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Do you think that almost every creek with deep holes has giant (18”+) smallmouth?


Ohioguy25

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If so, are they more difficult to catch? I feel like based on everything I’ve learned and observed over the last few years fish of all species seem to be fairly adaptable in their respective environments, from creek chubs to apex predators like smallmouth. I see no reason why there wouldn’t be trophy fish in any body of water they are already thriving in with deep enough sections, provided there is enough forage.
 

Does it take more than this for fish to reach these larger sizes, for instance you tend to hear about far more 20+“ SMB in lakes than in riverine ecosystems. I assume this is all related to water capacity and the fish tank analogy, but I’m sure forage diversity/size/abundance plays an equal or greater role. 
 

Anyway, I guess what I’m really asking is if I should pick apart the creek I started on more thoroughly, would there really be larger smallies hanging out in deeper spots and not in the places I’ve been finding the 12-15” fish I usually catch, and if so what is the best way of locating them, scouring the bottom with a Ned rig?  Seems tedious and like it would take forever, but it would be really cool to catch a giant in a small waterway like this.

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it all depends.  Are the genetics of the fish good, are there good food sources to support a larger fish, does the water level maintain enough during warmer weather that they can stay put, is there spawning habitat?  

here in central VA a 20" fish in a smaller stream is pretty rare.  I have never done it in a stream small enough I can cast across but I have come close with a couple 19'ers out of one stream but not others that are very similar.  


Bottom line is you never know until you catch one and you don't catch one without fishing :)  

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My tiny creek thru town looks hopeless for big any thing. But it has a few holes against a tall rock ridge that blocks sun from 10 am to sundown.  Rock stream into a big river. So they spawn easily & can go to different holes for food.  Both M & F take turns on guard duty. Sometimes both are together.   BIG BIG twosome.

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I have found bigger smallmouth in some deep holes, or more often right next to them in slack water. They are pretty smart and spook easy. There is a new Maxscent tube coming out this Fall. I plan to toss them into and near the deeper holes and almost dead stick them, small twitches and movements for long periods.

 

Smallmouth are smart, but they are also curious and territorial. If there is a big one nearby and sees a tube long enough, it will hit it out of irritation as much as anything. Maxscent Flat Worm obviously catches smallmouth like few other drop-shot lures ever have, really looking forward to the tube version.

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The fall and early spring when the water and air are colder are when you are most likely to contact the biggest smallmouth in any creek or river. In creeks that flow into larger rivers without any dams, they may migrate to the larger flows for the winter. Time on the water is about the only way to find out if your creek can support and grow large bass and when and where you might find them.

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This is my "home" creek.  I can cast across it  in most places I can access.

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The average size of the smallmouth is 10 inches.  The largest I've caught out of it is 17 inches.  It was hiding under a large steel plate that had been wedged against a large rock like a lean-to during high water.  I also caught a 12 inch smallmouth and a 12 inch largemouth from the same spot that day.  I've seen a couple that might be in the 18 to 20 inch range, but they were in spots that were not accessible to most fisherman.  I fly fish and I really don't like to dredge deep holes for smallies.  The creek is better suited to top water.  As already said, the only way you'll find out is to fish them.

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43 minutes ago, gimruis said:

Holy hannah I'm gonna have to check them out.

As of today, you can now get on a waiting list to order them on TW... not aware of any other sites that are taking orders yet... would be nice to get them here before ice up ~

 

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  • 1 month later...

Just because a river/creek has deep water, doesn't mean big smallmouth live there. It depends on the population of fish and the amount of forage. If its over populated and there isn't a bunch of forage, you will get stunted growth and wont get any/many big smallmouth. if there isn't a huge population of smallies and there is a good healthy population of forage, you will get those bigger smallmouth. 

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On 9/1/2021 at 10:29 AM, Ohioguy25 said:

If so, are they more difficult to catch? I feel like based on everything I’ve learned and observed over the last few years fish of all species seem to be fairly adaptable in their respective environments, from creek chubs to apex predators like smallmouth. I see no reason why there wouldn’t be trophy fish in any body of water they are already thriving in with deep enough sections, provided there is enough forage.
 

Does it take more than this for fish to reach these larger sizes, for instance you tend to hear about far more 20+“ SMB in lakes than in riverine ecosystems. I assume this is all related to water capacity and the fish tank analogy, but I’m sure forage diversity/size/abundance plays an equal or greater role. 
 

Anyway, I guess what I’m really asking is if I should pick apart the creek I started on more thoroughly, would there really be larger smallies hanging out in deeper spots and not in the places I’ve been finding the 12-15” fish I usually catch, and if so what is the best way of locating them, scouring the bottom with a Ned rig?  Seems tedious and like it would take forever, but it would be really cool to catch a giant in a small waterway like this.

Yes it's possible

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  • 7 months later...

It depends. But if there are, there's only one way to find out. I've been fishing primarily small streams in search of smallmouth and have caught my fair share of 12-15 inchers but few 16-17s. Areas where small creeks run into larger rivers seem to hold larger fish as they move from the larger areas to the smaller ones. IMO nothing cooler than catching 15+ inchers out of creeks that you can cast across (sometimes, even jump across lol) but I'm still on the hunt for a small water 18+

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