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About TroutRinger

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    Longnose Gar
  • Birthday 11/19/1989

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  1. Big Doin's at Bass Pro Today

    Johnny Morris does not do free. $138 with tax for a family of four (assuming children are under 11). And before we restart the Johnny bashing debate, I believe he has every right to charge whatever the heck he wants for attractions that he builds. Nobody is forced to go to any of them, and he just won't get my money. I do still regularly shop at BPS stores.
  2. (Update w/pics) Topwaters for Stream Smallmouth

    I have done that many times too...when I had nothing else. A treble hook with pliers is a much smaller target than the whole mouth with grips, and I have broken treble hooks doing that. Also, I feel it is a lot worse for the fish to support all of its weight with the hook, especially when the hook is dug in to the side of its head as often happens with crank baits. Plus with the grips, once I get the hooks out, I can hold the fish in the water to breathe while I get the phone ready to take a pic.
  3. Your best single double

    darn! Where were you fishing? I've only had this happen to me once with two largemouth, both under 15".
  4. (Update w/pics) Topwaters for Stream Smallmouth

    Hell no!!! lol I haven't used that gripper for at least 10 years, but I am glad I brought it this time. The last thing I needed was a hand or leg full of treble hooks while kayaking solo.
  5. (Update w/pics) Topwaters for Stream Smallmouth

    Original post updated with pics
  6. Just wanted to give a shoutout to Lifetime Products...makers of everything from banquet chairs to kayaks. They are the makers of a kayak I purchased for my wife: Emotion Temptation 11 SOT. We bought it this year and used it about five times. On the last outing, my friend who is about 155lbs, leaned back in the chair, and the buckle adjustment strap broke. It wasn't a trip altering issue as we just used the extra strap to tie a knot and hold the backrest in place. The kayak comes with a 5-year warranty. I called the warranty number and was speaking with a human in about three minutes. I explained the problem and also mentioned that the retention clip on the pivot joint at the base of the backrest was flimsy. He asked for my address and said they would mail two extra adjustment buckles and two mount assemblies in case that retention clip ever breaks. He also sent me two other spare parts for a different part of the seat just in case those had issues. He did not ask me where or when I bought the kayak...who I got it from...was it new or used when purchased...how it broke. He just fixed the problem. That is how warranties should be handled. I know there is a huge market for budget kayaks. After this experience, if I ever buy another budget yak, it will be made by Lifetime or Emotion (they probably have other brands) because I know they will take care of any quality issues that you risk with lower end products. I guess I should add that I had a similar experience with Bass Pro on my Ascend D10T about four years ago. I bought it off craigslist is new condition in the winter, used it once early spring, and noticed several of the pop rivets were loose. I drove it to the store and told them how I got it on Craigslist, but hoped they would help me out since it was only used once. They walked out to the truck with me, looked at the kayak, saw the rivet issue and that it was basically in new condition, and said they would swap it out for one in stock...no receipt...nothing. I guess since they are the exclusive distributor, there is only on place it could have come from so receipts aren't super necessary.
  7. Catching fish close to accesses?

    I have four examples that come to mind, both on the Jacks Fork. The first is the biggest smallmouth of my life. A 19" pig that I caught on the first cast at the first hole below Alley Spring. The other example has happened more than once...at least three specific times I can remember, I have caught the biggest fish of the float (out of 4 people who fish hard) on the last cast right above the takeout at Two Rivers. One time, no kidding, the cast was maybe 20 feet from where we landed the canoe. The other two were a bit further away where someone probably couldn't wade because of the water depth. Third example was on the Elk River. We were camping right on the river just yards from a very popular takeout. There is an awesome looking hole...without getting into detail...it's the kind where, had it been in a more secluded location, you tell yourself that if you don't catch a fish, you're doing something wrong. It is a spot that can be easily fished by boat, wading or from shore. Well, I make a perfect first cast and hook a monster. I could tell right away. A few seconds later, he jumps and gives me a phenomenal view of what would definitely be the biggest smallie of my life, and then throws the hook. I left him alone and went back the next day to try again. Made the same cast with the same lure and hooked him again. He did the same jump and through the dang hook again. I waited a bit (being the last night) and made another cast. Hooked into another very nice, but noticeably smaller ~15-16" smallie and actually landed him. Last example was a wade fishing trip at Round Spring. I hooked a monster smallmouth...19-20". Got him all the way back to me, I reached down to lip him and the line broke because I was too lazy to re-tie even though I knew it had some abrasions. I'd say that out of all the biggest smallmouth (17"+) that I have had runs in with (caught or lost). A solid 25%, maybe more, have come at or very near an access.
  8. Ozark Creek Fishing

    Very cool. I had a similar experience this weekend on a creek/small river that is boxed in by private land and rarely fished. We had to paddle or walk upstream 2.5 miles to get to smallmouth water, but it was definitely worth it. Like you said, it's all about outlook. We enjoyed the scenery on the way up and knew there was the reward of under fished habitat at the end of the journey.
  9. (Update w/pics) Topwaters for Stream Smallmouth

    I'll post a more detailed report when I get back to my the house Monday, but we had a pretty good day on a new creek today. I caught 4 smallies between 14-15". The last one hammered a top water. The rest were on my trusty tube bait. My friend and I caught another 4-5 largemouth and spots of 14-17" on top waters. He hadn't fished topwaters in a LONG time and had a blast. Top waters that worked today were small poppers and a spook. I think we probably used them at least 50% of the time. Got skunked on spinner baits and jig and pig.
  10. Any Whites schooling yet?

    Good talk
  11. (Update w/pics) Topwaters for Stream Smallmouth

    I ran into that leaf problem last week with the torpedo. I was cleaning off the hooks almost every cast. I actually wanted to switch to a WTD but thought the side to side action would make the problem worst. Probably should have gone with a fluke or buzzbait.
  12. (Update w/pics) Topwaters for Stream Smallmouth

    Thanks for the suggestions. It's funny, other than the somewhat new/unique baits like the B-2 and whopper plopper ($13!!!), I already have most of the lures mentioned but really only use them for largemouth on LOZ. And even then, I've been too lazy to get up and fish in the morning lately so I rarely fish topwater. This last weekend, I was on a mission to get into topwaters for smallies. I used a torpedo (medium sized) on a small creek and caught several largemouth in the 12-15" range...weren't many smallies in the area...but it is pretty awesome fishing topwater in clear streams when you can see the fish chasing. I'm heading to the Little Niangua this weekend and will definitely have one rod rigged topwater.
  13. What are your favorite topwaters lures and techniques for smallmouth in rivers and creeks? I have been a tube bait fisherman probably 95% of the time, and they have always treated me well. Recently, I've been exploring topwaters as I keep reading all your reports and often see them mentioned. And for the sake of broadening the conversation, let's include near-surface lures like spinner baits. A couple specific questions: What, if anything, do you do differently when fishing current vs a slow/still pool? Does time of day play a factor like it does with largemouth in lakes where generally early morning or late evening are the usual topwater times? ***UPDATE*** I've been out three times on two small streams in the last two weeks to try some topwaters. It has been quite successful. About a third of the fish were caught on a Rebel Pop-r style bait and the rest were caught on a ($13) River2Sea Whopper Plopper. My friends were still catching good numbers on the trusty bitsy tubes so I think part of the success was just good fishing conditions, but it is still nice not having to worry about snagging on stuff on the bottom. I have to say that I do really enjoy the whopper plopper despite the price tag. You get the water covering ability of a buzzbait with the fish catching benefits of treble hooks.
  14. Your first "big" smallmouth?

    My biggest was in July 2010 on the very first cast in the very first hole below Alley Springs on the Jack's Fork. I was fishing with a mustard colored bitsy tube as I usually do. When I set the hook, it did not feel very big. Then he took off down stream like crazy, jumped around a bit, and I finally pulled him on the gravel bar a couple minutes later. Measured 19". I have a somewhat poor quality pic from a disposable camera somewhere at the house. Will try to dig it up tonight.
  15. Labor day weekend

    While I agree with your assessment of those two sections of river having fished from Alley to Two Rivers probably 12-15 times, I caught the largest smallmouth of my life on the first cast in the first hole below Alley. I didn't have a tape measure but it was as long as the canoe paddle blade (literally).

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