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Do deep holes in smaller rivers almost always hold big smallmouth?


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The river I fish is about 50 yards wide and averaged 5-10 ft deep. There are several stretches with 15-30 ft holes, and I can’t help but think there have to be giant smallmouth in there. 
 

Is this usually a safe bet? There is always current nearby, either upstream or down, so it’s not like it’s a stagnant pool. There seems to be abundant rock as well. I’m tempted to throw a Ned in there I’m just afraid a shovel will snap my $300 rod ?

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There are two ways to find out.  One is to fish it and see and the other is to don the snorkeling gear and have a gander.  On smaller rivers I have found that fish in deeper holes are kind of just hanging out and not actively feeding.  Sure you can catch them but when they do want to eat they move out of those places and are in the prime lies nearby.  As you probably already know, stealth is super key on this size of river as they are generally more cautious than on larger rivers.

 

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I just fished a small river twice in the past 10 days. The deepest holes are about 7-8 feet deep and they all held fish. When we’d get to it, we’d anchor nearby and drop a tube into them. I also burned a subwart through it and drew some active fish out of it.

 

As long as there is some current, I think the deeper holes hold some fish.

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This may sound elementary but put on a pair of polarized sunglasses and cast into the dark green holes.

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1 hour ago, PaulVE64 said:

YES!!!  The biggest bass is always in that perfect spot.

 

Usually

"they mostly come at night... mostly."

 

(dives for cover)

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I’m going with ‘No’ based on my local river. Giant catfish might live in those super deep holes, but I’ve never found smallies in them. Our smallies either hang shallower near current and current breaks, or sometimes the 8’-12’ holes created on outside river bends - so maybe in the shallower 15 ft holes you’d be good, but not the 20-30 ft holes. In winter, they will move out of the river and into pits connected to the river, but that’s different than what you are asking. But, the only way to know for sure is to fish them on your waters and see. They might behave differently there.

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Depends on the river. Check em because they def could be in there. Could also just be a carp catfish pike or Muskie hole too. Only one way to find out.

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2 hours ago, JWall14 said:

Depends on the river. Check em because they def could be in there. Could also just be a carp catfish pike or Muskie hole too. Only one way to find out.

Likely both

On 7/18/2022 at 9:17 PM, Team9nine said:

I’m going with ‘No’ based on my local river. Giant catfish might live in those super deep holes, but I’ve never found smallies in them. Our smallies either hang shallower near current and current breaks, or sometimes the 8’-12’ holes created on outside river bends - so maybe in the shallower 15 ft holes you’d be good, but not the 20-30 ft holes. In winter, they will move out of the river and into pits connected to the river, but that’s different than what you are asking. But, the only way to know for sure is to fish them on your waters and see. They might behave differently there.

Yeah I was actually referring more to the 10-15’ holes near or leading into those super deep spots. I just imagined the larger volume of water and ability to go deep to winter or regulate their temperature would attract the older, larger smallmouth.

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