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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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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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