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Best state for river/creek smallies?


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I'm going with North Dakota off of NDyakanglers youtube videos. 

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29 minutes ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I'm going with North Dakota off of NDyakanglers youtube videos. 

I think we need @FryDog62's opinion on this as he river fishes smallies both in MN and ND...Chris, want to chime in?

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I’m pretty much only rivers in Minn and Wisconsin. I’ve fished the Namakagon in Wisconsin and it’s good. In Minn, the headwaters of the Miss, the Rum out of Mille Lacs and Snake River before it dumps into the St. Croix are all pretty good/great. 

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I think I am hitting the area of the susquehanna around Harrisburg.  Lots of wading and kayak water and is fishable year round with the right equipment.  Good numbers and good size fish as well.

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Can't leave out Missouri.  Ozark streams have some world class smallmouth bass fishing.  The only problem with Missouri is that's just it, smallmouth are pretty much limited to the southern part of Missouri south of the Missouri River.  But just about every stream south of the Missouri have abundance of smallmouth bass in them.

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If your in PA the Susquehanna and the Juniata are great rivers for wading if the rivers are at normal flow.

 

If your heading out in the kayak then the St. Lawrence is the river in the Eastern US but I'd stick to sheltered waters with the yak. 

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On 6/14/2021 at 12:13 AM, Bluebasser86 said:

I'm going with North Dakota off of NDyakanglers youtube videos. 

He does Minnesota too. It seems to me most ND trips are for other species and lakes and most Minnesota trips are rivers for SMB.

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I will throw Oregon into the mix. The Willamette and Columbia rivers have fantastic smallmouth fishing and longer seasons than the northern states mentioned. Oregon bass season is open year round and the fishing is really good for most of the year. When the bite slows in the winter I fish for sturgeon and measure my fish in terms of feet rather than pounds.

 

 

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When trash aren't pulling every bass over 2lbs out of the rivers on a stringer, then Ozarks streams, especially the Gasconade river and its tributaries are great Smallmouth Bass fisheries. 

 

 

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Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Virginia's record is 8 lbs 1 oz on the New River, North Dakota's record is more than a pound less and it wasn't on a river.  Recently, someone caught a larger one on the James, and released it after some photos (didn't want the hassle) on a fly rod.  There are other less famous rivers where you can catch relative giant fish smallies out of really skinny water like the North Fork of the Holston.  I'm not sure where on a river you're more likely to catch a 20" smallmouth than the Susquehanna along it's course in Pennsylvania, but I sure haven't been on it.  It would be hard to argue with Tennessee rivers (not just the Tennessee River) and smallmouth bass.  Once you consider lakes, especially big ones like Erie, that might change.  But for wading or paddling, it's gotta be south of North Dakota.  I haven't been on the St. Lawrence either, come to think of it.

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6 hours ago, CountryboyinDC said:

Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Virginia's record is 8 lbs 1 oz on the New River, North Dakota's record is more than a pound less and it wasn't on a river.  Recently, someone caught a larger one on the James, and released it after some photos (didn't want the hassle) on a fly rod.  There are other less famous rivers where you can catch relative giant fish smallies out of really skinny water like the North Fork of the Holston.  I'm not sure where on a river you're more likely to catch a 20" smallmouth than the Susquehanna along it's course in Pennsylvania, but I sure haven't been on it.  It would be hard to argue with Tennessee rivers (not just the Tennessee River) and smallmouth bass.  Once you consider lakes, especially big ones like Erie, that might change.  But for wading or paddling, it's gotta be south of North Dakota.  I haven't been on the St. Lawrence either, come to think of it.

I would agree about the Tennessee part of that post, the TN river is not ideal for kayaks and really can’t be waded anywhere. Its got several dozen or a hundred tributaries that are good for that kind of stuff though. 

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10 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

I would agree about the Tennessee part of that post, the TN river is not ideal for kayaks and really can’t be waded anywhere. Its got several dozen or a hundred tributaries that are good for that kind of stuff though. 

I imagine you would know the Tennesee River aspect down cold.  I've been on maybe a tributary or 2, though the only one I can think of is the Clinch River around Tazewell, VA.  I haven't fished much in Tennessee, rode horses  in the Smokeys, played football against Johnson City, and paddled on the Ocoee and Pigeon.  I need to get right on that.

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5 minutes ago, CountryboyinDC said:

I imagine you would know the Tennesee River aspect down cold.  I've been on maybe a tributary or 2, though the only one I can think of is the Clinch River around Tazewell, VA.  I haven't fished much in Tennessee, rode horses  in the Smokeys, played football against Johnson City, and paddled on the Ocoee and Pigeon.  I need to get right on that.

The clinch and pigeon (and little pigeon) are both really good, a couple of impoundments on the ocoee are excellent for spotted bass and yellow perch. Up there around Johnson city is some great fishing on the holston and watauga. Then there’s the Powell river, hiawassee, the Cumberland and all its tributaries......... Then on the plateau there a bunch of wild and scenic rivers loaded with fish in the middle of nowhere. Further south theres the sequatchie and Collins rivers, the possibilities are many 

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Being a homebody, I'll go with PA.   Besides the Susquehanna and Juniata,  the Delaware, Schuylkill and Lehigh in the eastern part of the state are good smallmouth fisheries and the tributary creeks and streams have smallmouth in them.  

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Since I live in NY, I'll plug NY.  I grew up fishing rivers and creeks, and our waters are loaded with smallmouth.  Honestly, other than some trout waters, you would be hard pressed not to catch smallmouth.

 

And of course there is the St. Lawrence river, where 5lb smallmouth don't even excite comment any longer.

 

Here's the map for NY smallmouth.

image.thumb.png.f802f9add8b63edcdf49f2c5af4f78a7.png

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On 6/16/2021 at 8:22 AM, galyonj said:

 

I love watching that dude fish.

Same! He is all fishing no frills. The one about his grand dad's lure is my all time favorite, and he doesn't even catch the biggest ones in that one!

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