Micro gear, mega fun

Beautiful things come in small packages. Appreciate ’em. Photo: Chris Funk.

Micro Gear, Mega Fun
By Chris Funk

When the bass crushed the tiny topwater bait I knew I was in for a fight. Moving water and river-bred fish always make for a sporty match but the rod I chose this day had its limits. Normally I would be fishing a medium or medium-heavy action rod and a decent sized line. This time the line was light and the rod had slightly less backbone than a damp piece of cotton twine.

It had been a good long while since I had broken out the micro gear and this trip was just what I needed. I had a belly full of swimbait and Alabama rig talk and specialized gear meant for only one presentation. I decided that this trip wasn't going to be about trophies or bragging rights; this trip was going to be nothing but fun.

The stretch of river I fish is loaded with largemouth, spotted and shoal bass, bluegill and a super aggressive sunfish called a redbreast. The redbreast will attack any lure that comes near it and makes fine table fare. I had made up my mind that a mess of redbreast was on the menu this evening and if a spotted bass wanted to join, it was more than welcome.

I was fishing a tiny topwater on one rod and a small inline spinner on the other. The small spinner kept me so busy I barely had time to cast the other rod. I had taken a handful of small crank baits and minnow lures but never had the need to change anything but the color of the spinner.

Small gear makes any fish bigger

Small gear makes any fish bigger. Photo: Chris Funk.

Early on with slightly stained water the firetiger was the ticket and as soon as the sun rose over the trees a black and peacock took its place. These colors haven't failed me in the past and this day was no different. There is not much cooler than seeing that blade slowly spinning below the surface disappear in a swirl or rocket several feet to the side as a fish slams it.

The rest of the morning was so much fun it could make a corpse grin. All three species of bass came out to play and enough eating-sized redbreasts to feed my crew ended up on ice. Floating the deep spots and wading where I could made for a great day with the tiny gear. The highlight of the day was a large bass eating one of the bluegill I was fighting. I didn't stand a chance with him but it was sure fun trying.

If you ever feel like getting back to basics, or just plain having a fun day, break out the ultra light rod and your tiniest lure assortment. I can guarantee you will have a blast and will smile more than you have on the water in a long time. You run the risk of having your fanny handed to you by a great old big'un, but even that makes a pretty cool memory!

Chris Funk has a shooter’s eye and a southern twang. He hunts big and small fry for the Jackson Kayak fishing team.