Swimming with the fishes

Although I spend the majority of my time fishing walleyes, living on a lake means you dab into a variety of other activities. One of the ones I enjoy most is getting together with my friend Eric and chasing smallmouth bass around the flats on Lake St. Francis during the dog days of summer. There plenty of really great spots to find schools of smallies roaming flats and great opportunities to see them in their natural environment on this body of water. They are a thrill to swim with for a number of reasons. They’re curious meaning they actually come investigate an anchored boat and a snorkeler. They’re territorial, so you get some real close up shots and even get to touch a fish every now and then. They are found in shallow spots so they’re accessible to anyone who can afford a pair of flippers and a mask. (although a wet suit is really nice too).
The water also is extremely clear which helps for obvious reasons. If you haven’t tried this yet go out there and give it a shot. Just be careful to never stray too far from the boat and always have someone stay on board while you’re in the water. It’s really hard for other boaters to see a snorkle sticking out of a small chop so keep your wits about.

I am getting used to a contraption I came up with for my Canon D10 and this is the first smallmouth I encountered so the videos, I hope, will improve with time and practice. As you can see this one was a little spooky. There is another fish in the frame at about 28 seconds. I think it’s a sucker. I hadn’t noticed him until I uploaded the video. Hope you enjoy this glimpse of smallmouth bass in their beautiful serene little world.

Until next time, stay outside….

Jigger.

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