Why I’m worried about the future for Micropterus dolomieu velox!

I have included links to a few articles specifically about the Velox to give you some insight into this unique bass as well as the problems we face.

Preserving native smallmouth (espn.com)

Smallmouth Fishing Deep in the Ozarks – Fayettechill

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (fws.gov)

Study will help fisheries management of a popular game fish—the smallmouth bass (phys.org)

Thank you for reading!

MAGPUL DAKA zippered pouch

I use a MagPul DAKA zippered pouch to hold my licenses and permits as well as other ancillary items. I chose yellow for visibility when I’m using a slingpack (Patagonia Stormsurge Sling or Yeti Panga 28L). It just keeps things together and reduces the clutter. The DAKA is not 100% waterproof but it’s durable and does the job.

As stated before, I spend a lot of time researching gear choices. I think things through with a focus on price, durability, utility and function. I prefer a modular approach so I can switch out easily. Anything to maximize my fishing time and keep clutter to a minimum…

My River/Stream Essentials

Anytime I find myself on my local rivers or streams fishing, you will find these items on my person.

  • A homemade pouch that holds my plastic baits and jig heads.
  • A Sawyer Squeeze water filter. It allows me to drink from the river without having to carry extra water bottles which add a lot of weight.
  • A spool of Seaguar 6lb fluorocarbon leader material.
  • Loon mitten clamp hemo-cuts.
  • A Victorinox Alox Solo pocket knife.
  • A mini Bic lighter.
  • Abel nippers..
  • A ziplock bag containing a small chamois for cleaning my eyeglasses and sunglasses.

Bobby Garland 2.5 inch Stroll’r soft plastics

Again, with lots of trial and error, I’ve settled on these 4 colors almost exclusively when fishing for Velox. For those new to the blog, Velox is short for Micropterus dolomieu velox- the Neosho-strain Smallmouth Bass.

I remember the first few times we fished the stream for these fish and we threw EVERYTHING we had. Most of which were our tried and true colors…pumpkinseed, motor oil, buffalo, electric chicken etc etc. But NO, they only wanted blue. They would ignore anything with chartreuse which I thought was bizarre. But who am I to argue! Give them what they want. And they wanted BLUE!

Being a consummate fisherman…it’s our destiny to experiment and experiment we will. I have a host of new lures to try in 2021…and yes…they’re BLUE.

Gamakatsu Round 211 1/8th oz jig head.

After a few years of trial and error I settled on the Gamakatsu Round 211 jig head in 1/8th oz. I find that the hooks are super-sharp and the short shank makes hookups more consistent for stream fishing smallmouth bass.

With this weight, I can fish the deeper pools or tail-out areas. Riffles can be fished with a faster retrieve as well as the rod tip being held higher. Just be careful not to high-stick the rod when fighting a fish.

I have zero scientific evidence to prove my theory other than my fishing journal which shows on July 13th we caught 10 Velox using a generic jig head as opposed to July 27th where we caught 82 using the Round 211. It might have been a banner day where all the planets were aligned…but the Journal says otherwise! As with fishing in general….Your mileage may vary!

Quick Shot of the 2020 Shimano Vanford 1000 on my Major Craft Troutino TTS-562L.

I put the Vanford 1000 onto my Major Craft Troutino TTS-562L rod and headed to a local pond. Both of these are new to me ( arrived Friday ) and I wanted to see how they paired up. Balance was really good and the action on this rod was great. No fish were caught unfortunately but I was there mainly to get a feel for the rod and see how various lure weights performed.

Randy over at TroutMagnetMan (YouTube) says, “Major Craft gives you a lot of rod for the money” and he was absolutely correct. This is a JDM rod yet its made in China but fit and finish was excellent. I’ve been using a St. Croix Triumph Travel ML spinning rod for years and this was cheaper but much nicer all the way around.

When the waters warm up a bit I plan on hitting the panfish hard as well as white bass and my beloved Neosho-strain Smallies. Stay tuned for more…

This is ME:

My name is Jeff and I enjoy the Great Outdoors. I love to fish and have been doing it most of my life. I have made over 25 trips to Ontario to fish as well as several other destinations.

Currently I reside in Oklahoma and fish the lakes and streams on a regular basis. The past few years I’ve rekindled my interest in fly fishing as well as using spinning gear while wading streams. I prefer to fish “off the beaten path” and do lots of research to find somewhat remote spots.

Please do not be upset if I don’t reveal locations. If you recognize them then you know why! Also, you will routinely see me doing stream clean-ups EVERYTIME I’m out fishing. I could rant on and on about the conditions of some of our local waters and live by the mantra of “leave it cleaner than how you found it.” A great way to recycle a plastic bag is to fill it with trash on your way out. Just sayin

Stay safe and go fishing! -Jeff

Are Journals Important?

I keep fishing journals…NOT personal journals!

I started my fishing journals years ago so I would have a reference point for a particular location, time of year, temperature, water depth/stream flow, lure choices etc. It has been really handy to re-read them before I head out and if you fish an area long enough and often enough…you’ll end up with useful information that may cover all seasons and weather conditions.

Just food for thought….

Blogging vs Vlogging

I had a fishing channel on YouTube before I severed all ties with them (that’s a long story for another time) I didn’t like the pressure to create cutting edge content or have to turn into a Hollywood director and producer to get “Likes” and “subs.” I find that having a blog suits my temperament much better and it definitely stream-lined my life.

I will do my best to give you good photos (as good as I know how anyway) and honest reviews of gear that I highlight. I spend a lot of time doing gear research so I can “buy once, cry once.” Basically, if it’s utilitarian and suits my needs/purpose, then I usually get it. Some of the fishing I do is specialized…not that its cutting edge or anything, but I want a specific piece of gear to maximize my fishing time so I track it down or make it myself.

I will be highlighting some of the gear I use and why…so follow along!

2020 Shimano Vanford VF1000F

For 2021 I decided to try a lighter spinning reel and chose the Shimano Vanford 1000. It weighs 5.3 ounces and has a 5.1:1 gear ratio. It has 7 pounds of max drag (which I’ll never use) and 7+1 ball bearings. This reel has the typical Shimano smoothness and line lay was excellent.

I have it spooled with about 130 yards of Daiwa J-Braid Grand X8 in 6 pound test. Onto that is attached an 18 inch fluorocarbon leader at 6 pound test.

side note: PE# 0.6= 6lbs test

I’m interested to see how the new features (trickled down from the Stella) act with this reel. I’m keen to see how the long stroke spool works out.

Stay tuned for more…..

Velox Seeker

So why did I start this blog?

To begin with, I enjoy fishing and would like to share some of my adventures. Secondly, I am by no means a social media expert and have always enjoyed blogs rather than videos and so forth.

I am not a tech-whiz when it comes to video editing or high-end professional photography, and as such, would rather spend my time fishing as to getting the perfect photo op. I figured that a blog might be an easier format for me to share the adventures with you.

I have been fascinated by our Neosho-strain Smallmouth Bass for several years. Their uniqueness as well as their habitat and fighting ability was enough to sway me to seek them out almost exclusively these past few years.

Along the way I will share some of the gear I use as well as techniques.