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phatfish

Finding the bigger fish

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Hello all,

I need your expertise. I have been fishing this local lake of mine and been looking to find myself some nice size smallies (>14 inches).  I would troll along the bank looking for fish.  When I come to a spot where I am catching fish they are usually smaller fish, about 10 inches.  If I stay on a spot, I can get about 5-6 fish in 15 minutes, but they are all about the same size (10 inches).  My question is; is it worth it to stay on a spot producing small fish and trying to weed my way through the smaller fish in hopes that a larger fish might be there, or is it better to just move on, because most likely the spot is saturated by smaller fish? Or can the larger fish be found close by? Or do I have to change my presentation (lure, color, etc) to entice the larger fish out?

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Get off the bank and fish STRUCTURE in DEEPER water. Examples would be steeply sloped primary points, ledges and drop-offs, rock piles or boulders, ridges, humps and pools. If current is an option, fish structure IN current. The fish you are catching are referred to as "bank runners" or "buck bass." Bigger smallmouth are rarely (never) associated with these schools except during pre-spawn and spawn.

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I agree with RW. I never touch the bank for smallies except in high water conditions, winter deep holes, and at night. This time of year is also, a very good time to night fish for smallies as they move up at night to feed. I especially like rocky, gravel type areas around lighted docks that draw the baitfish, points and drop offs. At least in my local lake where night fishing for smallies is very popular it seems the magic depth around docks, at least for me is around 8' or so. Fish slowwwwww with a tube and really pay attention. I use a black light, but, its not imperative to use one. Use a rattle in your tube and I usually go to a big 4" Salty tube at night. Its fun if you can stay awake. Don't be in a big hurry to leave a good area, and really work it out. Its fun and you can catch some big fish as well as numbers. It usually takes around 16 to 18 pounds around here to even cash a check if you are in a tourney.

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