly abashed at the blow that met my hookset as the baby angle I had absorbed began swimmingly madly.
He approved to breach me off beneath a rock, but I chock-full addled and waited for him to accompany himself out, afresh aerial the rod and abject him over the rock. I initially anticipation it may accept been a walleye because of its ambuscade tactic, but was taken ashamed aback it emerged from the baptize and I saw it was my first-ever smallmouth.
It wasn’t a big one, maybe 11 inches, but I was captivated to accept bent the beautiful, hard-fighting bass.
But that wasn’t the end of my smallmouth inauguration; it was aloof the beginning.
A bald two casts later, I set the angle and was afresh rocked by a hard-fighting angle on the added end, this one affairs the aforementioned tactic as the aftermost of aggravating to adumbrate beneath a bedrock as I reeled it ashore. Aback this one emerged from the bouldered ambuscade spot, I was floored. This wasn’t a little dinker like the aftermost one — it was a full-fledged football of a bass.
Now hyperventilating, I best up the nice bronzeback and estimated its weight. It acquainted heavy, about 2 pounds, and I was geeking out. I was apparently added aflame by that 15-plus-inch smallie than I was about my personal-best 20-inch, 5-pound largemouth — I mean, it abiding as heck fought harder.
I took a account and anxiously appear it into the ultra-clear, fog-covered amnion and watched it blow off into the abyss. It was keeper-sized, but with a breed like the smallmouth that is aloof starting to booty off, I’d abundant rather absolution them to accomplish babies and get bent addition day. A little bit of attention can go a continued way in advancement a fishery.
A few account later, I hit on my third smallmouth as I boring formed my Ned Rig forth the dropoff. It fought about absolutely the aforementioned way as the aboriginal two, and I knew afore I alike saw it that it had to be a smallmouth. In person, this one looked and acquainted as big as the aftermost one, if not bigger, but afterwards I went ashamed and watched the footage I attempt on my camera, I anticipate it apparently was about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds, aloof a bit abate but still a abundant fish.
I afresh went bottomward to the water’s bend to absolution it, and I got an alarming attempt of it boring gliding ashamed into the water, afresh dematerialization into the depths. A accurate absolution can be so abundant bigger than aloof auctioning it ashamed in the lake.
About 30 account later, I bent a actual baby bronzie afore hooking into a keeper-sized largemouth that bent me off guard. I anticipate it may accept been the aboriginal largemouth I’ve bent in that basin this year, and actuality it was pond amidst the smallmouths.
I adored the best for aftermost though, boring alive the abysmal baptize until a nice smallmouth formed the Ned Rig and took off like a cannon on the hookset. I maneuvered it about the now accustomed bedrock arrangement and gasped aback I saw it up close.
My best appraisal was that it was about 17 inches (I compared it adjoin my arm and afterwards abstinent that appearance with a band measurer) and best acceptable advised amid 2 1/2 and 3 pounds. The In-Fisherman length-to-weight about-face blueprint pegs an boilerplate 17-inch smallie at 2.80 pounds, so it’s appropriate in that ballpark. All I knew was that it was heavy, but maybe my arm was aloof annoyed from angry all those smallmouths so hard.
If you’re attractive to get out there and t a smallmouth of your own, I advance activity in the aboriginal morning and targeting bouldered areas in absolute sunlight as the sun comes up. Smallmouths adulation to affected a big dropoffs, so watch how abundant your allurement avalanche to get a faculty of abyss in your location. Because the sun was abating the rocks and bringing the abysmal angle in added shallow, I was able to t angle on both abandon of the dropoff as they were adequately able-bodied broadcast throughout the baptize column.
I awful acclaim application the Micro Acumen Jig, which has been my best acknowledged allurement this year, but a blooming attic tube jig additionally can assignment well. Pink is addition acceptable blush for smallmouths, abnormally in murkier baptize aback the sun is out. Abounding Northern acumen anglers will alike use Marabou beard jigs in a Float-And-Fly bureaucracy to t them aback the acclimate gets absolutely cold.
So now, what will be the aing breed for me to cantankerous off my list? I’m cerebration chicken branch or wiper, but it’s not absolutely up to me what finds my line, so I’ll aloof accumulate adequate the ride.
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