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nboucher

Finding Smallies Where LMBs Are Found Too

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I didn't want to divert BassHunter266's thread on smallies vs. LMBs, but I'm hoping to sneak up to NH with my kayak for a few days in mid-Sept. to try to snag my first-ever smallie. I'll be fishing ponds of various sizes that have both species and wonder if anyone has any hints about lures and techniques at ponds where both are found. I understand I should stick to deeper water where there are rocks or stumps, but are the techniques and presentations for smallie fishing similar to those for LMB?

Norman

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I read an article a long time ago about your title question.I remember the guy saying that if you are fishing down a bank expecting to catch SM,you should turn around and cast out the other way into deeper water.It does make sense.

The lake I fish regularly has LM and SM.Most of the SM I catch are in at least 10 ft of water,95% of the time they are on some type of structure,around some bigger rocks or rock bluffs,while the LM are anywhere from 1 ft down to 30 ft and usually scattered throughout.

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Your plan for deeper water with rocks is one of the things that should be tried. Smallies will readily take any bait that a largemouth will. For that deeper water, tubes or grubs with jigheads might be one of the good lure choices. In shallower water, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and others can be tried. I have never been one to place a high priority on color, but it always seemed to me that smallies were attracted to chartreuse, although they'll readily take a wide variety of colors.

And please, despite all the talk about deeper water, DO NOT FORGET TOPWATERS when conditions are right for these baits or you may be costing yourself fish and fun.

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Any time I have that option, I always fish for smallmouth. Smallies are all about structure, not cover. You will still catch largemouth fishing  for smallmouth, but it does not necessarily work the other way around. Jerkbaits, Gitzit and Hula Grubs are what I would recommend. In low light a Zara Spook is a great lure and will attract both species.

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What type of jerkbait do you prefer for this kind of thing. And what about other plastics, especially fat ikas and senkos? What about size of plastics?

Thanks for your great suggestions.

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We are lucky enough to have both in our home lake... when the smallies are active, they will destroy a pack of super flukes in short order!! (we never leave the ramp with less than 2 full packs in white and baby bass) We work them faster than normal with more frequent but shorter pauses.  Other than that, we catch about 60/40 LM to SM while t-rig or c-rigging.  We have extremely steep banks so we don't have to back off to deeper water to target them.

Oddly enough, I have caught a lot of LM on the ika's but not a single smallie yet?  I first bought them because they were supposed to be a smallie killer... glad I did though, the better than avg LM seem to like them just fine.  ...lol  

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Any time I have that option, I always fish for smallmouth. Smallies are all about structure, not cover. You will still catch largemouth fishing for smallmouth, but it does not necessarily work the other way around. Jerkbaits, Gitzit and Hula Grubs are what I would recommend. In low light a Zara Spook is a great lure and will attract both species.

 I agree 100% with RW.  If you follow his advice, you'll be catching some smallies in no time.

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I also agree with RW about the structure instead of cover and with his lure choice.

Find a good sized rock surrounded by some softball sized rocks and you will find a smallie in the area.

Marty mentioned top waters. If there is a chop on the water or it is raining most definitely throw a spook or a spittin image.

My only addition would be a spinnerbait. I am from New Hampshire and I kill the smallies on a spinnerbait.

White if the water is gin clear, Gold if it has a little color and chartreuse (better yet a perch color) if it is stained.

I do not find a lot of folks on this site that are spinnerbait fisherman I swear by them.

Personally, give me a gold spinner bait that when you throw it sounds like a wind chime and has blades the size of hubcaps.

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