A friend and I put in his new Mad River canoe just below Great Crossings dam one warm afternoon last week. We had parked a vehicle at Robinson dam, a short paddle downstream, and planned to fish along the way. The canoe tracked well, but was a little tippy with two big guys on board. We managed to stay upright, however, and fished the slightly flooded stretch.
Along the way, we passed a fellow on a float tube, who told us that he had caught and released 12 keeper-sized smallmouth at the mouth of Cane Run, halfway downstream. We got to the mouth, and sure enough, minnows were jumping like crazy–a sign of predators chasing bait under the surface. We threw a shad-pattern crankbait and a rooster tail for 15 minutes, no luck. We paddled down to Robinson, where we met the guy again. He told us there that his method was to paddle up Cane Run around the first bend, then he would drift down quietly, throwing a soft craw on a 1/8th jig. At the mouth, he could hang the boat up on a downed tree, then quietly throw the lure into the baitfish madness. We had come in from the creekside, noisy, throwing topwater lures.
I’ll have to head back and try it again on my kayak, using his method. I was just glad to spend a nice afternoon fishing. My friend did manage to land a decent 13-inch smallie at Robinson after we got out–so we didn’t get skunked.