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mrl0004 04-21-2012 09:17 PM

Alabama jewels...
I couldn't take it any longer. How could any self-respecting Alabama native not have caught a redeye? Redeye bass, one of the smallest black bass, are often called the brook trout of Alabama. Arrived to find that the weatherman is full of it, as usual.

I arrived on the water with but one goal in mind and it was to catch redeye bass. I tied on one of my trusty one bugs that I tied and began the float.

I get to the point where I am almost guaranteed a redeye strike. Cast. Bam! My first.....oh, just a longear....

I go quite a ways before even getting another strike. I keep casting and I feel like something is watching me.

He kept a watchful eye on me until I was out of sight. I keep casting into typical "redeye spots." Then a tiny torpedo hit the one bug at lightning speed, I actually jumped a little. A few jumps and my first redeye bass.

Thanked him and sent him on his way..

A scenery pic.

This creek is loaded with variety. I have never caught one of these before either. A shadow bass..

I see some more rocks coming up. I get in position and get ready to make my first cast.

I can just see the redeye I am about to fool. Cast. Wait, what the? Son of a....

That trend continued all day. I would get into prime water, and my cast would be ruined by poor line management, trees, you name it. This creek was small and not conducive to casting. I probably only fished 30% of the water I wanted. For the most part it was one cast to make it count and move on to the next spot.

A couple miles down and I see a tree bent over the water. There has to be a fish there. I cast right under it, without error miraculously, and I see the redeye hit. He bulldogs down and I try to strip it in and my line goes slack. Nooo!!!!!!!! I paddle back upstream and anchor to a rock and make a dozen casts before he hits again.

Man these things are beautiful.

Love the white tips...

A little further down I pick up a red breasted sunfish. Caught quite a bit of these al along...

I was lucky enough to get another Alabama jewel..

A little further downstream and I ruin these guys' swim..

Green sunfish...

This is one of the most scenic creeks I have floated...

Another one..

Back in ya go...

mrl0004 04-21-2012 09:18 PM

Re: Alabama jewels...
Last one of the day....

I'm content just to float the last stretch...

This was weird. I thought raccoons could swim...

It was a good day and although no giants were caught, ANY redeye is a trophy to me. Something special in the Alabama waters for sure and I'm glad I finally got to share it.

raindogt 04-21-2012 10:10 PM

Re: Alabama jewels...
Crazy! So is the red eye specific to your state (I assume so based on thread title)? I've never heard of such a creature. What is their habit? Looks like a black bass variety-- do they act like LM or smallies? give me all the info you know about these cool fish. Thx.

mrl0004 04-21-2012 10:15 PM

Re: Alabama jewels...

Originally Posted by raindogt (Post 436123)
Crazy! So is the red eye specific to your state (I assume so based on thread title)? I've never heard of such a creature. What is their habit? Looks like a black bass variety-- do they act like LM or smallies? give me all the info you know about these cool fish. Thx.

Let me google that for you

:D They are native to Alabama, but can be found in other states. These bass typically don't get very big. I have friends who have caught 1-2lbers, but that is like catching a 8-10 largemouth in redeye bass world. The blue cheeks and white tip fins gets me every time...

Forgot to mention, what they lack in size, they make up for with gusto. These things have a serious chip on their shoulder. They hit my topwater like a torpedo and bulldog and jump a lot like a smallmouth

theboz 04-21-2012 11:10 PM

Re: Alabama jewels...
That was a cool post . Those red eyes are really cool looking. I think they or a similiar species are in the Flint River in Ga. Many years ago I fished there and caught them but the locals called them Suwanee bass. Never the less that looks like a great float and great fish. And what the heck is a shadow bass is that like a rock bass or a warmouth?

al_a 04-21-2012 11:13 PM

Re: Alabama jewels...
Great report and photos! I've only seen a few photos of redeyes, and I loved looking at yours. Interesting in that in the Missouri Ozarks, there are some streams where spotted bass were not native but are in the process of invading and outcompeting the native smallmouth bass. They also hybridize with the smallies, and some of the hybrids look very similar to your redeye pics, except they don't have the white edging on their tail fins and the blueish cheeks.

Loved the shadow bass pic, too. Did you know that it wasn't until the early 1980s that the shadow bass was recognized as a separate species, instead of a variety or subspecies of rock bass? In Missouri we have northern rock bass in some stream systems, shadow bass in others, and a third rock bass species, the Ozark bass, that is only found in the Ozarks. Of the three, I think the shadow bass is the prettiest.

gatortransplant 04-21-2012 11:20 PM

Re: Alabama jewels...
Certainly neat looking fish, and a great-looking float! The one time I went bass fishing lately, I caught a steelhead instead... I think I'm going to need to switch over to topwater to get their attention :P

hillbilly rick 04-21-2012 11:51 PM

Re: Alabama jewels...
Great pics, looks like fun. Those redeyes are purty. The one you call a shadow bass looks like what we call goggle eyes.

mrl0004 04-22-2012 07:45 AM

Re: Alabama jewels...
Thanks guys. It was something I needed to do before I chase any more trout or smallies. The scary thing is the topwater bite hasn't really turned on yet. Most people easily have countless fish days there later in the summer. I caught 4.

Boz, I think it is the same fish as in Flint River, GA. Or at least close. There are several species of redeyes so I've heard.

Hillbilly rick, shadow bass look a lot like goggle eye (or rock bass), but are a different species. They however do "fight" like goggle eye. :D. Strike like a bullet then give up.

wabi 04-22-2012 08:17 AM

Re: Alabama jewels...
Looks like a memorable day!
I love to catch a variety like that.

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