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7-10-03 - The dam on the Oconto...above it is a huge reservoir.
Rich puts out a FAT cast in his search for smallies.
First SMALLMOUTH EVER! Um, but they're dinkers...including the subsequent two I landed.

7-10-03 - First Smallmouth of a lifetime!

Waters Fished: Oconto River
Fish Caught: 3
Outing Date: 7-10-03
Weather: Overcast
Air Temp: upper 70's
Water Temp: 74F
Water Level: Normal???
Water Color: Stained, visibility about 18"
Fish Species: Smallmouth Bass and Bluegills!
Pattern Fished: Mostly Nymphs & MP's Perch Bait
Pattern Color: Mostly Bright, Pink was the ticket for me.
Fishing Quality: Dinkers but fun.

This is the beginning of a FAT trip; on the way up for our weekend of Garden River scouting & Atlantic Salmon fishing we decided why not put a bit of time in on the water on Thursday!

After some serious consideration, we settled on the Oconto River. I was kinda thinkin' we'd go way upstream and check out some of the trout water, but FAT had a different idea...Smallmouth! Well, I'd never done smallies EVER and we were kinda ill prepared, so a stop at Fleet Farm for poppers and hoppers and we were better suited for this outing.

I'm not going to bore you with the nuanced details of every cast, so suffice it to say that the area below the Oconto River's first dam was all rock...mostly fist-size pebbles. After a lot of searching we found most of our fish in the deeper water along the south shore. This could be a lot of fun during the fall salmon runs!

Jack put in the nice evening, landing 4 smallies, the largest of which may have come close to 12". My three, all taken on a Pink Squirrel, were relatively dinkers...all fit in my palm with room to spare. Rich did the really surprising bonus and landed 1 smallie + 2 bluegills...I didn't think bluegills liked running water...or maybe they don't and they were just unlucky enough to get swept over the dam!

Well, after a couple hours we packed it up for the long ride to Sault St. Marie! Tomorrow we'd be fishing ATLANTICS!


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