Location – Celebration Park, Melba, ID
Water clarity – 3 feet visibility
Water temp – I’d guess around 40
Water levels were down a couple feet.
I went out to Walters Ferry on the snake river last week to attempt to find my first bass on the end of the line in 2022. But no luck.
In the very end of the fall heading into winter in 2021 I was doing well with anything in green pumpkin.
I started there with no luck at celebration this evening. Green pumpkin plastics of a variety of types weren’t producing any bites.
I also tried a Rapala cd7 in perch to see if I could trigger any reaction bites.
Then I tied on a green pumpkin orange hybrid hustler jig from beast coast.
Still no action.
I had gotten on a great bite early spring last year on a rainbow shad pattern, so I had brought a few baits to test that pattern out as well.
Specifically, a Zman color called “the deal.“
I first tried the color on a trd ned worm on a custom Ned had I had ordered from Empire Lureworks that matched the color perfectly and had stout ewg 1/0 hook.
2nd cast I felt a nice thump and I knew I had my first fish of 2022. The tug felt so good to feel again!
The smallmouth had picked up the Ned as it was tumbling across the bottom with the current in about 10ft of water.
It was a very light colored smallie. A lot more yellow/white than I am used to seeing on this part of the river. Not the black mombas I sometimes hook into during summer months. I’ve heard this has to do with their environment, amount of sun they have been getting, rocks/weeds/sand they spend time near, and diet.
Anyway, super cool fish, about 13 inches long, healthy and exactly what I needed on this Saturday night.
I tried a few more casts with the Ned and then wanted to test whether it was really the color that made the difference.
So next I threw a Zman Turbo Crawz on a 3/0 ewg hook with a 1/4 oz tungsten worm weight pegged.
Dragged and hopped this across the same stretch of water along the bottom. It hit picked up again by a smallie after about 5 casts. Similar size of fish. Not quite as light in color though.
I fished that bait for a few more minutes. No more bites. So I jumped over to another spot on the bank down river.
At this spot there was a small Boulder field and a good weed line that started about 15 feet off the bank. I threw a diesel minnowz in the same color on a new Pro Bulletz hook from Zman and started swimming that through the area casting about 50ft off shore and slowly swimming back in. Third cast got smashed.
At this point I’d been out about an hour and a half and didn’t dress warm enough for the 30 degrees plus wind chill. The sun was also going down. And I called it a night.
Fun quick trip to get the season started amd three beautiful smallies.
I was also excited because that was the first time I had thrown those new ned heads, turbo crawz, and diesel minnowz. So it was good to get some confidence in them. I plan to try a lot more from Zman this year.
I have a few pro crawz, turbo crawz, diesel minnowz, pro bulletz, finesse bulletz, and more I can’t wait to try.
I will be trying to do at least one trip breakdown like this each week in 2022. We’ll see how it goes!