03-23-2012, 08:11 AM
Last night, just like every night on the way home from work, I stopped by the Milwaukee River to cast for about a half hour before dinner. I was using a bait caster (St.Croix LT Walleye Series Light Bouncer) 10 lb. Floro and a fairly large suspending jerk bait, my basic favorite set-up for early spring. Naturally, I was targeting pike because you can’t target smallies just yet. The older gentleman only 20 feet downstream of me was using a very light (nearly ultra light) spinning outfit with a really smallish jig and small Texas rigged plastic and swimming it along the bottom. He had a fish on almost every single cast (at least 2 out of 3) but all were really tiny—and I mean tiny. He looked at me with the sort of look that said, “I see the Ranger stickers on your truck but I don’t see you catching any fish” (I wasn’t.) Anyway, by 30 minutes later, I had caught two fish, one a so-so 25 inch slimmer but with a really, really nice 20 plus inch Smallie caught by accident. So, after dinner, I am relaxing with my newest issue of the magazine, a cold one and reading Spence Petros talking about “Big Fish Patterns and Small Fish Patterns.” Naturally, I couldn’t help thinking of the time just a few hours earlier when the guy next to me caught 20 fish before I caught my first….but all fish that I would have just as soon not caught. Clearly, it made me start to wonder about my musky fishing choices, not too unlike the way I feel walking out of a Tom Gelb seminar. So, the question for this thread is: How often are we really spending a lot of time trying to catch the fish we really are not going to be all that proud of???