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One Trick Pony

Smallmouth in the weeds - how do you catch them?

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This is driving me crazy.  I can see the smallmouth cruising in and among the cabbage weeds in about 6 - 8 feet of water, but I can't catch them.

Tried all kinds of topwaters and burned a spinnerbait over the tops with very minimal success.

How would the experts/pros on this board catch these fish that are so visibly present.  The cabbage weeds are quite lush and vibrant.

Thanks a bunch for your help.

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Crankbait (diving or lipless) ticking the weeds and ripped free when stuck, flukes/stickbaits or drop shot with the hook set just above the weed tops

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Cranks are great, especially if the grass is in or near some fast current. I think I've told this story before but I was standing beside a grass patch with about 6 inches of line in the water and a sexy shad crank on the end of the line. I was looking through my tackle box about to change lures and right out from under me, out of the grass, a smallmouth darts out, grabs the crank and I picked it right up out of the water. Pretty boring fight but I think that shows how well a crank will work in grass haha.

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If you have wind a swimming jig or a spinnerbait is my choice.

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Flip it with a beaver bait, this does a decent job at catching them, depends if they are holding to the bottom or cruising around though.

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I fish a tube jig in Canada in weeds, lilly pads and grass.  When I don't have a hook full of vegitation, I usually have a hook full of smallmouth. 

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As far as baits and techniques go, you have received several excellent suggestions above.

However, you did mention that "you can see them" down in the weeds. That means they can see you. Sight fishing for smb (other than on a spawning bed) is a tough chore most times. If you can make your presentation to these fish without them knowing you're there, you may find them a little more willing strike your bait.

You might consider making the most stealthy approach you can and make your cast from as far away as you can and still be accurate. Sometimes even changing the direction of your approach can help. A lighter line (or even Fluorocarbon) might be the ticket as well.

Good Luck

;)

A-Jay

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One of our best baits so far this summer in shallow weeds has been a weightless swim senko fished basically like a senko. We've also done well on 10" worms, flukes, and flappin hogs.

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I'd try a fluke or skippyfish

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Some stretches of the upper Mississippi have a lot of vegetation, especially this year due to low water early this Spring, and the Smallies on those stretches have been using it extensively.  The vegetation not only provides cover, but is also an excellent food source for the Smallies as it is loaded with minnows which are plainly visible as you float by the vegetation beds.  About the best presentation we've found for these "weedbed" Smallies has been a swimjig fished over, around and sometimes, right through the vegetation.

Maybe river Smallies are different than lake Smallies, but when the water clears up enough to see fish in the water, we cast to and catch a lot of Smallies that we see in the water so I'm not sure I totally agree with the suggestion that if you can see them, they can see you and become hard to catch.  Maybe the current has something to do with it or maybe river Smallies tend to be more aggressive that their lake dwelling siblings...can't explain it, just know it happens.

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If they don't want anything fished horizontally (spinnerbait, swimbait, crankbait, etc.), I'd try a weedless drop shot, green pumpkin finess jig with a green pumkin chigger craw trailer, or a weedless tube. If all else fails, try a T-rigged green pumkin senko with a 1/8 oz. weight to get it down in the grass.

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I would throw a weightless 4" green senko t rigged,  If  that doesnt get them, try the fat ika, rigged skirt up.

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sorry for the ignorance:

how do you t rig?

what is a beaver?

thanks

Tom

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Thanks ,Steve....

had already googled "t rig" and the closest thing I could find was "Trig Palen" ;D.

honest..

I was reluctant to google "beaver".....my grand son was looking over my shoulder.But "sweet beaver lure" certainly helped me understand the post better

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I was reluctant to google "beaver".....my grand son was looking over my shoulder.But "sweet beaver lure" certainly helped me understand the post better

  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

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