I went back to this beautiful little Michigan Thumb river the day before Michigan's Great Lakes Bass are open to catch an keep. It was the first warm day after two cold days and fishing would start out slow. The river mouth park is at the base of a fishing pier. Before loading up the kayak to go upstream, I got two bass from this easy shore fishing spot. I counted down to about 5 feet before starting a rip and fall retrieve with a #2 Lead Eye Clouser made with Natural Brown Bucktail and Pearl Black Flashabou. Last week it was hot at another deep, remote, but natural river mouth.
Upstream In a very weedy dead end oxbow channel a 1/0 popper, a Chartreuse Marabou Banger, was not getting hit until I got my personal best Smallmouth from this river. Last week a 1/0 White Marabou Banger got a bunch here. A #2 White Foam Diver was effective last year.
With good visibility from the high sun, In shallow water I saw a Smallmouth twice charge out from under a weed clump to blow up the little popper then return to his hiding spot without touching the hook. I also got a 13 inch Large Mouth Bass.
In the remote up river stretch, the water was much lower, the current much slower and course fiberous moss growing thick up from the bottom. Green slime drifting everywhere in the slow current. A White Banjo Minnow worked great last week but now was picking up green slime as I stripped it back to keep it above the mossy rocks. First cast with the Black & Natural Turkey Foam Diver was immediately hit on the surface after two gentile twitches.
That was an exception. They wanted something new to me, a steady brisk rhythym of tiny twitches just dimpling the surface. This up and down movement shook the marabou and Flashabou tail. For years, I always fished this fly with 3 aggressive rips to make it dive, then pause until bobbed back up to the surface. It got pretty beat up after catching maybe 10 bass. The Tan Foam Diver took the rest of the of the 27 bass landed on Foam Divers.
This slow retrieve didn't cover water quickly but fish were often hitting it much closer to the kayak than they would hit the flashier Banjo Minnow last week. The bass were mostly small but toward evening the size improved, the last bass was perhaps second or third largest I have landed in this river.