It dawned on me the other day it was early June. At my age that could be a revelation, as I tend to lose track of time now and then.
When I am keeping track I usually relate dates to fishing or hunting. In this case fishing.
What’s significant about early June is smallie fishing on the great lakes, specifically Lake Huron.
Last time we went out was the first of June, putting in somewhat north of Bay City, Michigan with Rob Ruckman of Bay City Outfitters.
Fishing smallies this time of year on this lake is simply different. We threw crankbaits as you might expect, but our best success came from drop shots right on top of the beds, which, if the wind was down, we could see from the boat.
Equally amazing to me was we seemed to be the only ones interested in smallies. Lots of boats were out, but I’d guess 98% of them were fishing walleye. So other than our efforts, smallies were pretty safe.
And that’s odd. Why? Well, these aren’t your typical 1 ½ to 2 ½ pound smallies. These are BIG, bad boys. Like over 5 pounds!
Smallies fight. Lake Huron smallies really fight. Not only are they big, but it’s like they’re on steroids! Maybe it’s the size of the lake and actual tides along with winds that seem to constantly churn the lake, but whatever it is these fish will wear you out.
All week fishing action wasn’t what I would call fast, but it was constant. And the fish we were catching certainly met our expectations. 5 pounders were pretty common.
After the second day of typical rods and reels used for these fighters I just had to try out the little G. Loomis ultralight I brought. It was a 5’4” rod (SJR6400 IMX) coupled to a Shimano 2500 spinning reel (Stradic Ci4+). Rob was more than a bit skeptical and perhaps figured I would be wasting valuable fishing time, but he was willing to let me give it a go and maneuver the boat should I hook up with anything decent.
Not too far into the morning we spotted a nest with a nice smallie on it. I threw the drop shot right in the middle and the fish took the bait. Setting the hook was a bit of a challenge, but I managed to get it done. Now the fight was on.
Rob used the trolling motor to maneuver the boat so I wouldn’t get broken off, as I was only using 4 lb. fluorocarbon line. The fish ran and jumped and ran some more, but 10 minutes later we had him in the boat.
A quick weigh, hook removal, picture, and back in the water. It was over that fast. But that bad boy weighed in at just under 6 pounds! Certainly a worthy catch with my itty bitty ultralight!
The rest of the day my luck wasn’t much to write about as far as size goes, but with the ultralight I guarantee you I had the most fun in the boat that day.
The next couple of days were uneventful, and by Friday evening we were loaded and ready to head back to southern Indiana. I thanked Rob for a great week and promised we would make this a regular yearly event.
As we were about to get in our truck Rob came over with one last request, “If you could, would you send me one of those ultralight outfits when you get back?”
And I did so he can have as much fun as I did next time. After all, fishing should always be about fun.
This week we have some awesome specials you need to be aware of, such as 25% off select G. Loomis rods.
Thanks to all of you who honor us with your friendship and trust. We are only here because of you.
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