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Smallmouth newby!


Tw372

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Going to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in a couple weeks.  Never smallmouth fished before.  What are some baits that are must haves?

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You might want to ask this question in the Smallmouth forum.

Lots If BR members are Smallmouth bass experts, I am not one of those.

Berkley Max Scent Flat worm drop shot rigged has  dominated the Smallmouth tournaments the past 2 years.

The drop shot rig using spinning tackle with light line 7lb FC with 1/8 oz drop,  size 1 Mosquito style hook about 8”-12” above the weight.

Where I have Smallmouth fished 6” straight tail Roboworms in Oxblood w/ lt red flake and MMIII worked good.

Jerk baits work good for Smallmouth.

Tom

 

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Will you be on the Great Lakes or inland bodies of water? Either way, I don’t know what the bass are keyed into there. You can get as complicated as you want with it but I’m going to suggest a few. I think soft swim baits in the 3”-4” range, tube jigs and spinnerbaits will play. Throw in topwater baits like Zara spooks or Pop-Rs too if that’s your deal. With those 4 you can cover the whole water column. Even though I see these as “go-to’s”, realistically there are no such thing as go-to’s. Every bait is a tool for a job! Use the right tool for the job and you’ll get the fish. Good luck!

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Rage Menace, T-rigged 3/16 bullet weight, #6 fluorocarbon

 Rage Baby Craw, same rigging

GYCB Kreature, same rigging

Gitzit, Baby Diaper Yellow

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Want to keep it simple?  Use Ned rigs and tubes with a range of jig head weights for varying depths and wind conditions.  There are some great smallmouth videos on YouTube to give you a basic knowledge of places to concentrate on.

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9 hours ago, Tw372 said:

Going to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in a couple weeks.  Never smallmouth fished before.  What are some baits that are must haves?

I’m going to assume the UP water is still going to be cold.  We are heading to St Clair this week and looking at 55-60 degree water temps.  The UP water will be colder.  That being said and to keep it simple, I would take a dropshot, Ned and jerkbait setups.  As an extra, smaller swimbaits.  Good luck! ? 

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Ned rigs, tubes (Strike King 3.5 in coffee pro in watermelon/candy/red)   Rapala DT series, which one depending on expected depth.  Drop shot.  3.8 in Keitech swim baits/3/16-1/4 jig.

 

Favor shades of green with all, but have some white for clear water.

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On 5/16/2022 at 7:52 AM, warefisher said:

Want to keep it simple?  Use Ned rigs and tubes with a range of jig head weights for varying depths and wind conditions.  There are some great smallmouth videos on YouTube to give you a basic knowledge of places to concentrate on.

 

I just came back from Champlain. I know it is not the Upper Peninsula but the NED rig produced when nothing else did. BTW colors did make a difference depending on water clarity.  

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I don't know the area to say with any confidence that a specific bait will definitely produce...but I can tell you that I couldn't even begin to imagine fishing for smallmouth without tubes, pop-r's, jigs, paddletail swimbaits, flukes, squarebills, lipless, and ned rigs and drop shots. If I can't get bit on one, one of the others will cover me on a typical day on the river.

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