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Al Agnew

A day with my brother

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My brother Donnie does a lot of fishing, much of it as an amateur in the Pro-am curcuits.  He loves river fishing, but except for weekends he just doesn't have much time to do it.  I've been trying to get him in the canoe with me (or the jetboat) for a couple years since the last time we fished together.  Finally got it done today.

A line of thunderstorms that dumped nearly an inch of rain in 20 minutes came through last night, and today was a lot cooler than it has been lately--barely 40 degrees when we started out on my home river.  We had a 9 mile float planned, and dropped off his truck at the private access where we were taking out, and headed for the put-in in my truck.  Only to find the access closed!  Our only choice was to add a couple miles to the float by putting in farther upstream.

The fishing started out great.  I caught a 14 inch smallmouth on my second cast, and Donnie caught a 12 inch largemouth on his first cast.  And then reality set in...a fish now and then but far from fast action.  And nothing big.  The river had come up a few inches overnight but was still clear.  But the wind was a lot tougher than I'd expected, since the forecast had said 10 mph winds.  Donnie was fishing effectively from the front of the canoe, but I was working to keep us in position and didn't feel like I was doing much good.  Given the length of the float, we were fishing fast-moving stuff, mostly spinnerbaits.  Most of the fish were in fairly fast water and in eddies at the bottom of riffles.  I tried topwater with no luck, and deep diving crankbaits with the same result.  My shallow running crankbait caught a few.

We were about halfway through the float when lightning struck. A huge smallmouth came out from under a rootwad and pounced upon Donnie's spinnerbait 10 feet from the canoe.  "It's a good one...it's a big one...it's a REAL big one!"  Yep, it turned out to be Donnie's personal best Ozark river smallmouth, a beast that was 21 inches and went 4 pounds 11 ounces!57155494_10214212603890626_8069074901467660288_n.jpg


That was a bit of a signal that the fish were beginning to turn on, and for a couple hours the fishing got steadily better until along one rocky bank we were getting strikes on nearly every cast.  But the day was quickly passing, and we still had a lot of miles to cover.  So we had to speed up a bit, and the wind was blowing more strongly, so again we weren't fishing effectively.

I called Donnie's second big one.  We were fishing along a vertical mud bank that had produced a bunch of big fish for me over the years, and I told him that the sweet spot was a point that jutted out from the otherwise straight bank, and that there was always a big fish there.  He made a good cast with the spinnerbait, and hooked a big largemouth, 19.5 inches and a bit over 4 pounds.57129593_10214212603930627_3678996057208913920_n.jpg

I don't have anything much to report on my own fishing.  I caught fish, but it was one of those days for me.  Broke a couple off on the hookset before figuring out that the line was slipping into the gap between the spool and the housing of one of my reels, and nicking it.  Missed a couple big ones.  Another reel was malfunctioning.  Snapped my last good spinnerbait off on a hard cast!  Aarrggh!!  

But it was a gorgeous day (except for that wind)...warmed up nicely, bluebells carpeted the wooded bottoms and redbuds were in full bloom.  I'm really glad I put Donnie on big fish, anyway!

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Awesome deal Al.... congrats to your bro and you for getting out together and obviously the fish he caught wow!!! That Smallie is another league as you know..... mercy mercy that’s cool!!

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