August 16, 2013

My Blog Hit A Milestone

I started my blog in September of 2008.
At the beginning of 2013 there were 98.543 hits on my site
for the first 4 years of my blog's existence.

TODAY I broken  200,000 hits.
200,091 is the total as of this moment.

Not bad to have less than 100,000 hits in four years
and to have over 100,000 hits just this year!!!!

August 14, 2013

Area Fish Manager's Response On Smallmouth Invasion

The portion of the Pine River that I was referring to is in the Yuba area.
I planted a few hundred SMB Lg. Fgl. in there in about 2000 when I was going up to La Crosse to visit my daughter at college there.

We have noted in subsequent surveys that they stayed and reproduced.

I also thought that after we were able to get all of the dams off of the Pine that bass might also migrate from the lower Pine and the Wisconsin River up into this area.

From about the Jct. with Champion Valley Creek to a couple miles downstream of Yuba, the water temp regime in the Pine is pretty good for SMB and marginal but OK for holding and growing trout - probably not for trout reproduction.  Last year it was probably a little warm in general for trout but this year it should be pretty good.

Blessing OR Blight??

I am a warm water angler and cold water angler.   My favorite cold water fish to chase is a brown trout.  It is a combination of size and savvy that attracts me to a big brown trout.  The top end or hottest temperature for a brown trout is 70 or 72 degrees.  The bigger brown trout can tolerate a little warmer temperatures.  Brown Trout need cold water to exist.

In 2011 I took a local family under my wing.  My favorite thing to catch was brown trout so the youngest kid in the family took up my love of big browns.

Later in 2011 the youngest Jordan came across the street and showed me the 2 massive smallies he caught on the Pine River right in town.   I dismissed his catches as flukes. Generally, smallmouth bass prefer streams with maximum summer water temperatures that exceed 72.5 degrees.

A couple days later the brothers came across the street to show me their latest smallmouth they had caught.

I have fished for smallies before.   I caught them occasionally when I was northern pike fishing in Gays Mills on the Kickapoo River.   This is a warm water fishery and I don't really like the taste of smallies so I don't target them.   The amount of smallies being caught in my best BIG BROWN trout water was troubling to me.   Was my favorite waterway warming up drastically and were my trout going to be pushed out by smallies????   I dismissed the smallies as flukes.

Two weeks later the brothers showed me a couple more fatties they had caught on the Pine River.   I was really puzzled and worried about this spike in the smallmouth population in my favorite cold water stream.  Warmer water means less trout in my book and I was genuinely concern.

Smallmouth bass fight like their tails are on fire.  They are pound for pound the best fighting fish out there but I do not target them because I do NOT fish for sport alone and smallies taste like mud when prepared.

Smallmouth bass brings out the tournament Bass Master folks and the $125,000 bass boats with Babe Wikelman and other well known smallie experts.   This alarmed me at first.   I then thought about the Pine River as being a small waterway and the lack of access to big boats..... and I then calmed down.

2011 season closed and I forgot about the smallie invasion.

2012 found me in late May on my favorite big trout stream and the 2 photos below are what I caught on the Pine River.

All trout and bass in this entry were caught on size 9 panther martins.

I caught a few more smallies on the pine in 2012.   I noticed my numbers of brown trout were down dramatically from years past.  My water temperatures had gone up 6 degrees also.

I read about the Wolf River up north warming up so much in the summer that the browns move out and it is a good smallie destination.   I would not trade any of my big brown trout for a nasty tasting smallmouth bass.

2013 came and I caught a few browns from the pine river in richland county.  The numbers of browns were seriously down again and water temperatures showed that same thread of a 6 degree increase.

I have been fishing the pine a lot in the last three weeks.  My brown trout number and smallie numbers are about even. 

I fished the pine two days ago and actually pulled my panther martin away from three decent smallies and had a hook up at shore with a 20 inch range smallie but lost it.

Today my friend Brian Waldner caught 2 sweet smallies on the pine.  The one below made the drag scream and Brian had to tighten it to land the red eyed demon.

In the 20 years I have fished the Pine River, I have only caught one smallie and that was about 10 years ago.  I assumed the pine would get colder because of all of the habitat improvement on tributaries of the pine.  My guess is these have zero temperature effect on my once "Big" BROWN Trout water.

I am seriously alarmed by the smallmouth numbers in the Pine River.   The Pine River was recently in a kiss and tell book as the best place in Wisconsin to catch a big brown trout.   I am seriously questioning that statement these days and worrying about my stream warming up enough to support a thriving population of smallmouth bass!!!

Blessing OR Blight????