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justfishin

When smallies don't act like smallies.

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A friend dropped by the other day to pick up some leadheads. I bought all the stuff years ago to make them and sell them. I have yet to make a penny, as I always give them to my buddies,lol. We were having a cold one and he brought up about the time we were fishing a small club tourny and it had to be close to 98 degrees that day. The river was low and gin clear. We were at the Harrisburg Pa airport. I ran the boat up first thing to fish some deeper water by a steel mill. It runs 6-12 close to there. We thought that would be the ticket. Nada, none, 0, fish in about three hours. It was also a bluebird sky day, in which always is tough for me anyway. By noon, either one of us had a keeper. We were perplexed. We floated over a big pebble covered shoal in about 1' to 1 1/2' of water and saw all these fins sticking up out of the water and trashing about and thought they were suckers or small carp. I cast over to the area and caught a nice three pound smallie, he cast and did the same. We limited out in like 20 minutes. Before we left I had to run over and see what was bringing them in and I saw a bunch of crawdad shell looking things in the water. We deduced that the crawdads or at least some were molting their shells in that area at that time. Pretty neat stuff. So, you never know what the day will bring. Sometimes maybe you just have to think outside of the box I guess.

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Now, that's what I'd call "Shootin' fish in a barrel."

Too cool. 8-)

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Man, smallies like nothing more than "softshells".  When the molt is on, the smallies are on...

That makes me wonder, anybody know if there is anyway to predict the molt?...

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Excellent story. I've only been fishing streams for smallmouth for a couple of months, but they've been hot months. I am surprised at how many fish we catch in shallow water when it's 95+ degrees out.

Now if only one of them went 3 pounds I'd be a happy camper.

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We ran into this about 5 years ago on Lake of Woods fishing Long Bay near Soiux Narrows. Someone said that crawfish molt every month of summer and that it's about 7 days after the full moon. I'm not sure if this is correct,but I know it's not been that good since. We had 60 days and everyone you caught on a Christmas Tree colored tube would be throwing up crawdaddys all the way to the boat. Crowcommander

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I'm still waitin for a day like that ;)

But after fishing the Rivanna and James Rivers in the dead of summer I have noticed that on several occasions the biggest fish were caught in the shallowest available water but most of the fish were caught in the deeper pools and riffles.

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Lake murray southern Oklahoma- Clear/ Deep, and grassy with little to no current. Bluebird days throwin cranks shallow during July and august mid-day have produced the largest smallies for me there. 15 miles east of murray-Texoma-Semi turbid no grass with current, February for the biguns on the bank during storms...I dunno?? :-?

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I noticed this summer on the Rapidan River in Virginia that lots of the smallies I was catching were in shallow, slow moving shady areas and often near wood instead of near current or rocks like they usually are. It made for hard fishing until I figured it out.

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