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Preston

How did you catch your HUGE smallmouth?

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Well i love fishing for brown bass and there is nothing better than snagging a huge one. What yalls biggest smallmouth and how did you catch it. What lure, what time of year, what presentation, and what was the weather. I figure telling storys lets us brag a little but it also helps others learn.

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MY BIGGEST SMALLMOUTH IS 6 LB 15 OZ FROM LAKE ST. CLAIR. I CAUGHT IT THE OLD FASHIONED WAY, DRAGGING A BIG SHINER WITH A SPLITSHOT IN 12 FT. OF WATER.

ALOT OF GUYS TALK ABOUT CATCHING SMALLIES ON TUBES BUT I DON'T HAVE MUCH LUCK WITH THEM. HERE ON ST. CLAIR CRANKS, JERKS,AND WORMS WORK BEST FOR ME.

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Although you might not consider it huge but my biggest smallie was 3lbs. 7oz. and came from the James River. Caught it on a pumpkin/seed GYCB single-tail grub impaled on an 1/8oz. jighead, I was popping it off the bottom right next to a huge weed-bed on a current seam    

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basspro, don't feel too bad! My biggest was caught 3 years ago in a small tournament in PA on the Juniata river. It was 3 pounds even and caught it on a 3/8oz Hart Hartbeater buzzbait. Guess I don't do too much so that's not too bad for the amount of time fishing for them.

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The smallmouth in my avatar were caught on the Tennessee River below Pickwick Dam 1/15/05. The fat one weighed just over 7 lbs, the long one is my Personal Best and although it was nearly 4" longer, it was only 1 lb heavier. The bass were caught an hour and a half apart drifting live shiners on a split shot rig in about 15' of water. Skies were partly cloudy, air temperature was around 40 degrees throughout the day, water temperature was 47.9 degrees, river current strong with water release about 60,000 cfs. The prior week we had caught 15 smallmouth, my largest that day (1/08/05) was just under 7 lbs and was my PB at the time. So, in an 8 day period I caught three PBs.

My biggest smallmouth caught on an artificial lure was caught last summer at Bull Shoals Lake on a Lucky Craft Pointer 128. That bronzeback came in at just under 6 1/2 lbs, but it was really special. The strike was voracious and she went airborne immediately. The sun was going down just on the horizon, the coloration of the fish was enhanced by the sunset and the bass looked at least twice as big as it really was. The fight was intense and she jumped three times before I got her to the boat, the first time. She surged at the boat and peeled off about 25 yards of line and screaming drag, then jumped again. What a fish!

One key to catching smallmouth in general and monsters in particular is line size. Largemouth bass apparently are not line shy, lots of trophy bass are caught on heavy equipment, big diameter line or braid. It has been my experience that smallmouth are more particular. That's not to say that reaction strikes, deep water presentations or that fishing heavier line in stained water will not produce bites, but you may not get as many. All my big smallmouth have been caught on Yo-Zuri Hybrid #4 & #6, my three largest on #4. I'm now fishing #4 Ultra Soft and I probably won't be using anything else any time soon.

Eqipment is important. The reel and its drag system are far more important than any particular rod. Every big smallmouth I have ever caught has surged at the boat. If you try to horse a big girl the chances of pulling the hook out of her mouth is high. When using a circle hook the vast majority are securely hooked with the barb deeply embedded in the jaw. However, my three top fish were barely skin hooked on the outer lip when they were landed. I fish spinning equipment exclusively with live bait. Specifically, G.Loomis GLX PR844S/ Shimano Stella 2500FB.

Lastly, let's look at the hook: Gamakatsu, strong and sharp. The devil is in the details, don't skimp on your terminal tackle. You won't necessarily get more bites with high end hooks, but I guarantee you'll have better hook-ups and land more fish.

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I actually got mine during the 2004 Northern Everstart tournament out of Buffalo, NY.  It weighed 5-15.  I weighed it thinking I had a shot at big bass, nope!  I caught it dragging a dropshot with a hand poured 3.75" reaper in about 30 feet of water.  It was so windy we stayed within a few miles from the launch.  Monster swells that day.  Had to use 2 drift socks and the trolling motor just to slow the boat down.

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WOW!! I Love SMB!!! They are a awesome fish to fight!!

I fish the CT River for them SMB + the rivers currant = Big

Battles!! I lost a few but I've enjoyed every moment of it

no matter what the out come.

I use spinner baits, flukes,brush hogs, Jip&pig, salamanders, 5alive craws,

yumdingers.

My largest to date is 6.2lbs, which I landed in the spring.

I don't have a pic of that one I ran out of film that day, I had landed

15 Smallies that day and ran out of film,

(note to self always keep a freash roll in my bag).

720SMBSpring.jpg

720ohmygod1.jpg

720OHMYGOD2.jpg

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Biggest one I ever caught was off a rock reef with a 1oz ledge buster.

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Largest I ever caught was 6 lbs, and get this- it was caught on a 1/8 oz yellow rooster tail spinner.  We were fishing for crappie.  Talk about a bonus fish.

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Largest Small Mouth I ever caught was 5lbs caught May 18, 1986 on Watts Bar Lake part of the Tennessee River system. I bought a new Bait caster and rod and was just standing on the front of the boat casting a Shad Rap and playing with the settings on my new reel to try to get maximum casting distance. I was just chunking it out and reeling it in when he nailed it.

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Biggest i ever got i swore it was a carp untill it got to the boat right before it took off under the boat. The only reason was a had caught a carp the cast right before and it took me about 20 minutes to get the hooks out of his mouth. Anyways i was using a Rapala countdown in firetiger on March 1st of 2002. I threw it out to a point with a patch of stumps on it counted down about 5 feet then started a crank and stop. About half way back to the boat somthing knocked it and it wasnt too much of a fight at first (sortove like pulling in a log) but right when he saw the boat its like he put on a jetpack and headed for deep water. After i got him in he was 4 1/2 lbs. and 22 inches. Not bad for on a kayak.

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The biggest smallmouth that I actually got to weigh was 6 pounds 4 ounces. As with most of my bigger fish it was caught in 20 plus feet of water with a grub on an 1/8 ounce leadhead. That particular fish was caught on a Bobby Garland G-Tail grub (no longer produced) and was on a lake in central Maine. I just got a digital scale for my b-day so I am looking forward to getting to weigh my better fish. Late season 2005 I got into a pack of big bronzebacks dropshotting a zoom super fluke. They were schooled up and feasting on small alewifes. I'm thinking this dropshotting technique is going to prove deadly in the future.

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Guest JoshKeller

24.25" smallie caught in a small creek in WV called Back Creek. Caught off an 6' ultralight rod, 6 lbs line, and a 1/32 oz jighead with a 2" plastic minnow body.

I'm 6'5" 230 lbs, and the guy beside me was about 4' higher up on the boat ramp, so that puts it in perspective.

post-0-130163018123_thumb.jpg

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oh yea, mine is 12 inches, caught on a 1/8 oz. panther martin from shore on the St. Joe river. HA! Ive neever tried to catch a smallie, i only had one real fish on, looked pretty descent, but of course i lost it right next to the boat. My uncle caught a 6 1/2+ lb fish during a national Red Man bass fishing tournament, and i guess he had to sit and catchhis breath for a while. Didnt even get biggest fish though.  

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The biggests Smallie I've ever caught was 7.04 lbs!!!!

May 2002 - Mellinium Bassmaters "Make a Wish" Charity tourney out of Buffalo NY.

Sad thing was.... with over 75 boats in the tourney, it was not the biggest one caught! It was 2nd largest caught in the tourney ( if you can believe that!) the largest was 7.35 lbs caught by another boat.. anyway, the tourney actually gave prizes down to 2nd biggest fish so I lucked out anyway ( my partner and I had a 2 fish weight of 12.98lbs and finished 6th place, just out of the big money )

Erie produces fantastic Smallies in may, Myself as well as many guys in our club have caught countless 6+ lbs, you can catch 5+ with little effort in early spring and late fall

basic tube draggin/hoppin, in 25-30 feet structure, color varies, but I usually use smoke with some red and black fleck

Al Gorrie

Niagara Bassmasters

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Guest avid

I also caught my biggest smallie in Lake Erie.  It was a guided trip and we were trolling.  I thought it was boring.   I used to love going smallmouth fishing in the wallkill river in New York.  I would use a purple mr. twister tail on a small round jig head and catch buckets full.  My biggest one on the wallkill came fishing a tiny torpedo.  I really miss those days.  My buddy and I would take two trucks.  He would park at one bridge over the river, then we drive the several miles and I would park at another bridge.  We would wade and bank fish the stretch of the river from my truck to his.  I remember this was a ritual we had in October.  It was great.

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My biggest smallie was also out of Erie 6lbs. Caught on a Staysee 90 Jerkbait. Our group caught over 200 smallies out of one boat and so many pushing 4-5lbs we lost count.

erie.jpg

T Mike

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Biggest was 5 lbs 3 ounces on a drop shot on Lake Champlain. I was on the same reef as Joe Luccarelli form NH when he one the BASS tournaments up there. I lost a bigger one 20 minutes later carolina rigging a Lake Fork Baby Ring Fry. Just another story of the one that a got away. For all thr smallmouth fisherman out there if you want to go real smallmouth fishing Champlain is the spot.

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I Love story time....lol. I was out with some friends the day before the BFL on Lake Erie. We were out by some helo pad and I was sitting in the middle using one of their set ups. Spin rod and reel with a green pumpkin with purple flek goby on 6lb test drop shot. It must have been my 10th cast and I caught my finger on the line, so it only went out 3 feet from the boat. We were 18-20ft of water but the bait didnt get that far when I start to reel it to recast out. It felt heavy, but I thought I had a drum on. Then it jumped out of the water.....lol....they looked at me and said "holy shiooot, you have a hog on the line." I never saw it. I just kept reeling in when the owner of the rod told me to slow down, because I was fishing with only 6lb test. It took me 20 minutes to bring that fish in. When I got it in they took a picture of it for me, but we were not able to weigh it. I held it from my belly button to my knees. They said it was well over 6lbs, just by the size of it. All I know is that it was the BIGGEST bass I have ever caught in my life. On tournament day, I caught 2 bass that weighed less than 4 lbs total...lmao.

Squid

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