We hit the water around 5:30 or 6:00 and after launching The Cat in that little backwater we headed down the way a bit. Was mostly throwing Club-Os. I was switching back and forth between C0-4s and CO-H5s, and I caught a couple small bass, but the bluegills were just harassing the heck out of my baits. I decided to fish for them with some 1.5" curly grubs I make myself. I use a simple dropshot rig with a couple #6 bait holder hooks. They were smacking the bait and spitting it pretty quick, but I started to get a feel for them, and managed 7 that were big enough to become a late dinner last night. I also stuck several small bass on them, and had one decent one break me off on the jump. I wasn't surprised as I had been bumping the rig through some rocks for several casts to get bit. I just have 6 or 8 pound test on that rod too.
As the sun fell and the light level started to noticeably change I decided to try another area where the gills had been harassing me earlier. On my first cast I felt tension on the line almost instantly, and I loaded it up. It didn't feel like a bluegill. At first it was solid, and I was thinking it was a 2 or 3 pound bass. Then it started to pull, and I thought maybe a little bigger. Then she started to take some drag. Enough were I just let her take drag. In fact I checked the drag because at one point the rod was really loading up and I wasn't sure if the drag was going to slip like it should. It was fine.
When I got a my first look at the fish I thought it was atleast a 5 or 6 pounder. Then she dove taking drag again. Patti grabbed the net and set it in the water. Of course the fish saw the net and took drag again, but I was ready for that. Then it went under the net, and we had to get it out of the way. Patti was awesome on the net. After 7 or 8 runs taking drag on almost every run she was finally ready to come in. Patti set the net down low in the water, and I was able to lead the fish up over it. When I was about ready to say pick it up the net just disappeared. So did my fish. Patti swooped it up and had it down in the bottom of the boat in the flick of an eye. At that moment I was thinking solid 6+, but when I picked it up for a picture I thought over 7. Later when I weighed it on D-Mans scale it showed at 7lbs 5ozs.
D-Man paddled over while I was messing with the fish to borrow a pair of pliers. He was trying to get the hook out of a solid fish of his own at the same time.
I got a couple more small bass on the YTC 1.5" Curly Grub after that, but I was basically done for the evening after that big fish.
I'm not suggesting anybody go big bass hunting with a 1.5" curly grubs. That was incredibly lucky. Year old light line. Tiny little hook. Insignificant little bait. Everything has to line up just right to get a nice fish like that in the boat on such a rig. I can go further to say that sometimes when I just want to feel a pull on my string, I'll throw that rig, and more than once I have seen a bigger (2-3 pounder) bass eat it in clear water. Swim up, bite down, and hold it, and then see the bait and hook slide right out of their mouth as I try to load up and hook them. The hook is just too small for consistent hookups on big bass.
Prior to last night I had caught bass upto about 4 pounds on my tiny baits, but I have always considered it just luck and I was never "really" targeting big bass with them. Its just not a good choice for getting them in the boat.
I will say: IF YOU JUST WANT TO FEEL A PULL ON YOUR STRING, they are pretty hard to beat. I've got a lot of small fish on the YTC 1.5" Curly Grub. Last year my son caught 30 or 40 fish including 6 back to back doubles out on the canal bank one day dropshotting little curly tails. Bluegill, redear, striper (yes striper), crappie, largemouth, and smallmouth have fallen to this simple rig for me. Usually lots of small fish, but as I have said before, "Fishing beats not fishing, and catching beats not catching."