A Large Smallmouth Day

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I had a fantastic fall day out with Joe Ford of Joe Ford Fishing when he jumped at a last-minute opportunity to get together for a day of Bass fishing. I was looking for a great late-season Largemouth day as I love late season Largies.

Getting down to the dirty, we did pretty well on Largemouth up to 3 1/2 pounds but no real kickers, however, it was the day of the big Smallies that made this a special one.

We were torquing both species pretty well (along with a couple of Walleye and Muskie) and I wanted to go hit a weed bed that has produced well for me in the past. I said to Joe “bear with me for a bit bud, I want to ‘scope the flat moving into the weed bed just to see if anything might catch my eye”.

While moving towards the shallower water with my trolling motor, I turned on the LiveScope feature of my bow Garmin. Nothing showed at first but then as I Scoped left, I saw what looked like a big bass. Then I saw a couple of smaller fish. THEN I saw a nice ball of baitfish really close to the bigger fish. I tossed out a dark green craw bait with an un-pegged 3/8 oz tungsten, 3/0 extra-wide gap offset hook on 15lb Fluorocarbon and thud. A giant Smallie jumps for the skies.

Pete’s craw/creature recommendations: Sweet Beaver 4.2 Yamamoto Psycho Dad or Craw Strike King Rage Bug

Joe and I freaked out!

Another cast and there’s just weight on my craw (very few weeds on the flat)… mega-hookset and a bigger Smallie yet again jumps. This one was at least 24” long and for sure pushing 6lb!

This time Joe and I were laughing and high 5-ing like two kids!

Long story short, we soon learned that our intended Largemouth day turned into a Stellar Smallie day. For sure 23lbs for our best 5 and it was probably closer to 25lbs

All of my fish came on the craw, all of Joe’s came on a black/black jig & trailer. Slow tactics with brutal hard hooksets!

Moral of the story: I would have never caught those “flats” fish if I didn’t experiment with my electronics. They can and will help you throughout your fishing season no matter what species you’re after. You just need to play around with the many features these “beauties” offer.

It’s fun and effective!


Pete Bowman

Pete, one of the most revered and popular anglers in the nation, has a tremendous love for the game… the fishing game. Pete’s vast knowledge of angling and ability to articulate it to audiences worldwide has endeared him to his fans who still see Pete as just “ONE OF THE BOYS”. Pete is also an accomplished and published outdoor writer and photographer as well as a sought-after speaker. In 2012 another of Pete’s ultimate fishing career highlights occurred when he was inducted into the Canadian Angler Hall Of Fame, something he never thought would happen. A Canadian fishing icon.

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