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Thread: I was catching smallies... so I thought?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default I was catching smallies... so I thought?

    So if any of your remember I came on here about a month ago looking for smallmouth flies. I had never fished this pond but had multiple reports of smallies being everywhere in it. Well this is partly true, the ratio of blue gill to bass is tons:few.

    Anyways, Im looking for help ID'ing the fish im catching. I got wondering my first trip out if the fish I was catching were largemouths because the first one I caught had a HUGE mouth, I didnt see it closed but open it was huge for being a 5-6" fish.

    I went home and asked a few buddies and they all said nope they are smallies. I thought nothing about it but then today I started noticing that they have large black stripes going horizontally from gill to tail. Classic largemouth coloring right?

    These fish are pretty spooky, they arent as quick to take the fly as the blue gills but they like to hang out down around the bottom, I have yet to get one too come up to the surface for a fly other than a couple of very small "young and dumb" ones. When the smaller ones are hooked like rockets they will fly out of the water a 2-4 times then as they get tired they just try to stay down low. I hooked into a BIG one the other day but used to catching the gills and trout I forgot to set the hook, I only got a quick flash of silver as it dived to the bottom and shook its head somehow slipping my hook, all it wanted to do was dive it did not exit the water.

    Ill go out tomorrow or the day after and snap a photo but just from my description can anyone help me?
    "A good cast is like a good whiskey- It's smooth and hits the spot" -Anonymous fly fishing guide

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: I was catching smallies... so I thought?

    If the mouth is closed and it lines up short of the eye it's a SB. Past the eye closed it's a LB.
    "I was born to fish" Lee Wulff
    "There's more B.S. in fly fishing then there is in a Kansas feedlot." Lefty Kreh
    " It ain't over till it's over." Yogi Berra
    "Your not old,you've simply acquired a patina." Swirlchaser

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: I was catching smallies... so I thought?

    Keep in mind that they also could be a spotted bass, which look a bit more like a largemouth. I think spotted bass withstand the cold a bit better than largemouth, which could help in ID.
    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._1276302_n.jpg

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  4. #4

    Talking Re: I was catching smallies... so I thought?

    Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but Spotted Bass have a small patch of teeth on their tounge.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: I was catching smallies... so I thought?

    I just did a GOOGLE search: "large mouth bass" and found excellent pictures and written discriptions of that fish. See if you recognize your catch in that Google exercise.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I was catching smallies... so I thought?

    Take a look at the :New to Bass on fly" thread shown two items abover your entry. That guy has posted a good picture of a large mouth bass for you to compare your catch with.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: I was catching smallies... so I thought?

    Ok I guess it could be a spotted bass but the Idaho proc doesnt list them in the "FISH ID" section. And the line that runs along its side is dark and well defined like the large mouth. Asthetically they look like all of the Largies on Google images.

    But they dont act like any largemouth that is "described" on the net either.

    A few websites mention that Smallies live in colder water that is gravely/rocky. That is this pond it is feed by an underground spring and the water is quite cool It is made of 100% rock it is an old mining pond. They say that Largemouths like the warm water and like living where there are structures. I have yet to find any structures in this pond other than weeds and moss.

    I just cant believe that Largies would be living in this area.
    "A good cast is like a good whiskey- It's smooth and hits the spot" -Anonymous fly fishing guide

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: I was catching smallies... so I thought?

    Quote Originally Posted by flyfisher117 View Post
    They say that Largemouths like the warm water and like living where there are structures. I have yet to find any structures in this pond other than weeds and moss.

    I just cant believe that Largies would be living in this area.
    They're more common in warm water, but there's lots of largemouth in Minnesota, and they get plenty cold up there.

    And stop it with this "largies" business. I think "smallies" is silly, but I simply won't stand for this "largies" silliness. (just kidding around)

    Other options:

    Black bass
    Bucketmouf
    Handle Face
    SON!!!!
    Hawgzilla
    Etc...
    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._1276302_n.jpg

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: I was catching smallies... so I thought?

    Quote Originally Posted by theboz View Post
    If the mouth is closed and it lines up short of the eye it's a SB. Past the eye closed it's a LB.
    Yep.

  10. #10

    Default Re: I was catching smallies... so I thought?

    From your description they are surely largemouth. Largemouth are very adaptable fish and can thrive in cool, rocky ponds and small lakes. Smallmouth typically do NOT do well in smaller lakes, they seem to need bigger lakes with lots of rocky, windswept shorelines. Largemouth are found in many places in Idaho. Spotted bass are actually a more southern fish, and as far as I know they are not found and cannot live in Idaho.

    The black horizontal stripe on the side says they are largemouth, no question. There's really no way you can get smallmouth and largemouth confused if you look at a few pictures of both. Smallmouth never have a horizontal stripe down their sides.

    With fish the size you are catching, you can't go by the mouth thing. Up until a largemouth gets to about 8 inches or so, its eyes are so big proportionally that the back edge of the upper jaw does not extend much, if at all, behind the eye.

    By the way, you can't go by the tooth patch on the tongue in telling spotted bass and largemouth apart. Spotted bass always have a tooth patch, but a fair percentage of largemouth have a tooth patch, as well.

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