Like Mr. Merwin, who just posted about some exceptional fishing in New York, I have been on a severe smallmouth kick lately. My home water, the Delaware River, has sprung to life in the last two weeks. Shad and herring fry are pushing downstream, and suddenly the big bass have lost their summer sluggishness. But it turns out fry are not the only thing these smallies are chowing on. I pulled this baby catfish from a bass’s gullet this Sunday, and it’s rather ironic because of something that happened just last week.
While perusing the tackle aisle at the Wally World with my uncle, he stumbled upon some randomly-placed packs of Gitzit Baby Blue Eyes (photo). I’m pretty up on lures, but I had never seen these soft-plastic jigs that look like little catfish. And frankly, I would have never thought to purchase them. My uncle, however, had heard some rumors that they are smallmouth killers, and there are tons of channel cats in the Delaware. “Worth a try,” I said. Then three days later, I’m extracting this little cat from a bass throat.
I’ve yanked frogs, eels, mice, and even a little snake from a smallmouth’s maw, but never a cat. I assumed the spines made them a little unappealing. Looks like I was wrong. Now I’m itching to see if those Baby Blue Eyes do some damage. Anyone ever used them? – JC
PS – If you missed the post announcing last week’s contest winner, click here.