Part 1: Introduction and first fishing session
I’ve always enjoyed tying large articulated streamers, but haven’t really had a go-to use for them near home. Usually when I think big articulated streamers, I think of trophy trout or smallmouth bass, neither of which are an option in Louisiana.
I’ve often heard of Spotted Bass being compared more closely to Smallmouth Bass than Largemouth Bass, but for some reason I’ve never fish for Spotted Bass as if I were fishing for Smallmouth Bass. Usually when targeting Spotted Bass I will fish either a popper, or a smaller streamer, anywhere from a size 12 up to size 8 wooly bugger or damselfly pattern. Recently I decided to change that and go big on a small creek.
In my first fishing session throwing the big streamer, I was getting some good eats from some fair size Spotted Bass. Almost all of the bass I caught inhaled the streamer, which was a sign that my experiment was proving to be a successful one. I was also able to pull a couple bass out of some different types of water than I normally focus on, such as current breaks behind logs in the water. This is something I never really had success with when using woolly buggers or damselfly patterns. I believe I was able to get the fly more in the strike zone because of the heavy dumbell eyes on the streamer. This opens up a lot more water to fish, especially when compared to using a popper, which seems to be the most recommended fly for Spots.
In addition to the few bass I caught, I was also pleasantly surprised when I pulled up a Shadow Bass! I was basically dead drifting the streamer by a big root ball when I felt a bite, I missed the first strike but when I swung the fly through a second time I hooked up with a pretty good size Shadow Bass. Again, I think the heavy weight of the streamer helped get it down deep enough and stay in the strike zone long enough for the Shadow Bass to come out of hiding to eat it. My first Shadow Bass, mentioned in a prior blog post, was caught in a similar manner using a small tungsten weighted streamer drifted by a root ball.
Part 2: Second Fishing Session
In my next fishing session dedicated to using the big articulated streamer I headed to the same creek a couple days later. Much to my surprise, I pulled another shadow bass out of the exact same spot as the one on the prior trip! This one seemed a bit smaller than the last, so I’m confident it’s another fish. It’s good to know where a couple of them hang out, as they are pretty hard to find.
To go along with the always awesome Shadow Bass, I caught about a dozen Spotted Bass, which is probably the best trip chasing them. I’m not sure if the conditions were just really good or if my big streamer method is really that much more productive, but I enjoyed trying it out. I think the main advantage is that I am able to fish more types of water using these big streamers, and all of the takes were very aggressive, so I’m calling it a success . It’s always fun to try new things, especially when they work out as well as this. I’m not sure if I’ll fish the creeks exclusively this way in the future, but it’s definitely going to be a go to method. One drawback is that I did not catch any sunfish, but a Shadow Bass in their place is a pretty good consolation prize. Tight lines!