Float-n-fly fish for smallmouth bass

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By Shelton Young


After last weeks article, where I said to do a search on the Internet to learn about float-n-fly fishing, I was informed that “not everybody has Internet.”
So, I’ll give the basics of the FNF technique as best I can.
To make it work you need clear, cold water…around 40 degrees. Equipment is specialized! The rod will be sorta limber and long, around 10-11 feet…a lot like a fly rod!
A spinning reel spooled with braid and a 10-foot or so floracarbon leader…around 6-8 pound test… will connect you to your smallmouth bass.
The bait is a small hair, or duck feather jig dressed with a garlic/shad-scented gel.
This is tied to one end of your leader.
At the end of your braided line is attached a three-armed swivel. Your leader is attached to another arm of the swivel. On the third arm is attached a bobber that’s been modified to be off-balanced. The theory is that when the leader is in the water, the weight of the floracarbon (when sinks) and small jig will make the bobber stand straight up.
When a bass takes the bait or the jig rests on the bottom, the bobber will tip over. That’s your sign to set the hook or move deeper.
Casting is fairly complicated but simple when you finally get it figured out!
With such a long leader you sorta “cast backward” and when you hear/see/feel the jig touch the water behind you quickly bring your rod forward to make your cast.
It’s possible/probable that you’ll get slapped in the back/head a few times while learning this casting technique but once you get it you’ll be good to go!
Dress warm…I’d take a heater…and wear a life jacket. Have dry clothes handy and if you get wet dry off and put on your dry clothes immediately. Then go home. Don’t be all macho! As I said, wet and/or cold can kill ya quick!
Hope my explanation helps some and sorry for thinking everyone had computer access.
n We have a little over two weeks of hunting left, with some seasons already closed! Ya gotta wonder where the time went.
There’s still coyote hunting to be had and this time of year yields the thickest pelts. A good area, as in “about anywhere in Marion County,” a few coyote calls (along with a good instructional DVD), an accurate long-range rifle and scope setup about completes the outfit.
Of course full camo is a necessity and a decoy won’t hurt.
Now if you’re not good at calling…and I’m not…consider an electronic call.
Set up where you have a good view, place your decoy upwind and start calling. Be still, alert and watch for movement.
As always, know your target, know what’s behind your target and where your bullet will go.
Stay safe!
n Just think, before we realize it we’ll be setting our fishing schedule and prepping for turkey season!
It’ll soon be time for the swap meets and boat shows. The Barren River swap meet will be in Cave City on January 15 and this year’s Sport, Boat and Vacation Show will be at the Louisville Fairgrounds Jan. 28-30.
I’m “told” the show will be more “angler friendly” than in the past. Guess we’ll see!
n  Jan. 18, we’ll have another 4-H fishing meeting at the Extension office in the Marion County Fairgrounds.
This meeting we’ll be learning how to tie some knots we’ll be using when fishing.
Understand, we’re just a few meetings away from actually fishing. We have our January meeting, then February. By March the weather should allow us some time on the water.
With bass fishing soon to be a sanctioned high school sport, our 4-H program will provide you with the basics you’ll need to compete on that level!
But, you won’t learn if you don’t attend meetings!
Come on out Jan. 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Also coming up just a little later on will be our Mid-KY Bass Anglers/Puddle Jumpers “re-organizational” meeting. We’ll set our 2011 schedule with the “probability” of combining the “big lake” and “small lake” formats.
A change in locations, total number of tournaments and a revised fee schedule will be presented for consideration.
I hope to get this scheduled for early on in February!
Guess that’s it for now. Get out and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer. Stay safe and I’ll see ya next week!