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NJfishinGuy

I need instructions on smallmouth lol?

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ok ive never gone for smallmouth and have never cought one, but i do really wanna go for smallmouth sometime.  i know RW made a good how-to on how to garuntee a bass catch well i need a how to for small mouth. i got not the 1st clue what im lookin for or what to use when goin for these guys. any tips on anything appreciated i really wanna get a smallie. Tips,structure,baits,depth?

Ryan

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i think it can change depending on where you are fishing for them. In my river, though, they like to hangout facing upstream in riffles and runs in the current OR directly adjacent to the current waiting for food to float by. This is the biggest difference I've noticed between smallies and LMB. You would be extremely hard pressed to find a LMB swimming in the current that I catch my smallies in.

BTW, this doesn't mean that you can only catch them near these currents, some of the biggest ones I've caught have also been in deep pools where the current was calmer or in structure near the bank. Structure is extremely important for smallies, they can be caught in cover, but they mainly relate to rocks (at least in my river which is EXTREMELY rocky) and wood. Good luck, smallies are a heck of a lot more fun than LMB.

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My #1 suggestion is to buy a copy of "Smallmouth" published by In-Fisherman:

http://www.amazon.com/Smallmouth-Bass-Fisherman-Handbook-Strategies/dp/0960525432

If you are fishing a river focus on current breaks and structure (humps, the outside of eddies, pools, rocks, ledges and underwater ridges). Gravel flats and sheer cliffs can also be productive. In lakes I foucus on main points and humps. A perfect example was a submerged island in lake Michigan. The water was about 9' deep, 30- 50 yards wide and about 100 yards long. This was located well away from shore and surrounded by water several hundred feet deep.

The most productive bait is a live shiner on a split shot rig. Artificial lures would include jerkbaits, crankbaits and soft plastics, especially 3 1/2" Gitzits, Fat Ika, grubs and Hula Grubs. Topwater (Sammy & Spooks) are another option in low light. Hair jigs are a favorite for many smallmouth fisherman, but have not been that productive for me. 3/4 and 1 oz Ledgebuster Single Blade spinnerbaits have been HIGHLY recommended to me for fish deep water for trophy size smallmouth, but I haven't really fished them yet. (The one time I have, I did catch a gigantic drum!)

Some of the literature states that smallmouth are NOT line shy and many members of this Forum have recommended heavier line than I use. My experience with everything EXCEPT hard lures is that line diameter is crucial. I use Yo-Zuri Hybrid Ultra Soft #4 & #6.

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I'm guessing that in NJ you have some clear water and some rocks. If you can find them this time of year get out a jerkbait and tube. Shove a 1/4 oz jighead into the tube and drag it. You can go lighter, but that heavier weight will keep it in contact with bottom better (also snags more too). OR throw that jerkbait until your arms fall off. Smallies love that bait this time of year. If no rocks, go to the steepest points and breaks and do the same. Smallies are funny b/c they travel like a pack of wolves; one place one day and 300 yards away the next.

If you're really interested, look up and buy Kim Stricker's video on smallies. Unlimited knowledge gained from it.

Duke

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jerkbaits,and soft plastic would be alot smaller than stuff i use for LM correct. most of the stuff seems similar to LM fishing and i do all that now so what should i do diffrently to get away from the LM and on the smallmouth

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As far as hard baits go, I don't downsize. I fish Lucky Craft Pointer 128, full size Rapala Husky Jerks, LC Sammy and Zara Spook. If you fish the Ledgebuster you will see exactly what I mean, it's a BIG spinnerbait. If you decide to fish live bait, you want the biggest shiners you can buy, 3-4" is ideal.

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Well, there certainly are a few good bodies of water in NJ for smallmouth.  If you can, try to hit the Manasquan Reservoir, Round Valley, Spruce Run or Hopatcong.  Every time I've found the smallies in NJ, is was in deeper water.

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I don't fish in the rivers for them, but do in a reservior here. (the pumpback)

I use finesse worms on jigheads, grubs, jerkbaits BEFORE sun-up, and bitsy jigs.

I also use yo-zuri and p-line line in 8-10lb range, only because the pumpback is ROCKY.....

pinks/greens (pumpkin) and browns all seem to produce for me.

smallmouth also eat 65% crayfish, so jigs, hula grubs (and singles) "resemble" crayfish.

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I fish a variety of lakes in NJ.  Below has been my successful lures for targeting Jersey Smallmouth in the Fall, and in all types of lakes.  

In the Fall I look for Primary: all submerged rocks down to 30', and riprap; Secondary: points primarily the ones that have some rocks; Everything else: sharp dropoffs, tops of submerged trees, edges of weedlines.  Many of the lakes in NJ I've noticed LM & SM share much of the same areas.  First thing in the mornings you might hit a topwater bite on the points (Zara Spooks, Bass Orenos, and Buzzbaits work well).  If you see bass busting shad in open water, throw a jigging spoon just beyond the action, and pump the bait on the retrieve; or a Finesse Fish (4 is right size to match baitfish in the fall) and work it through the action.  The colder it is the deeper they are, but smallmouth will come up 20' to get a lure.  In clear water in the fall, I catch most in the 15' - 30' depths.

Spinnerbait chartreuse

Lunker City Finesse Fish (4) shad

4 Power Worm natural colors (black, pumpkinseed, plum)

Tube Bait shad

Jig & Pig - natural colors (black/blue, brown, purple)

Silver Buddy & Jigging Spoons silver (sunny) & gold (overcast)

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You could always find your way to the Susquehanna River, i dont think it is that far from where you are...decent weekend trip.

BRING TUBES AND SPIDER JIGS!!!!!!!!!!!

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i catch smallmouth with the same lures i catch LM with i think the key is just fishing a place you know has smallies like a clear deep resivour and throw what u would throw normally for the conditions such as if it is rocky and clear maybe a crawfish imitation (tube,crawbug,kreature,etc) in brown or black or anythink u think may work

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Good stretch on the Delaware river at the Water Gap. Below Worthington State Park south for 3-4 miles.

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Im from south central oklahoma, and though you may not think good smallmouth country at first (I didnt)... there are tons. I have fished northwest Arkansas, and southwest Missouri for them also (all in impoundments), and have found a few common threads to all these areas. Smallmouth are much like stripers...just smarter. They move..and are as a generalization from approximately 2ndary points outward whereas I look for LMB from main lake points inward. Ive found them to be more particular about what goes in their mouth, and they seem to be hesitant when encountering "visible" line. My largest have come on hard baits (Diawa Dragger-G Firetiger (5.7lbs), Rico Ice Popper (6lbs)) But I have had my best luck for simply catchin' tourney limit fish on subtle plastics shakey headin', drop shotting, c-rigging, rollin' runner (oversized road runner head) and weightless. I have the most luck for smallies on p-seed w/ chart tip, june bug, ozark smoke (yum color), and clear-light purple-white type patterns in finnesse worms (try manns hard nose 5" whitish color-the head sinks but the rest floats) or senkos, but caught my largest (5.4 lbs) on plastic using a rootbeer green/black fleck baby brush hog (c-rigged). I have never got into the ferocious northern type smally bite I hear about though I have tried. On the four lakes I fish for smallies most regularly, my go to spots for "catchin" are main lake ledges or humps w/ some wind driven current, and most importantly BAIT. Ive never used live bait so cant really say if its a better alternative...Im always fishin w/ a tourney in mind. When I think smallies, I think spinnin' rod 6lb FC and using my electronics.

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Smallies are my bass of choice. I find there way more aggressive and fun to catch. The things that your going to want to know about them is that they are deep and usually perfer somewhat colder temps then LM. I tend to have the best success with them using jigs, but they can be caught on a variety of different things.

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Join the club because if you ever figure them out totally please write a book and clue me in because they can really tie me in knots at times. I am on Bull Shoals reservoir in north central Arkansas with clear water and only rock for structure with zero vegetation. The Smallies rule here now as the largest component of the bass population, which is great when, you can find the bloody things! I have only been fishing the lake since January and I have hired a local guide that is also on the BASS circuit to teach the lake to me which has greatly helped but this lake is known for being hard to fish a lot of the time. Sometimes it seems like all the bass have been abducted by aliens because they have seemingly vanished from the face of the earth only to magically reappear days latter. I have learned the hard way that many things that work wonders other places do not work at all here and I confirmed that with several of the local guides. So my advise is to save you some frustration and money; if you can afford it hire a local guide that is willing to teach you smallmouth fishing in your local area and not just take you fishing. If you cannot do that, pump them and the better local smallmouth fishermen for information. You just might get lucky and one of them will take you under his wing and teach you the ropes. That is in addition to all the great information all the Smallie addicts here will help you with.

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I usually fish for smallies in a lower Susquehanna trib close to my house. Soft plastics and jigheads are best for rocky bottoms, you will lose alot. Tubes, grubs, and swimming worms work best for me. Current breaks, riffles, and eddies hold most of the fish in my waters. Drift the bait with the current bouncing off the bottom every now and then. There is some great info on this site for lake smallies but if you want some serious river smallie advice you should go to riversmallies.com This site literally put me on fish. I've learned alot about stream and river fishing from the guys on there. The fishing knowledge is first rate. Lately the fish have not been in their normal spots?? Ever since the water temp dropped the last two weeks I haven't been able to find them. No baitfish in my local stretch as well; think the smallies are roaming and looking for food.

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Hmm...

I'm surprised you haven't picked up any helpful hints on this site for river fishing. I know some of our guys have shared everything they know and a few of them catch some brown fish. Do you think it is water specific or technique?

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Hmm...

I'm surprised you haven't picked up any helpful hints on this site for river fishing. I know some of our guys have shared everything they know and a few of them catch some brown fish. Do you think it is water specific or technique?

I've gotten some good info from this site as well! The other site just gave me some more specific info on both waters and technique. Some local members from my region also hooked me up with some good tips. The closest water to my house (less than 2 miles) is smallie habitat all the way and usually where I get away to fish when the time permits.

Excuse me if it was bad form to mention another site, just trying to help a fellow fisherman out with what worked in my neck of the woods. Didn't mean to imply that there wasn't good info here; quite the opposite as you all know.

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if you are looking for something along the lines of RW's senko post, but for catching smallmouth i would say that the way to almost guarantee catching some is to go to a river and focus on current breaks with yamamoto grubs on a 1/8th oz jighead.  this may not always be the best choice, and may not always get the biggest smallie but it will almost always, imo, be good for at least a few fish if there is much any bite to be had.  ive been catching em like that since i was 10 years old.  i use both a swimming retrieve and fish them like a jig with long slow hops.

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