Len Harris/For Wisconsinoutdoorfun.com
The fish manager from my area Gene Van Dyck stocked a few hundred fingerling smallmouth bass in the Yuba area in 2000 in the Pine River. The smallies are thriving. They are also more making the trek up streams from the Wisconsin River and will be in brown trout streams by you soon. I have talked to a couple anglers from Grant County and they tell me the smallies have arrived already in force.
The WDNR has done studies on smallmouth bass taking over streams that were previously trout water.
I fish the Pine River a lot and have seen a huge spike in the numbers in smallmouth bass caught.
The smallmouth attached was caught by Brian Waldner of Richland Center on Tuesday of this week. Brian also caught another smallie on the outing on the Pine River.
Last year I caught an 18 and 19 smallie in the same outing. In 2011 numerous smallmouth bass were caught right in Richland Center where the old Community Center once stood. The bass have moved up and down the Pine River. They have been caught all the way from Yuba to well below Richland Center.
Smallmouth bass fight like their tails are on fire. They are not as good table fare as the brown trout they are replacing but the streams are warming up and we can't fight mother nature.
Len Harris blogs from the "Heart" of Wisconsin's Driftless Area. Len's passion is small stream trout fishing with every legal means possible. When trout season is closed he writes and takes photos. He even dabbles in a little cooking. Read more of Len’s writing on his blog at http://lenharris.blogspot.com/.