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AZfishrman01

Favorite River Smallie Bait

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My personal favorite is a Power tube t-rigged with a 2/0 Gamakatsu and a Tru-Tungsten 1/8 oz bullet weight. Pulling/ hopping that through the weeds is devastating. Either the tube or a mini Paca craw catch'em in my neck of the woods.

What's everyone elses?

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In my favorite smallmouth spot my go to bait is a rapala about 3 to 4 inches long and the classic grey body fading to a black back ( preferably a broken back).I also like to use use jig heads and use any of your favorite soft plastics in slower moving parts of rivers...

If there are lots of crayfish in the river the smallies are probably fat, you would think that they would hit them but I fished one spot with crayfish for about an hour...nothing...switched to my rapala... caught 40 smallies and 6 trout..smallies were ranging from 1lbs to 2lbs 14oz. Crayfish for me anyways are more successfull in lakes.

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3" curly tailed grub on a 1/8 oz. ball head jig. Has caught countless smallies for me for over 30 years.

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Panther Martin #15, or a 3" tube on a 1/8 ounce head.

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The Greenbrier and New river 4 inch curly tail for sheer numbers. Tubes and naked t-rigged craws, bitsybug jigs with a paca chunk trailer seem to catch bigger bass

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4" puke colored BPS tube or white super fluke. Rebel craws always work well too.

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i fish every weekend morning on a river a few miles from my house . it is just big enuff that i can cast almost across it with a topwater. that being said i have had great luck with a jitterbug. there is to much stuff on the botom to use anything that sinks because if it its bottom i lose it 9 times outa 10. i have had real good luck tha last few weeks with a berkley black and white walley crawler harness that i modified so the 2 hooks are closer together.

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2" charlie brewers slider grubs in baby bass color on a cottonmouth jighead work great for me; gold panther martin spinners too

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I have been fishing smallies on a small river (20 yds across on average) since for about 17 years. I have 5 favorite baits

- X Rap in clown color

- grub with a 1/4 oz jig head. I like black, but have caught them on any color you can think of.

- tube, i like a chartreuse tail with a brown body

- finesse jig

- Yum Crawbug. This is my favorite smallie bait. Rig it naked or as a jig trailer, either way, it flat out catches fish.

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2" southern pro triple tail grub on a splitshot rig

1-2" piece of a senko on a hook unweighted

4" power worm with the tail cut off, unweighted, wacky rigged

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Zoom Meathead or finesse worm on a shakyhead, Guido Bug on a shakyhead, LC Sammy, SK Bitsy tube.

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Texas rigged tiny brush hog or sk bitsy tube

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Seems like it depends on the year locals tell me that, few years back a senko would be the bait to throw, few years back before that a single tail grub, few years before that would be top water, having allot of success this year on hula grubs without the skirt, go figure, and top water is out, sadly.

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Just found a great new-to-me smallie bait: Powerbait Twitchtail Minnow

Caught a limit and then some of good size fish in a couple hours after work today.

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Tube in craw color or banging rocks with a crankbait.

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I've had good luck with a Bomber 6A Root/Chart and a War Eagle finesse spinnerbait in mouse. I replace the blades with regular willows.

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I generally throw...

Super fluke jrs

F2 craw papi (2.75" craw color)

a few blue fox spinners

And sometimes a rebel craw, but its normally too deep for it

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Any soft plastic or jig that resembles a crawdad.

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Soft plastic craw on slider heads

Crankbaits (when the conditions are right)

but my all time favorite is a nose hooked 4" or smaller stickbait

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This spring..river levels were up....About 50/50 1/2oz spinnerbait or a swim jig, both with a curlytail grub trailer

May-September. Drought conditions, hot, low gin clear rivers..I probably caught 90% of my fish on a walk the dog plug. Couldnt fish the bottom because it was covered in snot moss.

Last month..Rivers still low and clear. Suspending Jerkbaits were the ticket

From now till spring...Suspending Jerkbaits & Jigs, and hair jigs usually see the most action. Cranks if the water rises.

Good Luck.

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Probably not really a river, but a creek that I fish in south central TN the only bait I carry is a rebel teeny crawfish, usually catch between 30-50 fish per trip. Not usually large fish but great fun and have caught up to 3 lbs.

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I like to throw a swimbait or a-rig just because you catch big ones for numbers a hair jig tube or a 6xd

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This may be a new one, picked this up Catfishing on the Ohio River. Take your line and put a 3 way swivel on in. Tie a leader on the bottom end approximately 6" to 18" depending on your preferance and put a 1/4oz to 1/2oz sinker on the end. Small egg sinkers with gold loops make for easy attachment. A drop shot sinker works wonderfully too. Next tie the other leader roughly 6" to 12" out that will hold your bait. Dont make this leader too long or it will become difficult to feel the fish when they pick up the bait. As for lures, I have found that any bait that delivers a fluttering action in the current works great. I.E. twin tail grub, robo worm, small Zoom craw, any straight tail worm, or tubes. Cast up river or stream, and as the rig floats downstream the sinker will grab the bottom and the bait will flutter horizontally parallel to the bottom. If you can hit the edge of current breaks to where the bait barely flutters, it's a killer. With a drop shot or small egg sinker the rig will gradually float downstream usually keeping the bait fluttering just off the bottom or desired depth. You may have to experiment and adjust, but once you figure out where the fish are holding, HANG ON!!!

Good Luck!!!

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I have had great success with a Jackall Cross Tail Shad rigged on a 1/16th oz. jighead with a large hook. Throwing it upstream and twitching/swimming it down river while gently reeling in the slack.

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Arkie Salty Grub for River fishing smallmouth- T rigged . My fav all time river lure

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