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PatrickMc

Smallmouth River Shore Fishing

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I've fished for some smallies a few times in the Olentangy River in Columbus, OH. and I haven't had much luck. The water moves pretty fast in most areas and there is muddy water. I have been shore fishing since I don't have a kayak or waders. What do you guys suggest? What lures/baits should I try next and what areas should I target (ex. structure, open water, shallow water, etc.) Thanks!

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jerkbaits and spinnerbaits in current always work well

Also if you want to drive south an hour the hocking river in between nelsonville and Athens is a great smallmouth stream that is easily fished from the bank

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I've always had decent luck casting 1/8 oz. jigs with 3" curly tails on the back. Just make sure you have a LOT of jig heads (fast rivers pull 'em down into the rocks really fast!). Most colors of the tails work. Always cast upstream and try retrieving with the current. This is a more natural presentation.

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I t-rig a senko with a 1/16oz bullet and cast upstream and let it drift while taking up slack.  

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I also like to wacky rig a senko on a flick shake jig head.   Just cast upstream and let it bounce along with the current.  I feel like the less action I impart the better it is.  Let the current work the bait.

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11 hours ago, Yudo1 said:

I also like to wacky rig a senko on a flick shake jig head.   Just cast upstream and let it bounce along with the current.  I feel like the less action I impart the better it is.  Let the current work the bait.

This, I fish the Yakima river this way. Use a weight just enough to get down but also light enough to bounce along the bottom. 

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This past week i done really well with a 3/8 ounce War Eagle Spinnerbait in there mouse color here in the James river.Fished current breaks and some crawdad beds.

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I fish a shallow (relatively) river here in WI with great success. Seems like the target areas have been well covered by others here. On thing ill add is to cast into the gnarliest current and keep the line as taugth as you can. Not so much as ro reel faster than it tumbles, but you dont want to have line all over the place. Fish setup in current and wait for things to fall past, may as well imitate that!

My go-to is always a weedless tube. I like Cabin Creeks 2.5" tubes personally, rigged on a Sliding jig by Cadmans custom jigs. 

Grubs are also big producers. 4" or 5" kalins grubs in various greens on jig heads. They're much snaggier than the tubes, but once you learn the watersame, you know when you reel over snags etc.

Plastic craws on the slidin jigs have gotten me HUGE fish lately too. Not a numbers bait for me, but if I want the big ones thata what Iversion needed recently.

Mepps Aglias are a confidence bait for me too, but are snaggy too. Some days jerkbaits are the ticket too.

Keeping it simple is my key, I have my staples: tubes, grubs, aglias, craws and jerbaits. Some days I switch it up but almost always get the bites on my usuals. There's a reason they've become my stand bys. Play around with these and other reccomendedations and lures you already like and you'll figure out what works in your waters.

Edit: I don't often, but topwater is awesome for smallies! It's hard in the areas I fish thanks to current though. I had some awesome hits on a popper yesterday! Such a blast!!

20160524_133807.jpg

Edited by WI_Angler1989
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Most rivers become wadable come summertime, so a pair of old shoes and shorts/bathing suit/light pants do the trick for wet wading.  Learning to read a river will pay off for you very quickly.  There are also a ton of threads on here about seasonal movement and where/how to find fish.  

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^^^^^ X2 on wading in the summertime.  I only use waders when the water is cold, in the summer it's old sneakers and shorts.  It's a fun way to get off the bank and by far my favorite way to fish river smallmouth.

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You guys are lucky to have water clean enough to wet wade.  Around me there is run off from farms, and lots of geese that leave waste behind that translates into e.coli bacteria in the rivers. That, plus there are always tick infested forests and poison ivy that lie between me and the river. I wear breathable waders when I wade.

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I have 3 presentations that will work, well it is actually 1 presentation with 3 different baits. The first one is a spinnerbait, with summer here the fish will be in or around current so you'll find some and a 3/8oz spinnerbait with a willow and small Colorado is perfect. The second bait is what Crestliner2008 mentioned, a 3" curly tail grub on a 1/8oz jig head, and the third is a 3.5" swim bait on a 1/8oz jig head. The presentation for all these baits is going to be the same, make a cast upstream at a 45 degree angle and retrieve  the bait at an easy pace, as you reel the bait will be getting pushed downstream but that is what you want. You can cover a larger area like that but you will lose some jig to rocks but you'll also catch some good fish.

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5 hours ago, Scott F said:

You guys are lucky to have water clean enough to wet wade.  Around me there is run off from farms, and lots of geese that leave waste behind that translates into e.coli bacteria in the rivers. That, plus there are always tick infested forests and poison ivy that lie between me and the river. I wear breathable waders when I wade.

I fear bacteria and leeches, so I wear waders. :)

Pat

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