“He’s become quite efficient with spinning tackle,” said dad. “The boy knows how to handle a rod.”
Howell said he and his son’s fishing successes really picked up this summer when they changed lure choices based upon a recommendation of Dick Parker at Central Park Bait and Tackle in Osceola.
“I was in there earlier this year and told the owner we were catching a lot of small bass on Rapalas and jigs, but was looking for something that would catch bigger bass,” Howell said. “He told me that guys on the lower river were fishing 5-inch, green pumpkin Senkos and thought they might work up river as well.”
The next time they fished, the Howells stuck with their Rapalas for awhile before dad decided to try the new lure. He rigged it weightless and wacky style as suggested, placing the hook in the middle of the worm with the ends dangling.
“I threw up river and was going to put that rod down and resume casting another rod with a Rapala, when the bait took off,” Howell offered. “That fish was a 16-incher and a size we rarely catch up there.”
Since then, the Howells have been Senko fanatics and their catches of bigger bass have soared.
“It’s not uncommon for us to catch smallmouth between 16 and 19 inches now,” dad noted. “We cast upstream and let the current carry the lure around rocks and trees.”
Dad says young Jon is a fishing machine, and credits the success they have on the upper river for bonding them as longtime fishing buddies.
“He’s my fishing partner, and I can’t think of a better way to spend time with my son,” Howell said proudly.
The Michigan DNR Hunter Education Program will offer trapper field day in Dowagiac Dec. 7.