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Tim Berkheimer

Fishing Grass In Fast Current

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Looking for some opinions on how to most effectively fish for smallmouth in a certain situation.

The water I am fishing is a large fast moving creek 2-5ft deep. The grass grows thick and tall to within 6" from the surface. The current bends the grass and creates a pocket underneath. These big bass lay under there and hang in these pockets. The water is nearly gin clear and the current is pretty strong.

With these conditions how can I best target these bass. They are here almost year round. I can't seem to get down to them before I spook them with the boat.

What do I need to do to get to these fish without spooking them.

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Like RW said a heavy jig head with a 3-5" swimbait. throw up current and bring it back into the pockets.

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3/4 oz white & chartreuse spinner bait double willow blades. I have found this is a Great fall time pattern when the big smallies are in the grass in shallow water here.

Top water is a close second.

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Topwaters work well in these situations too

x2.

 

Looking for some opinions on how to most effectively fish for smallmouth in a certain situation.

The water I am fishing is a large fast moving creek 2-5ft deep. The grass grows thick and tall to within 6" from the surface. The current bends the grass and creates a pocket underneath. These big bass lay under there and hang in these pockets. The water is nearly gin clear and the current is pretty strong.

With these conditions how can I best target these bass. They are here almost year round. I can't seem to get down to them before I spook them with the boat.

What do I need to do to get to these fish without spooking them.

Try throwing a buzzbait cross-current, or drifting a popper over the fish.

 

One of my favorite stretches of the Potomac during the warmer months is similar to what you describe. In this stretch of river the go-to baits are topwaters, Slider heads with a T-rigged 3" grub or senko, and if there is higher than average water I will occasionally try to drag a spinnerbait through any chutes/areas where current is strongest; or simply clip the top of the grass with it. At times when the sun is high the fish will often hit the lure and let go within a fraction of a second, which is when I Texpose the hook on the Slider/Grub rig or throw a hair jig if I can get away with it. Don't be afraid to throw the topwater during daylight hours (especially something slow moving like a popper.) I have caught many fish on both slow and fast moving topwaters at high noon, especially if they're in heavier current.

Not sure where you live, but the stretch of river that I'm referring to doesn't hold many fish (or grass for that matter) during the colder months. I also probably won't be throwing a topwater at them much this time of year, although smallies will strike topwaters when the water is cold. If there is a sun warmed flat/warmwater discharge nearby a deeper pool, topwaters can be deadly on warmer winter days.

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Grass jigs that can penetrate pockets in the grass. I'll either use a craw trailer if im hopping it or a grub when swimming it.

Small wakebaits do well also. One technique i will do with them is to throw down stream a let the current impart all the action of the bait while it sits in one spot. I think it resembles an inured baitfish trying to get upstream.

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I agree with the suggestions above, especially with the swimbait presentation. Top waters do elicite vicious strikes - sometimes - however they may not be the answer most of the time. Subsurface presentations do put the odds in your favor. JMO! :)

 

The only other thing I might add is that you should practice "slipping" the current as a primary form of boat control, in order to present any/all subsurface presentations. Keeps your bait in the strike zone longer.

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Topwater or weightless plastic would be my choice. Last year when the local rivers got high and muddy, a lot of bass were hugging tight to the shoreline in the grass and I had good luck catching them on a buzzbait.

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Small jigs and hair jigs. I've done well with both swimming them through grass in streams and rivers. I use one's with a thin wire brush guard.

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