Short and sweet are the words I would use to describe today’s fishing. I was contacted by Pete earlier in the week. He and his family were traveling to Knoxville for his daughter’s volleyball tournament and he wanted to find out where he could do a little bank fishing for smallies. Their time was limited on Saturday to only a couple of hours of fishing before they would have to head back to Knoxville. I told him about a couple of spots in Sevierville where the bank fishing on the Little Pigeon was pretty good right now. He said that his stepson Ben, who is an avid and experienced angler had never caught a smallmouth. When I heard that I decided I had to be that guy who would do his best to help him catch his first smallie. I made the offer to Pete that I would be more than happy to take them out for a couple of hours and he gladly accepted. With the limited amount of time we had I decided that we would fish the high value targets (holes that had been fishing well over the past few days). During the past few weeks a six hour trip on average would produce  about thirty to forty smallies. So doing the math I figured because they were both experienced anglers we might get away with around ten smallies on this short trip. It wasn’t long after we stopped at the first hole on the Little Pigeon that Ben was able to add the Smallmouth Bass to his list of species he has caught in his fourteen years of life. He said he couldn’t believe how hard his twelve inch smallie fought compared to some of the much bigger largemouths he has caught over the years in various ponds and lakes.  It wasn’t long before Pete joined in on the fun and in short order they had several nice smallies caught and released. I decided to make a move and fish a spot in the middle of the river that is usually good for five to ten smallies on a good day. I make a habit of counting all of the fish that are caught on each trip to get a sense of how well we have really done on any given day. I figured that on this shortened trip I could just keep that number in my head, but then all of a sudden the fish turned on big time in this one spot. For the next hour it was nonstop catching. It wasn’t long before I lost track of how many smallies were being caught. You have only a few days each month during this time of the year when the fish really turn on and today was one of those days. Not only were they catching numbers of fish, but the quality was excellent with the majority of the fish being in that sixteen to seventeen inch range. Ben tagged a a really nice smallie that was a little over 19 inches and weighed 3 lb. 6 oz.. But he wasn’t done for the day when it came to big fish. He set the hook hard on a fish that stayed deep and then exploded out of the water and landed with a big splash. I say big splash because this was one of those “footballs” that you occasionally encounter that quickly get your attention when they smack the water with force from that thick broad body. Ben did a great job of playing the fish in the strong current and once it was safely in the net it pulled the scales down to the 4 lb. 10 oz. mark and was 20 ½ inches long. Ben’s pig is pictured with this report. We estimated that they caught over thirty-five smallies in what turned out to be a three hour trip. It’s not all about the numbers, but when then fish are on fire it sure is a lot of fun as guide to watch your clients catch that many fish as well have several double hook ups. Pete and Ben were great guys to have on the boat and I was happy that Ben was not only able to catch his first smallie, but many more to boot. Today’s trip was indeed short and sweet!

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