It had been twelve days, since my last guide trip with Greg, Paul, and seven year old Benjamin. On that last trip, they had finished the day, enjoying a smallmouth feeding binge that I had not seen in quite some time. It certainly was one for the record books. Benjamin had only been fishing a couple of times before that initial trip. Paul and Greg wanted to make sure that he understood that the last trip, was not something that happens very often, and not to expect a repeat performance. They didn’t experience the evening feeding frenzy they enjoyed on the last trip. Nonetheless, they did have another good day on the water. The weather was partly cloudy with light winds and a high of seventy-two. A beautiful day to be on the river. The Little Pigeon was clear, and the water temperature was fifty-six degrees. The pre-spawn run of French Broad smallmouth into the Little Pigeon, as far as I can tell has been going on for about two weeks. We did not have to depend on that evening bite like we did on their last trip. The fish hit well throughout the day, and by the end of the six hours, they had caught a total of thirty-four smallies. Seventeen of those thirty-four fish were seventeen inches or longer. The big fish of the day, came in just shy of that twenty inch mark at nineteen and three quarter inches. I really enjoyed watching Benjamin grow as a fisherman over these past couple of days on the water. He learned had to successfully, and accurately cast with a spinning rod, bait his own hook, and hold on to, and safely release a smallie back into the river (something he was reluctant to do on the first trip). I really enjoyed guiding the three of them, and was pleased to see that the smallies cooperated again this second time around. They landed over eighty smallies during those two outings. Ordinarily, April is the best month for the spawning run. If the success my clients have had in March, is any indication of what April may bring, then we’d better strap in, and hold on for what I hope will be an epic month of river smallmouth fishing.

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