Spring Bass Fishing | Perch Fishing | Dwayne Hickey
It usually starts about mid March. As the days get longer and the water gets warmer creek fishing heats up. Were talking feisty smallmouth bass and tasty red eye perch. Ole Red Eye, (black perch, rock bass) fishing seems to always peek when the dogwoods bloom. These plentiful fighters can make for a fantastic day of fun fishing. Not to mention fighting wild creek smallmouth bass. Some middle Tennessee creeks and streams have smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass, catfish, blue gill and shell crackers.
There's some great fishing to be had on these small creeks and rivers throughout the south, with less pressured fish just waiting to be caught. As much fun as the fishing can be there is also the feeling of being close to nature. I've witnessed some awesome displays of nature while wadding a creek or floating down a lazy river. Small boats, canoes, and kayaks are the norm for getting you on the fish, but stopping along the way and wade fishing is a great way to increase your catch. Often these sweet spots are overlooked and passed by. I usually float past my target, and begin wading upstream. These targets are often where swift water and calm, swirling water meet. I approach these "Eddies" first with smallmouth in mind. The perch can wait! Try a small top water "buzzbait, a.c. shiner, baby small Zara spook first if the surface temp is warm enough. Shallow running cranks and a small jig/pork combo should also work in these honey holes. I also carry some Mepps spinners, rooster tails and curly tail grubs.
These lures all catch bass and perch starting in early spring. Another way to target these creek fish is to use live bait. Hook a creek minnow, [shiner, big tuffy) in the back or through the nose, add a quarter ounce weight about six inches up the line, and clip a bobber about 2 ft up. This is a simple, yet deadly set up for smallmouth bass. I usually cast the minnow rig out in the middle of the river ahead of my boat while slow drifting. Usually where you catch one there are more close by so slow your drift down and maybe even anchor above the fish. River smallmouth will readily hit large minnows drifted a couple feet down. Learn these mid river holes and odds are you'll catch the largest bass in the river!
Crawfish are also an excellent choice for fishing small rivers and creeks. In fact, no other lure or live bait can out catch river fish of all species! I classify "crawdads" four ways. 1. Jelly soft (Just molted) 2. Peelers (Almost ready to mote) 3. Crustys ( Have molted, shell is stronger day by day) 4. Rock Hard (Bring blood when they pinch!)
Theres nothing swimming that won't gobble up a soft crawfish. I catch craws two ways. Using s Seine net or by hand. The second method is for young muscles and quick hands! Look for "soft craws" under rocks in shallow water creeks. Use a small mesh net to scoop up the crawfish as you slowly turn over rocks. If you pay attention, you will see molted shells lying near rocks. That's your sign that a nice, juicy C-Daddy is close by.
The rig is simple. I use a spin cast set up with fairly light line, depending on the size of bait and water clarity. A medium heavy, fast action rod works for me when tossing live bait, including crawfish. Light wire hooks that match the bait size, a small sinker about six inches up. If floating, I look for medium current that gradually deepens. I'll drop anchor and toss out my crawfish downstream in the current. It never sets there long! Use just enough weight to get er down. You'll need a lot of bait. Lift anchor and look for your next honey hole and repeat. Note: if you cant get crawfish, use minnows, nightcrawlers, and worms.
If your looking for simple, fun fishing, it's hard to beat small streams and rivers. Take your son or daughter. It's a great way to connect with kids. Use the phone for pictures only. Remember, if your using the soft crawfish, set the hook when you feel the bite, and hold on to you're pole!
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