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Hi All,

 

There are endless tips, videos, tackle reviews on how to catch monster largemouth bass, but no articles on how to catch LMB's on the smaller size.  I tend to fish smaller lakes in southern New England where largemouth bass average around 1 to 2 1/2 pounds and catching a 3 pound LMB is considered a big deal.  Don't get me wrong, I wish there were lakes around me filled with hogs, however, that's just not the reality, and at the end of the day, it's just a lot of fun to get out there and fish!  

 

So here's my question.... In order to catch LMB's on the smaller side (around 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 lbs) what worms/lures/tackle, rigs, presentation, etc. work great at the end of the summer in clear lakes that are around 5-15 feet deep that don't have much structure? The lake I fish, unfortunately has a very healthy pickerel population, so that probably contributes to problem (bonus points for recommendations that help avoid catching pickerel too)! 

 

Thank you, 

el Largo

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I dont know how to avoid catching pickerel, but I would suggest using smaller lures to attract smaller fish. I know that sounds rudimentary and over simplified, and someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but try using a Texas rig 4" worm or other small plastics. Heck, for targeting fish that small you could take a 5" senko and cut it in half.

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52 minutes ago, el Largo said:

... at the end of the summer in clear lakes that are around 5-15 feet deep that don't have much structure?

   If the lake is clear and there's not much structure, then the forage should be pretty obvious. Mimic it.  I only fish one clear lake, but in late summer I throw anything that looks like crappie fingerlings, because that's what the bass are going nuts over.  As for the pickerel ... clean'em out!  Fun is fun, regardless of specie.     jj

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Strike King Bitsy Tubes on jig heads

3” PowerGrubs (White, Pumpkinseed)

Ned Rig

 

I confidently feel like I can promise you those smaller bass will keep you entertained with those soft plastics 

 

I was going to add Beetlespins, but the pickerels would go nuts I’m afraid 

 

Try em out!  3” Senkos wacky rigged would be the next level to try. 

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Trickworms.  Different colors.  T rigged.  Green pumpkin, Junebug, watermelon redflake, Candybug, Scuppernong Candy are my favorites.

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Seems I never have a problem with smaller bass eating my "Big Bass" baits. :P

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Pretty much any bass lure that isn't too big will work well for what you describe, a 3600 with something like this (or anything similar from other makes) maybe:

 

3-4" senko

finesse worm and trick worm

baby brush hog/ Ultra vibe craw

swim jig/finnese jig

small jighead with curly tail or paddle tail

#9 rapala, #8 HJ

Bandit 100/ Daiwa Peanut

SK 3/16/War Eagle Finesse spinnerbait

#3 or #4 Mepps

Popper/mini buzzbait

Foot loose/ small SSR CB

small pad crasher/scum frog

 

 

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Ultra Vibe Speed Craw 😉

 

1/8 oz weight, fish it on the bottom & buzz it on the surface!

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Being from the same area, I can provide a little insight.

 

You can't avoid the pickerel. I almost always catch at least one when I'm out. Carry a lip gripper and your life becomes much easier. Also fish with braid as you'll break off less (though there are plenty of times I set the hook and it cuts instantly). I have learned to just enjoy the fight of the fish. Some pickerel around here get pretty big (my biggest is 3 1/3lbs, one at a pond 20 min away got taken through the ice this year at just over 5lbs)

 

I would suggest fishing soft, unweighted plastics. Most of my area bodies of water are filled withe tons of grass and pads, or the bottoms are inches (sometimes feet!) of muck. I use between 3/0-5/0 EWG hooks and a senko, bug, creature or whatever and work it slow in the weeds or in the grass. I use full sized senkos and most other soft plastics (I've have plenty of 6-8in fish try to eat a Gary). I've also noticed pickerel don't like to attack things that aren't moving very fast. I think they reaction strike most of the time, so soaking plastics isn't there favorite. (I do keep junk plastics on me at all times if there are a lot of pickerel around.....a fish is a fish is it is slow going out there).

 

I also use weighted swimbait hooks (1/16th - 1/4th) and try to push the weight up as far as I can to the eye/bait keeper. I don't swim them but I use it as a light jig that is virtually weedless.

 

Try a ned rig if you aren't in too much grass (very light and super glue the TRD to the mushroom head). Just let it sit in a high opportunity area and twitch it. Or bounce it through the grass and if it feels caught up, give it a couple quick pops to get the grass off. Can't count how many I have hit it right after the pops.  I pulled in dinks to 3lbers on that rig (just like you, if there were bigger fish in the pond, I'd imagine they would hit it too). Trying out the Tokyo rig too this year...but the juries still out as I haven't tied it on a lot this year. 

 

Good luck!

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