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A-Jay

Summer Time SMB are Tough.

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I'll admit it. I catch far more smb in the spring and fall, when fish are generally shallower and more willing to strike, than I ever do in July. . But as the heat of summer drives them deeper I am really challenged to find those above keeper size fish that seemed so abundant just a few short weeks ago.

Reviewing the BR SMB Forum, there seems to be relatively few PB smb being posted in July as well. Fishing pressure, over all lake boating/jet ski pressure and the smb's summer time deep water residence all combine to really complicate catching a bragging size fish.

I don't give up even though it would be easy to do. I apply all the standard "summer time tactics" ie. finesse fishing deep, drop shots, night time trips, early/late day top water, new and full moons, rainy days and even drastic barometric changes. They all produce at times but not consistently and rarely do those tactics provide the size and numbers associated with early and late season trips. Perhaps this is the reason we do not see many TV fishing show hosts doing a Mid-Summer Smallie show.

So I keep at it. I know there down there. And they have to eat some time . . .right ?

I just hope that I'm out there when they do fishing the right bait in the right place.

And ANY above average smb I manage to land now is just that much more special.

I will also admit however, I am looking forward to the fall.

;)

A-Jay

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Amen.

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Nice RW . . . .

Got anything from this century ?

:)

A-Jay

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A-Jay RW is just trying to keep our morale up. Just remember he was trolling for walleye when he got bit.

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A-Jay RW is just trying to keep our morale up. Just remember he was trolling for walleye when he got bit.

Sounds about right - I was getting ready to start a support group but I didn't know what to call it . . .

8-)

A-Jay

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A-Jay RW is just trying to keep our morale up. Just remember he was trolling for walleye when he got bit.

Sounds about right - I was getting ready to start a support group but I didn't know what to call it . . .

8-)

A-Jay

LOL - I hear you. Smallies were great until last night. Then it was a dead zone. :(

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When the water gets low and hot, I get excited. In my part of the Susky it means big fish in chutes and riffles.

I  use topwater for these fish, even at high noon in blazing sun and 90 degree heat, and I mop up.

I forget deep water, those fish aren't active anyway. Shallow fast water is where its at during the dog days of summer.

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When the water gets low and hot, I get excited. In my part of the Susky it means big fish in chutes and riffles.

I use topwater for these fish, even at high noon in blazing sun and 90 degree heat, and I mop up.

I forget deep water, those fish aren't active anyway. Shallow fast water is where its at during the dog days of summer.

Riffles and areas with current are cooler and more oxygenated than still, stagnant areas that might be deeper in rivers. So I agree with you 100%.

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In lakes it seems smallies will be fairly shallow in the mornings and evenings this time of year and will be holding deeper near structure during the time when the sun is high and bright. I have best luck with hula grubs in bigger sizes on 1/4 to 1/2 ounce jigheads near these structures.

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When the water gets low and hot, I get excited. In my part of the Susky it means big fish in chutes and riffles.

I use topwater for these fish, even at high noon in blazing sun and 90 degree heat, and I mop up.

I forget deep water, those fish aren't active anyway. Shallow fast water is where its at during the dog days of summer.

Agreed. You have to find fast moving water if you want to find smallies in the shallows. I've pulled some of my biggest smallies out in the middle of summer. I don't know of any lakes in my area that hold smallies so I can't help you there :( Find yourself a stream or river :P

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I agree that summertime smallies are harder to catch, but I find that it is also the time where they are the most predictable. If you happen to know of a spot where they are active at dusk and dawn, they don't typically wander too far during mid-day (in natural lakes anyway).

I find the key is to comb through obvious areas such as saddles, main lakes points and shoals using fast-moving baits and winding down to slower presentations, if need be. Sometimes they are a lot more active than you think so starting off with something slow might not yield the results that you could possibly get using faster presentations.

Keep at it and try to think outside the box when all else fails...you may be surprised by the outcome  ;)

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How deep are you fishing? 25'? 40'? Big SM's go deep in summer - no ifs, ands, or buts about that. Find ledges, drop offs and humps directly adjacent to deep water. The search those structures for BAIT. Forget about looking for bass. Find bait first then probe that particular section of structure.

Do not give up on the drop shot. And try taking along your X-heavy bass stick, with an 8" ROF-16 Huddleston in rainbow trout pattern. ;)

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How deep are you fishing? 25'? 40'? Big SM's go deep in summer - no ifs, ands, or buts about that. Find ledges, drop offs and humps directly adjacent to deep water. The search those structures for BAIT. Forget about looking for bass. Find bait first then probe that particular section of structure.

Do not give up on the drop shot. And try taking along your X-heavy bass stick, with an 8" ROF-16 Huddleston in rainbow trout pattern. ;)

Crestliner, are you talking about lakes or rivers? Just curious.

If you came to my river right now, I could completley flip that theory on it's head: Big girls in shallow riffles and chutes all day long, as well as shallow flats early and late.

Now, my river is much warmer and lower than average right now, which is something to consider. Dissolved oxygen is a hot commodity during these conditions, and the big smallmouth flock to locations where DO and food are abundant. Deep holes tend to be slow and stagnant deserts this time of year on my river while riffles tend to be slampig-filled oasises.

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Both the OP and Crest are talking about lakes.

As for what Crest says, I concur.  Pattern plays out on big lakes and small ones.

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Both the OP and Crest are talking about lakes.

As for what Crest says, I concur. Pattern plays out on big lakes and small ones.

Gotcha. If remember correctly, the OP fishes the Susquehanna R. but wasn't sure if he was talking about the river or lakes in this thread.

In that case, I too concur. Go deep and don't look back! :)

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Going deep isn't always the answer though. The lake I'm on is almost 200ft deep and drops sharply from the shoreline. The surface temp was 82 yesterday with little wind.

That being said, I caught all of my fish in less than 5 FOW on cranks, senkos and jigs. Logically, with the sun being as strong as it's been, you'd think it would drive the bass deep but they are out there in the shallows in mid-day ready to annihilate anything presented properly.

The jet skis are another aspect. You'd also think it would drive them deep and be somewhat timid...but it's the opposite. Anytime one goes by and creates waves, the bass go nuts as it churns the water and frees up easy meals.

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July and August I generally don't bass fish much and concentrate on muskie. Though, when muskie fishing, I always carry a bass rod rigged up with a senko to cast at that cruising smallmouth I sometime encounter (I've caught some nice shallow water smallmouths this way during the summer months)

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How deep are you fishing? 25'? 40'? Big SM's go deep in summer - no ifs, ands, or buts about that. Find ledges, drop offs and humps directly adjacent to deep water. The search those structures for BAIT. Forget about looking for bass. Find bait first then probe that particular section of structure.

Do not give up on the drop shot. And try taking along your X-heavy bass stick, with an 8" ROF-16 Huddleston in rainbow trout pattern. ;)

Crestliner, are you talking about lakes or rivers? Just curious.

If you came to my river right now, I could completley flip that theory on it's head: Big girls in shallow riffles and chutes all day long, as well as shallow flats early and late.

Now, my river is much warmer and lower than average right now, which is something to consider. Dissolved oxygen is a hot commodity during these conditions, and the big smallmouth flock to locations where DO and food are abundant. Deep holes tend to be slow and stagnant deserts this time of year on my river while riffles tend to be slampig-filled oasises.

I had assumed he was asking about lakes. And that's what my advice was predicated on. Rivers are a whole 'nuther ball of wax!

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SuskyDude,

I fish the susquehanna river near sunbury on a regular basis and was wondering what types of lures you would suggest using right now in shallow water with some current. The water is so warm and shallow right now and I have seen a good amount of smallies hanging out in shallow areas with some current but I'm not sure what to throw at them.

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