First Spotted Bass Tuesday morning fishing a Barr Nunn popper. The popper was supposed to attract a big bull bluegill, but this bass got to the popper first. I was using my 4 weight Redington fly rod. All my fishing trips on Smith involve the 3, 4, 5, or 6 weight fly rods. I am interchanging fly rods all morning sometimes when certain color poppers are not producing. The best time to land fish using the popper on Smith is at daylight and any shaded areas on the rock walls before 10AM. After the sun hits the walls the bite is over. All my trips usually last about 4 hours.
The spawn is over for this moon cycle causing the big gills to move to the rock walls until the next spawning cycle. These bluegills in the cooler prove to be a worthy opponent on the 3 or 4 weight. I usually leave the lake with 8 or 10 bluegills that are fillet and baked in the oven.
These big bluegills inhale the popper like a vacuum cleaner. Most poppers are in no condition to use after three or four of these fish hit it. Getting the popper out of their mouth even with forceps can be a challenge.
Every once in a while I get a hit from a nice bass and Tuesday morning was one of those mornings. I got a chance to test my skill landing a 3 pound 14 ounce female Spotted Bass in excellent condition. She nailed a Barr Nunn Aqua color popper intended again for a big bluegill. The hit had me thinking I had hooked a bluegill but after the first surge stripping drag into deep water, I
knew better. The fight to bring this fish to the net took close to 5 minutes. I'm glad I had one of my fishing buddies with me to net the fish. I used side pressure left and right to try to tire the fish but she kept stripping drag on every run in the deep drop off from the down timbers near the bank.
The long fight was attributed to the fact I was using my 4 weight. I truly believe if I had not got the fish on the reel as quick I did I would still be wondering how large it was. This was the largest Spotted Bass I've ever landed using the fly rod. What made it so special for me was landing it on a lightweight fly rod.