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Cephkiller

Smallmouth Rookie Needs Advice

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I am heading up to northern IN this weekend to fish for smallies with my buddy for the first time.  I have attached a map of the lake and I would appreciate any advice on location, lure selection and presentation.  The water is clear to 12 ft, but I have no info on water temp.  I would guess it is in the 70's.  Thanks in advance.

clearlake02oj3.th.jpg

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I don't see a map, but I'll offer some tips on lure selection.

3", 4" curly-tail grubs in white and pumpkinseed on 1/8 and 1/4 oz. jigheads.  I generally use unpainted.  Rebel crawfish work well, other crawfish pattern crankbaits as well.  White spinnerbaits (3/8 oz.) with a white grub work well too.

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Scroll down here and in "Tackle". We have had some pretty good threads going recently regarding smallmouth fishing.

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Not sure of your smallie experince but they will be shallower than you expect. Always with smallmouth fish the prevaling windside of everything. Most of our wids go west to east so you fish on the west side of everything. The wind has been blowing the sand around pts. to the eastside leaving the westside with some rock and gravel.

Garnet

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What lake in Indiana?  I cant pull the map up.  I'm in Southern Michigan.  I've had the opposite experience as Garnet.  Right now I've been getting them on the windblown side of the drop.  West to east wind would be east side of a hump/point.  They are ambushing baitfish blown over the drop.  They are also hanging alot at the bottom of the drop, i.e. if the point drops from 10 FOW to 20 FOW they seem to be sitting at 18 to 20.  

These are the smallies on the lakes I'm fishing in southern michigan which isnt too far from northern indiana.  Nothing is absolute so my lakes could be different from yours.   Or they could be the same  ;)

B

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It's called Clear Lake and I believe it's near Fort Wayne because that's where my freind lives.  Your suggestion certainly seems more logical than fishing the side away from the windy bank.  I just assumed Garnet misstated what he meant.

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I find that tubes are a really good bait for smallies, pumpkinseed colour is the best I've seen. Also YUM worms if anykind are excellent. If your not really a big worm fisherman I think you mentioned the watter was clear so I'd try some tiny halographic crankbaits.

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Another non-specific answer to your question would be find some gravel/rocks near a depth change of some kind and work a hula grub or tube in the mentioned colors along the bottom.  A crank bait if you can get it to that depth might also work even if you cant get down to the depth I'd still crank it.  Smallies are notorious for being aggressive and if they are suspended off the rocks you may pick up a couple.  Definately try a Rat-L-Trap as well.  Dont forget to work the topwater early in the day.  I've picked up some good smallies over weed lines on top.

B

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i would try to fish the edge of that 5' area in the middle, but my experience with smallies is that they also tend to like areas under trees along the banks in shallower areas if the water is warm.

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Any time I have an 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, Gitzits, grubs and Hula Grubs are what I would recommend. In low light a Zara Spook is a great lure and will attract both species.

If you are comfortable fishing jigs, try a 1/8-3/8 oz hair jig with a trailer on structure. I suggest fishing it slowly, immitating a crawdad.

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I'm not saying that eastside of pts. have no smallies. But the place to start is the westside. The wind for centurys has kept the rock and gravel areas and moved the sand to the eastside. Current will change this but on this lake I don't think it's a factor.

Garnet

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I'm not saying that eastside of pts. have no smallies. But the place to start is the westside. The wind for centurys has kept the rock and gravel areas and moved the sand to the eastside. Current will change this but on this lake I don't think it's a factor.

Garnet

OK then.  Thats makes perfect sense now.  Erosion!  I never thought of that.  Thanks for the information.

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my favorite smallie baits.....

5" GYCB grub in watermelon on 1/8oz slider head

3"-5" GYCB senko in watermelon or pumpkinseed

drop shot a sniper snub or bolt in smoke or watermelon/copper flake

rebal pop"R"

jointed shad rap in perch

smallie beavers on 1/8oz football head

3" tubes in watermelon with 1/8oz round head

i would fish rock piles and drop offs. i don't know how deep they would be around there but around here right now they are from 20'-30' during the day and hitting top water in the morning.

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Now the answer is how to find smallmouth spots on the eastside of Pts. and Is. Look for pts. on the eastside that allow the waves to role down the shoreline. On 1 of my favorite lakes on windy days the gill fishermen will be just around the pt. in calm water theres not likely a smallie spot down this shore. If you see the gill fishermen 1/3 of the way down Is./pt. because the waters to rough theres proably a spot there.

Then I judge how far in a heavy blow the waves will run down the shore and were they will be biggest with practice I've went right to some spots on strange lakes over the years.

It's the same reason I like the middle of bays just on top of the drop off and exposed to the wind. Lots of my lakes you looking for sand and gravel because theres solid rock everywere the wind has pushed the sand and gravel up the drop off and on the flat add some weed and happy times.

Garnet

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Ceph, looking at the map I think I'd work the around the point which is west of the circled number 4. Then I'd dropshot my way east over to the small island. I'd definately check that out and maybe around number 5. I also like the looks of that 20 and 30 foot depth stuff north of the circled number 8. It's always fun unlocking the secrets of a new lake. Good luck on your smallmouth mission.

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