Jump to content
CatchM

Smallies and cover

Recommended Posts

I just started fishing lakes(in NJ) that have primarily smallmouth bass and i have fallen in love with the species. However I am still trying to figure them out. I have grown up ocean bottom fishing and LMB fishing, so I'm used to fishing cover oriented fish. It's my understanding that while smallies do gravitate towards some kind of cover the type of cover they like is different and they do not relate as closely to cover as LMB.

So my question is, where can I locate smallies? If I dont see a bait ball or a school of smallies on my helix 5 chirp what am I supposed to look for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, CatchM said:

I just started fishing lakes(in NJ) that have primarily smallmouth bass and i have fallen in love with the species. However I am still trying to figure them out. I have grown up ocean bottom fishing and LMB fishing, so I'm used to fishing cover oriented fish. It's my understanding that while smallies do gravitate towards some kind of cover the type of cover they like is different and they do not relate as closely to cover as LMB.

So my question is, where can I locate smallies? If I dont see a bait ball or a school of smallies on my helix 5 chirp what am I supposed to look for?

Use side imaging to locate rock piles and drop waypoints... also areas with broken rock, gravel points, etc.  These are places where crayfish hang out and that is the #1 preferred food source of SMB. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I catch them in rivers near current breaks, fallen trees, and above/below deeper holes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are often not in the rock piles or weed beds, but outside.  LAst trip to St Clair they were within about 50 yards of weeds.  But not one fish from the weed bed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MickD said:

They are often not in the rock piles or weed beds, but outside.  LAst trip to St Clair they were within about 50 yards of weeds.  But not one fish from the weed bed.

X2

They often relate to cover, bottom changes, rock reefs etc. They can be found nearby if not directly on the structure. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good points above.  Smallies are nomadic and will be in the rock piles but also moving between the piles or the areas surrounding.  Just because they were there the day before or an hour earlier doesn’t mean they are still there... keep moving.. this is different than LMB that might stage in a specific weed bed or along a weedline for long periods..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@CatchM

Locating smallies from day to day, week to week, month to month, season to season and even year to year, can be a daunting task; especially on bigger bodies of water. 

However, it's something I have become seriously addicted to.

Some solid points of view offered here above.

Although initially penned with northern Michigan smallies in mind, here's a little light reading that may help out.

Good Luck

A-Jay

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find SMB a lot like Whitetail deer, they are creatures of the edges.  I look for sand and weed edges and rock and sand edges. They seem to stay on the sand the majority of the time, only to enter the weeds or rocks when actively feeding. In lakes with large weed flats, look for isolated sand pockets.  Often the SMB will hold up in these areas, opposite of a LMB where they will berry themselves in the cover.   

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They sure use the current to there advantage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think of the leading edge of a deep flat, the area closest to the deeper water, as prime area.  Sit back a bit from it, over the flat, but close enough to where you can cast into the deeper water and DRAG your bait up the drop.  Really grind it.  Swinghead, football jig, swimbait on a ball head are all killer.  

Sometimes they are at the bottom, or middle or top of the drop and often they will follow your bait up onto the flat and right to the boat so fish the whole cast.  If you are getting strikes at the boat ot lots of close follows, back up half a cast.

Do it.

A-Jay 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing poles

    fishing

    fishing poles

    fishing poles

    fishing reels

    fishing

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×
×
  • Create New...