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Jimzee

Smallies in Lakes - Hard to Find?

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I mainly fish a lake that was impounded in the year 1984 and is strictly C&R for all black bass. This lake's main water supply is a small river that is full of smallmouth. I have only witnessed one smallie caught the same year the lake was impounded and it was 20+ inches. :o I catch plenty of largemouth but never any smallmouth. I never see or hear of anyone catching any smallies in this lake. :-? I know they have to be there, don't they? Do you think they are just staying so deep or has the largemouth just overcome the population of the smallmouth? The lake has a max depth of 65 feet at the dam and a average depth of 15-20 feet. The lake is 2650 acres with mostly flooded timber. I'm puzzled??? :-?

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The first place I would look for are areas near the mouth of the river you talked about. Also, hard bottom, gravel bottoms, rocky areas, ledges. If the river feeds the impoundment I would follow the old river channel that runs through the lake and look for ledges, boulders, rocks, drops on my depthfinder plus, smallies like some current. Sunken islands and humps are one of my favorite places to find smallies in lakes, as well as, points and dropoffs. Grass in a little deeper water, say around 12-17' is also a good place to search. If it were me I would surely start out at the mouth of that river and use a tube in Green Pumpkin, Dark melon, and Junebug, Pearl Super Flukes, Spinnerbaits in white, and Zoom Centipedes in Green Pumpkin t-rigged on a 1/8 or 3/16ths bullet head or rigged on a Mojo setup and grubs in green pumpkin and bluegill. Just some ideas. :)

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Just some ideas. :)

Well, just some GREAT ideas!

8-)

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Justfishin is right on with where and what to fish.  I like to start with isolated rocks because it is very easy to determine if the fish are there (vs. a long point or shoal where the fish could be spread out along).  One bait I would add to his list is a 1/2 oz. jig in a dark brown color with a light brown chunk like trailer...  

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I don't want to sound negative,there may be some good smallmouth in the lake but I would think if you inquired with local tackle shops and other anglers it would help.

Justfishin's advice is on the money.Current is their element.

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I recently spent some time fishing a large NH lake for smallies and found the Carolina rig to be especially effective, particularly if you don't have a lot of experience with a lake and are dealing with deeper water. It's a technique that allows you to cover considerable area yet imho I think it gives the fish more reaction time to your lure than a spinnerbait or crankbait, for example. Every lake is different, obviously, which makes CJ's advice particularly important, but in this lake, which has some holes more than 100 feet deep, I had my best success in 15-25 feet of water c-rigging, using a three-quarter-ounce bullet weight, a couple of red glass beads, and a baby brush hog in a natural color (I forget which one) on a #3 Gammy hook.

Disclaimer: I'm still a newbie at smallie fishing, so I offer this as a starting point only. Experiment and see what works on your water.

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C- Rig is good nboucher. I don't use them but, thats why I recommended the Mojo rig. I do use that to cover water and use as a search tool to get a feel of the bottom structure. I use a spinning rod, #6 o #8 test and a 1/4oz Mojo wt about 18" up the line, with a 3/0 EWG hook tipped with a watermelon or green pumpkin Zoom Centipede. pegged. Its basically a finesse C-Rig. I think its a better offer for smallies. Asking around is good but, for me, I like to unlock the water myself. Guys tend to get stuck on areas, and finding your own water is good. I tend to get in ruts as far as area's myself and sometimes I just go to new places to search around. Just my opinion though. Good luck fishing for those smallies, Brown Bass Rule !!! :)

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Thanks guys for all the helpful advice.  The gears are turning in my head now.   ;)

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Grand lake in NE oklahoma is sort of the same deal. you will occasionally catch a smallie in the main lake, but the resident smallies from the neosho river stay in the neosho at the upper end of the lake. When you do catch a smallie out of the main lake it is usually down by the dam. I figure the reason for these lake positions producing smallies is due to the concentration of current. They (The ODWC) wont stock grand with reserviour strain smallies like you find in most of the okie lakes with good smallie fishin because they propose the native strain would interbreed with the resviour strain and then the native species would become all but lost as a specific species. This tells me that different types of smallies are conditioned to thrive and subsequently live in preferential SPOTS. Now largeheadz tend to be more versitile in making a living pretty much anywhere they can stay wet so the fact that you can successfully stick greenies but not smallies in the ares you fish suggests that the biggest deal is probably to change up areas you are attempting to stick the brownies. In my somewhat limited experience (all of which has been gained on multi bass species water) I find you will catch largeheadz in areas predominantly occupied by smalljaws, but rarely will you find brown fish in predominantly green fish water....the tactics will be dictated by the conditions, ie. cover/ structure/ weather, but the suggestions above sound pretty good to me, especially the mojo,  splitshot, or the now known as "PETEY RIG" using gulp, robo, or yamamato cut tail worms, or dinger/senko type baits.

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