Kistler Hunt BFS Rod bend while Kayak Fishing
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The Pennsylvania Black Bass Slam: Catching 3 Species in One Day

There are 3 species of Pennsylvania Black Bass, and until this week one of them had eluded me.

On Tuesday morning I went out into the hot, humid morning to film some footage for a new kayak motor. The temps were in the 80’s before 8am and headed into the 90’s.

Hobie Outback with Bixpy K-1 Motor

If you’ve known me for a while, you know I “occasionally” forget things. Cameras, nets, glasses, meetings, holidays, names, even the day of the week.

Well, this morning I forgot my microphone for the 360 camera. But little did a realize I also forgot the alignment pin that ensures the motor stays pointed straight when installed on a kayak.

The fishing was already slow, and having to return to the boat launch to adjust the motor made the morning more aggravating. I was literally drenched in sweat before I made it even 100 years upstream.

But, the quality of the Bixpy motor made up for my forgetfulness, and it’s power made me very happy I wasn’t pedaling or paddling upstream as the heat continued to rise on a very calm, almost stagnant feeling morning on the creek.

Occasionally I would go full speed just to get a bit of a breeze.

Pennsylvania Black Bass Species #1 – The Smallmouth

It was nearly 2 hours into the trip before I finally caught the first Smallmouth Bass. A dink, but it’s better than not catching anything. It was situated just outside a weed line in the creek. It hit the lure while I was reeling in to make another cast. It was honestly just a lucky bite. But I’ll take luck over getting skunked.

Pennsylvania Black Bass Species- Smallouth

Pennsylvania Black Bass Species #2 – The Spotted Bass

On the very next cast, I caught my first ever Spotted Bass. This fish was near the bank in a pocket beside another clump of vegetation. I had started to figure out that the isolated clumps of grass were holding fish. But up until now I hadn’t been able to land any of those bites.

At first, I thought it was a Largemouth, but it just didn’t look “right”. After confirming the tongue patch, it was clear I had a new species to add to my lifetime list!

Pennsylvania Black Bass Species- Spotted

Pennsylvania Black Bass Species #3 – the Largemouth

Then, only a short 15 casts later, as I was working quickly back downstream in an effort to not be late for a 12:30 appointment, I saw an especially “fishy” spot.

It was another clump of crass, but there was a 90° cut in the rocks along the bank that met the clump of grass. This created what looked like a 2 foot-wide pocket that would be an excellent current break and ambush spot for a larger bass.

I flipped a little sidearm cast in there with one of my Kistler Hunt BFS rods, the hover rig landing maybe 2 inches from the corner in the face of those rocks. Exactly where I wanted it.

As I let it fall on slack line, I felt the fish inhale the lure. It’s amazing what you can feel on a really sensitive rod. I turned the reel a couple turns and lifted sharply to set the hook.

Well, that fish was not happy to have been fooled! After a couple of jumps, she really started digging. Because I had been making time downstream, the fish was already well behind me when I set the hook.

Kistler Hunt BFS Rod bend while Kayak Fishing

It was a heavy fish for its size, and just plain mean! To my surprise, this time I had a largemouth. It was a quality fish, very healthy, but not really big. On any other day it would have just added to the catch count.

But on this trip, it represented what I’d consider the Pennsylvania Black Bass Slam – catching all three species in one day.

Pennsylvania Black Bass Species- Largemouth

After a slow morning, I landed the trio in a span of 17 casts.

That’s one way to turn a disappointing day into a memorable trip in a matter of minutes!

There’s still a handful of other relatively common species I have yet to catch.

What was your most recent “new species” you managed to land?

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