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Mrs. Matstone

Delaware River - A learning experience for me

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Yesterday Matt and I hit the river from about 10:00 to 2:00. Air temps were in the 60's and the water temps were about the same (I think). It was raining pretty good for quite a while in the morning but finally cleared up around noon. It made for some very tough fishing.

We tried numerous things and were concentrating on the drop-offs. They ranged from 8 to 20 feet. Very sharp drop-offs. We threw everything had a few misses all day long. Fish were just really not committed. I had one on, it was a smallmouth I think, I got it all the way to the surface and it came unbuttoned. This one was on a magic stik.

Fish were so fussy I downsized my baits to something more like a finesse approach. This did not work either. Finally at the end of the day I noticed that I could see some fish near the top of the drop-off swimming back and forth. So what I decided to do is to toss a few different things out to see how they were reacting to them.  I noticed that they would check it out and a few would follow but they just would not bite. I decided to try a completely different approach. I thought I needed something of substantial size a real " I will not be ignored" bait, as I call it. But something that would move slow. What I decided on using was a Case snake. This larger bait is not something that I would usually use for smallmouth but I figured that it had a larger size to it and if I rigged it on an 1/8 ounce jig head the head would sink to the bottom and the rest would be left "flapping in the breeze" so to speak.

Well to my great surprise it worked first cast out. BAM! I had one it was a nice smallie and boy did it put up a fight. It was  great to see that my idea  paid off an so quickly at that. Well I sent that fish back and casted out again. Once again I was rewarded. This one was really fighting. It turned out this fish was a female and she was pretty fat. I was very happy now but quickly sent her back. Both fish were caught on the drop-offs. It was very cool, but also time for us to go and pick up the kids. Wish that I had tried this earlier when I had more time. Perhaps next time when the fish are not biting so well I will use this approach again.

I was so surprised to catch smallmouth on such a large bait. I normally would not ever chose something like that for smallmouth. I usually use the small 3 or 4 inch magic stiks or helgrammite's or something along those lines. I will have to remember in the future to think outside the box or at least my comfort zone. Sometimes it just works.    ;D

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Wow thats awsome. Were the fish in the current? I live in Phillipsburg NJ next to Easton PA I have alot of freins up there in the Pocanos. Were were you in Lehighton fishing the river too. So this snake I never seen it. What size did you use? Could you post a link so I can check them out. I fish the river alot and havn't got even a bite. I am really focused rite now on soft baits like the senkos. RW has told me about the GY Grubs for smallies and I am about to order soon. I fish from shore and wad b/c I don't have a boat yet. It nice to hear someone catch smallies in the Del. River

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WOW!

Great story.

I have had some luck with the Pointer 128, which is a big lure, too. As a suggestion, the 3/4 oz Ledgedbuster Single Willow Blade spinnerbait might be the ticket for the ledges you were fishing. If you get a bite, it won't be subtle and the fish won't be small!

The Ledgebuster can be slow rolled or hopped, but the "secret" technique is letting it sink to the bottom on slack line. You then raise your rod from water level to 11 or 12 o'clock and again, let the lure fall on slack line. You might get surprised.

8-)

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The snakes are 10 inches. Like I said, not something that would usually even think about using for smallies. The color that I used was green pumpkin pearl. I think. Can't exactly remember what the color is.  :-[ .

I have had good luck with these baits for largemouth though. Dragging them through the lilly pads.

We fished the Jersey side. I do not remember the name of the launch that we went out of but I will ask my hubby tonight for you. It is on the road with the 3 minute light, If your familiar with that place.  :)

The fish were not really out in the currant it was much slower water off the main channel. There are also alot of carp and muskie that I have seen in this area as well.  I usually use senko's but much smaller ones Magic stiks in 3 or 4 inches, in green pumpkin gold. I have found this to be a great color for the Deleware river. *** Trik sticks are also awesome for smallies. I tried these for the first time  a few weeks ago at the river. I went on a guide trip and we caught 117 fish. Mostly smallmouth and caught almost all of them on the *** ***. His prices are awesome too.

I usually rig my senko's on an 1/8 ounce jig head. I found this weight to be a great weight for the river. The only time I change that and up the size of the jig is if the water is very high.

Good luck to you next time. Perhaps I will pass you on the river someday!  ;D

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WOW!

Great story.

I have had some luck with the Pointer 128, which is a big lure, too. As a suggestion, the 3/4 oz Ledgedbuster Single Willow Blade spinnerbait might be the ticket for the ledges you were fishing. If you get a bite, it won't be subtle and the fish won't be small!

The Ledgebuster can be slow rolled or hopped, but the "secret" technique is letting it sink to the bottom on slack line. You then raise your rod from water level to 11 or 12 o'clock and again, let the lure fall on slack line. You might get surprised.

8-)

Thanks for the tip. I will try it. The bite has been real picky at the river. I am not sure what is up with the fish.  My husband says the smallmouth are going through alot of transition right now so it could be it. I am not used to fishing such deep water. The other place that I have recently found is deeper yet around 30 plus feet. I am really kind of lost when fishing water this deep but I do enjoy learning and trying new things. It does get frustrating the lack of catching when fishing sometimes. After 2 days of catching nothing I am almost ready to throw in the towel.  ;D ;D I must be a glutton for punishment though because I keep going back for more.  :-[ ;D

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If you just buy one, chartreuse & white. If you buy another, pearl white. The third color combination I have had some luck with is "firetiger".

8-)

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Hey RW do you guy's use the Jitter Bugs? What color works for River Smallies?

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