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Looking for specific bait recommendations


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1.I just got done on a new section of river that might be my new favorite fall/winter spot.  I did really good on a KVD 300 jerkbait in a few spots but it actually dives too deep so I'm looking for a suspending jerkbait that dives 3ft or less.

2.  I have been playing with some different finesse jig presentations but I'm only getting bit on a bitsy bug with trd bugz for a trailer.  I think it's getting bit bc of the compact size.  What are some other tiny trailers I should try?  Is there a football equivalent of a bitsy bug? Something small and cheap? 

3 I throw a booyah pond magic 3/16 spinnerbait quite a bit.  They are $3 and they work well for me most of the year but think they move to fast for current water temps.  I'm considering swapping out the #3 Willow for a #3.5 Willow or a #3 Oklahoma/Indiana blade. Or should I just get a different spinner?  I have been eyeing the z man power finesse slingbladez.  I would like to keep the bait small and cheap as I'm surely going to be losing them.

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When I want a Jerkbait, but the depth is sub 4ft., I use a soft jerkbait like a fluke or better yet the Jackall Rhythm Wags.    

 

Almost all hard Jerkbaits are going to run 4ft+, especially on Fluoro.  

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1 minute ago, TnRiver46 said:

1) why not use a floating jerkbait 

To be honest I haven't tried one this late in the year.  Everyone always talks suspending jerkbaits for cold water and that what I use.  I guess I should try a floater.

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7 minutes ago, IndianaOutdoors said:

To be honest I haven't tried one this late in the year.  Everyone always talks suspending jerkbaits for cold water and that what I use.  I guess I should try a floater.

They def avoid snags better in the shallows 

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24 minutes ago, AlabamaSpothunter said:

When I want a Jerkbait, but the depth is sub 4ft., I use a soft jerkbait like a fluke or better yet the Jackall Rhythm Wags.    

 

Almost all hard Jerkbaits are going to run 4ft+, especially on Fluoro.  

I guess I was too hung up on needing a suspending jerkbait to even consider a fluke.  Do you weight it or just work it super slow?  I'm used to running fluke just subsurface in warm water.

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14 hours ago, IndianaOutdoors said:

1.I just got done on a new section of river that might be my new favorite fall/winter spot.  I did really good on a KVD 300 jerkbait in a few spots but it actually dives too deep so I'm looking for a suspending jerkbait that dives 3ft or less.

 

 

Sand the lip down some on the bait and it will run shallower.

 

Allen

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1. Try the Duel Hardcore Minnow; it runs pretty shallow, casts really far, and has floating/suspend two different versions. That's one of my favorite hard jerkbaits for 2~3ft water. You can also try Mach Bait's Werkbait - a combination of wakebait and jerkbait that runs very shallow.

2. Try the Bass Patrol football jigs; it's an oldie but goodie. It has a small 2/0 but very sturdy hook (much better than Bitsy Bugs'), a living rubber skirt for cold water, and an affordable low price. It's one of my favorite jigs for shallow creek smallie fishing, catching from less than 1 pounder all the way to 20"

3. I don't use spinnerbait in shallow water much, but when I do, I tend to use double willow War Eagle spinnerbait.

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Best river fishing lure for me the last 10 years is the 5 inch Caffeine Shad on a weightless Owner Twistlock LIGHT 4/0 hook. Swims more horizontally, changes direction on its own, a couple twitches and it works like magic in 1-4 fow. 

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In lieu of a Bitzy Bug the Dale Hallow Punisher 3/16 oz brown- orange hair jig with Berkeley Maxscent Lil Trooper 2 1/2 craw in watermelon/copper-red flake Orange belly works for Smallmouth . The DH Punisher uses a Gamakatsu hook, $2.70 hard to find a better jig near this price point.

Tom

 

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10 hours ago, FryDog62 said:

Best river fishing lure for me the last 10 years is the 5 inch Caffeine Shad on a weightless Owner Twistlock LIGHT 4/0 hook. Swims more horizontally, changes direction on its own, a couple twitches and it works like magic in 1-4 fow. 

I haven't figured out how to get caffeine shads to work.  They always seem to go nose up and kind of fall backwards. I haven't tried a screw lock but have tried some heavier hooks.

8 hours ago, A-Jay said:

Rapala Sub Walk.

That is all.

:smiley:

A-Jay

I have had my eye on these for many years but never could pull the trigger.  I watched a video and wasn't sure if the action looked very good. Maybe I'll have to reconsider.

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3 hours ago, IndianaOutdoors said:

I haven't figured out how to get caffeine shads to work.  They always seem to go nose up and kind of fall backwards. I haven't tried a screw lock but have tried some heavier hooks.

I have had my eye on these for many years but never could pull the trigger.  I watched a video and wasn't sure if the action looked very good. Maybe I'll have to reconsider.

The ONLY hook I have found to work with them is the Owner Twistlock LIGHT hook. Cast out, let it do its subtle swimming thing for 4-5 seconds, a light twitch-twitch… another 4-5 seconds… rinse and repeat. Other hooks simply don’t work anywhere near as well  - - 

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4 hours ago, WRB said:

In lieu of a Bitzy Bug the Dale Hallow Punisher 3/16 oz brown- orange hair jig with Berkeley Maxscent Lil Trooper 2 1/2 craw in watermelon/copper-red flake Orange belly works for Smallmouth . The DH Punisher uses a Gamakatsu hook, $2.70 hard to find a better jig near this price point.

Tom

 

I think I'll have to try this.  I have never tried a trailer on a hair jig.  How effective are the wire weed guards?  Can I get it through limbs?

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37 minutes ago, IndianaOutdoors said:

I think I'll have to try this.  I have never tried a trailer on a hair jig.  How effective are the wire weed guards?  Can I get it through limbs?

Wire weed guards work good for me , still get stuck sometimes obviously but they seem to help

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I went smallmouth fishing last week on Beaver Lake in northern Arkansas.  We tried a lot of different baits.  We wound up with around 30 smallmouth.  All but 1 were caught on Jewel Pee Wee jigs with 4” Yamamoto twin tail grubs.  Our best color was Basswhacker with watermelon red flake grubs.

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Wire weed guards on the Punisher style head work good just don’t set the into a branch, east or jiggle it out. Your guides the jig into the branch crouch, if pull hard the hook point can stick the wood, easy it out and no issues with any weed guard.

Tom 

 

 

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My “Black River” smallmouth box consists of 2.75” tubes, 3” grubs, and those Mepps Black Fury “combo” inline spinners that have a keeper hook with a grub. 
 

All have proven themselves effective on that river, should work just about anywhere else.

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If I could only take one bait to the river in cold water, and I have been wading with chunks of ice bouncing off my neoprene waders, it would be a 3 inch smoke/salt & pepper grub on a 3/16 ball headed jig.  I might take a pack of grubs in a natural brown color as well.  Never failed me…..ever.  

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I have alot of luck with rapala husky jerks in either hj08 or 10 depend on how agressive the fish are. Another great option is a small hair jig this time of year. 

On 11/24/2023 at 2:14 PM, TOXIC said:

If I could only take one bait to the river in cold water, and I have been wading with chunks of ice bouncing off my neoprene waders, it would be a 3 inch smoke/salt & pepper grub on a 3/16 ball headed jig.  I might take a pack of grubs in a natural brown color as well.  Never failed me…..ever.  

I inserted a 3” smoke and pepper tube this year in place of a grub and there were a few days it was absolutely fire since the smallies were keyed on small minnows.

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