100 miles to the north however, the weather front had come through a few days earlier and Chuck went out to see if he could do anything with the smallmouth. I was pretty surprised when he replied to my " it'll not be long" message to say he was already out hopping squirrel craws. Probably a month early at least, but fair enough. I was even more surprised an hour letter when the first fish picture appeared. A lovely conditioned, chunky, prespawn smallie, I hadn't even finished my pint before another picture came through! So Chuck had picked up 2 lovely smallies (they look to be at least 18") in no time at all, in January!!!
I expect it has something to do with the mild winter we've had, but either way, I know what I'm doing this Monday. I thought I still had a few weeks to top up my smallie boxes, but I'll just have to go with what I have and what I can get tied this week.. at least I know it mostly needs to be crayfish, so just a couple of patterns and making sure I've a few of each in a couple of weights to deal with current.
Here are the 2 that seem to do best here.