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The river smallies were on fire today in the French Broad River. All of the conditions were perfect. Very little generation at Douglas Dam, light winds and water temperatures in the upper fifties. It is quite obvious that the pre-spawn run has started in earnest. The first spot I pulled up on I could see what I presumed to be smallies blowing bait up out of the water. I hooked up on my first cast and it was off to the races for the next six hours of fishing. I caught forty-two hard fighting smallies on this trip. The majority of the fish were in the sixteen to seventeen inch range. However, there were three eighteen inchers, five nineteens, one that was twenty and three quarters and the big fish honors go to a rather thin fish that was twenty-one and half inches long and weighed four pounds one ounce. We have arrived at that time of the year on the Little Pigeon and French Broad Rivers that smallie addicts like myself live for. In the past, April has always been a great month to target these pre-spawn fish. They do arrive in waves if you will and you will see fish start pairing up and begin the spawning process while other fish may be just arriving to begin their run. I guess it’s Mother Nature’s way of spreading things out to make sure if something like a major flood event should occur that not all of the nests of the entire spawning population of fish are destroyed in one fell swoop. The next couple of months offer some of the best fishing of the year. That includes taking advantage of the post spawn bite as the fish recover from the rigors of insuring that there will be another year class of fish for us to enjoy catching sometime in the future. It can also be equally as hot as the pre-spawn bite as these hungry fish make their way back to rejoin the waters of the French Broad River in May and June.