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AlTheFisherman313

I just started river fishing smallies

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Needless to say all it took was a nice 16 inch smallmouth riverfish to take some drag on my rod that I usually use for largemouth to become much more interested in river fishing, I caught 3 on a whopper plopper two on a popper.

 

in general terms fishing small rivers, what else is good to throw? I went too water because the river was slow, clear and unfamiliar to me so I didn’t wanna be snagging up all day and first cast the plopper was on! 

 

Any suggestions? River fishing is much different than lake fishing, don’t wanna waste my time, I probably own the gear, just don’t know how to apply it for smallmouth!

 

i always loved catching them in lake st clair, but the ones that are stuck in the rivers seem to be pound for pound much stronger, and also a lot more psychotic. 

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Wacky rig or a weedless tube is a good start

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1 hour ago, Djohn said:

Wacky rig or a weedless tube is a good start

I know they love tubes, I just don’t know which brand or colors to use lol.

 

i did pretty well for my first time targeting river smallies. They were angry little buggers. 

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Not sure where you are located but a 3 inch white grub on a ball jighead is always a good smallie bait. Try 4 and 5 inch stickbaits in green pumpkin or a watermelon color. A craw imitation bait around 3 inches in green pumpkin or watermelon also. White flukes work also along with a ned rig.

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Tubes in greens and browns. 3 to 5 inch curly tail grubs in greens and browns. Tubes in green and brown. Paddle tail swimbaits. Again 3 to 5 inches. Use colors close to natural baitfish in your water. I use blue gill imitations. Tubes in greens and browns. Dark colored spinnerbaits with gold Colorado blades. Rapala original floating lure in gold and black. Whatever your choice is for topwater. They hit any topwater lure when the conditions are right.(this is my favorite time)

  Oh, tubes in greens and browns too.

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Wacky rig senkos,flukes , grubs tubes shallow diving cranks 4inch worms paddletail swimbaits.use  Colors to imitate minnows and crayfish and throw in a wild color here and there. Smallies sometimes react to chartreuse and bubblegum.

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TUBES!!!!!  Or jerkbaits.  I fish the Mississippi quite a bit and tubes are really hard to beat.  Make sure you always have bottom contact and toss them behind current breaks, eddys, and current seams and you will find fish.

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Would they like anything like a kvd shallow crank? I own a lot of lures haha, wonder what “hardware” to throw also!

 

I am going to gander outdoors tomorrow to grab some plastics, figured I’d see what else I can get myself into trouble with.

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Almost everything you own for largemouth will catch river smallmouth.  Ned rigs, tubes, grubs (think 2 1/2-3 1/2" most of the time), in line spinners, and senkos are all great numbers baits.  

 

More important than the bait being used is learning how to read and present in current.  

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6 minutes ago, Turkey sandwich said:

Almost everything you own for largemouth will catch river smallmouth.  Ned rigs, tubes, grubs (think 2 1/2-3 1/2" most of the time), in line spinners, and senkos are all great numbers baits.  

 

More important than the bait being used is learning how to read and present in current.  

Is there a general rule of thumb? A color and style guide for smallmouth dummies? Haha! 

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No rule of thumb. Do not be overly concerned with color. Once in a while, the fish may prefer a particular color, but there is no way to predict what that color may be. Always the number one thing about river smallmouth is location. When you put your bait in the right place, it almost doesn’t matter what the bait is.  For me, the only baits I don’t like  in shallow rivers are crank baits. The current messes with their action too much and they will be snagged a lot. Just go fish. Everyone here has told you what baits they like, they all will work. 

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16 hours ago, Scott F said:

No rule of thumb. Do not be overly concerned with color. Once in a while, the fish may prefer a particular color, but there is no way to predict what that color may be. Always the number one thing about river smallmouth is location. When you put your bait in the right place, it almost doesn’t matter what the bait is.  For me, the only baits I don’t like  in shallow rivers are crank baits. The current messes with their action too much and they will be snagged a lot. Just go fish. Everyone here has told you what baits they like, they all will work. 

 

Lol, I love crankbaits in rivers!

 

So, rivers...

And we'll forget seasonal patterns, and just focus on the where and why.

These are all general rules, and there are some pretty specific exceptions.  Also, bigger and more complex river systems can shake this stuff up, but this is how I've grown to understand how rivers work.  I've found the same rules hold up with most species of predatory fish and how to look at prime holds or prime lies.  I'm sure i'll look back at this want to edit it the next time i can't figure fish out, and totally consider it a work in progress, but I kinda want to put this out there to see what you guys think. 

 

 

- Current is the food delivery system. It carries drifting baitfish, crayfish, nymphs, leeches, and every imaginable food item in between.  Faster current, especially with riffles, will also be more oxygenated.  The most aggressive and active fish will hang out here because there will be the greatest access to feeding opportunities and the oxygen to fuel their fast metabolism. 

 

- The thing about holding in current, is that fast current requires way more energy to hang out in. This means a few things. Predators will only hang out directly in the current when they're feeding actively, but will often hold at the closest possible current break or piece of structure.  Think about boulders, fallen trees, ledges, wing dams, inside bends, undercut banks, weed beds, or in pockets along the bottom (current almost always flows fastest at the surface). These places will almost always concentrate active fish. 

 

- Some fish are likely to feed more actively, more often. Smaller fish are generally going to be feeding almost exclusively on larva/nymphs/press bugs/etc. These are the base of your food chain and will be super abundant in and around riffles and most fast current (can be quite shallow). This is where you'll also find lots of smaller bass, chubs, sculpins, madtoms, smaller trout (where applicable), etc feeding on the real little stuff. Because of this, riffles and immediate current breaks along them can load up with small smallmouth in the summer/fall because they need to eat tons and tons of nymphs to grow.  Areas like these are the places where fish will strike almost recklessly and eat almost anything. "Oh, you bought the novelty spoon that looks like a twig and berries? Yeah, it'll catch fish here."

 

- If there are small fish, you'll find very big fish close by.  So, this is the topic of "prime holds".  Some eddies, current breaks, weed lines, boulders, bridge pilings, etc make for the best hang out spots for predators because of their proximity to fast current, complex structure, or just ability to ambush without taking the full brunt of the water.  These are the places most likely to hold the most dominant actively feeding fish in the area.  The above ugh... "Silver Johnson rule" also sometimes applies here if these holds are breaks in or IMMEDIATELY adjacent to fast current. 

 

Prime holds will usually have a few common things.  First, look for access to deep water. This literally means anything from a change of 6" or 6' so long as it offers slower current (think rest and digestion), protection from predators (birds, bigger fish, us, etc), and a comfortable combination of temperature and oxygenation (this is why deep buckets below or adjacent to riffles can be killer). 

 

Second, you want immediate access to a food source.  This could mean fry, frogs, bugs, and baitfish in grass/weed beds (if they're green), schools of alewives or perch chilling behind bridge pilings or downed trees, or even the bottom of a run during a mayfly hatch.  I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing what smallmouth are feeding on (even when they aren't being picky) if you're serious about consistently finding them.  A good example...  The Susquehanna is a smallmouth factory because it's a bug factory. It's common to see all kinds of hatches from giant dobsonfly/helgramites (bodies over 4")  to mayflies and midges ranging from size 6-12 (white flies)  to 14-18 (sulphurs and cahills) all the way down to 22 and 24 (midges, BWO).  It's common to see runs of slow current in 3-6' of otherwise featureless water just explode before dusk. Why? It's below riffles (hatches happen where the bugs are in riffles and runs) and loaded with bugs, has comfortable current, and has everything from baitfish through small bass through huge pike and musky feeding in it. Once you figure this out, you'll realize you can fish using anything from dry flies through poppers or floating jerkbaits (to imitate the baitfish feeding on the flies/emergers) and catch fish.  Understanding events like this is huge because they happen in the same types of places on most nights from spring through late fall.  This type of event can effect the quality of holds because the massive abundance of food can mean almost featureless or seemingly uninteresting water for 20 hours of the day can become the place to be for two hours in the am and two hours at night.  

 

Third is the sciencey part.  These holds need to provide water that is the appropriate temperature and oxygen level for the fish's activity level.  Big, jarring changes are rough on fish, and fish will seek comfort in every season. Fish are cold blooded, so water temperature drives their EVERYTHING. Eating, being almost comatose, being super aggressive, making sexy time, digesting food -  all of these things are driven by or at least timed around water temperature.  Oxygen content can make the difference between a killer hold and the dead sea.  Generally, more oxygen means happier, healthier, more comfortable fish.  Riffles/fast current, wind, springs, and most green healthy vegetation will add oxygen to the water while decaying anything will remove oxygen. This is why active predators hang out around faster current or along green weed beds and tend to avoid brown, stagnant pools (most of the time).  

 

The 4th factor in determining the quality of a hold is security/safety.  Is the fish easily spotted by eagles, ospreys, or herons over head? Is the hold leaving the bass exposed to larger predator fish? Does the hold offer camouflage/cover? Is the water clear and forcing fish to hold deeper or stained enough to protect them from overhead? These things will all effect how safe a fish feels in a particular lie. 

 

The trick to finding consistent patterns, even in rough conditions is find the spots that provide the best combination of those 4 things possible. 

 

A good example of a good mid-day 90+ degree, high sun, clear water, low flows. A lot of fish may be unwilling to even hang out in/around the fastest most oxygenated water because of high water temperatures or exposure to predators (poor lie) unless there are springs and a ledge immediately below the fast water to offer protection and comfort (prime lie).  Another philosophy might be to fish deeper current breaks.  This might be really slow fishing if those points/islands/whatever don't have a lot  of food around them and will likely hold mostly resting/neutral-negative active fish. A better hold might actually be in shallow water even in the mid day heat if there's overhead cover/shade and structure/cover to allow ambush. Extra points if there are springs close by.  I've caught a lot of surprisingly large mid-day smallmouth pitching 1/8-3/4oz jiggs into shade lines, laydowns, grass edges, submerged trees, and once even below an old sofa in these types of conditions.  Basically, current + typically largemouth flipping spots + jig = fat smallies even mid day in the right conditions. 

 

 

Presenting in current is probably the next important thing after finding fish.

 

Seasons are another big topic, but I'm focusing on the warmer months when most are on the water. 

 

Flow and water clarity are also too big to cover in this rant lol. 

 

If this is helpful for anyone as much as putting it out there is cathartic for me, awesome. Also, if this helps anyone, i'll gladly put out some thoughts on the other stuff. 

 

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51 minutes ago, Turkey sandwich said:

 

Lol, I love crankbaits in rivers!

 

So, rivers...

And we'll forget seasonal patterns, and just focus on the where and why.

These are all general rules, and there are some pretty specific exceptions.  Also, bigger and more complex river systems can shake this stuff up, but this is how I've grown to understand how rivers work.  I've found the same rules hold up with most species of predatory fish and how to look at prime holds or prime lies.  I'm sure i'll look back at this want to edit it the next time i can't figure fish out, and totally consider it a work in progress, but I kinda want to put this out there to see what you guys think. 

 

 

- Current is the food delivery system. It carries drifting baitfish, crayfish, nymphs, leeches, and every imaginable food item in between.  Faster current, especially with riffles, will also be more oxygenated.  The most aggressive and active fish will hang out here because there will be the greatest access to feeding opportunities and the oxygen to fuel their fast metabolism. 

 

- The thing about holding in current, is that fast current requires way more energy to hang out in. This means a few things. Predators will only hang out directly in the current when they're feeding actively, but will often hold at the closest possible current break or piece of structure.  Think about boulders, fallen trees, ledges, wing dams, inside bends, undercut banks, weed beds, or in pockets along the bottom (current almost always flows fastest at the surface). These places will almost always concentrate active fish. 

 

- Some fish are likely to feed more actively, more often. Smaller fish are generally going to be feeding almost exclusively on larva/nymphs/press bugs/etc. These are the base of your food chain and will be super abundant in and around riffles and most fast current (can be quite shallow). This is where you'll also find lots of smaller bass, chubs, sculpins, madtoms, smaller trout (where applicable), etc feeding on the real little stuff. Because of this, riffles and immediate current breaks along them can load up with small smallmouth in the summer/fall because they need to eat tons and tons of nymphs to grow.  Areas like these are the places where fish will strike almost recklessly and eat almost anything. "Oh, you bought the novelty spoon that looks like a twig and berries? Yeah, it'll catch fish here."

 

- If there are small fish, you'll find very big fish close by.  So, this is the topic of "prime holds".  Some eddies, current breaks, weed lines, boulders, bridge pilings, etc make for the best hang out spots for predators because of their proximity to fast current, complex structure, or just ability to ambush without taking the full brunt of the water.  These are the places most likely to hold the most dominant actively feeding fish in the area.  The above ugh... "Silver Johnson rule" also sometimes applies here if these holds are breaks in or IMMEDIATELY adjacent to fast current. 

 

Prime holds will usually have a few common things.  First, look for access to deep water. This literally means anything from a change of 6" or 6' so long as it offers slower current (think rest and digestion), protection from predators (birds, bigger fish, us, etc), and a comfortable combination of temperature and oxygenation (this is why deep buckets below or adjacent to riffles can be killer). 

 

Second, you want immediate access to a food source.  This could mean fry, frogs, bugs, and baitfish in grass/weed beds (if they're green), schools of alewives or perch chilling behind bridge pilings or downed trees, or even the bottom of a run during a mayfly hatch.  I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing what smallmouth are feeding on (even when they aren't being picky) if you're serious about consistently finding them.  A good example...  The Susquehanna is a smallmouth factory because it's a bug factory. It's common to see all kinds of hatches from giant dobsonfly/helgramites (bodies over 4")  to mayflies and midges ranging from size 6-12 (white flies)  to 14-18 (sulphurs and cahills) all the way down to 22 and 24 (midges, BWO).  It's common to see runs of slow current in 3-6' of otherwise featureless water just explode before dusk. Why? It's below riffles (hatches happen where the bugs are in riffles and runs) and loaded with bugs, has comfortable current, and has everything from baitfish through small bass through huge pike and musky feeding in it. Once you figure this out, you'll realize you can fish using anything from dry flies through poppers or floating jerkbaits (to imitate the baitfish feeding on the flies/emergers) and catch fish.  Understanding events like this is huge because they happen in the same types of places on most nights from spring through late fall.  This type of event can effect the quality of holds because the massive abundance of food can mean almost featureless or seemingly uninteresting water for 20 hours of the day can become the place to be for two hours in the am and two hours at night.  

 

Third is the sciencey part.  These holds need to provide water that is the appropriate temperature and oxygen level for the fish's activity level.  Big, jarring changes are rough on fish, and fish will seek comfort in every season. Fish are cold blooded, so water temperature drives their EVERYTHING. Eating, being almost comatose, being super aggressive, making sexy time, digesting food -  all of these things are driven by or at least timed around water temperature.  Oxygen content can make the difference between a killer hold and the dead sea.  Generally, more oxygen means happier, healthier, more comfortable fish.  Riffles/fast current, wind, springs, and most green healthy vegetation will add oxygen to the water while decaying anything will remove oxygen. This is why active predators hang out around faster current or along green weed beds and tend to avoid brown, stagnant pools (most of the time).  

 

The 4th factor in determining the quality of a hold is security/safety.  Is the fish easily spotted by eagles, ospreys, or herons over head? Is the hold leaving the bass exposed to larger predator fish? Does the hold offer camouflage/cover? Is the water clear and forcing fish to hold deeper or stained enough to protect them from overhead? These things will all effect how safe a fish feels in a particular lie. 

 

The trick to finding consistent patterns, even in rough conditions is find the spots that provide the best combination of those 4 things possible. 

 

A good example of a good mid-day 90+ degree, high sun, clear water, low flows. A lot of fish may be unwilling to even hang out in/around the fastest most oxygenated water because of high water temperatures or exposure to predators (poor lie) unless there are springs and a ledge immediately below the fast water to offer protection and comfort (prime lie).  Another philosophy might be to fish deeper current breaks.  This might be really slow fishing if those points/islands/whatever don't have a lot  of food around them and will likely hold mostly resting/neutral-negative active fish. A better hold might actually be in shallow water even in the mid day heat if there's overhead cover/shade and structure/cover to allow ambush. Extra points if there are springs close by.  I've caught a lot of surprisingly large mid-day smallmouth pitching 1/8-3/4oz jiggs into shade lines, laydowns, grass edges, submerged trees, and once even below an old sofa in these types of conditions.  Basically, current + typically largemouth flipping spots + jig = fat smallies even mid day in the right conditions. 

 

 

Presenting in current is probably the next important thing after finding fish.

 

Seasons are another big topic, but I'm focusing on the warmer months when most are on the water. 

 

Flow and water clarity are also too big to cover in this rant lol. 

 

If this is helpful for anyone as much as putting it out there is cathartic for me, awesome. Also, if this helps anyone, i'll gladly put out some thoughts on the other stuff. 

 

Thank you so much,

 

I am the fisherman who over analyzes to a point of fault sometimes haha. 

 

I was going to attempt to fish either the Clinton river or the north branch Clinton river. Hear about people catching them like crazy, it’s a feeder river to lake st. Clair over here in Michigan, and I have personally caught small mouths in feeder rivers to Lake Huron. 

 

I know there will be some. Locating them is gonna be the tougher part. That river has had trout in it as well, I’m not sure if they co exist, but if they do not co exist with trout, than I can at least rule that area out! 

 

I appreciate that post it answered just about everything I needed to know. I’m assuming water clarity also follows traditional selection. Natural in ultra clear bright in mud and white is good always in my experience not sure why. Maybe a mix of natural and bright? Who knows lol. 

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@Turkey sandwich, will you come fish out of my boat for a weekend?? Haha! Excellent analysis, I could learn a lot.

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2 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

@Turkey sandwich, will you come fish out of my boat for a weekend?? Haha! Excellent analysis, I could learn a lot.

Thank you! I'm sure I'd pick up a thing or two, also. 

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14 hours ago, Turkey sandwich said:

Thank you! I'm sure I'd pick up a thing or two, also. 

I’m planning to go hammer a few on a river I never fished, but “heard of a stretch” in about 2 hours! Let’s hope it goes well.

 

I’m also very ok with catching a pike and frequently use a leader because of this, do smallies care? The largemouth don’t lol! Not wire 25lb fluero leader material handles most if not all average pike. 

 

Thats always a common issue in just about any large pond and up in Michigan or river. There will be pike! 

14 hours ago, Turkey sandwich said:

Thank you! I'm sure I'd pick up a thing or two, also. 

Also, do they hang out where people find trout in a stream/river or usually they don’t co exist? That can narrow the stretch I’m looking for by a mile lol. 

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On 7/19/2019 at 2:48 AM, AlTheFisherman313 said:

I’m planning to go hammer a few on a river I never fished, but “heard of a stretch” in about 2 hours! Let’s hope it goes well.

 

I’m also very ok with catching a pike and frequently use a leader because of this, do smallies care? The largemouth don’t lol! Not wire 25lb fluero leader material handles most if not all average pike. 

 

Thats always a common issue in just about any large pond and up in Michigan or river. There will be pike! 

Also, do they hang out where people find trout in a stream/river or usually they don’t co exist? That can narrow the stretch I’m looking for by a mile lol. 

 

 

Re: leaders

I think bass care a lot less about heavy mono, FC, steel, titanium, etc with fast moving reaction baits than they do with finesse techniques like popping a tube, drifting a Ned rig, etc.  Still, I very rarely use them and bite offs, for me, are pretty rare.  

 

Trout, salmon, char, etc are all cold water species and require either cold rivers or deep oxygenated lakes to thrive.  There are times when you'll find all kinds of species in the same place on a river, especially with lake-run fish off of the Great Lakes, but that isn't generally the norm.  I'm far from the best guy on here to talk to about trout, salmon, and steelhead runs off the lakes.  Pike and musky can also be a little different because of their biology.  You may find them actively feeding below riffles or fast current, but most guys who target them on rivers tend to target them around weed beds, creek mouths, etc.  

 

 

 

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On 7/18/2019 at 3:10 AM, AlTheFisherman313 said:

Thank you so much,

 

I am the fisherman who over analyzes to a point of fault sometimes haha. 

 

I was going to attempt to fish either the Clinton river or the north branch Clinton river. Hear about people catching them like crazy, it’s a feeder river to lake st. Clair over here in Michigan, and I have personally caught small mouths in feeder rivers to Lake Huron. 

 

I know there will be some. Locating them is gonna be the tougher part. That river has had trout in it as well, I’m not sure if they co exist, but if they do not co exist with trout, than I can at least rule that area out! 

 

I appreciate that post it answered just about everything I needed to know. I’m assuming water clarity also follows traditional selection. Natural in ultra clear bright in mud and white is good always in my experience not sure why. Maybe a mix of natural and bright? Who knows lol. 

 

So, if i can make an observation from your posts, maybe the reason you feel like you're over-analyzing things is because your focus drifts between species, environments, etc in your thought process.  At least that's what I'm noticing in your posts.  I love targeting different species, but if i'm trying to figure out everything that swims in the river, and not focus on one species, I'm not going to have nearly as productive a day (ESPECIALLY on a new body of water that I'm not used to fishing) - both in terms of fish caught, but also in pattern building and sorting info I'm getting while on the water.  You can target multiple species on a trip, but I have a lot more consistent success doing this when I already know the water and the species well. 

 

As for clarity and water level....

The first post covered your normal summer - fall low water conditions that will usually mean clear, tannic, or mildly stained water. Some rivers flow a bit more brown year round, and if you've got rivers like that, that generally means slow current and a different approach. 

 

High water or rising water generally means pretty stained to muddy water.  It will impair visibility, change where fish hold, and change how they hunt.  Smallmouth are primarily sight feeders so overcast days with high muddy water can be difficult, but fish can be caught.  This will usually stack fish on current seams, behind points, along shorelines, behind islands and in flooded areas with protection from current.  Bigger baits, more flash, bright/dark colors, and lots of vibration should decide your bait/technique selection. You may have to fish a bit slower, or drop a few extra casts into pockets to help fish find your bait. Rising water can be awesome, just make sure it won't be dangerous. 

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4 hours ago, Turkey sandwich said:

 

So, if i can make an observation from your posts, maybe the reason you feel like you're over-analyzing things is because your focus drifts between species, environments, etc in your thought process.  At least that's what I'm noticing in your posts.  I love targeting different species, but if i'm trying to figure out everything that swims in the river, and not focus on one species, I'm not going to have nearly as productive a day (ESPECIALLY on a new body of water that I'm not used to fishing) - both in terms of fish caught, but also in pattern building and sorting info I'm getting while on the water.  You can target multiple species on a trip, but I have a lot more consistent success doing this when I already know the water and the species well. 

 

As for clarity and water level....

The first post covered your normal summer - fall low water conditions that will usually mean clear, tannic, or mildly stained water. Some rivers flow a bit more brown year round, and if you've got rivers like that, that generally means slow current and a different approach. 

 

High water or rising water generally means pretty stained to muddy water.  It will impair visibility, change where fish hold, and change how they hunt.  Smallmouth are primarily sight feeders so overcast days with high muddy water can be difficult, but fish can be caught.  This will usually stack fish on current seams, behind points, along shorelines, behind islands and in flooded areas with protection from current.  Bigger baits, more flash, bright/dark colors, and lots of vibration should decide your bait/technique selection. You may have to fish a bit slower, or drop a few extra casts into pockets to help fish find your bait. Rising water can be awesome, just make sure it won't be dangerous. 

You might have hit the nail on the head. In Michigan you never know what’s gonna bite, partially the reason I run a fluro leader on anything I can, I don’t want a pike getting his mouth stuck together because I’m too cheap to throw some leader on, plus I can’t imagine putting transparent line on the end of my braid to hurt my chances!

 

when I go out tomorrow for smallies that gonna be all im focusing on haha. I like the idea of a fishing hole 15 minutes from my house! Although lake st clair is only about 35, just getting the boat out by yourself is a hassle! Obviously can be done, but it’s easier with two people. 

 

i am still curious to know if they coexist where trout would be in a stream. I know where to catch trout and pike on the river I wanna scout, but I have never gone on it to specifically target smallies! I just know they are in there, have seen people catching them on tubes of various colors, but this was I believe early spring and I’m sure the fish have moved! 

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2 hours ago, AlTheFisherman313 said:

 

i am still curious to know if they coexist where trout would be in a stream. I know where to catch trout and pike on the river I wanna scout, but I have never gone on it to specifically target smallies! I just know they are in there, have seen people catching them on tubes of various colors, but this was I believe early spring and I’m sure the fish have moved! 

Look at a river based on the way I broke it down above.  When you find places that fit those features, you'll find smallmouth.  Trout generally prefer cooler water and require more oxygen, so if water temps are over 70 degrees, they become sluggish, go deep, or in the case of rivers feeding large reservoirs or lakes, they'll run into the lakes.

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Rivers are just now starting to level off and become normal for the time of year. I catch most of my smallies in river on topwater lures with a tube being a backup. Often times, when the fish misses my topwater, I throw right back there with the tube at the same fish.

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Jig and spinner combos like the beetle spin or meeney spin.  Doesn't snag easily and even fairly weedless.  I've caught panfish and nearly every gamefish on them.  Can be worked fast or slow.

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Crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, paddletail swimbaits, and ned rigs are good lures to use for river smallmouth bass fishing.

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I’m finally gonna go on Thursday or Friday, we had a cold front and I have had to work a lot of late games with a decent amount of travel(ice hockey official) where I have been so tired after skating and driving my plans just fall through!

 

theres a dam on the river I’m fishing and I know there are trout right by the d**n it’s deep, but I was gonna fish it about a quarter mile down or above the d**n I haven’t decided yet, but I was gonna throw on some old sneakers and walk the bank until I find fish. 

 

This is more of a challenge for myself, because I don’t do enough bank fishing, it will be nice to find fish on my own, without a fish finder or my known spots. 

 

I think what separates a good angler from a great angler is being able to locate and catch fish on ANY body of water. That’s my goal to hit that point one day and I’ll never get there without practice, besides if I get skunked I’m off all weekend so I’ll either try new parts or just hop in the whaler and go to my normal holes haha. St. Clair is a savior to live by, if you can’t catch fish there your doing something wrong anything from a Muskie to a bowfin lives in that lake! 

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Tubes will win out 2:1 every time, 3.5" or smaller, I like SK but any softer tube will work best (imo) ACT lures makes a jig called the stupid tube head, great guy to do business with, easy to rig the tube weedless also helps go over rock easier, green pumpkin is a sure bet or a darker color like black if your river is dirty, If you find rocks, eddies or current breaks you'll find that beautiful bronze!

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