Fall fishing is absolutely my favorite. Out of all the seasons, there is something so incredibly peaceful about launching a kayak on a chilly fall morning. Almost like clockwork, when October rolls around, many of the recreational boaters and kayakers pack it in for the winter, leaving the rivers that I like to frequent all but desolate.
Recently, my husband James and I took our kayaks to the beautiful Caney Fork River near our home in McMinnville, Tennessee. It was a cold and clear Sunday morning. The sky was a perfect shade of turquoise, which created an absolute picturesque setting. The river, still a deep shade of green, looked especially vibrant next to the rocky, tan colored shoreline. The setting was not only awe inspiring, but incredibly calming.
After James and I launched, we made our way up to a small waterfall where we began to fish. The waterfall is about forty feet high and comes out of the side of a cliff, much like a spring. It’s beautiful and always much colder in that one spot. We always fish around the waterfall and then work our way further up river. James had managed to catch a Spotted Bass almost as soon as we made it to the waterfall, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. Fishing with my husband is always fun, but we are both super competitive, and that usually means one of us tries to out-do the other one while on the water.
The bite had been surprisingly slow for me that morning, and after unsuccessfully throwing a square bill crankbait, I decided to pull out what I jokingly referred to as my “secret weapon.” I tied on a 1/2 ounce Jakal Deracoup to the end of my 12 lb. mono line which was spooled onto my old faithful Lews, LFS baitcaster. This year, I made the move to the G. Loomis line of rods, my favorite being the IMX-Pro series. While relatively expensive in comparison to most rods, the IMX-Pro is amazingly sensitive while remaining strong enough to handle big fish. The lighter weight of the IMX-Pro makes throwing a lure all day so much more enjoyable for me.
After tossing the Jakal Deracoup a couple times into a small riffle, my secret weapon had paid off in spades. I found myself suddenly fighting what appeared to be one of the biggest Smallmouth Bass I had ever caught in my life. I quickly reached behind the seat of my Hobie Lynx and grabbed my net. I was able to lift the fish out of the water safely, and I quickly removed the hook from it’s lip. James made his way over to me and photographed my fish before we safely released it back into the rocky river beneath us.
Trying a lure that was not in my usual, “confidence” lure line-up was a win-win for me on this particular day, and it opened my eyes to branching out of my comfort zone more and trying new techniques that can pay off big time. From now on, the Jackal Deracoup will be known as my “secret weapon.”