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pigurd

what structure do you look for, for smallies?

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When fishing for smallies, what type of structures do you generally look for?  i've usually caught them near docks with rocky floors, but if thats not available, where else can you look for them?  does it vary during the day?  

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The best structure I have found for smallmouth on my home lake has been deep humps and points.Smallmouth relate to structure more than cover.Some people will refer to rocks as cover.Anyway after smallmouth have spawned,the rockier the hump or point,the better.I do like to find isolated rocks.Smallmouth are probally considered chasers more than they are ambushers.The bottom contour is critical.The only thing that will vary during the day would be the fish's position to the structure.During the day when the sun comes up they tend to suspend more often.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

It would help to know what type of water you are fishing, lake, river, pond, etc. Smallies love big rocks and moderate current in river run lakes, holes above and below boulders in flowing rivers.

Jim

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im going to lower buckhorn lake in ontario, canada.  its supposed to be very rocky with lots of small islands.  its connected to a lot of other lakes, but they are blocked by dams/locks at points.  

would it be best to fish for them on bottom, on top, or somewhere in the middle?  im guessing it probably varies...

( i usually fish for large mouths and all i have to do is throw a worm into some lilly pads... smallmouths seem harder to find, but very fun to catch)

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Guest ouachitabassangler

Contact the rocks. Inline spinners like a Rooster Tail works well around smooth round glacial rocks with smallies in them.

Jim

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Contact the rocks. Inline spinners like a Rooster Tail works well around smooth round glacial rocks with smallies in them.

Jim

pretty good point , except i like little cleos alot better than inline spinners but spinners work too

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As far as structure goes, major changes in bottom, such as points, drop offs, channels, and humps will concentrate them. If rocky riprap, which holds forage like crawdads and gamefish fry, is present, all the better. The very finest cover is rocks, with logs and wood cover being good at times too. In rivers any place where rocks or objects break current. Smallmouth don't like deep, slow, clean bottomed pools as much as eddies or pools formed by or with major rock or log cover.

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The preferred "structure" of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass is remarkably the same.

Both species of bass seek the "steepest" drop-off available, into the "deepest" water available.

The operative term is "available". The apparent difference in their habitat is due mainly

to the difference in their preferred "cover".

Largemouth bass prefer "weedy" cover, followed closely by "woody" cover, especially where weeds

are unavailable. Smallmouth bass however, prefer "rocky" cover, typically without any weeds.

Weeds and trees grow in fertile soil rather than sterile rock.

A ledge rock bluff can rise vertically from a 40 ft depth, straight up to a 10 ft rocky shoal.

Soil doesn't pile that high. A sheer soil bluff would soon collapse and ultimately erode to become

a structure with soft corners and gradual tapering slopes. Largemouth bass like a sheer drop-off

better than a slow taper, but they can't have it both ways.

Anglers have the benefit of lake charts that picture the whole lake and all its structures.

It's not likely that a bass on a drop-off has any idea what the entire structure might look like.

Whether it's a sunken island, a channel, a point, a ridge, a hole or a railroad levee,

to a bass it's "rapid depth change". No matter how complicated a treatise on structure

may become, it all boils down to the merger of "rapid depth change" with "preferred cover".

Roger

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in the river i fish the most productive structure is rock ledges and dropoffs.  i love smallmouth.  i mostly fish for largemouth but there is something that is "pure" about smallmouth.  i just think they are beautiful fish, and so strong.  reminds me of fishing when i was a kid and when i used to wade fish for smallmouth.  every year i say im gonna go wade fishing but i never do.  maybe this year.

matt

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ledges and dropoffs are great to fish on. at night and morning, there usually on top of the ledge, and in the afternoon there probably shading off the the ledge

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So far you have received some great information. I just got back from my annual smallie/northern/walleye trip to Western Ontario Canada where the smallies were attacking a Zara Spook in the white and blue back colors. Just find chunk rock no larger than a bowling ball and start walking the dog. Sun or time of day did not make any difference. If I did not get a strike on at least every 10 casts I would look and see I was no longer over the chunk rock. I would fish mainly near the bank with worse luck over humps and points.--Go figure??  The smallies would routinely knock the lure 1 foot out of the water and the fish would follow it out. This was the very best smallie fishing I have ever experienced. Good luck with you trip.

8-)

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Rocks, ledges, pools and humps.

In a river, almost anything deflecting current including wing dikes, river bends and boat ramps.

Steeply sloped, rocky primary points are a good place to target on a lake.

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So far you have received some great information. I just got back from my annual smallie/northern/walleye trip to Western Ontario Canada where the smallies were attacking a Zara Spook in the white and blue back colors. Just find chunk rock no larger than a bowling ball and start walking the dog. Sun or time of day did not make any difference. If I did not get a strike on at least every 10 casts I would look and see I was no longer over the chunk rock. I would fish mainly near the bank with worse luck over humps and points.--Go figure?? The smallies would routinely knock the lure 1 foot out of the water and the fish would follow it out. This was the very best smallie fishing I have ever experienced. Good luck with you trip.

8-)

 It just doesn't get any better than bronzebacks on topwater! Sounds like a great trip.

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