Do you get fired up when your Bass Master, Bass Angler and FLW magazines show up in the mail? I never get mail, unless it’s a bill. So I am overcome with sure excitement when I roll out to the mail box and find my trio of magazines. It’s like Christmas morning every time they arrive. I will savor the magazines and read them again and again. This month there was some great information on night fishing for smallmouth. It had my attention and I thought that with the full moon and light winds I would give the top water smallmouth a try. First things first, I had to locate a lake, close to the house that contained the fish. Logical conclusion was Lake Grapevine.
I have been on Grapevine many times and feel comfortable out there in the pitch black. I check the lunar schedule and saw that yesterday was a great time between the hours of 11:07 p.m. and 2:10 a.m… I usually do not play that hard on a school night, but with the articles I was reading and my excitement of big smallmouth, I decided to roll out. I armed myself with, what I thought to be the best ammo for the onslaught that was about to happen: Clear Zara Spook, Black Zara Spook, 5/16 Finesse Jig with crawl trailer, shaky head and my favorite Carolina rig. I knew the spot, the wind was light and the moon was full, blue, so I headed out. I just new tonight was going to be the night but it was not to be. The bite started pretty good with a few small largemouths. As the sky grew darker and the moon rose higher I went to the top water. There was bait everywhere which I considered to be an excellent opportunity, however, there was nothing chasing the bait so I 86’ed the top water action and went right to the finesse jig. That produced a couple of small largemouth, but still no smallmouth. I am never one to give up but I was growing concerned that this epic night, when everything comes together was going to end with nothing more than below average sized fish. Finally around 1:15 there was a knock on the door followed by the giant hook set, game on! My TFO 7’3” GTS loaded and felt to have a decent fish, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. Sure enough after further inspection it was a drum, what a bummer. Even though the trip yielded zero smallmouths, I did learn some good lessons from my first night trip.
Lesson One: When night fishing make sure you are comfortable with the lake and are familiar with all the structure contained above and below the water line.
Lesson Two: Make sure that your equipment is organized and that you have everything lashed down. I prefer to have a small box below my seat with an array of baits and colors that I will be using. This limits me from having to swing around and hunt for baits and limits the danger of losing anything to the abyss.
Lesson Three: Invest in the Super Nova Lighting system.
Lesson Four: Take a buddy with you or tell someone exactly where you are going to be. Crazy things happen during the day and double crazy things happen at night, Safety First!
Tonight was a classic case of overhyping a situation in my own mind. It felt like the moment in Christmas Vacation when Clark hit the switch on the lights only to see nothing happening. Anyway, I am a sucker so I will still wait by the mailbox and enjoy my magazines and once again will plan what, in my mind, will be the epic trip. Hopefully next time the moon and the stars will align and bring me great success. I would appreciate your feedback on tips for catching smallmouth under a full moon. Feel free to leave a comment. Heading back out tonight and will hopefully have something positive to write about tomorrow!
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!