The popper fishing for smallmouth bass was so outstanding yesterday that I had to get on it again today as early as possible. That meant crack of dawn, which here on Lake Winnipesaukee is 5 AM. Joining me was my brother-in-law Don. Don is a doc here in New Hampshire (he got his first carp on fly back in August) that after seeing the pictures from Becky’s and my fishing yesterday he declared it was his turn to get out.


Don doesn’t get to fish as much as he’d like so I took the pleasure of paddling him along. I’ve caught my share of smallies in my life so to watch someone like Don catch a few is just as fun as if it were me. In two hours Don had four respectable smallmouth devour his popper only to lose each one. First off, I fish barbless for everything and smallmouth jump like mad. Often times the way they twist and shake in mid air sends the popper right back in your face. That happened at least once. Next, Don’s not used to fish that pull so hard right after they eat his fly and he either held the line too tight or let it too loose. Bottom line is Don lost all four smallies.

What looked to be another hot sunny day rapidly turned into a cool windy one after breakfast. These sudden changes in weather frequently turn off the smallie fishing and this is exactly what happened. Becky and I went out for several hours this afternoon and we couldn’t entice a look at our poppers in any of the places that were so good yesterday. We even dredged for yellow perch with sinking lines and Clousers but we couldn’t find a perch either.

By evening Lake Winnipesaukee was covered in whitecaps. Conditions would have been nearly impossible to fish from the canoe. Instead Becky, Don and I opted to do some wade fishing on a small sheltered pond about a half hour drive away. I love a small lily covered pond at sunset and this one fit the bill. Interestingly, this is a pond that in all my life I’d never wet a line at. Man, did I miss out all those years! Don, Becky and I managed to catch some small pickerel and largemouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish as well as a handful of very nice black crappie.

My brother rolled into the camp with his family tonight and first thing tomorrow he and I will fish sunrise in Back Bay again. The weather calls for cool temps and overcast skies which could be ideal for an old favorite of mine, the chain pickerel.


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