When I received my copy of Smallmouth Neighborhood, I was thrilled. Here we go… details on Smallies from one of the “Big Sticks” that live in one of the emerging smallmouth capitols in the Northland!
Smallmouth Neighborhood - Vol. 1 - "Follow the Forage"
Kim Stricker, a top smallmouth specialist from the northern Midwest developed a video based on hours of underwater observations of smallmouth bass. “Could the stars have aligned this well in the real world???” Into the DVD player it goes and the introduction has great pictures and sequences of 2 ½, 3 ½, and 4 pound Smallies cart wheeling in the air, this is going to be great!
The subtitle is "Follow the Forage.” OK, that’s what I heard the pros do, maybe I’ll learn about picking fish off from the suspended schools that follow the baitfish. So I opened a bag of chips, cracked a beer, and settled down for the evening. Sorry to say, when the DVD ended I was left a bit wanting. The video gave me the names of three types of smallmouth forage; Emerald Shiners, Round Gobies, and Crayfish. It never got into the seasonal preferences of the Smallies or the forage. It didn’t tell me preferred habitat of the forage other than seeing it on the screen. Was it ten feet deep, twenty feet? I had more questions after the DVD than before I saw it! I still don’t know if the Smallies feed on all three types of forage all year, or if they prefer one over the other at different times of the year. I did find out however that Kim Stricker’s “Strick-Nine Shiner”, a fluke style soft plastic jerkbait, catches Smallmouths, but the video didn’t get into where to use it.
The underwater cinematography was awesome and the sequence showing bass trying to eat another bass was fantastic. In fact the underwater shots taught me more about the habitat that Smallmouths like than the narration did. I would truly have appreciated more facts and tips. It was entertaining, and maybe that’s what the producer wanted, I however would have preferred to come away with the feeling that my fishing will improve after watching Smallmouth Neighborhood...
Final Rating (1-10): 5