First Smallie

Posted by Phil Lilley on August 28th, 2014
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Meremec Smallmouth 2

On Fridays during the summer, my employer let’s you take a half day if you work an extra hour the rest of the weekdays, so with a forecast for sun and a heat index of 105 I figured what better way to spend it than by going fishing! Well I wasn’t too excited for the heat, but I’ve had things going on with the little ones at home the past couple of weekends and I hadn’t been out fishing for a while. Today fishing sounded good, regardless of the temps I was going to wet a line.

Posted by jpb2187 on OAF Forum

Today would be the day I finally headed to the Meramec to go after these smallmouth that everyone on here drools over. My goal was to just catch one. I have never been smallmouth fishing. Outside of some trout fishing, I have zero experience fishing on rivers. I can hold my own on a lake, pond, whatever, but I have no idea what I’m doing on the river.

I headed out to a spot on the Meramec in the Saint Louis area and started scoping out some fishing areas. Like I may have mentioned earlier, I had no idea where to fish on the river… in the current? in the slack water? before the riffles? after the riffles? by the laydowns? I apologize if my descriptions of the water are off, I don’t know how to describe them in technical terms.

I didn’t start out with much luck – switched between a buzz bait, crankbait, wtd lure, and soft plastic. The only action i had was spooking some carp and the occasional take of my lure by a gar. But I finally stumbled upon a spot that looked good to me. There was a small point looking area on a cut bank of the river, current ran right in front of the weedy point, behind which was some slack water. I tossed my plastic almost right onto the bank by the point, behind the current and slowly twitched it into the water. I gave it about two more twitches and let it sit. My line started darting to the left, towards the current. I gave it a good whack and felt something big. Catfish? Gar? This seemed to big to be a “good” fish i thought to myself. With one leap out of the water, I knew I had found what I was after. She jumped two more times, each time I was praying I had her buttoned up well. I finally landed her and knew I had caught a beautiful fish. Nice bronze color, healthy body, no wounds or sores. This was a fish that has swam in these waters for a long time. Took a few pics and a few measurements and she was on he way home to swim another day. In my excitement i forgot to measure her girth. I was hoping I could come on here and say I hit the magic 20″ mark, but she came in right at 19″.

Meremec smallmouth 1 meremec smallmouth 3

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