Christopher Smith

Zoom Zoom Catching Smallies On St. Clair

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Ex Detroit Tiger’s pitcher, Joel Zumaya, was recently taking time off from elbow injury rehab and made his way back to Michigan to catch some monster smallies on Lake St. Clair.  Joel’s nickname, Zoom Zoom comes from his ability to throw the fastest pitches ever seen in Major League Baseball.

Like any smart angler who is short on time and wants to get on bass right away, Joel hired a guide to make the most of his time there.

Let’s learn more about Joel’s successful trip to Lake St. Clair.

Zoom Zoom catching smallies on St. Clair

Zumaya is here because of that weather. This climate is perfect for catching big smallmouth bass.

With plummeting water temperatures, smallmouth move to the shallows in Lake St. Clair to gorge themselves before winter. You just have to know how to find them.

Zumaya, recuperating from elbow surgery, is here for a family fishing fiesta with his brother, Richard, and cousin, Isaac. The relatives are new to catching smallies, so Zumaya uses the busiest guide on the lake, Gerry Gostenik, to cash in on the brawny bronzebacks’ feeding frenzy.

Today his lure presentation is a little slower, more like a fluttering knuckleball. He and his family are using Rattle Trap crank baits and Silver Buddy blade baits, casting on the sandy flats scattered with weeds and rocks.

“We drop a buoy once we get that first bite and thoroughly work the area,” Gostenik said. His approach yields impressive results, including several 5 1/2-pounders.

“My father took me fishing for the first time, and I can’t wait to take my son, Marley, when he’s old enough.”

Anyone’s arm would be cramping a bit after catching four-dozen line-shredding smallmouth bass in an afternoon, but Zumaya offers a big shoulder to help me out of the boat. He boosts my daughter up, too.

In fact, Zumaya is ready to assist everyone on the dock. He carefully lends a hand to an elderly man loading his boat on a trailer. It’s encouraging to see this easy strength, but only time will tell if the surgery has been successful enough to withstand the rigors of pitching.  Source

It’s great to see a classy athlete like Joel enjoying himself in our favorite sport.  Hopefully the workout of working the baits and reeling in those great smallmouth bass will strengthen his arm and not set his rehab back.  I know after a day of fishing, my elbow or shoulder can ache a bit!

Zoom Zoom definitely has great taste and knew that catching smallies on Lake St. Clair is worth enduring a little cold weather.  Of course, heading back to Florida for the winter isn’t a bad gig either.  Good luck in your return to baseball Joel!

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