Smallie fishing has been really tough for me this year. I think I have 6, maybe 7 trips on the James this year and I haven't caught a single Smallmouth. It's getting rather frustrating at this point and today was no different.
Air temps were 80F, water temps were 75F, and the water was stained, < 1ft visibility.
I met up with Hannover_Yakker and rickz7601 at 8:15 this morning and put in at Belle Isle. We fished everywhere and everything with no one reporting a bite all morning. Grass banks, grass flats, manmade structure, boulders, slack water, eddies, etc, etc. You name it, it was fished. I was throwing a brown 3" Culprit water beetle, 3" and 4" Senkos wacky rigged with o-rings in watermelon w/ red flake, 4" green Culprit salt tube, 4" white Culprit salt tube, Strike King Sexy Shad (that I just purchased and managed to lose today), another rattling crank in a bluegill patterns, a Rappala Pop-R, and a chartreuse spinner. This is probably the most baits I've ever tried in one outing. Late morning, I parked my yak on the Northern bank in front of Dominion and started working the shallow rapids. There were long stretches of grass along the bank as seen here:
I made a cast along the bank and got my first real bite of the morning on the Culprit water beetle. I landed a 15" LMB.
Some more fishing and not a lot of biting and Rick called it a day around noon. Chuck and I continued to fish until around 3. Chuck landed a 13" LMB on a buzz-bait/in-line spinner demo bait he was toying with, along a grass bank similar to what I caught my LMB in. Closer to the end of the day, Chuck also managed to land a small Smallie on different small, chartreuse spinner.
Fun day, but tough fishing. I'm either fishing in the wrong locations, using the wrong baits, or I just plain suck at Smallmouth fishing these days...I'm thinking it's more of the latter!
Anyways, here's a link to all the pictures I took.http://picasaweb.google.com/emilesvt/5282010BelleIsle?authkey=Gv1sRgCPWfnenZhcmy5QE&feat=directlink