It’s getting to be that time of year when I start getting excited about the pre-spawn run of those big smallmouth up the Little Pigeon River from the French Broad. With unseasonably warm water temperatures in the low sixties during the third week in February I did start to see a few fish showing up in the Little Pigeon that I believe were from the French Broad. Then the weather reversed course and so did the water temperatures. As of March 4 the water temperature in the Little Pigeon was in the high forties. I was catching about a dozen smallies each day during the first few days of March, but I really had to work hard for the fish I caught. However, today the water temperatures were in the high fifties and I was able to get on some good fish. I managed to catch 14 smallies in one spot in a two hour period with a great majority of the fish being sixteen inches or longer. The biggest fish (pictured above) was 21 1/2 in. long and weighed 4 lb. 9 oz. They have been running very little water at Douglas Dam over the past several days. Low stable flows from the dam in my opinion improve the fishing and the TVA forecast is callling for the same release schedule over the next three days. I am hopeful that the fishing will continue to improve over the next couple of days before cold weather returns over the weekend.

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