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Crazy About Minnows

by Herb S.
(Southwest Michigan)

About three weeks ago my cousin, Chuck, and I went to a seldom visited section of my favorite smallmouth and panfish stream. I was armed for smallies with my Daiwa 39SF with a #4 level line and 4X tippet. As we waded through an 80 yard shallow and weedy stretch Chuck pointed out lots of fish he took to be bluegills in a pocket in the weeds. Since he was spin-fishing and after bass he went on up.

My large fly didn't work so I put on a #14 black thread and sparse black hen hackle kebari type fly tied on a Mustad C49S 1XS hook. The fish turned out to be Golden Shiners, lots of 'em. Fishing the open areas in the weed beds I caught more and more until River Chubs started hitting, and I never got past 'em. Chuck came back raving about the mother lode of smallies, some in the 18" to 20" range, he found below an old broken down dam.

I've been back twice since then -- with my Nissin Air Stage Hakubai 390 seiryu rod with #2.5 line and 7X tippet. What a blast! Many of the shiners were in the 3" range, and a delight to hook with the light line and highly sensitive rod. Some of the shiners were larger, of course, and the chubs ran up to the eight inch range.

With the right tackle River Chubs put up a pretty good fight. Yesterday the chubs seemed to prefer a #12 Cooper Bug, a proven killer on bluegill and trout by the way, over the kebari.

Now my cousin and other fishing buds are convinced I'm completely nuts. They're going after the largest of whatever fish species while I'm "cane pole" fishing with the lightest tackle for the smallest fish. I get pitying looks and unasked-for advice. But you know, I don't care.

Comments for Crazy About Minnows

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Aug 02, 2016
Crazy minnows
by: TIMMY!

Good little article but would have loved to see pics of the area, water and fish?!

Aug 03, 2016
Thanks Timmy and an update
by: Herb S.

Glad you liked my report. Sorry about no pics. I don't have a camera nor a smart phone that takes photos.

On another stretch of the same river today I fished my Suntech Aoi ZPRO 53 with a #3 level line and 6X tippet and caught "many" nice size bluegill and a bonus 10" smallmouth. The flies du jour were a #12 Cooper Bug, #8 Olive Woolly Bugger and a #12 Black Killer Bugger - all worked. Sometime toward the middle of the melee I looked down in the gin clear water to see a school of itty bitty fish within three feet of me. Here I was hauling in 8 to 10" 'gills and wondering what those tanago-size fish are and what it would take to catch 'em. Guess my friends are right. I'm nuts...and having fun.

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