For the Mohawk River, 2012 is the Year of the Smallmouth

Last year there was a lot of speculation about the health of the Mohawk River post Hurricane Irene, specifically in how the fish population would adapt to the enormous deluge it experienced. Many times during large floods fish are displaced as they move to the edges to avoid the large currents. When the river level falls, it frequently traps fish off from the main river in nearby lakes, ponds, streams, and canals (or even swimming pools). Not only that, but plenty of species have trouble feeding in extremely turbulent waters with low visibility.

Well the good news is the Mohawk River fishery is still healthy. I’ve had one of my best years of fishing this season. It isn’t exactly the same as it was though. The river contour has changed a bit, and plenty of the old hotspots have either moved or disappeared. Another difference is the species of fish that are present and the ones that aren’t.

One of the most noticeable observations I’ve made this year is the absence of largemouth bass. While the Mohawk River has been mostly known for it’s smallmouth bass, it certainly has produced some big largemouth bass in the weedy sections in prior years.

This year not so much. Since May, I’ve fished river outlets, drop offs, and weed beds using crank baits, plastic frogs, spinnerbaits, and worms. Out of the dozens of bass I’ve caught, I’ve only landed one largemouth. Even in the thickest weeds I’ve ended up pulling out smallmouths, like this 22 inch beauty below yesterday(this is my 3rd 20+inch smallmouth of the season).

6 lb Smallmouth Bass

Maybe other people are having better luck in the river with largemouth, but for me, this year the smallmouth are the kings of the river.

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