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Give advice for groups of after-spawn smallies.

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Every year there is a two-to-three week period were me and my freind make a 10mile venture on a small aluminum boat to these islands on lake huron. This area contains a massive quantity of smallies but we always find trouble in catching them.

There is a small channel that leads up through the center of the island into a docking area. On our way up the channel groups smallmouth frantically swim beneath us and are very spooky. We can run a jig through the center of the group but they just seem to ignore it and swim out the channel. In the docking area, we can see 20-30 smallies suspending a foot or so below the surface in a big group. Again, we cast lures through them and they either ignore it or swim away cause they get really spooked.

What can we try to induce these fish into biting ? Is there anything that can catch these stuborn smallies, or are they just too set on getting out into deeper water after the spawning season.

If you had experienced fishing for bass like this and found a way to catch them, please give some helpful hints or different ways to approach the situation. Thanks for any help.

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I would try a small Rapala floater with long pauses in between twitches.This is only a guess.Good Luck!

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I would give them a weightless aproach.  With slow small "jiggles".  Try a tube or a stick bait.  should do the trick.

Cast past them and bring it over their head then stop it and allow it to fall.  

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First of all, if you spook the fish or at least they see you, forget it.  You must be more stealth like.  

Second, I would try casting way past the fish you see or to the side of them.  If you lure splashes near them, chances are you will spook them...due to the fact that it seems like these fish are quite nervous.

Try using a translucent jerk bait (white or clear).  The water (I am assuming) is gin clear.  Bold bright colors don't look natural to them.  Maybe a zoom jerk if you like plastic.

If that doesn't work, through a worm past them, bring it to them and let it fall right through them.  

Don't forget to try some top water lures also.  Again, clear or white bottomed lures.  

This is the fun part of fishing... knowing they are there and figuring out how to catch them!!!  

Never give up!  Jeff

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For many years, Georgian Bay, Ontario was my Ole Stomping Grounds :)

I don't know what month you fish Huron, but I'd like to throw this in.

Due to the northerly latitude, the best smallie fishing we've experienced was in "August",

but the three-month period from July thru September is all very good.

You're right, the smallies on precambrian shield waters are a very strange breed!

In all honesty, I haven't done much with suspended smallies that I can actually see.

Sometimes there are smallies on the bottom in the same location, which make a more

receptive target.

The golden standard for smallmouth bass, as you I'm sure you, is the Tube lure, but there are

better lures. Whether fishing for suspenders or bottom-huggers, do give this a try (works year-round).

I had a brainstorm one day on Lake Huron and it worked like a charm (it's my own thing):

Pinch-off the end of a live redworm so it's about 4" long. Thread the live redworm on a

1/8oz ballhead jig (heavier if the current dictates). I like chartreuse but that's not important.

Thread on the live worm as you'd thread on a plastic grub, right up to the jighead and

streaming behind the bend-of-the-hook. After the cast, wait for bottom contact

then crank the reel handle twice. Allow the rig to glide naturally back to the bottom. Repeat.

Throughout the retrieve ONLY the reel handle moves, while the rod remains motionless

(that's my own thing too). In this manner you remain in constant contact with the lure.

Smallmouth bass cannot stand watching that wiggling worm tail and typically smack it

during the short glide. When that doesn't work it usually means I'm in the wrong location.

With that rig I've taken smallies over 4lbs from Lake Huron, which ain't bad for that latitude.

BTW: The pike in my avatar is from Lake Huron. Now I'm in Florida and I miss both species :'(


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