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BankBassing

Lure size in dirty water w/ current???

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I have been struggling to find the right size lure for a nearby fishing spot.  It is a marina on the river.  There is always a decent amount of current (sometimes heavy) and the water, at its clearest, doesn't have great visibility.  Because it is a large river and the water has low visibility I feel like I need to use a larger profile bait to have any chance of a fish actually seeing it.  However, I feel like if I go larger I discourage the smallmouth from eating it.  What would you suggest???

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Spinnerbait, spinnerbait, and spinnerbait.  You can go big and flashy, small and subtle or go with a hidden weight design that allows a heavier weight in a smaller package.

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Smallies will hit large lures, especially in water with low visibility. I grew up fishing a rocky, low-visibility river. Sometimes I still fish there with my kids. There, skirted jigs with crawdad trailers work great for bigger smallies.  Jigging and swimming are both viable options for presentation. Dark colors work best. I use 3/8 to 1/2 oz jigs.  Texas rigged lizards work well for smaller fish.

Small crankbaits work really well, too, but it gets expensive to fish them from shore, because you're always losing them.

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Fish that live in turbid water are going to adapt to finding prey in ways other than by sight. Usually, they're going to use vibration as a big factor in how they find food. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits would be a couple good options. As for a bait being too big, I catch smallies on 7" glidebaits, they're not scared of big baits.

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Shad rap 07. Yellow perch (effective even if there is no perch ) With a stop and go, sweeping motion. Multi species lure . One of my favorites if not THE favorite. 

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I have experience in this exact situation .I live near the Mississippi river with heavy barge traffic and use to catch smallmouths from the marina as a teenager . My lures were spinners .H & H spinners and the big Beetle Spins they use to manufacture and for some odd reason have stopped making them . This marina is enclosed with rip rap .I would toss the lures upstream at various  depths and let them sink until they touched down . As soon as they hit bottom I would pop them up and  retrieve just fast enough to feel the blades spinning  .I lost quite a few lures but caught some nice smallies . The  very best time was immediately after a barge would go by throwing large waves on the rocks , thus dislodging crawfish and bait fish . The smallmouths , white bass,  largemouths , and walleye would rush in to try and nab  an easy meal.   Great memories . 

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You are right about the barge bite.  They go crazy here when one passes.  I'be caught a couple on spinners, but really would like to use other baits.  Gets boring throwing a spinner and only a spinner day after day.

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21 minutes ago, BankBassing said:

You are right about the barge bite.  They go crazy here when one passes.  I'be caught a couple on spinners, but really would like to use other baits.  Gets boring throwing a spinner and only a spinner day after day.

Lipless cranks would work the same way . At the time I just had the spinners and they were cheap ones too . I couldnt afford to lose expensive lures .

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I cant disagree with any of the opinions given. What I'll add is don't over look or dismiss black or dark olive. Go get this in a Bandit and you won't regret it. Solid color. Storm has a solid black version also. 

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I've had great success tossing 5" hollow bodied swimbaits (i.e.: Shadalicious by Strike King) rigged on a 3/8 oz. swimbait hook (belly weight). Especially in the spring flood conditions. So I know they will hit big baits. Try this, and/or a large bladed spinnerbait. You'd be surprised with a smallie will hit! :)

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Current with stained water - go bigger, louder, slower, and darker.  Moving baits like spinnerbaits, Crankbaits, (rattles) and lipless cranks (rattles) are great ways to cover water, though you probably want to slow your presentation down some.  You can slow down and fish jigs and tubes, but upsize them with rattles if need be.  Also, dark or dark/chartreuse color combinations are your best bet to increase visibility.  

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You will be shocked by what a 3" grub can do. Water color does not matter. Small-mouth can and do hit small baits even in muddy water.

Pete

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