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JackKlassen

Mid Depth smallmouth tactics

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Hey y'all

The smallmouths at my lake hold in the 5-15 ft range at this time of year. I have been slaying them on dropshots, but when I pick up the crankbait I can't get bit! I tryed slowing my retrieve and changing colors but to no avail. I was wondering if anyone knows how to catch these fish with something that covers more water than a dropshot and stays down deep enough other than a crank. Thanks and Happy Fourth,

Jack

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Try a Jackall Flick Shake and cover water with it. Fan cast and let it sink on lightest weight you can get away with. I don't bother working the rig back much. They usually hit it on the drop, and if it happens to fall next to or above a big smallie they will usually ****** it up. 

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I can't fish cranks in the lakes I fish for smallmouth due to zebra mussels. My solution has been to fish a Kietech on a 1/4oz head with a slow, steady retrieve. 

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Try fishing a hula grub in that situation. You can cover more water with them than a drop shot, and at least for me, they're absolutely deadly

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Try Silver Minnow Colored Rapala Shadow and X-Raps.  They've caught me many smallmouth as well as pike on the twitch pause retrieve.

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Tubes are always a good bet in a 3/16 or 1/4 oz with internally weighted jig head depending on the cover, if you pop it off the bottom and let it spiral back down you're sure to get it. It covers a lot more ground than a dropshot and fishes the same area of the water column. You could also try any variety of jerkbaits although deeper diving ones might produce better. Also a lipless crank bait might be able to trigger some reaction bites, but depending on your bottom cover that might be a nightmare waiting to happen.

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Have you tried jerkbaits? They will cover the mid depths nicely, IF the water is relatively clear. I like Bluebassers approach above as well. Hard to beat a slow retrieve with a Keitech!

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I love the 3xd for them in that range. That crank deflects really well off rock too. I like it on 10-12 line. as long as you have a M rod you will be fine. Also, try swimming a grub worm. Let it sink to the right depth and let that little tail do all the work for you. 

you will also be surprised about how far they will go for some top water action. 

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Jerkbaits sound like a good option, i like Rapala shadow rap and X rap in mossback shiner and hot head

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Drop shot possibly aside, tubes have probably caught more smallmouth than any other technique and you can work them a bunch of different ways.  Tubes work virtually all year and are a great presentation to work in combination with the drop shot once you find fish.  There's a great Zona video somewhere where he fishes them on heavier than usual jigheads (1/4-1 oz) to increase rate of fall and force reaction strikes.  Yes, you're going to snag (Hybrid or similar copolymer is your friend) but you'll also have a faster presentation.  

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7 hours ago, Turkey sandwich said:

Drop shot possibly aside, tubes have probably caught more smallmouth than any other technique and you can work them a bunch of different ways.  Tubes work virtually all year and are a great presentation to work in combination with the drop shot once you find fish.  There's a great Zona video somewhere where he fishes them on heavier than usual jigheads (1/4-1 oz) to increase rate of fall and force reaction strikes.  Yes, you're going to snag (Hybrid or similar copolymer is your friend) but you'll also have a faster presentation.  

Yup ~

A-Jay

 

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That's the one!  The numbers of smallmouth you can put in the boat with old school lures like grubs and tubes is ridiculous.  I mean, I'll tie up a drop shot if I want to pick apart each individual boulder or weed clump, but generally, tubes and grubs are what I'm fishing in between cranks/rattle traps/spinnerbaits and the tediously slow stuff like drop shots and dead sticked plastics.  

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