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granadethrow

Some questions about smallies

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I fish a ridge near the shore and it drops about 30 feet going 10 feet out.

How come I only see the Smallies from about 11am to 3 or 4pm and then they dissapear?

usually the don't bite anything, should i just use a weight and keep a large crawdad down there?

this place is heavily fished so the fish look at the bait and then look at me, look at the crawdad again and don't take it, should I keep away from the bank?

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Standard rule you see the fish they see you. Either stay back or stand with a tree or some object behind you.

Even if somebody else is fishing the spot just stand back when that person starts reeling there bait in make a quick cast, the fish will be watching other buddy and hit a bait they don't no were it came from.

Garnet

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I highly recommend a reaction-type bait.  I have had plenty of times where smallies will just follow or watch a slow-moving or sinking bait, then I'll throw and X-Rap and really jerk the crap out of it and they just instinctively slam it.  And yeah, I'd try to stay away from shore, although one of my favorite things is sight fishing for really active smallies and watching them take the bait  ;D

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Sounds like a great spot. Try a variety of lures fished parallel to the bank, but along the drop (in deeper water). My #1 suggestion would be a Fat Ika.

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I would try different lures if they are just looking at the lure and not taking it.  You can also give it a twitch when the fish are looking it.  That might be enough to entice them to take it.  They also might not be taking it because a lot of other anglers are throwing the same thing.  They learned not to take that certain lure.  They also might not be hungry and are just chilling there, so you would have to use a lure to get a reaction bit then.  Lets see what others say.  I would try a white spinnerbait (willow blade), a sliver spoon, or you might want to try using a lipsless crankbait (lime green with bb's for the rattle is my fav.).  I would reel it in and plause for a moment.  You could also try using a brown worm on a jig.  That might give them something different if they are use to the craw.

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Good suggestions. When the fish drop into deeper water I would also try a 4 inch worm on a drop shot rig.

For when they are shallow I also have success on a soft stickbait like a senko. Throw it well out in front of the fish and deadstick it.

Small pops off the bottom can often trigger one to run over to it and inhale it.

One of the lakes I fish has many areas like you describe and I have had success with the above things.

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i was trying some small crawdads i found but they looked at them and didn't bite i was using bobber and hook, so the crawdad was suspended in the water, should i just use a weight and leave it on the bottom?

usually people at this spot fish for lake trout and salmon, sometimes muskie, in the spring they fish for smallies.

what is a reaction bite?

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what is a reaction bite?

Bass are territorial. When a lure invades their space, they may strike.

Bass are oportunistic. If a bait passes near them, sometimes they strike.

They do not have to be feeding or on a bite, but sometimes they just attack anything that is in their vicinity.

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i was trying some small crawdads i found but they looked at them and didn't bite i was using bobber and hook, so the crawdad was suspended in the water, should i just use a weight and leave it on the bottom?

usually people at this spot fish for lake trout and salmon, sometimes muskie, in the spring they fish for smallies.

what is a reaction bite?

Smallies like to feed and dig in the bottoms of the gravel/sand. I would weight that crawdad and drag it along the bottom.

I do this with worms and what not in the rapids. Just letting the current drag it. They kill em that way.

Throw some split shot up about 12-18" and hang on.

Don't be afraid to rig a nightcrawler (not balled up) this same way and let it just lay on the bottom with the split shot. This too works well in the current.

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Anytime I can see the fish clearly and it is clear that they can (and do) see me, I rarely have much luck.  This may be a defeatist attitude but it's just my observation.  The only suggestions I have are to creep in slowly and quietly, change the angle or distance in which you position yourself from the fish and go with smaller, natural, or more realistic baits.  You can't get much more natural than a real crawdad but maybe the bass want a baitfish.  Who knows!

If the fish are only present only at certain times of the day, and you can't get them to bite, it's possible they they go there simply to rest.  There may be a nearby location in which they do their active feeding at other times.  You may try to seek that out.

Rots 'o ruck to ya!

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Stay out from the shore or that 10' drop. You know what time the smallies are there....no need to go get another look-see, right? Make longer casts to your target area and sit as opposed to standing in your boat. Less chance they'll see you. I agree with rw - Ikas will do the trick! When they move deep, follow them & go with a drop shot. Use your sonar to find out why they are moving. It's NOT because of the time of day; more likely the movement of their food source.

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Hi,

I assume you are in Octobor..since that is your time stamp. Seems to me that the fish you are seeing are sun bathing during the warmest periods of the day.  They will do that. AND not eat. I bet they are eating early morning and later in the day, when you don't see them. (They are feeding in low light periods, and sun bathing all day)

If I were you. I would try using a ball of worms.  Not one, two or three balled up on a light wire hook. Throw that ball of worms in their bathing zone. Don't lay your pole on the bank, it will be dragged out by one of your targets.

Before I do this, however, I would try a few different color wacky worms first.  I can almost always get them to take that twitching worm. I would start with a worm that almost disappears when it hits the water. Natural transparent colors may get the bite.

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Stay back far from it and cast past it with a finesse jig.  If it's heavily fished the main thing is to make sure they don't see you and that your presentation is convincing

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the best thing you can do is go for that reaction strike.  Try a cotton cordell super spot, a lucky craft jerkbait in natural colors (preferably shiny), and if they're breaking surface try a small sammie or small chug bug.  Smallmouth can be very picky in a school thats why you need to catch them off guard with something moving fast right past their faces

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Seems to me that the fish you are seeing are sun bathing during the warmest periods of the day. They will do that. AND not eat.

Lol, so that's why some are darker than others - they spend more time sunbathing 8-)

Personally, I've never seen a smallie that wouldn't at least acknowledge my bait or follow it for a bit.  I'm sure you can get them to eat if you use the right presentation.

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More on reaction baits---smallies like spinnerbaits reeled really fast just under the surface--try chartreuse or white  double willowleaf 3/8 or 1/4

If the spinnerbait rolls ,switch blades to a smaller one and/or shorten the blade wire 1/2 inch

Also try working a rapala slashbait really hard---1-3 hard fast twitches with only a 1 second pause.  Rip it with 10lb floro., then point your rod toward the lure each time--this allows the slack in your line to swing the jerkbait right and left almost 180 degees

I hope I desribed this in enough detail so you get the picture.

I use a med. 7' St. Croix and if you are not tired after a couple minutes, you are doing it fast enough.

I learned these from a KVD seminar in Boston and on Bass Pros.

He also suggested sharpening the lip for more erratic action but I've never tried it.  The best conditions for this is cloudy and breezy.

The color I use is dark blue on top and yellow and orange on the bottom 3.25".  it tracks 1-3' deep with this technique.

Also try taking someone from this forum in your area to help figure out the bass.  Put their money where there mouth is.

Good luck

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fishizzle - about burning a spinnerbait.  You ever try the Strike King rocket shad?  It's like a mini spinnerbait with a single colorado blade, but a very short arm and a large heavy head.  It's the best spinnerbait I've found if you really want to burn it, there's no spinnerbait out there (that I've found) that you can reel faster without it shooting out of the water.  You can cast the thing a mile too.

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