(fine print/ disclaimer...This was on of the best trips I've ever had in a river around here, some of it's going to sound like bull but it's not)
After telling my granddaughter her bedtime story and tucking her in, I left her Mamaw's capable hands and headed to the river. It was going on eleven before I got to my spot. I'll let ya in on a secret that for some reason you just don't hear much about. hybrids love the night. If you have a spot you can catch a couple in during the day odds are you can catch half a dozen at night. Well this spot was just about my best numbers spot for hybrids and tonight the weather, time of year, karma and lord knows what else combined to turn hybrid fishing into something akin to springtime crappie fishing, Well if crappies were two feet long and fought like possessed demons I guess. I honestly lost track of how many I caught which is probably a good thing no one would believe it anyways, I did catch at least 15 or 20 that were the size of this guy or bigger I guess.
My lil point and shoot that Ive carried for years and years finally kicked the bucket and it took me half the night to figure out how to take a decent night shot with the other one. I ended up throwing most away. They looked pretty much like these and worse.
Somehow a photo that went off when I miss set the timer actually took a clear photo. It's goofy but at least you can see how the fish were running size wise. I cropped out the close up of my butt.
I actually landed it before I realized it wasn't a shovelhead but instead a huge channel, one of the years best fish.
Downstream of here the river makes a huge bend curving back on itself for well over a mile, so much so that a half mile walk straight behind you across a giant field gets you well over a mile downstream as the river flows. And down here was a huge deep hole I've been thinking of as a wintering hole for smallmouth all summer. So right after first light I headed out.
Dan, Dave and I call most fishing spots by a sort of alphabet shorthand. One spot might be call WD while another UG or even something more descriptive like the Death Riffle. Anything to keep it's real name secret in case of a conversation overheard or a text miss sent. Well Dave had named this big wintering hole the A Hole. (after the name of a nearby landmark of course)
I fished for quite some time without finding the fish. I was standing throwing a grub into a fast shoot out in front of me when I noticed a little calmer spot of water in the riffle off to my left. I made a little underhand pitch cast and let the grub sweep into the little eddy. Wham fish on. And then another, and another. Last week I took some seniors from a retirement home fishing and I'm thinking the fish gods were pleased because they were more than generous today, Again I lost track but I'd say twenty smallmouth is probably close with the biggest a bit over 19". I think that's either 7 or 8 this year that's been within an inch of the magic 20 but no go again. But if this is the way the fish gods are going to tease me about it I'm okay with that.