Robert and I hit the water for another smallmouth fishing trip on the Little Pigeon River here in beautiful East Tennessee. TVA had backed off the generation at Douglas Dam to an average of 10,500 cfs, but it is still too much current for me to spend any significant time fishing the French Broad River. However, the Little Pigeon was low, and gin clear, and by all appearances should fish well today. Robert has fished with me several times this spring, and has a good sense of where I am going to have him fish on any given day. I emphasize have “him” fish because I don’t fish. My job is to guide, not catch fish. It wasn’t long after we made our first stop that Robert stuck his first smallie of the day. It was a nice eighteen and half inch fish that he caught in some really swift water right next to the bank. Ordinarily, the smallies don’t usually position themselves in that fast water in this spot, but they were there to feed today. What makes this spot a lot of fun to fish, is that the smallies fight so much harder due to the strong current. His biggest fish of the day came from that swift run, and it was measured at nineteen and half inches long. The picture of Robert proudly displaying this fish is included in this report. It is worth noting, that he caught one sixteen inch largemouth in that fast water that had two noticeable gashes on the top of its head. Possibly a wound that resulted from the attack from a predator like an Osprey or Bald Eagle. It is uncommon to catch largemouths in current that strong, but it does happen on occasion. Fifteen minutes later, and about fifty feet downstream, he caught that same largemouth again with the two gashes on its head. After ten smallies, and that ¬†one beaten largemouth that would not be denied a meal, we ran upstream to check out a few spots that fish well when the water on the Little Pigeon is low and clear. He caught another dozen fish in those locations. Four of those fish were between eighteen and nineteen inches long. Robert caught a total of twenty-three fish today. May is just beginning, and we have additional trips planned for the remainder of the month where he can tackle those hungry post spawn river smallies.

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