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Cold Smallies

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We still have soft water here in Northern Jersey, and I was thinking about trying my hand at Bronze Back fishing in one of our river systems. 1. Where do they usually hang when the water temps drop? 2. What type of lures to use in the cold temps?

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Deep water in an area where they can move vertically quickly ( steep shorelines, bluffs, fast dropping points). Shakyhead with a finesse worm, jigging spoon, or a jerkbait would be what I'd be tossing at them. 

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Another thing, are smallies more aggressive then Lmb when the water is cold. Like 35* cold.

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Hair jigs work really well as do smaller jerkbaits.

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How would you fish the hair jigs, like a regular jig?

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Smallies  are aggressive when asleep. Compared to a wide awake largemouths  on 5 hour energy drinks.

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Do a google search on the float-n-fly.

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Smallmouth will be looking to get out of the current when the water temperature drops down below 40 degrees. They will gang up in "winter holes". Look for current protected areas with greater depth than the surrounding river. Dead drift a suspending jerkbait through those areas. Dead stick hair jigs, tubes, small paddle tail worms, etc. in those spots. The reason fisherman turn to hair jigs in the coldest water is that even when you have them motionless on the bottom there will be a tiny amount of movement in the hair from the current which the smallmouth can detect and that is enough to trigger a take.

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Thanks for the input, I'm really getting the itch. Gonna have to take my spinning gear out of winter hibernation. :respect-059:

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Heavy metal is hard to beat on deep main lake points. Silver  buddy, Damiki Vault and others will get a lot of smallmouth now. Like to throw on braid/floro leader spinning set up. Hang on when you feel a bite, not unusal to pick up other species like a big cat or drum also.

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Smallmouth will be looking to get out of the current when the water temperature drops down below 40 degrees. They will gang up in "winter holes". Look for current protected areas with greater depth than the surrounding river. Dead drift a suspending jerkbait through those areas. Dead stick hair jigs, tubes, small paddle tail worms, etc. in those spots. The reason fisherman turn to hair jigs in the coldest water is that even when you have them motionless on the bottom there will be a tiny amount of movement in the hair from the current which the smallmouth can detect and that is enough to trigger a take.

This is spot on here. We are catching smallmouth in the Delaware river fishing small hair and plastic jigs very slowly. In most cases the bite will feel like you picked up a leaf or some grass, set the hook. Wintering holes are only a couple of feet somtimes also. Winter fishing in a river is tough but can also be very rewarding. Nothing on jerkbaits last 3 trips. Good luck.

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Heavy metal is hard to beat on deep main lake points. Silver  buddy, Damiki Vault and others will get a lot of smallmouth now. Like to throw on braid/floro leader spinning set up. Hang on when you feel a bite, not unusal to pick up other species like a big cat or drum also.

 

The original poster was talking about fishing rivers.

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The original poster was talking about fishing rivers.

Works in rivers also just like a hair jig. Find an eddy.

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How would you fish the hair jigs, like a regular jig?

I throw them on outside edges of a deep pool on a river feeding into Lake Erie. I let it soak for some time, and small hop to another rest. Any feel of a thump and I swing for the fences. Sometimes it's a catfish or a sheephead. Other times you get a certain shake, and you know an angry bronzeback took your hook.

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Great info. The river I'm gonna be trying is not that huge I can pretty much cast across it in some areas, but there are smallies there. I figured where the river widens out would by a good area to try, and would that also be where it would pool. How about hitting the areas where it flows into the lake, and the are where it turns into a river again.

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steep drop offs preferibly with rock/gravel is where they'll hang in cold water, often hugging underwater cover. these baits will get you bit.

 

  1. TUBES
  2. HAIR JIGS (Black/White)
  3. TIGHT WIGGLING CRANKBAITS (Slow Rolled)
  4. RAT 'L' TRAPS

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