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I took one of my most loyal customers, and good friend Greg, on an afternoon/evening smallmouth trip. It was only a little over a week ago, when he, Paul, and Benjamin slayed the smallies on the Little Pigeon. I say slayed, but as is my policy, all of those fish were caught and safely released.  We were hoping for a repeat performance, but he was going to have to go some, to beat what the three of them did on that day. The good news, was that the water temperature had slowly climbed back up to where it was a week ago at fifty-nine degrees, and we had some cloud cover.  I hoped that with the clouds, that the bite would be better during the afternoon, but par for the course, it again was slow. The pattern remained the same, like it has for over a week now, with a few fish being picked up during the afternoon, and then finishing with a flurry during that last hour and a half before dark. Greg caught sixteen smallies and one largemouth. The smallies were running a little bit smaller today averaging around sixteen inches. Greg’s  biggest fish measured nineteen and a quarter inches, and his picture with that fish is included with this report. It appears that the French Broad smallies are continuing to trickle into the Little Pigeon on their pre-spawn run. I haven’t seen the jumbo pre-spawn females as of today. I would imagine they are on their way, with the water temperatures approaching sixty degrees. This is the tip of the iceberg, and the best smallie fishing of the season is right around the corner. Of course, that depends on the weather and water conditions. However, I am forever optimistic when it comes to river smallie fishing here in East Tennessee, and look forward to the next couple of months of fishing.