Last night I was shaking my head and trying to figure out how great it was to be in a situation where I can catch sizable small mouth so close to home in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. When I went fishing yesterday, smallmouth bass was not on my radar.
Pine Creek located near North Park is known for stocked trout and not for small mouth like the Yough, Mahoning Creek or other waterways that hold smallies. Summer on Pine Creek is slow and I've fished the creek from North Park Lake to County Lane so many times and caught giant catfish and carp and normal warm water fish like bluegill, large mouth bass, crappie and so on, which all probably come from the lake but not once did I ever catch a sizable small mouth bass.
Yesterday I caught small mouth bass in a stretch of Pine Creek that didn't look like it got much traffic and if you weren't wading the creek I wouldn't know how you would get back there without going through overgrown bush and thorns. So I am thinking that the fish and game folks were not stocking back there. I think these fish are likely spawn and holdovers as they were pretty good sized fish - probably due to the lack of fishing pressure in that spot and a healthy waterway. I've talked to a few fisherman that fish Pine Creek down around Bryant Road and they said the small mouth are down in that area and they usually do well at night.
Most of the section on Pine Creek where I was is shallow and flat with not much going on but when I finally reached the area where I caught the bass it was a whole different habitat, it was deep, slow moving, lots of downfall and perfect for bass - you just knew that there were fish in that spot.