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jomatty

river topwater action

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when you guys fish topwater for smallies in rivers what are some of your favorite type of lures?  for me my favorites are poppers which is weird because i dont generally like to fish them.  i much prefer walking type baits.  for some reason ive had more luck catching smallies in a river with popper type stuff.

what do you guys like?

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I guess all rivers have different top waters that produce better. At least for me around here for smallies my top producers day in and day out have been Cavitron Buzz baits in 1/4oz white skirt, Spooks in a variety of colors, bone being my best color, Torpedoes in clear, Spittin Images in basic shad colors and a good old fashioned Rebel Floating Minnow. It seems the late evening hours are the best for top water smallies here as well. I know it sure is fun to catch brown bass on top. :)

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i would add prop baits and jitterbugs to what has already been mentioned.

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I fish the headwaters of the James River alot in the summertime and on certain days you can throw topwaters all day long......my favorite is a Torpedo......second favorite is a Tiny Torpedo.

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Depends on how pressured they are, how clear the water is, and whether or not they are protecting fry. In the post spwan period when the larger males are still protecting, I usually want a noisy bait that stays put longer near a bedding site like a chugger or a prop bait. A few weeks later, I usually go to a walking bat to cover more water.  In darker waters that aren't pressured much, I can get away with a buzzbait just about any time in the summer and fall.  I like big, dumb smallies. Those can be had in the many streams in the north country, and even some less pressured tea colored lakes in the shield country.

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I have really good luck in the Pamunkey and James rivers with Rapala skitterpops, LC sammy 100's, and Manns 1- cb's. Also, when stubborn smallies won't hit a buzzbait get a spinnerbait with Indiana or big willow blades and burn it so the blades break the surface a few times during the retrieve. This makes it look just like something chasing a flicking baitfish.

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I just got back from a river fishing trip where we caught a bunch smallies.  I did not have much luck with topwater with the exception of a Zoom Fluke jerkbait fished weightless.  Some of the fish flew completely out of the water chasing it but they were usually the smaller ones.  Not a traditional top water lure but that is how I was fishing it.

The huddlebug was an absolute killer for the smallies.  First time I have used them and I was amazed how much it irritated fish that would have nothing to do with any other lure or even live worms.

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Some of my favorite top waters for OK smallmouths include: an old WalMart run of Boy Howdy's that were bass colored, had 2 or 3 different patterns all worked, a magnum sized (Excalibur) Jimmy Houston model Pop R, Bang O Lures (usually in the black back silver side with black bars). I also fish the two smaller sizes chug bugs and have had the best action with the shad colored ones. I like Zara's and other walking baits but I usually really make them walk small and tight so I wear down pretty quick with them unless the bass are really hitting well. One year my dad came with me and had a blue gill colored Tiny Torpedo and was catching right out from under our baits. You have to try every thing you got some times until you find the right one. Ask the locals what color usually work best but a lot of the time they are stuck on a few favorite lures and are not much help, but I've found they can usually help with predominate colors. In SE OK I don't usually fish topwaters unless the barometer is pretty low. If you can't hardly see the hills for the haze I start gettin excited. It usually takes a few days after a cold front for them to start hittin top again. I have had smallmouths hit deep running crankbaits as soon as the lure hit the water. They had to have seen it coming.  ;)  Topwater smallmouths are the reason I switched to lefthand retrieve bait casters. I couldn't tell you how many I missed while changing hands after the cast. I spent a summer getting acclimated to left hand retrieve, problem solved. But at other times you had to wait until the boil died down to see if the lure was gone before you could set the hook. Same thing with retrieves, sometimes all you had to do was slow down your retrieve to get hits. It can be the most frustrating but sometimes the most rewarding fishing you can ever do.  :)  All my smallmouth fishing has been in rocky hill country streams so use info accordingly. I usually carry two rods, a bass caster and a ultralight spinning. One time I broke my bass rod in a clumsy accident so I worked my way to my "honey hole" with my ultralight action with 6 lb. test line. It was a "top water" day so I snapped my Boy Hoydy on my light rod. I snuck up to my hole and made a cast and immediately hooked with a 2 lb.r. then another tried to take it away from the first and I had 2 on. Before I got my first cast in I had hooked about 5 different bass with some getting off. They had to hook themselves cause I couldn't really tell another one hit until I saw them on. I finally landed 2 that stayed on, both in the 1 3/4  to 2 lb. range. I caught 2 at a time for a couple of casts and then 1 at a time for a few more until the hole was thoroughly spooked. What a day!!! And on ultralight! I'm getting excited again just remembering that trip. Sorry it took me so long to get this told but I get excited about top water smallmouths!!!  

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