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Schoolin Smallies with lock Jaw

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Deep clear impoundment. Fish runnin' bait hard. I Have exactly matched forage colors and movements, but very few bites. Have had this prob over and over again on this lake for years now. Others that are "GOOD" sticks have the same prob. Any suggestions?

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"Matching the hatch" is a trout fishing term that has infiltrated bass talk and I don't think it applies. You need something different to make your presentation stand out. Color, vibration, profile, rattles and especially size are all considerations. Lots of guys think you need to downsize for smallmouth...Wrong!

I like bigger baits than whatever is the main forage. Sometimes natural colors are the ticket, but I like American Shad, green and blue & silver with an orange belly, too. Here are a couple of specific suggestions:

Fat Ika

Mizmo 3 1/2" tubes, Kent's Classic (squash green)

GYCB Single Tail Hula Grub (watermelon with large black flakes, 194)

GYCB grubs (green, smoke and white with silver and black flakes)

Lucky Craft Pointer 100 or 128, American Shad, Baby Bass and Original Tennessee Shad

Rapala Husky Jerk, blue and silver.

In low light, LC Sammy and Zara Spook

If you decide that you really want to get after them, fish the biggest farm raised shiners you can buy and fish them on a split shot rig. Be careful, you might get your arm broken!

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Got this from Hank Parker's TV show:

Hank would throw a firetiger crankbait into schooling shad and his partner would throw a shad colored crank. Hank outfished his partner and credited it to presenting a bait that didn't look exactly like the other 40,000 baitfish down there.

Makes sense to me.

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Ok, I know, I 'm a selfish SOB that keeps "secrets" but today I feel generous and I 'm going to share one dirty trick that has helped me catch LMBs with severe case of shutmouthitis, don 't know if will work on smalljaws but you can try.

You need a soft plastic jerkbait preferably one with a long thin tail to make it more lively and attractive, instead of T rigging it like everybody does you hook it at about 1/3 of the length of the bait wacky style on the head side. Cast, let it sink give it a series of twitches and then swim it like a crankbait for a couple of feet, then twitch it again several times and swim it again. Repeat the process until you are out of the spot where the fish are cruising, then reel in fast to retrieve your bait and cast again.

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Raul is telling secrets so I will tell you Kim Stricker has competed with B.A.S.S. and now FLW and has a bait called the Strick9 Shiner it's the best plastic jerkbait. Also Kim DVD Smallies in the Neighborhood kepted me awake at nights the footages is so good.

My other deal is to swim a vey light tube usally 1/8 with some lead trimmed off and then it's a case of speed some days slow and steady other days real fast.

Garnet

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Well, since everyone is giving away their secrets.................swim a 3 in chartruse grub rigged on a 1/8 oz - 1/4 oz jighead through the school...........I have found that this little bait, rigged on light line(4 or 6 lb) and SWIMMING it through the fish produces results!

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Oops!

I forgot to mention line size, which I find to be very important when smallmouth fishing. As Deuceu72 suggested, light line should be used for live bait and soft plastics. For the hard baits, I don't think it is important.

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lot of good tips and baits to use but only factor left out is you need to kill the bait ( stop reeling)  close to the boat. Any follow ups should crush it then.

Dale

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194J is my main color, but I also fish 208 & 297.

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Inline spinnerbaits with off colored blades.  (if you're -supposed to be using chrome, use gold and vice versa).  I really don't pay much attention to the body color, just make sure the feather is white or chartruse.  I love those things.  Oh yeah, use a swivle.  They twist line BADLY!

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I AGREE WITH ROADWARRIOR. ON THOSE TOUGH BITE DAYS, LARGE SHINERS ON A SPLITSHOT RIG ARE KILLER FOR ME.

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Are they running bait bait at the shore?  I see this kind of action at my home lake and it's smallies, "pack hunting" craws...  First time I ever saw it, they wouldn't hit the fluke which had worked all day so I threw a jig I had on, and caught fish after fish...

This time of year, at least in our waters, smallies are hunting craws and we only catch a few on shad or baitfish type lures.  But you can load the boat with jigs and other craw type baits.

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This is open water bait runnin schoolers...fall pattern relating to main lake (impoundment) grass beds adjacent to ledges breaking into the main channel. Main forage- threadfin shad/ Ghost minnows. I ran into the same thing this weekend in a tourny. Caught a few of the smaller ones on red vibe, but still couldnt get em going. I guess I should mention these few things: Southern Oklahoma/ Super clear water/ Extreme angler pressure.

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flechero,

Man, I try sticking with a jig for two hours on every outing on the Tennessee River. This isn't just an experiment or dead time, but during periods where we on on the smallmouth and the bite is strong. Last year I caught one smallmouth over 5 lbs on a jig, the other 51 we boated were all caught on live shiners. It's really hard to stick with artificials when opportunity knocks...or when it's crashing through the door!

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