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lknbassman

General Smallie Habits?

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I live on an impoundment full of LM and Spotted (KY) bass and have a ball catching them year round.  Our water does not get cold enough to freeze which I really enjoy.  I can catch these fish pretty much when I want to (although not always big ones) but I don't know anything about small mouth bass as they don't swim here.

We have an impoundment with super clear water that's river fed and very mountainous within 2 hours that does have them and I'd like to give it a go to catch my first brown fish but short of jerkbait fishing or topwater, don't know much about where to begin to hunt for them.  So my question is about the general behavior differences between smallies and LM's?

Depth - generally speaking do they prefer the lake floor in general, ie are they used to feeding "down" or looking down for forage?

Are they generally more structure or cover related, or is it a matter of baitfish/forage location with them first?

I've read up on forage types and understand craws to be of great interest ie the great success tube fishing can bring as do shad imitations.  Knowing the forage in the impoundment I'm referring to is both shad and crawfish based with a lot of crawfish, would a bottom bouncing, dragging, hopping approach be better in general?

What about structure?  Points?  Secondary?  Flats?  Not talking about spawning periods, just in general where do they like to hang out?

All real general stuff I know so I apologize if it's too vague but if you can shoot some "start with these" types of ideas my way, I'd be very thankful. 

Thanks guys! :)

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Find the current my friend.  Smallies are definitely current related more than anything else, IMO.  Again in my experience don't bother beating the bush and jungle for smallies, that is the venue of the LM.  Smallies are more structure related, than cover, but again it hass been my experience that it is the current, find a eddie pool, with some good structure, breaks, dips etc and you can fill the boat.  Grubs are my search bait, 4 inch smoke on an 1/8 ounce jig, fish it to imitate a minnow.  Smallies do not eat large shad, their mouth is just not large enough.  When the craws are active tx rig some paca craws or ragetail craws with just enough weight to keep it on the bottom and DRAG it, if there are smallies in the area you will know quickly.  Good luck

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Many thanks! :)

If we find ourselves without current or there is no water being pulled to position the fish, do they scatter and become hard to locate or do they typically exist in the same areas seasonally?  Again, all general I know but it'll help me start putting the puzzle pieces together.  Thanks again!

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What do they do when the current is missing?

Think back (or maybe forward) to Thanksgiving Day at Grandma's house.  Grandma and all the other women folk have just cleared the table, and its not safe to try to sneak into the kitchen for one last bite.  What are you going to do?

You're going to retreat to the living room where you can rest up on the couch and watch the Detroit Lions loss their traditional game, until its time for a late afternoon snack.  It's the same thing the bass are going to do, with the exception that they don't have to suffer through the Lions game.

I would suggest that if you find yourself on the water when they quit pulling water through the turbines to move upstream.  You'll find natural current up in the headwaters, and those bass will most likely stay in the same positions regardless of their feeding mode.  They may not be actively biting, but at least you'll have a definitive target to throw at.

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Focus on structure. Smallmouth will attack the same

lures you use for largemouth. Tubes and grubs

are probably the most popular soft plastics,

but in still water less than 12' deep, the Fat Ika

is my favorite.

8-)

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Focus on structure. Smallmouth will attack the same

lures you use for largemouth. Tubes and grubs

are probably the most popular soft plastics,

but in still water less than 12' deep, the Fat Ika

is my favorite.

8-)

I have really got to try the Ika, have to order it as no retailers in my area carry it. Green pumpkin color I suppose?

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Green Pumpkin, Watermelon with Black Flakes,

Black with Blue Flakes or Black with Red Flakes.

8-)

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I second what's been said here. Fish structure (especially humps if you can find them), but try to find bait relating to that structure. If you do, you're golden.

As far as smallies not taking large baits, I disagree. I've take 3 & 4 pound fish on 7" Senkos and have pulled 5" yellow perch out of the throats of some of the same, prior to releasing them. They will take large baits.

Also, the Fat Ika is my go-to this time of the year too! I've yet to try a 4" white tube, but the late pre-winter season is young yet! :)

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Thanks guys.  I have some Ika's and have not tried them on smallies but will.  I rig them backwards so the skirt is up near the line tie.  I usually fish them weightless in cold clear water, is that the way these brown fish like em or do they like it weighted so it can fall faster and dart around a little more?  Thanks much for the info gents.  :)

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Skirt forward, weightless & weedless.

8-)

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I have really got to try the Ika, have to order it as no retailers in my area carry it. Green pumpkin color I suppose?

If you are anywhere close to Dick's, every one I've ever been to have Ika's.

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