As is the case with fishing, as well as life itself, nothing ever stays the same for very long. Over the past couple of weeks, the bite has been occurring the last hour and a half before sunset. That is not unusual. Among hunters and fisherman alike, we are all accustomed to the fact that wildlife start to move, and feed more heavily that last hour or so before dark. That was the message, I gave to Matt a few days before the trip, he was to take with his eleven year old son Drew. That message being that we were better meeting for their four hour trip during the mid-afternoon hours, and fish until dark. That was until my trip yesterday, with my next door neighbor Bob. We had a strong bite in that one o’clock to four o’clock window, even though it was bright and sunny. With that information in hand, I decided it might be best that we meet at noon, and fish during that same period of time that we did yesterday. I’m glad that we made that choice, because the mid-day bite was extremely productive. The water temperature in the Little Pigeon was sixty-two degrees, and it appears that the French Broad smallmouth pre-spawn migration is in full swing. Matt and Drew were great fishermen, and it wasn’t long before they both were hooked up. They are experienced anglers from Illinois, and have fished for smallies in other rivers in the Midwest. Today was a day of firsts for both anglers. Each one set a personal record for their longest smallmouth. Drew kicked off the party, by catching a nineteen inch fish followed by Matt, a short time later, with his first twenty inch plus smallie. It was twenty and a quarter inches long, and weighed three pounds and ten ounces. They caught a total of twenty-four smallmouths in a little over five hours of fishing. Fourteen of those fish, were between seventeen and twenty and quarter inches long. I would like to mention, that Drew was one of the best casters, I have ever seen for someone of his young age. I wouldn’t be surprised, if I see him on TV someday, hoisting the championship trophy at the Bassmaster Classic. They were a couple of great guys to have in the boat, and I really enjoyed their company. I am glad that the fish cooperated, and that the two of them got a taste of what the pre-spawn Little Pigeon River smallie fishing can offer, on a beautiful spring day here in East Tennessee.

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