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paparock

Smallmouth Addiction

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Who else here are smallmouth addicts?

Also what is your favorite time of year and your favorite technique plus lure rigging to

fish for them?

Do you have any tips for targeting the larger smallies (like Roadwarriors LC 128 Pointers)???

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I love SM fishing.I would prefer to fish for SM if the bite is on.My favorite time of year is the post spawn.I usually look for rocky main lake points.Isolated rocks are even better.I drag a tube in slow motion this time of year.

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I love fishing for smallies in the prespawn in rivers. I have never caught one in a lake, but had a nice 2 pounder lost at boatside. I use an oddball technique that catches big fish in the prespawn. I use a long noodle rod and an ultralight reel. Then i tie on a tiny panfish tube (like 1.5") and a 1/32 oz. jighead. I kind of drag it along with a large minnow behind it. I caught some big smallies close to 5 lbs. in the St. Joe river doing that.

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Smallmouth bass float my boat.

I prefer the pre-spawn season, by far.

Among my favorite lures are the 1/8oz hair jig & rind

and a lightweight jig with a 3-1/2" chartreuse grub.

For the footballs, I like a big hair jig and skull-hooked

upside-down minnow (spottail shiner or skipjack herring)

Roger

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Pre-spawn on Lake Erie is my favorite time of year. Dragging tubes is fun but I've become a big fan of the drop shot.

For numbers (and the occasional large fish) I like a 4 " finesse worm in GP or watermelon red. To target larger fish, a drop shot goby usually gets the job done.

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I would say that there isn't anything much better than those monster bronzebacks.  There is just something about the way that they don't ever get up.  My favorite time of year is prespawn.  The reason is at this time of your if you have a good solid technique it can be awesome.  On the bodies of water that I fish  the prespawn bite is the best on suspending baits.  I like the larger baits for larger fish.   I have also found that using suspending dots and making that bait suspend a little deeper (1-2 feet).  Makes a big difference for larger fish.  

I would also say that maybe in the heat of the summer slow rolling rattle traps have produced several bass 5lbs + last summer, but only a few where as the spring I get a lot more in the larger size range.

Good luck fishing and come on spring time.  

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I love smallie fishing in the local rivers, specifically the James. I like fishing in the summer so I can wade in the river, I normally use a 6' or 6'6" medium action spinning rod with 8-10lb. fluorocarbon line. I love getting vicious topwater strikes on Rapala skitter pop's but I also like tossing pumpkin/orange GYCB grubs on a 1/4oz. head, dragging small YUM tubes in green/pumpkin on a 1/4oz. head, bouncing small Terminator finesse jigs across the bottom, and flinging small jerkbaits like the LC Pointer 65 and 78 and the Smithwick Limited Rogue. I also enjoy flyfishing for smallies in the smaller creeks and rivers.

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I like a big hair jig and skull-hooked upside-down minnow (spottail shiner or skipjack herring)

RoLo,

Does that mean you hook the minnow on upside down? :-?  I've never heard of that... What does it do?

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The smallie is my favorite fish to target.  Probably 80% of my fishing time is spent chasing those bronzes around in MN & SD.  My favorite time to fish them is late fall when they are feeding up for the coming cold winters we have here.  Most of my late season fish come on car. rigged tubes dragged over mid-lake humps in 15-25 ft. of water.  Another tactic that really works for me is to burn a 3/4 oz. lipless crank over flats in 5-10 ft. of water.  The best part of this late season fishing is that I usually have most of the lakes to myself because everybody else is out pheasant hunting.

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RoLo,

Does that mean you hook the minnow on upside down? I've never heard of that... What does it do?

You've never heard of it, because it's my own contrivance. Actually it's a spillover from my pike fishing,

where it's pure murder on gator pike (over 30-inches). I cast the jig & minnow and work it by hand

along the bottom. A lip-hooked minnow comes off to easy, so I hook them through the heaviest part

of the skull (between the eyes). The minnow dies but that doesn't matter because I impart my own

action (very slow and subtle). I hook the minnow upside-down for two reasons:

1. If you hook them in the usual way, from the bottom jaw upward, it's difficult to get the hook point

to emerge through the skull exactly central between the eyes. By hooking them from the skull downward

the point is inserted directly where you want it to be (top of skull and central between eyes)

2. By hooking the minnow upside-down it becomes significantly more visible to the predator

because the dark underside contrasts against the sky and the light upperside constrasts against

the darker lake bottom. In addition, an inverted minnow looks disoriented (an easy target).

Roger

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My two favorite artificial lures are jerkbaits (Pointer, Husky Jerk,Rogue and possibly soon to be, X-Rap). Number two and the most productive bait I have fished at Bull Shoals, Gitzit (baby diaper yellow, Mizmo's Kent's Classic). In low light I have also had some success catching trophy smallmouth on a Zara Spook and I think a Sammy would be equally effective.

On the Tennessee River I fish live shiners on a split shot rig. The gear is a medium power/ fast action spinning combination, #4 Yo-Zuri Hybrid Ultra Soft, #4 split shot (more or less depending on water flow) and #6 Gamakatsu Octopus Circle Hook. In the pre-spawn, which is right now, the majority of the biggest smallmouth are caught in 10-25' of water, in strong current and near structure. I don't fish bedding fish and I don't fish gravel bars this time of year, but that's where the vast majority of the smaller buck bass are caught.

On a lake, and particularly Bull Shoals, I would concentrate on main lake points. The best tend to be rocky, steeply sloped and on the north side of the lake, but none should be ruled out. Although I haven't caught any big bronzebacks on C-rigged lizards, I have caught some numbers and many Kentucky bass, too, using this rig.

Everyone claims small jigs are deadly, but I haven't found that to be the case. Maybe I don't fish them enough, but I think there are better alternatives. Live crawdads is another bait I would think might be awesome, but I have not fished them for smallmouth.  Another bait that is highly recommended are grubs and Hula Grubs (spider jigs). Again, I have caught smallmouth on these plastics, but no monsters.

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You've never heard of it, because it's my own contrivance. Actually it's a spillover from my pike fishing,

where it's pure murder on gator pike (over 30-inches). I cast the jig & minnow and work it by hand

along the bottom. A lip-hooked minnow comes off to easy, so I hook them through the heaviest part

of the skull (between the eyes). The minnow dies but that doesn't matter because I impart my own

action (very slow and subtle). I hook the minnow upside-down for two reasons:

1. If you hook them in the usual way, from the bottom jaw upward, it's difficult to get the hook point

to emerge through the skull exactly central between the eyes. By hooking them from the skull downward

the point is inserted directly where you want it to be (top of skull and central between eyes)

2. By hooking the minnow upside-down it becomes significantly more visible to the predator

because the dark underside contrasts against the sky and the light upperside constrasts against

the darker lake bottom. In addition, an inverted minnow looks disoriented (an easy target).  

Roger

Thanks Roger I'll give that a try... :)

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low water, late summer, wading river. working all rock and islands. i do good with a bomber long a, orange belly.  or inline rooster tail 1/2 oz. where i fish there are eel weirs in the river, they hold lots of smallies ;D.

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Now that genetic engineering is so advanced, what do you think about some scientist taking the growth genes from a Striped Bass and putting them into a Smallmouth. Now that would be a rush anytime of year!

post-10877-130163018043_thumb.gif

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Certified smallmouth addict here. My favorite time is late summer into fall, although many of my biggest fish have come during the cold water days of pre spawn. I'd say bouncing a grub and dropshotting a fluke would my two favorite and most productive ways of pursuing them. I like finding deepwater structure out off points or between two points. I utilize a few marker buoys for reference and then work the area. I've grown up with spinning gear but am finding it harder and harder to put the baitcaster down.

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Gotta love the smallies, they are a whole different animal.  I love fishing in late spring/early summer when they will chase a Zara Spook all day long.

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working current breaks on the river in the summer early morning with a small buzzbait is a blast.  Otherwise pitching jigs and tubes in these current breaks all day long!

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Hey, Roadwarrior. I finally tracked down some Mizmo Kent Classics to go with my new Lucky Crafts. Now if the weather will cooperate I will be all set but then the bait monkey took control, idle hands you know, a local tackle shop had GYCB Hula Grubs on sale from 20% to 40% off. You know what happened! Now I will have to help toting my plastics' bag. ;D

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Paparock,

If you can find 'em you can catch 'em! You have all the right tackle.

Good luck!

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Guest avid

I just made up a new rule.  No more talk about Smallmouth bass.    I lived in NY my whole life and loved to fish for smallmouth.  Now I live in Florida where there are no smallmouth.    So if I can't fish for them then nobody can!!!!    

Seriously.  I used to love wading the cold rivers for Catskill smallies. I really miss it.  My favorite search lure was a simple ball head jig with a dark twister tail grub.

Enjoy.

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avid,

You guys have a smallmouth species unique to northern Florida and southeastern Georgia. It's called a Suwannee, as in Suwannee River. It is native to that river and its tributaries. The bass is generally smaller than its cousins, but can attain weights exceeding 3 lbs. The State of Florida  and World Record is 3 lbs 14 1/4 oz caught on the Suwannee River in 1985.

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