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Tokyo Tony

Topwater ideas for small smallies?

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My favorite little smallie pond to fish is in NH, it's a small lake probably about 25-30 acres (could be 40, I'm not too good at estimating lake size) with tons of boulders, rocks, grass, weeds and stumps.  Water is crystal clear (can see the bottom in 15+ feet).  I always catch a ton of smallies there (I fish it in my float tube), but have never caught one there over 2 lbs.  Most of the fish are right around a pound or less.  I'm wondering what you guys think the best option for topwater would be, in general.  There's always a good bite on pretty much any lure (it's a great place to build confidence with unfamiliar techniques), and I can get lots of hits on a Zara Puppy, but probably 50 percent of the time they miss.  I've caught fish that are regurgitating hundreds of little bugs, so I know a flyrod would be key, but I'd rather catch them on my ultralight spinning setup.  What topwater would you say is best for small smallies?  Also, what type of general tips would you recommend for targeting the bigger fish when I get tired of the little guys, if that happens?

I've averaged bigger fish with a deep crank, but still nothing over 2 lbs, and I've had 70-plus fish days on this lake, literally.  I've tried C-rigs on deep rocky points with GYCB hula grubs, but still no hawgs.  Is it possible that in a lake like this there are no smallies over 3 or 4 lbs?  Any help is appreciated - I'm probably heading up that way in two weeks.  Thanks.

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The Zara Puppy is what I consider a 100% lure. If bass are hitting ANYTHING on topwater, you will catch some fish, but it's a small bass bait.

For better bass:

#1 Full size Zara Spook

#2 Sammy

#3 I'm thinking Cavitron Buzzbait, but that's going to be an experiment for me

That addresses your question. However, I think suspending jerkbaits are ALWAYS a better option. The Floating Smithwick Rogue is something else you might want to try.

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3 I'm thinking Cavitron Buzzbait, but that's going to be an experiment for me

I'm not sure on the Cavitron but I know buzzbaits are a good one. One of my favorites is a chatterbuzz(local brand I think) and the other is a Accent double buzz

I honestly dont see why a Cavitron wouldnt be a good one.

See if you can find a zara pooch. Its about 2" long spook. Or a baby chug bug is another real good one for smaller fish.

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When I fish the creek here for smallies, topwater is my ONLY option since the water is rarely deeper than a foot. All I take with me is Zoom trick worms and a small storm chug bug.

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Like RW and Gman said, a caivitron buzzbait. For smallies, I would use the 1/8th oz in chartruse and white.

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Try to "wake" a smallish floating jerk bait - maybe a rapala jointed.  If you like surface action, that would be GREAT.  Also, try a 1/4 oz. Excalibur Zell Pop.  Works great on clear water smallies!

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Cool, thanks for the responses guys.  GMAN - I do have a Zara Pooch but have trouble getting decent action with it.  Haven't used it in years, but that may be the ticket.  I totally forgot about that bait.  

And RW - I will try a small-sized buzzbait for them.  My PB smallie actually came on a mini Strike King buzzbait before I knew too much about fishing.  I was out in Cape Cod night fishing with a couple friends in a canoe, getting no bites on top.  My friend suggested I slow-roll it, and first cast, WHAM.  Right off the bottom with a buzzbait - pretty cool deal.  You can slow-roll a buzzbait REALLY slowly along the bottom.

I'm gonna look out for a small-sized Sammy too.  I think if I could find a Sammy, or a Sammy-shaped lure 2-3" it would be easier to work than the Zara Pooch.

When I do end up going up there I'll post a report.  

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Also gonna try floating jerkbaits - never really dabbled with bulging them, but it sounds like it would work.  

RW - suspending jerkbaits are by far my #1 smallie bait.  They just can't say no to them.

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First of all, I don't know why people seem to have it their heads that we need to downsize for smallmouth. That is NOT the case. However, if you are looking for better NUMBERS, smallmouth or largemouth bass, smaller lures ALWAYS outproduce bigger baits. If that is what you are looking for, look no further than the Zara Puppy (black on silver). As I stated earlier, this is a 100% guaranteed topwater lure if a fish will hit ANYTHING on topwater.

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Yeah that's been the best topwater bait on the lake, but the fish in the shallower water where I throw topwaters are usually under a pound, or around a pound, so they've been hitting the lure but missing half the time.  I like messing with them for a while on my UL setup, but think I could hookup more with an even smaller bait.

I guess I could try a big Sammy in the deeper water.  How far do you think they would come up?  20 feet?

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