A few weeks ago out on Gun Lake my father and I headed out for some night fishing, during that time I spent most of my time on the lake being aggravated, mostly because I have been chasing smallmouth and they have been eluding me, while my father on the other hand is on the front deck slaying them, in all honesty, I was done! After that experience I remembered that Faculty of Fishing had a course on Deep Structure Smallmouth, when I got home I loaded it up and started taking notes, very tedious technical notes. I was bound to hit the lake and make a strong impression the next time I got out there.
I had taken the Pro Angler courses earlier this year and I noticed that rather immediately I had more confidence in what I was doing and I quickly caught up to my father in terms of knowledge. In the years before the Faculty of Fishing course I was getting skunked and even when I was having a good day out on the lake he was out producing me 5 to 1, well, that changed now. Being as satisfied as I was with that course I dove into the Smallmouth course with high expectations, and it met all of them.
The smallie course goes over everything that has to do with smallmouth fishing, it even goes as far as to tell you what you should be fishing, when you should be fishing it, and how you should be fishing it. That kind of instruction and knowledge will help to give you confidence in what you are doing, because well, if Jim Moynagh does it then you know its good information. For those of you who do not know who Jim Moynagh is, he is currently ranked 33 in the FLW standings; he also qualified for 5 FLW Championships.
Faculty of Fishing did their homework when they got Jim to teach anglers about the habits of smallmouth because well, he might very well be the guy to replace Billy Westmoreland as the king of smallmouth fishing. Jim starts out the first of the three part course by teaching anglers where smallies often hang out during each season and how they will likely transition on a day-to-day basis. This lesson is very straight forward; this is the one where it tells you how the temperatures and seasons affect the bass’s behavior.
Part two of the course is where the lessons get to be very in-depth, on this part alone I took 4 pages of notes, these notes are something that I have looked at repeatedly already to make a pre-fish plan for my father’s upcoming tournaments. Having the knowledge that is put forth in the second part of the course is VERY important. This part teaches you all about how to specifically pattern smallmouth, while some anglers attempt to apply largemouth patterns that just simply won’t be the case all the time because smallies can be totally different beasts depending on conditions. A reoccurring mention in this part is the structure, but not just any structure. Jim made sure that he went into depth on what makes structure smallmouth friendly vs largemouth friendly, which can pay BIG since more often than not if you limit out on smallies it can yield a higher average weight.
Once you get through that part of the course then the final part is all about how you want to fish that structure that the smallmouth are using. Faculty of Fishing even was nice enough to explain how smallies relate to structure even if they are suspending, that is information that can easily be translated into use on any body of water. The amount of detail that Jim went into led me to jot down another 4 pages of notes, these notes however are all about how and where to use lures from like crankbaits, jigs, grubs, flukes, spinnerbaits, the list goes on but Jim broke down each lure and when each lure will come in handy and how to present it to entice that aggressive smallmouth.
Overall I would say that the course is more than worth the price tag of $9.99, it gives angler the knowledge to catch fish and the reinforces the confidence in that knowledge by giving the angler a printable “cheat-sheet” which when laminated or transferred to your smart phone can be taken on the water to use as a year-round reference sheet. Check out the course for yourself and be sure to post pictures on Facebook, feel free to tag us and Faculty of Fishing!