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YaknCole23

Ok, So You're Fishing A River For Smallies. What's Your 'go To' Bait And Why?

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TIA ?

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TIA ?

 

thanks in advance.  Sorry have yet to fish specifically for smallmouth bass so I can't help any further.

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When the water in the river is in he low 60s, the smallies are starting to move onto beds. That's when I look for something else to fish for.

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Love the Rapala DT6 in craw... Or a spinnerbait or silver buddy...

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Love the Rapala DT6 in craw... Or a spinnerbait or silver buddy...

 

Any bait that dives 6 feet in one of my rivers gets stuck on the bottom. Same with silver buddies. Both of those baits are snag city in the rivers I fish.

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I would be chucking a senko, spinnerbait, and popper.

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Any bait that dives 6 feet in one of my rivers gets stuck on the bottom. Same with silver buddies. Both of those baits are snag city in the rivers I fish.

Try going with a tube or a shallow diving crank

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3.75" Back Room Bait's Paddletails, color appr. for water clarity. Juniata and Susquahanna Guides order them 500 at a time, they catch fish. Water gets a bit warmer, Spinnerbaits and Squarebills. Brian.

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Smallies are moving onto their beds with water temps getting over 60. No matter what you throw, the bites will be tough for a few weeks.

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Depending on your latitude they could be post spawn, my home river doesn't see 60 till summer, bass spawn in the 50's. Although a warm water fish smallies thrive in cooler temps than their cousins. Anyway they should be active, obviously a 4" curly tail smoke 1/8oz ball head, 5" flukes, if they're feeding on chubs or suckers a gold blade spinnerbait, with a brown/gold skirt, motor oil with chartreuse grub for trailer. Pop R's work great, 6" lizard watermelon red flake weightless, and finally a bitsy bug jig 3/16 or 1/4 brown skirt with a little orange and a rage tail chunk. Good luck and let us know how you do.

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If I'm fishing smallies in a river. Which I do 99.9% of the time. I always have two baits ready to go. A fluke and a tube. Pounds and pounds of plastics and hundreds in hard baits still can't beat the fluke or tube for me.

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Smallies are moving onto their beds with water temps getting over 60. No matter what you throw, the bites will be tough for a few weeks.

not all fish spawn at once though. So you can really catch fish at any stage.

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Tubes, jerks, shallow cranks, flukes, poppers, senkos and spooks are pretty much all I throw. Maybe a spinner. Some guys like dropshot, but I've never used them. Never caught a fish on a jig, but I am still working on it. Soft creature baits are ok.

The best baits fir me gave been jerkbait or tubes.

I fish a shallow river religiously, and the bite is tough, but these baits are all you need.

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I often fish the New River in WV and Tubes, Senkos, Grubs, Squarebills, and Topwater are the baits of choice..  If the water is stained, try a spinnerbait.  Fish calmer water thru postspawn, then go to current during summer..

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There are a few baits that really come to mind when I think about smallmouth river fishing.. First would be a shaky head... I like throwing Reins Ring craw on it. Next would be a underspin, preferably by Buckeye Lures, or Punisher Lures. On that underspin I like to put on a reins Fat Rockvibe Shad! Lastly, I enjoy throwing a rattle trap, cant go wrong with that!

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From what I have gathered most people like 1-2 finesse baits and 1-2 reaction baits. You pick! So far I like spinnerbaits, swimjigs/flukes, tubes and a craw on a shakey head.

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Yamasenko or hula grub...

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Depends on the time of year. Pre Spawn is usually a universal favorite for smallie fisherman. Water temps are fluctuating and most of the larger fish if found shallower will be aggressively feeding and can be caught on most presentations. We live and die with a drop shot rod in the hand. However the just last week caught all of our nicer fish on wacky rigged stick baits and swimbaits.

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I have 2 that have caught 90+% of my river smallies over the last 8 years. Bandit 100, comes through rocks very well, and the 2.5" yum Crawbug. Both are capable and have caught the biggest smallies in my river system. While other baits catch fish, these have been very consistent for me from the opener to ice.

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I have had some success on black bodied with silver blade rooster tail spinners or the watermelon body with gold blade in NY streams. Also a small jig with a Mr. Crappie black silver tuxedo 1& 3/4" crappie thunder grub.

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The river i fish has a channel only 5' and the rest is knee deep so i toss a senko up current of a rock or stump and let it drift past and the fish takeing refuge from the current will dart out and grab it, but when im just drifting down river ill toss a spinnerbait or a jerkbait with a fast cadence

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