A Presentation Adjustment
October 8, 2012
Rahe and his son Enzo were with me today and what a day it was going to be. Although the morning was cold, the sun made it feel warmer and the lack of wind helped as well. I knew based on yesterday that we would have a tough bite until the sun heated everything, creating movement. It was slow at first but they both picked a few here & there. Enzo even landed another sturgeon on one of the spots for smallies! Sometime after 10:00 it began as Enzo got crushed on a spinnerbait. A chunky 3.5 pound smallie was his prize and a few pics were in order. Not to be outdone by his son, Rahe locked up on one of his own. This fish was considerably larger and unfortunately came unpinned on a leap. Feeling the pain, Rahe reeled in fast to make another cast only to have one even larger try to eat the blades again. Wow, two big fish missed on only one cast! We covered the area thoroughly and they picked a few others in the process. These fish were just starting to become active and the blades were the way to find them. I did realize quickly however that they weren’t eating well and as with yesterday, made some adjustments to increase the odds. I prepped a senko for Enzo and a soft jerkbait for his dad as a backup rod. Next fish that showed, there would be a throw back rod ready! They were both getting hits, follows and blowups on the spinnerbait but not many were staying hooked. I immediately had Enzo toss back a wacky rigged senko and within seconds his rod was bent. Another 4 pound chunk gave him quite a battle until it eventually was in the net. Rahe had a few fish try to eat his bait but somehow he struck too soon and was left holding the bait, literally. I decided that a demonstration was in order and ran him through the drill. You really need to pay attention to the fish and their attitude as you work this lure. I showed him how to turn a follow into a strike as I manipulated it and got crushed. His next cast had him also changing the bass’s attitude and locked up solid. By paying attention to how these fish were reacting, they were both able to hook several more quality fish here. With the sun up high now, I continued to cover water and shifted to another area nearby. It was here that Rahe got the confidence he needed as he managed to land several other quality fish. Enzo was back on the spinnerbait for a bit and got ploughed pretty good, as well. There’s nothing better than getting slammed by a smallie while reeling a spinnerbait as fast as you can! Both were picking at them here but the numbers weren’t great. Although the fish were all quality, I wanted more! I switched Enzo to a crankbait and he banged another close to 4 pounds almost immediately. Another adjustment on working this lure had multiple followers and a couple of them were turned into eaters. This whole time, Rahe was tossing his bait over various bottom types and hooking several of his own. Between the two of them, there was enough action to keep anyone occupied. As the day was getting on, I decided to change everything up completely and show them another technique. Rahe had wanted to see what all the hype was with drop shotting and they were about to experience it first hand. A vertical presentation was needed over this deep water and once instructed, Rahe was hammered. Unfortunately he missed the fish, but now knew what to expect. Enzo on the other hand didn’t as he was seen with bent rod in hand and battling another 4 pounder for a while. Eventually I was able to slip the net under this football and snapped a few quick pics before the release. At only 12 years old, he already has loads of experience fishing many different techniques and it shows! It doesn’t really matter what I show him as he catches on immediately. Most times, he out fishes his dad but today they were almost equal. They both had their share of chances and managed to land plenty of big smallies in the process. After another demonstration of casting a drop shot to deep water, we were done for the day. The annual fishing trip together with me was officially over and they both had new techniques to continue with. Although most of their fishing is done from the shore, these would prove to come in handy on many areas they fish. Today was another successful, big fish day and they would have plenty of memories and photos to share!!