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NEjitterbugger

November River Fishing For Smallies

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In a few weeks will smallmouth still be active in rivers... What would you suggest to throw at them?

Any info from New England would be exellent and any info given will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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I fish the Ct. River a few times each fall/winter and yes, they are very much active and hungry. However, they tend to bunch up the colder it gets. You are either on them or you are not. They tend to stage for winter behind wing dams and the dam basins themselves. Hard jerkbaits, blade baits, tubes and chatterbaits (or some sort of swim jig) will usually tell you if they are in the area.

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Jerkbaits & hair jigs...fish slow...

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I fished in a MN river and Smallies only took minnows. I caught two on plastic crawfish but nothing else that day. Next day came with minnows and caugh 15. You can hardly tell they took it too as they seemed to be lazy. There were times I can see them and see how they strike.

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In my river (Susquehanna, NY) they are just starting to stage around their wintering holes: backwaters, coves, large eddies, around dams, etc. Lots of wood cover is a plus. Look for water that is deep enough that you can't see the bottom (if possible on your river).

Right now they are on the outside current breaks of these features, but they'll be moving further into the slack current as the water temperature drops, sometimes right up to the bank if its deep enough.

Tubejigs, hair jigs, jerkbaits. Slow with lots of long pauses.

Be patient. Sometimes you can fish a spot 20-30 mins without getting bit, but once you get one, it "wakes up" the others.

Absolutely love this time of year, second only to prespawn (and maybe low summer pool, topwater frenzy). Sucks I'm starting a new job tomorrow.

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I have caught lots of winter smallmouths. Rocket shads, half a senko , grubs

especially the powerbait ones, and any soft plastic that resembles a crawdad.

11-3-04003.jpg

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Been having great results with a Green Pumpkin Ocho and Watermelon Green Yum Dinger in the Staunton River here in Virginia. Flipping it into deep holes behind brush piles and around pylons. Have been keeping an eye on the middle of the river. If I see a splash, I flip the rig about 20 or 30 feet up river from it and hang on. Got my biggest ones this way.

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Haven't had much luck with river smallies this Nov. Seems like after the first week of Oct here (which was a GREAT week for river smallies for me), I'm either on them or I'm not. I've mainly been in the not category. The storm and the water levels made things crazy for a bit too though.

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