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Is it true that other than the first and last hour of daylight that river smallmouth are not on the bank but holding to midstream structure?


Ohioguy25

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My buddy says that with the exception of seeking shade, you will not find smallmouth in rivers and streams on the bank in the middle of the day and that they only go up on the bank to feed at dawn and dusk.  
 

This sort of goes against how most people fish, casting to the bank.  I know it definitely challenges what I thought I knew. 
 

I realize there are a lot of variables, most importantly river depth and flow. The river I fish is roughly 4-6 feet deep on average and 50-75 yards across.  Have you found this to be true, and if not what are the exceptions and what do you generally target?

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Again, there are no rules man. My rivers fluctuate from a raging torrent 5 mph to a calm flow once every day. They go up and down at least 2 feet every day. Fish move around and eat stuff unpredictably. The one thing you can somewhat count on is they seek slow water when it’s ripping, but even then expect the unexpected 

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Nope, They love sitting along banks all day long. Atleast in the rivers I fish. Pretty much every fish I have caught this year has been within feet of the bank, regardless of time of day.

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1 hour ago, Spankey said:

That is not true. Most of the ones I’ve been catching are bank to a quick drop. 

Hey man, you been slayin em ??

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I would say not true.  The creek I fish is in a valley.  You can wade it in most spots.  In a couple of spots it's shallower in the middle, and deeper along the banks.   I've caught most my bass and panfish casting to the banks.  Unless, there's some decent structure in middle which might hold fish.  Since it is in a valley,  the sun doesn't start hitting the water, till late morning.  Once the sun hits the water the bite dies for both bass and panfish, even along the banks.

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2 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

Hey man, you been slayin em ??

No, I’m having a terrible season for the most part. But I’m not gonna cry about it. I Just continue to fish hard. 
 

But I think I told you guys awhile back that I retired in the beginning of June. Was suppose to be the end of May but I got Covid real bad had (3 shots prior), committed  to finishing open repairs for the people I worked for. 
 

I chalk up most of my short falls due to testing the waters around me in spots that I never fished before. Not getting skunked but continuously a bit of a learning curve. Heat wave is not helping much either. 

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Bass care about 3 things, safety, food and spawning.  Taking spawning out of hte equation fish need safety and food and if those places are in the middle then that is where they will be.  If that is near the bank then that is where they will be.  Just like when you are hungry you go to the kitchen and when yo aure tired you chill in bed or on the lazy boy, bass are no different.   Also keep in mind safety isn't just about predators, it is about sustaining life so in heat of the summer shade and cooler oxygenated water helps a lot and on my local rivers that can be anywhere in the river.

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5 hours ago, flyfisher said:

Bass care about 3 things, safety, food and spawning.  Taking spawning out of hte equation fish need safety and food and if those places are in the middle then that is where they will be.  If that is near the bank then that is where they will be.  Just like when you are hungry you go to the kitchen and when yo aure tired you chill in bed or on the lazy boy, bass are no different.   Also keep in mind safety isn't just about predators, it is about sustaining life so in heat of the summer shade and cooler oxygenated water helps a lot and on my local rivers that can be anywhere in the river.

Good point about oxygen. This is why you will find bass sitting in the middle of rapids in summer. They are getting oxygenated water and an ambush spot to hammer easy targets being washed downstream.

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Not true.  Bass relate to the current in a river.  They station in feeding lanes, and resting areas wherever they are, weather close to the bank are in the middle.  The current brings and concentrates there food, and current breaks provide a place to rest.  The best places are where a bass can rest while still able to access a feeding lane.  Examples would be an undercut bank on an outside bend, or behind a big rock in the middle of a tail out.  Any river will have many prime places, as well as strictly feeding or resting spots.  Location from the bank as nothing to do with their location. 

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no. i fish the susquehanna alot and am constantly amazed at the fish i catch in very shallow water in the dead heat of the day in summer. in fact  the slower deeper water is pretty much a dead zone this time of year unless it has good current. 

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I’ll repeat what’s already been said…not true. One of my favorite patterns on sunny days is to drift the river shorelines, cast under trees in the shade and along any shade line you can find. BUT, during the warmest days of the summer, (like right now) if the water temps are high, they will often seek out deeper water shade lines that form in the middle of the river next to sharp breaks.

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9 hours ago, padon said:

no. i fish the susquehanna alot and am constantly amazed at the fish i catch in very shallow water in the dead heat of the day in summer. in fact  the slower deeper water is pretty much a dead zone this time of year unless it has good current. 

smallies are funny like that because some of my best days have been brutally hot and mid day with topwater.  

9 hours ago, Scott F said:

I’ll repeat what’s already been said…not true. One of my favorite patterns on sunny days is to drift the river shorelines, cast under trees in the shade and along any shade line you can find. BUT, during the warmest days of the summer, (like right now) if the water temps are high, they will often seek out deeper water shade lines that form in the middle of the river next to sharp breaks.

one of my most memorable days on a small flow near me was fishing a mini buzz bait from strike king i think and targeting shade lines near the shore.  Cast to the bank and as soon as it hit that shade line they would hammer it.  For the creek i was on I caught some big ones too.

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