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Ohioguy25

Best way to catch smallmouth in a smaller river using live crawdad?

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Go easy on me for cheating by using live bait I realize that is sacrilege in the art of angling but I’m not fishing the entire day when I kayak but only intermittently.

 

i go on a small, narrow river in southwest Ohio called the Little Miami. I have read that it is one of the best in the state for smallmouth. 

 

I hsve been using a 6’ medium light fast action St. Croix Premier with an Abu Garcia spinning reel. I scoop up crawdad from under rocks and keep them in a mini bait tube.  I have been rigging only a hook and sinker, casting into the deeper pools at the end of rapids. I was told recently that using a bobber is helpful when using live crawdad, is this true or do I want them on the bottom? It would make sense because when they go to the bottom the hide under rocks and you get snagged.

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This reminds me of my teen years in central IN except for the kayak. I'd catch small craws (I was afraid of the big ones) one at a time and fish them on the bottom with a small split shot or under a bobber. I used a light wire aberdeen hook. You never knew what you'd catch. Maybe a bass, rock bass, little sunny, bullhead, or a carp you couldn't stop. I don't remember having issues with snagging but I did tend to move my bait frequently. Makes me want to try it again.

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What LMB guys would call split shot (on a really short leash) is how I like to fish them, a light jighead works great too, Bug Nedding maybe?...

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23 minutes ago, BassWhole! said:

What LMB guys would call split shot (on a really short leash) is how I like to fish them, a light jighead works great too, Bug Nedding maybe?...

For live craws?

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Just now, Ohioguy25 said:

For live craws?

yeah

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13 minutes ago, BassWhole! said:

yeah

What about a bobber and hook?

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10 minutes ago, Ohioguy25 said:

What about a bobber and hook?

If it's fairly still water, and the bottom is sticky, sure. I like fishing in contact with live bait though.

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I carolina rig them basically. Use a fixed weight about a foot above a dropshot hook through the tail. Often times it's just a splitshot on the line. I fish a pretty big river though, so in places with lots of current or in deaper water, i will use an actual carolina rig with the bullet weight, swivel, and bead. Just slowly drag it along the bottom. It will run around and jump, doing most of the work for you. It wont burrow into any rocks unless you let it sit too long. Or you have some big old lobsters. It's a great way to catch smallies. They love craws.

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On 7/16/2019 at 1:27 PM, Jleebesaw said:

I carolina rig them basically. Use a fixed weight about a foot above a dropshot hook through the tail. Often times it's just a splitshot on the line. I fish a pretty big river though, so in places with lots of current or in deaper water, i will use an actual carolina rig with the bullet weight, swivel, and bead. Just slowly drag it along the bottom. It will run around and jump, doing most of the work for you. It wont burrow into any rocks unless you let it sit too long. Or you have some big old lobsters. It's a great way to catch smallies. They love craws.

Does it increase odds of them hitting if I remove the pinchers? I have heard that but I would think natural would be best, however it does help w bottom snags.

 

I am fishing a relatively small river that is on average 30-40 ft wide and 3-4 ft deep. The hole I am fishing in just past a rapid is between 7-10 ft deep and I’ve been using 2 medium sized split shots about 1.5-2 ft above a size 6 baitholder with a hard shell craw I catch right in the river.

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This is a great question, but it goes beyond live crawfish, IMO.  It's not sacrilege to fish live, but it may not be the most effective direction to take.  It has been my experience that plastics and artificials in this environment will usually outfish live due to the plastics options available and the ability to make plastics do what you want much better than you can do with  live.  And there are options that on a given day might be more effective, like super flukes if the bass want minnows.  Critters that emulate hellgramites.  Surface.  

 

And one gets more time on the water since He doesn't spend time catching bait and doesn't waste time handling/carrying, changing water, etc.

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20 hours ago, Ohioguy25 said:

I’ve been using 2 medium sized split shots about 1.5-2 ft above a size 6 baitholder with a hard shell craw I catch right in the river.

That should work fine. That's a common way to fish craws. I try to use as light of a weight as I can while still getting it to the bottom. As long as you dont have much current you should be golden. 

 

  As far as taking off the claws goes, I have heard the same thing but I think its BS. They eat craws on their own, claws and all. Those small 2.5-3 inch craws I use for bait are defenseless against a bass. I dont think the claws make a bass look twice. I have always left the claws on and have had some really good days.

 

     I think I'm going to get some craws sometime to use. I haven't done it in several years. 

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Always used a 1/4 ounce shot about 6 to 8 inches above the craw. That way he has room to move a little.When he sees a bass he can react normally.

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