Smallmouth X 4

Every year at this time I take a day or so to review what the rest of the season will look like. This year it’s all about smallmouth bass. Last week I talked about smallies on the St. Lawrence. In truth, however, there’s more to it than that.

The second Northern Open will start on August 1 on Oneida Lake. That’s smallmouth bass all the way as far as I’m concerned. Now, I know that some of you will point out that there are a lot of largemouth up there and that some tournaments have been won catching them. That’s absolutely true.

But it’s also true that smallies generally rule Oneida and that if you can find them, and catch them, you’ll be in pretty good shape. The same thing can be said of the other three venues that are still on my schedule — the St. Lawrence River, Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie.

I mention this because it brings up an important point. Too many times we get stuck thinking that largemouth bass are the only way to win a tournament. It’s as if just because they grow bigger they will automatically get you more weight at the end of the day or at the end of the tournament. That’s not true, at least not in some waters.

Three of the remaining four tournaments are likely to produce sacks of smallmouth bass that average more weight than most of the sacks of largemouth bass that come out of the largemouth lakes we fish.

I commend B.A.S.S. on scheduling our events this way. With the explosion of smallmouth numbers, and their increasing size, there are bound to be more anglers looking for them in the future. It’s a trend. Anyone who spends as much time on the water as I do will probably agree with me.

There’s no better way for us (professional anglers) to help that process along than to drag 25 pound plus sacks of brown bass to the scales for all the world to see. Five, 5 pound smallies will get any angler’s attention.

This column wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t comment on the posts from last week’s column. First, it’s good to know that so many people read Bass Wars. That’s a positive, and a real ego booster. Thanks to every single one of you. I’m serious. It means the world to me.

At the same time I want to say that the posts that are up were pretty much like the people Tracey and I met when we were up there — friendly, positive and upbeat. We had one heck of a good time on our combination vacation/prefishing trip. It really is a great place. I’m looking forward to going back.

A word of warning is in order, however. The secret of your great smallmouth bass fishing will soon be a secret no more. After the first day’s weigh-in on August 8 everyone who follows professional bass fishing will know what you have up there, and many anglers will want to sample it. There will be no way for you to avoid that.

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