Featuring Catch and Release Fishing for Trophy Smallmouth Bass
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I have tried to include as much known information as possible with the pictures in the galleries: subject identities, date of catch, bait used, weight (I use Chatillon scales), etc. Please know that we do our absolute best to take care of the fish and release them to fight again. These fish are just too special to be caught only once, and especially with the excellent replica mounts now available.
Big Pickwick Smallmouths Here you will find pictures of fish like these caught by Marlin &
(click link above) Butch Skillern from Bowling Green, KY:
Marlin and Butch caught these fish on December 21 on a brutally
cold day. Butch (right) is holding two fish that cracked the 7 pound
mark. And with other giants, including each getting a 6# 6oz.
fish, their five best fish that day (I ran the boat for them, but did
not fish at all) pulled my Chatillon scales down to
exactly 32 lbs. 0 oz.! The fish were caught on a plastic
shad type bait called a "Cocahoe Minnow", usually
used in salt water for speckled trout.
Wilson Lake Fish Sometimes flood conditions make Pickwick unfishable, or the
(click link above) bite just may be better at times on Wilson Lake. I don't fish
Wilson nearly as much, but I've still had many five fish strings from
Wilson that weighed over 25#, like these caught with Brad Barker
and Bill Balsi, Jr., from Reno, NV:
These were caught the last week of March on tubes, spinnerbaits,
and crankbaits. Two days earlier Brad had boated a 6 lb. 8 oz.
smallmouth down on Pickwick (picture is in the Pickwick gallery),
and he lost a fish on a tube right at the boat this day on Wilson
that was much bigger than his 6-8. Our state record smallmouth
bass, 10 lb. 8 oz., came from Wilson Lake.
Largemouths and Spots I don't believe that there is a lake anywhere in the world where an
(click link above) angler has a better chance of catching a bigger bass "grand slam"
than on Pickwick. Check out some big largemouths and spotted
bass in this gallery:
10/26/05 Tom Stemberger 11/4/05 Jim Walker
Griffin, GA Franklin, TN
Pickwick Largemouth 4# Pickwick Spots
Stripers There are times when we literally wear our arms out catching big
(click link above) stripers . . . 20's, 30's, 40's--and some so big we can't slow them
down with our bass tackle! Check out this gallery for more pix of
big stripers like this monster that Joseph Poole from
Stockbridge, GA, is struggling to hold up:
Joseph and I caught several big stripers this day, February 3, 2004
but we also lost several more huge fish that both straightened VMC
hooks and broke lines like it was sewing thread. Most fish,
including the one pictured, were caught on Zoom Super Flukes
rigged on heavy headheads.
Other "Exotics" We have caught as many as 13 different species of fish in one day
(click link above) on Pickwick on artificial baits, and routinely catch sauger, white
bass, hybrids, rock bass, 3 species of catfish, skipjack herring,
freshwater drum, bluegill, crappie, gar, and other fish while fishing
for big smallmouth bass--hey, Bob Smith from Springfield, MO,
even caught a PIRANHA with me on a trip a few years ago--no
kidding! This gallery contains pictures of some of
these other "exotics" (my thanks to Paul Bruun for categorizing
these other fish with such a noble label!).
Here are Elliott and Jonathan posing with a big
flathead catfish that I caught in May '98 on a brown/green hair jig
while bass fishing. And back in March of '91, on a trip with
Keith Gottfried and Tom Schultz, I caught (with a LOT of their
help getting it in the boat) a 69# 8oz. blue catfish on 6# line
using a white bucktail jig, also bass fishing. I don't even have
a picture of that fish, nor of the 50 pound flathead that Keith
caught with me a few years later on a trip with his wife, Pam.
We took TONS of pictures, but using slide film so it could be
used in magazines, which it was. Lots more catfish, hybrids, and
other "stuff" in this gallery.
Passages: A Tribute Page When you've done this for as many years as I have, it's inevitable
(click link above) that you're going to lose some of your clients and friends. This
page is a tribute to those who have passed on to the next life,
like "Big" Ben McClary.
Most days that I'm out I understand and accept that I'm not the best
fisherman on the lake; there are a LOT of great fishermen around
here. But sometimes, like when I was fishing with Ben, I know that
I'm not even the best fisherman in the boat! Ben was one of the
handful of best fishermen I've ever known, and it was my privilege
to have fished with him for the better part of 25 years. More about
Ben, and other clients and friends who have passed on, here.
Family and Other Interests This page has pictures of my family doing outdoors related
(click link above) activities. From Elliott's first 6# smallmouth, to their first deer and
ducks, this has some great stuff.
1901 County Road 10, Florence, Alabama 35633-2959
Phone: (256)760-8090 E-mail: email@example.com
Acts 2:38 Long May She Wave! Mark 16:16
With Deepest Thanks to All Veterans, Past and Present.