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ironmike12

Shallow River Smallies

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I've been fishing a shallow river in southern Ohio and have not been able to consistently get bit. Does anyone have any favorite rigs and or baits for this type of situation. It is pretty rocky in most places. I have talked to a few guys who run light jig with a grub, not sure what I'm missing.

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I fish a river like that here in PA. Spinnerbaits are a good option when you use the right combo for the conditions, like if the water is really clear I found that a 1/4oz or 3/8oz spinnerbait with nickel willow blades with a translucent color skirt and body works well. My favorite color spinnerbait is one I make that I call ghost blue illusion which is a pearl colored head with a skirt made of clear blue illusion which looks like pearl but when the light hits it at certain angles in gives off a blue hue, very deadly. I also like small 1/8oz to 3/16oz finesse jigs and of course tubes, and the tubes I keep it simple by using green pumpkin, natural pumpkin, and watermelon red flake for clear water and stained water I like to use green pumpkin flash which is green pumpkin with chartreuse and purple flake, black, and black neon. I like the tubes to be 2.75" to 3.5" and I'll always start with a 3.5" and then downsize depending on how the bite is, like if I'm getting bites but few hook ups I'll go down to a 3" tube and see how that works. Also a Manns 1 minus in bone or shad, a great crankbait for your type of water. The key to the spinnerbait and crankbait is to move them fast in clear water and slow it down in stained water, good luck.

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the two rivers I have listed as my favorite are like that deepest spots are small bends that get maybe 4foot deep most of it is 2foot deep I like to throw flukes, grubs, light light jigs and tubes

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Sounds very similar to my Home Water here in WV.

All good advice so far but you should throw some 3-4" Senkos/Yum DIngers in the mix also. In Shallow RIvers you can Fish them Wacky or Texas Rigged drifted in moderate current as well as Eddys and slower Water.

Topwater Poppers like Rebel POP R, Rapala Skitter Pop and others can be pretty effective if conditions are right. I will use them even in the Dead of Summer on Shady Banks.

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Sounds very similar to my Home Water here in WV.

All good advice so far but you should throw some 3-4" Senkos/Yum DIngers in the mix also. In Shallow RIvers you can Fish them Wacky or Texas Rigged drifted in moderate current as well as Eddys and slower Water.

Topwater Poppers like Rebel POP R, Rapala Skitter Pop and others can be pretty effective if conditions are right. I will use them even in the Dead of Summer on Shady Banks.

^^ This.

I was also gonna suggest 3" or 4" senkos/dingers texas rigged with no weight, just let them drift naturally and watch your line closely. The river I fish is very shallow and snaggy, so I tend to texas rig more often than wacky style.

I've taken some nice fish on all black, green pumpkin, and watermelon candy colors...more often then not, the smallies wont hesitate to hit the 5" ones either, just experiment with color and size until you figure out what they want.

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If the water is clear...I'd go with a walk the dog plug. Make a long cast upstream and work it back as fast as you can..Stained water...I'd probably go with a shallow running crankbait or a spinnerbait... Plastics on the bottom if all else fails.

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Buzzbaits across deeper riffles.

Mike

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you could also try fly fishing that's my goal next spring for small mouth im gonna pack the fly rod and a spinning rod and wade the creek if I fail miserably at fly fishing I will have a spinning back up

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Thanks for all the awesome info everyone. I will be trying out all these tactics over the next few weeks. I only live a few minutes from the river. Thanks again for the help.

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I live right on the border of west virginia and ohio

if you tell me the river you are fishing i might be able to help more

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I am fishing the little miami river in the cincinnati area. I caught two today with the advice from everyone. a very healthy 1.5 pounder and a 2.75 pounder to boot.

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Very cool, I like to see advice produce!

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Congrats. Sounds like a good day on or more likely in the water.

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When nothing else works i go with some heavier rooster tails... they dont catch real big fish but if you wanna hook up on a few real quick ill throw the rooster tail, gives you some good convidence too

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These are all great responses and most of the ones I was going to suggest have already been mentioned. I might add slow-rolling a white or white/chartruese spinnerbait near some rock formations.

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Smallmouth in smaller streams are very easy to catch if the stream has a decent population. They can't hide and they are aggressive by nature. Fish the cover, shade, and current in summer with an emphasis on the deeper current areas with cover (rock, laydowns, brush) to find the larger bass. Casting accuracy and a quiet approach is a must as is strike detection. Bait selection can be just about anything 1/4 oz. and smaller that doesn't hang up much. If the water is often off colored, I'd start with a smaller willow spinnerbait since it can be fished quickly an ithrough a lot of cover.

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Another thing thati have picked up is fish up stream. Work you way against the current as most fish face the current looking for food.

Sorry I don't know the miami river however if you ever want a great stream drive to Lexington and Frankfort and fish the Elkhorn

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Another thing thati have picked up is fish up stream. Work you way against the current as most fish face the current looking for food.

Sorry I don't know the miami river however if you ever want a great stream drive to Lexington and Frankfort and fish the Elkhorn

You spook less fish this way I always tend to work backwards though just cuz thats how parking is set up in the spots I fish. I end up working it both ways though cuz when I work my way back to my car.

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I guess I go against conventional wisdom. I use much larger baits than the ones mentioned here. You will be surprised how small of a smallmouth will hit a 7 inch PowerBait Thump Worm. Other than that I use 200 Series Bandit Crankbaits and they produce really well also. I catch larger fish on both of these types of lure but I also catch them as small as 4-5 inches pretty regularly. I don't feel like using these larger baits hurts the number of fish I catch either. Then again I mostly fish in the early morning or evening. Maybe during the day using a smaller set up might get the more finicky fish going.

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I am fishing the little miami river in the cincinnati area. I caught two today with the advice from everyone. a very healthy 1.5 pounder and a 2.75 pounder to boot.

I fish this same river in Milford if you would like I could show you a few spots. Just pm ME

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Two points to the Rooster Tail suggestion, think fishing stream smallies like you are fishing trout. Small floating Rapalas and Rebel Teeny Crayfish are a big hit.

Mike

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I fished the same river you are talking about when I lived in Troy Ohio, I had very good luck with white zoom flukes, neon rebel craws, and 3 - 4 inch smoke pepper yum dingers with a 1/8 gold bullet weight. Also with no weight where the water is really shallow. Also there are a good bit of crawdads in that river so try using a Yamamoto craw or any kind of plastic craw in a pumpkin color on a light stand up jig. I caught quite a few smallies in that river and a few decent sized pike too. Hope this helps

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2-3in grubs on 1/8 jigs work great in the shallow, just bounce them around the rocks and randomly reel in at a slow constant speed.

3 1/2in tubes in pumpkin or dark green.

2 1/2 in stickbait, I like the Rebel minnow in tigerfire. I just twitch it and play it near the surface in a dying motion. I get hits two feet away from me in less than three feet of water with that lure.

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