Miserable weather and the 2011 Classic

I'll tell you that it never gets too nasty to go fishing, but it has come darn close this past week. The weather has been miserable. It seems like we've had heavy snow, cold temperatures and strong winds just about every day. I might be exaggerating a little bit, but not by much. I really don't have much to update you on the fishing.

There are still some in the creeks, but they're starting to suspend out in the lake, too. It's been a crazy winter. If you want to catch a sack, I'd say try both places. Look for tailspinner fish in the creeks like we talked about last week and for some suspended bass out in the main lake off points and bluff walls. I'd go with a float-and-fly presentation for the suspended ones. One thing I've learned about smallmouth bass, though, is that they'll bite when nothing else will.

They're the toughest fish I know. Despite my complaints about this weather, guys are still catching them. You can, too, if you're willing to tough it out. If you go, make sure you dress properly and wear a life jacket. This is no time to get in trouble on the water. Hypothermia is bad stuff, and there's probably no one around to help you if you screw-up. Even with this weather, though, I'm excited.

The Classic is only about a month away. We — Punisher Lures — are going to be at the show with plenty of brown bass tackle and lures. (I know the pros will be catching green bass, but that won't stop us from talking about brown bass.) We'll have the old standbys as well as some new stuff you'll probably find interesting. It's the kind of stuff you don't know you need until you see it.

Then you realize you can't fish without it! We'll have about a half-dozen of us on hand — all fishermen — so there'll be plenty of guys around to give you advice and talk fishing. Between the bunch of us, somebody will be able to answer your questions.

The Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by Dick's Sporting Goods is great. It's designed especially for fishermen. That means just about everyone there will be doing what we're doing — showing off new tackle and having pros on hand to show you how to use it. It's not too expensive to go, either.

They don't charge you to get in, and if you travel with a couple of your fishing buddies, you can keep your travel expenses way down. It's really a good deal. You should take advantage of it. It only happens once a year. I don't care if you don't buy a thing from us, stop by our booth. We love to talk with you. We get a lot of feedback that way. It helps us design new tackle and lures that catch more fish.

That's good for all of us. Until next time, if you have any questions or comments, I'd love to hear from you. Please e-mail me at Stephen@thesmallmouthguru.com.

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