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fourbizz

Smallmouth Afficianados: HELP PLEASE!

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I have three sperate smallmouth projects going, and I see alot of you guys holding some bronzeback gorillas! I have had very little success landing smallmouth with any size to them. My PB is 5 but that was a LONG time ago. My best fish in the last couple years is only 3lb8oz. I have 3 bodies of water with good fish in them, one of which has GREAT smallmouth. Literally tons of 6+ fish and I know of at least 6 that were over 8 caught this year.

My first little spot is very small. It is the tailwaters beneath a spillway. Steep sided, deep pool tailing out a boulder field about 5 feet deep, gin clear, no shad.  My partner landed a 3-3 there, I dumped an easy 4plus both of which were on a TwinVibe 65 lipless crank. I have had no success with sammies or rico's. Big zero on the buzz, chatter, spinnerbaits. Couple dinks dropshotting robo's and 3" *** senkos. I am the worlds worst jig fisherman so nothing there. But nothing on huddlebugs, beavers, or brushhogs. I watched a nightcrawler fisherman get owned by a solid 5+ yesterday, and also had a fish about the same size follow my Matt Coho all the way to my feet without commiting. FRUSTRATING

Second body of water is the Reservoir that spills into the first hole. Narrow, very deep sided, gin clear. Rocky banks, some tulies (basically cattails for those that don't know), lots of laydowns. I know people that go their and flip jigs into the tulies for 5+ smallies ALL THE TIME. I had one Huddleston bite, but it was one of the few better sized largemouth there. Basically just a glorified river, with little current and it gets deep very fast. Only real success coming from dropshotting and splitshotting 4-6inch worms near tulies and laydowns. They just dont seem to orientate to the rocks. Weird.

The third body is the one that produces donkeys. Typical california resercoir. Deep, ULTRA-UBER-SUPER clear! Has threadfin, trout, and a bunch of crawdads. I fish this lake for trophy largemouth, and often have 5+ smallies take swipes at my Hudd. Even with a stinger set pretty far back I haven't been able to stick one.

Does anyone have any TROPHY smallmouth recomendations? I have no interest in smallies smaller than 5 pounds and am content going without a bite for a few trips. But what do you guys think would be a good bait/technique for a toad smallie?

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This is a Road Warrior question but I did not see any mention of TUBES. My experience has been the bronzebacks LOVE tubes. Use a jighead 1/8-1/4 oz and slide into the tube and work around deep structure. For me, the TROPHY smallmouth are about location for the most part. You need to fish deeper structure to catch those pig smallies. I would learn to fish with a jig as well but when I really need a nice smallie, the tube is the 1st thing I will throw. My only exception is in the spring where I like to use suspending jerkbaits for the smallie. Twitch a few times and let it sit. They will NAIL that bait as it is sitting motionless............When RW posts...listen to his advice!!!!

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Deuce,

I'm originally from the san luis valley! Man, I don't miss that Colorado bass fishing, but I do miss the Elk hunting. I've given some thought to tubes, but the visibility at this lake is nearly 30 feet, and I don't know if the bigger smater fish will go for them. I will definitely try though! Thanks for the input!

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Since I saw you mention a big swimbait in your original post, I guess you are not opposed to throwing large baits for big fish. Tubes would be my suggestion for you, but how about a musky sized tube? I dont know if they would be too big for the smallmouth to take, but you may want to try it.

Product is called a tiger tube, claims to catch some large ones...

http://www.lindyfishingtackle.com/tackleshop/customer/home.php?cat=377

Let me know what ya think.

Wayne

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Yea, I hear ya on the gin clear water.........but I havent had a problem with it using flurocarbon line.............6 lb Seaguar to be exact................I'll let you in on my secret..I like to drop shot using the tube as the "weight" and then use a panic minnow as the drop-shot bait...........give them 2 options to feed........use light line(I'm sure you knew that)...........but like I said.........deep water structure is what i would ook for more than the bait itself...............

Wait until Road Warrior posts. He seems to be the "expert" on the Smallies!

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San Luis valley huh? My wife and I just spent Labor day weekend in South Fork. Yea, we go outta town for our largemouth tournaments but the Smallie actrion here is pretty decent now.......Especially Pueblo res, and Horsetooth res................and Aurora res as well...........when you come back to visitr, let me know and we'll go!

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My #1 big smallie rig is a rollin runner sportin a 4" yum dinger or senko or tiki stick t-rigged on a 7ft spinnin' rig w/ 6lb vanish or your favorite flavor of FC. I like ozark smoke/ june bug/ clear-smoke/ p-seed w/ chart tail...color just depends on depth and light conditions. Studies from A&M and OSU have evidence to support the statement that fish respond to different colors at different depths. In additional reading I have found that the only wavelengths of light that find little hindrence in penetrating "water" deeper than 15 ft are those associated with the "colors" we perceive as purples or blues-Red becomes invisible at around 15ft, black produces a sillouette, clear adopts the color of the h2o but makes it "glow" somwhat, and light reflection is solely a function of light penetration. Subsequently fish can see purples and blues better in deeper water, and with a clear lake you will generally be forced to fish deeper or in ares of lower light penetration for larger older fish, so blue and purple hues are the best choice scientificly speaking...now science and fish dont always line up in the rules dept, but you cant dispute research unless you have research to the contrary and I dont...so its a good place to start. Also, fish dont have eyelids...they cant blink or squint to escape the sun...sunlight gives em cataracts...they go blind they cant see to eat they die...or they find shade or areas with diffused light...deeper water....use purple/blue. Now that all applies to fishing the bottum which I do most of the time- just dragin' it. Now you can also very effectively fish this technique for stratified fish on breaklines with some of the non-purple/blue colors by allowing it to sink a little and then slow hopping it back w/o allowing it to hit bottum. Vary the depth by line size and rollin runner weight. I wouldnt suggest trying anything heavier than 10lb FC in the line dept cause your fishing slack line alot of the time and you get bad wrap/twist problems. This isnt an original technique, the good smallie guides on texoma use this almost exclusively next to loose linin' shad. I have compared this rig to an identically set-up shakeyhead (spotremover)setup. One cast w/ the rollin runner and then 1 cast w/ the shakey head, and then invert the order every other target so that niether gets a biased advantage at first shot. results= 200 casts per each/ 12 smallies 1 largemouth on rollin runner/ 2 smallies and 2 largemouth on spot remover. 1 smallie on spot remover= 3lbs/ 2 smallies on rollin runner= 3.5& 4.5 lbs, and a 4.8 largemouth (wish I could do that in a tourny). if you do the stats on this (I Have) the correlation of bigger and more is better towards the rollin runner with acceptable standard deviation. Now a fish at rest I can catch this way, but a school of rabbid smallies kicks my but every time. Hope this helps or at least is some food for thought.

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Thats a mistake bigg smallies are killers the most important thing is to get a bait infront of them. There attiude will do the rest.

Being a good jig fisherman is a most, jerk baits hard and soft,Spinnerbaits are important. To catch the big smallies you need to push them around be a bully stick it in there face.

Garnet

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ZARA spook, double willow spinnerbait 1/2 oz chartreuse skirt and blades burned just under surface (low light conditions), tubes tubes tubes, Zoom super fluke worked fast and erratic with intermittent pauses like an injured baitfish.

The above has produced lunker smallies for me in a variety of situations and on various bodies of water.

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I've actually fished the 8" Tiger at that lake, but not with smallies in mind. The 8 is huge and I don't really like the Tigers. I might try the 6" tora tube, but I'm afraid that with the water as clear as it is, with spooky fish, that get alot of pressure, that a tube might not get me much aside from reaction strikes. With a reaction bite going, I would rather throw a bait more likely too hook up on a slashing strike. All that being said, I will give them a try. Its a cheap experiment. I have two swimbaits besides Hudds that I think will work one of which being the Mattlures Coho, and the other being...secret ;D

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I have no experience with large swimbaits but lots with large smallies. There will be no slashing strikes or missing. Big smallies will grab a bait and pin it on the bottom, they grab it and never let go to the pt. you can't get a hook in them. That writers bull about finnicky twinky bait garbage. Maybe about 5% of the time  the rest smallies are killers just learn how to press there buttons. Be a bully with your baits my favorite top water bait looks like a musky bait it's loud obnoxios and I fish it that way.

Garnet

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I get follows from fish when something is close, but needs to be "tweeked" just a little. Maybe a smaller swimbait than the Hud?

Whatever works for numbers where I am (Ozarks) usually works for pigs, it often isn't the "big fish big lure" theory that works here, just the monsters are in slightly different spots, usually deeper. I catch my biggest smallmouths every year on things like small hair jigs (float and fly) 4"-5" suspending jerkbaits, and same size soft jerk baits, lots of fish on small 1/4 oz. or so finesse jigs and hula grubs.

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Arkie Salty Crawlin' Grub... usually only available online but Wal-Mart occasionally gets them in. You'll probably be going deep so don't foo-foo around with colors that can't be seen in the low light of the deep anyway. Watermelon with Black Flake seems to be a great choice all-around... it's simple and should show up enough in low light.

http://www.arkiejigs.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=AJ&Product_Code=CG&Category_Code=CG

Use a stand up jig and DON'T be gentle when working this thing... you can't be gentle and move it. It's big enough on it's own to nearly make your drag tick!

It's also a fragile bait, unfortunately, but there are several around here who catch Citation fish with it, one guy got 2 Citations in one day using it, plus dozens of smaller ones.

As far as aggressiveness goes, I think those guys are trying to point you in the right direction. I've used similar thinking in a slightly different way to take advantage of that aggressiveness:

Look at your fishing area carefully... if you wanted the best spot where you could relax, out of the current, and have that current bring you food in water that was a comfy temperature and had just the right amount of shade, where would you be? It's almost a certainty that the biggest, meanest fish in the hole decides that this will be HIS spot and kicks the snot out of any other fish that tries to hang there. Pattern that area with the Arkie and make it look like a Crayfish... you should do well.

Vorlin

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That is the only jig I have ever caught anything on. I love those things.

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Roadwarrior and Deuceu72 covered the ground thoroughly.

I would only add what I consider one of my most successful methods for bronzebacks,

but since I've mentioned this before it's no longer my secret.

RIG

Use a 6-lb spinning outfit and 1/8 oz chartreuse ballhead jig.

Thread a live 4" nightcrawler over the length of the hook, as though it were a plastic worm.

(I pinch the crawler to the desired length then thread the torn end over the entire hook)

DELIVERY

Cast the jig and wait for bottom contact (when the line goes limp).

Hold the rod diagonal to the waterline and crank the reel twice, then stop.

"Do nothing" while the lure is gliding in an arc toward the bottom.

That is to say, do not move the reel handle and do not move the rod.

Since the rod is never moved, you remain in constant contact with the lure.

When the jig reaches bottom, repeat the two cranks, then stop until the jig reaches bottom...etc.

      While the jig is gliding in a lazy arc, the worm end is writhing seductively.

Though I've never heard anyone else use this approach, I have used it with excellent success

from Dale Hollow Res, Tennessee, north to Lake Huron, Ontario (Parry Sound, Georgian Bay).

Roger

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This is a picture of the first spot that I mentioned. Pretty gorgeous spot to catch a 5lb smallie eh?

spot.jpg

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Nice spot!!!

The ones here are similar except they're about 4-5 times wider and I don't have the nice waterfall!

Vorlin / Scott

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The picture is really deceiving. That pool is no less than 120 feet wide. The waterfall is at least 90ft tall.

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Ooooofph!!

Ok, then it's about as wide as the Rappahannock... which varies from 80 ft or so to 300 or 400 in the wider, slower flats. However, in areas that look similar to the pic, it's around 200 ft wide.

Trivia: The Rappahannock is the river that the Northern Army got shot to pieces over while trying to cross at the battle or Fredericksburg. George Washington grew up right in the area and the area that he would have fished in his childhood is still some of the best catfish fishing around. I'm not sure what period in his life he was supposed to have thrown the silver dollar across the river, but if it was his childhood then it had to have been this river. Knowing the river, just about any high school first string pitcher or QB could make that throw, though second stringers might not make it.

Vorlin / Scott

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So your from the San Luis Valley area, fourbizzle; when I married my wife she was living in Buena Vista just up from Salida. There is a lot of beautiful country in that area including the Great Sand Dunes and the pulsating stream there. Now we are in north Arkansas on lake Bull Shoals that is dominated by ultra clear water and smallmouth bass. I have been away from freshwater many years but I have had the most success this summer in early morning on topwater Spit-N-Image lures. Sometimes they have preferred the threadfin shad pattern and sometimes they prefer the Tennessee Shad pattern more but the LC Sammy works good at times. Its just a try till I find what they want that day pattern here so far but then I am still learning. A local pro-angler has been helping me and listen to roadwarrior's advice as well there are many great anglers here. That sure is beautiful pic you posted. Keep in touch and show us how you do.

post-10877-130163018064_thumb.jpg

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