Exercising the Smallies

The forecast called for high skies and temps in the mid 40’s. Days like this are going to be very limited for the next several months so needless to say I was off to take full advantage of it. Fellow Gopher Bassmaster and good friend Rich Lindgren joined me for some non stop smallmouth bass action on the Mississippi River. We made our first casts at about 11 am and it didn’t take but a minute for us to start getting bit. This certain stretch of river has been very generous lately and Rich and I made a bold goal of 100 bass each. I have to say, by the way things started out it seemed like we were going to easily surpass that number. We decided that the challenge was not going to be how many but how big. I believe Rich’s quote went something like “It’s not the number of fish you catch it’s the size that cash’s the paychecks”. Being that Rich and I are naturally very competitive, you could guess that a good old bet came into place rather quickly there after. We decided that whoever catch’s the heaviest fish wins and the looser buys dinner. It wasn’t long after that Rich sets into a nice smallie, unfortunately for him the fish got off right at his feet. We continued to catch fish but they were all pretty much under two pounds a piece. These are not the kinds of fish that are going to get either one of us a free dinner. No sooner did that thought come into my head then I got a nice bite right next to a laydown tree. A good fish, a real good fish but it managed to bury me up in the limbs and before I could do anything my line went slack. That hurt. It also didn’t help that Rich found it very humorous and got a pretty solid chuckle out of it. It really stung when 20 minutes later Rich was fighting a nice one out of the same brush pile. This one was weighed and Rich posted the mark at 2 lbs. 14 ounces.

At about the half way point the count was 30 for Rich and 24 for myself. The bite slowed and we decided to head out and check another good stretch a couple miles down river. Knowing I needed to get a bigger bite I switched from a 3″ YUM Tube (green pumpkin) to a 3.5″ Strike King Coffee Tube (green pumpkin). I found a nice little drop that went from rock to sand and cast my lure right down the edge. I worked it very slow up the slope when I felt a subtle “tick” in the line. There she was, 3 lbs 13 oz.
We fished until dark and in the end Rich finished with 76 smallmouth bass to my 65. Not bad cosidering it was his first time fishing this area. He was just smoking them there for a while on a 3″ Berkley Power Bait Finesse Tube (green pumpkin). He did have a couple of nice fish get off, but in the end I won the bet. Just for good measure my 65th fish weighed in at 3 lbs. 12 oz. I like my burger medium with american cheese please.
On the ride home we talked about other ways we could have caught them and think with some adjustments we could each get to 100. Sounds like a good time to me.
“It’s not the number of fish you catch it’s the size that cash’s the paychecks.” -Rich Lindgren

From left to right: Me with the winner 3.13 lbs., me with the runner up 3.12 lbs, Rich with a nice 2.14 lb (sorry about the bad picture), and my lure of choice, a 3.5 inch Strike King Coffee Tube (green pumpkin) with 1/8 oz. Kalin’s Tube Jig.

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