‘Tis the Season to be Fishing
Tournament season is right around the corner, where long days prefishing
and scheduling fishing trips await. But until the cold wind blows on Lake Norman
to kick off the 2015 season, the holiday spirit is full of finesse fishing
for smallmouth bass and camping on clear mountain lakes.
Catch Them in the Cold
Is it ever too cold to fi
sh? There are some preconceived notions that anglers, a fancy term for fisherman, may believe is that the fish won't bite after the air turns south of 40F and fishing for bass is impossible to do so in these conditions. However in high mountain reservoirs in the Appalachians and lakes alike, anglers are still catching fish. Not only are there fewer boaters on the water, but the fish become more aggressive and feed frequently. When fishing in winter conditions, be sure to test out finesse type baits and rotate between techniques by following what the fish tell you.
Getting out of the warm house is most likely the first hurdle... So pack up your camping gear, grab a load of firewood, pack your solar gear, fill the thermos full of a hot beverage and hit the water!
A three day trip to smallmouth country in Tennessee couldn't be better. It started on the day after Thanksgiving, after saying goodbye to family members and scraping the snow and ice off the truck, it was
northbound with more snow in the forecast.
We dumped the boat in early morning, walked down the snow covered do
ck to load up, and scooted over
to our three day home. After setting up camp, we couldn't wait to catch some fish. With air temperature in the low 30's and water temperature in the mid 40's fishing was tough. After two hours of trying to figure out what the fish want, light line with finesse techniques was the key to our success. Actually if we want to be specific finesse drop shooting and twitching lightweight feather jigs
was key. After figuring out our finesse style patterns, the smallmouth were plentiful. Don't get too excited, I use the term plentiful loosely, when fishing in 35 - 40F water.
Then it was time to head up river and piece the fly rods together to do some trout fishing! After packing up the Packr backpack
with equipment and lunch we beached the boat and headed up stream on foot. As most anglers may know, brown trout head up river in the fall to spawn and rainbow trout do the same in the early spring. We were determined to catch a big brown trout. Unfortunately we struck out while fishing the first mile upstream from the lake. After doing some research on water temperature and quality, we found it was a couple weeks too early for the browns to make their run. So has the sun began to set so we called it a day and decided to head back to the homestead to recharge
Winter Camping Anyone?
Our tent was nestled in the woods on the middle of an island. Warmth was necessary so the campfire was raging by dusk. Regardless of camping in the winter, power for charging electronics is necessary for many reasons. The Packr
and Kickr IV
stayed by our sides in day light and the Jumpr Slate
came in handy at night.
After beaching the boat and taking long hikes up the river, the Packr was used to carry line, tackle boxes, hardware, extra clothing, while keeping phones and cameras charged and protected. The Kicker IV always stays on the boat to charge the GoPro while filming. The Jumpr Slate is the perfect tool for charging bluetooth speakers and phones to keep the music playing while enjoying the campfire.
Overall we had a wonderful trip with the largest smallmouth bass weighing over 4lbs. We'll be back to load up on rainbow trout in the Spring!
Stay tuned for Part II, A Christmas Miracle Muskie
on the Fly!