Dawn Topwater Speckled Seatrout

Speckled Trout with topwater plug

My Brother-in-law, Gordon, and I got out at dawn this morning on Mobile Bay.  Reports from recent days have been good so we were anxious to get into the fray.  We launched at about 5:30 AM and crept out to our spot in the darkness.  We both fished topwater initially, Gordon with a new noisy Rapala Skitter Walk in white and red and I with a wooden plug I had made last year but not field tested.  Gordon got the first activity with a nice fish, but it came off very quickly.   He had several other strikes and blow-ups in quick succession, many times knocking the plug out of the water.  On close inspection as it got lighter, we discovered that the top treble hook was missing, obviously lost on the first fish.  After replacing the missing hook, Gordon was able to catch two more nice Specks before the topwater bite shut down.  I did catch a nice Speck on my plug too, which pleased me immensely!  Being new to plug making, this is the first fish I have caught on a plug of my making.  ……now I just need to get some rattles inside to compete with the noisy Rapala!

This fish is about 21″ long and was not the largest fish we caught.  As the daylight shut down the top water action, we switched to jigs and soft grubs and finished out our limits for a fish fry…in preparation for the approaching Hurricane Isaac!

Speckled Seatrout


Multi-State Sunfish

While driving through the countryside of Michigan last week, I stopped at a bridge crossing the Shiawassee River near Byron, Michigan to give my Soyokaze 31SR a try.  The water here ran clear and I managed to get access in an area with tall grass edges and floating aquatic vegetation.  I could see small fish and with the 10 foot pole, easily reached them with my 7X Tippet line.  By sight fishing I could see the take and set the hook appropriately.  I caught several small sunfish before I had to get back on the road.   The 31SR did give me the reach advantage for this situation, but it’s backbone renders it less sensitive in the hand than the 6 foot 6 inch 20SR.   Here are a couple of the baby fish from the Shiawassee.


Pumpkinseed Sunfish - Lepomis gibbosus


Bluegill Sunfish - Lepomis macrochirus

Green Sunfish

Green Sunfish - Lepomis cyanellus

A couple months ago I bought a boat from my wife’s uncle’s estate and have been struggling getting it to run right.  It had been setting inside for about 15 years without being run.  I just got it back from the shop yesterday so wanted to run it a bit to insure all was finally well.  I took it out on Fish River this morning before the thunderstorms built too much.  It ran great, so I stopped and fished the river’s edges for some sunfish.  I caught a couple Bluegill and a Spotted Sunfish.  Here is a nice shot of the Spotted Sunfish in the water.

Spotten Sunfish - Lepomis punctatus

Common Shiner – Luxilus cornutus

I found myself in Detroit, Michigan this week with a few hours of free time one evening. As I usually will pack my Soyokaze rods, (I recently received a 10 foot 31SR to join my 6 foot 6 inch 20 SR) I was prepared to pursue some Metropolitan micro fishing.  About a half mile from my hotel in Southfield meandered a small stream with the interesting name, River Rouge, so with a ittle effort I found access and was in business.  A nice river walk park is being developed which provided for a very pleasant evening.

River Rouge - Southfield, MI

This stretch of water was generally quite featureless with a slow flow.  It was here that I encountered a new life lister for me, the Common Shiner, Luxilus cornutus.  I also caught several Creek Chubs from the same water.

Common Shiner - Luxilus cornutus

My shiner catches varied in size from under 3 inches to 5 and a half inches long.  I used the Soyokaze 20SR as the water was small enough for me to reach the far side if needed, and I like its ultra sensitivity.  I probably caught a dozen in the two hours I fished.

Common Shiner - Luxilus Cornutus

Common Shiner - Luxilus cornutus

Common Shiner - Luxilus cornutusWhile photographing, if I kept the angle of sunlight just right, I could easily see the true colors under the scales.  Some had dark blotches on their sides.  The bright green was quite stunning!  In normal sunlight angles, they were a bright shiny silver.

Common Shiner - Luxilus cornutusCommon Shiner - Luxilus cornutusCommon Shiner - Luxilus cornutusCommon Shiner - Luxilus cornutus

Here is one of the Creek Chubs I caught that evening.

Creek Chub