I was running a squarebill over shallow (2-3 ft) for today when I got a strong bite about 30 ft from the boat. The fish immediately came to the surface and jumped very high. I got a good look and immediately knew it wasnít a bass, but it was a medium dark gray, taller than a LMB, but with a smooshed nose/face compared to a LMB. It was every bit of 8-10 pounds, and I got two great looks because it jumped very high and enthusiastically twice right in front of me before it shook the lure.
Iím trying to figure out what it might have been. The smooshed face made me think freshwater drum (and Iíve been with people who have caught them on Lake Waco before), but I didnít know if they were this solid, medium gray color and if they were known to jump like that.
The only other thing I thought it might be is a smallmouth buffalo, but again I didnít know if they had this color, size, and tendency to leap.
Last week at the opposite end of the lake I saw one of these jump 3 feet out of the water attacking some shad. This was the same type of fish. It behaves like a smallmouth and was shaped similar to a smallmouth, but the color was not the typical brown/bronze color.
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A Chain Pickerel will jump and leap. The larger ones get darker with age; but I have never seen one in the 10 lb. class.
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My guess would be buffalo. I foul hooked one on lake Whitney last week that jumped completely out of the water. I ended up landing him after a strong fight. It seems to fit the color and shape profile exactly.