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Limited Budget River Smallmouth Lures

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since im most likely getting a kayak soon, my fishing budget is down. what is the top five must haves for river smallies.

thanks, Wapsi smallmouth

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As a general rule, a couple floating minnow baits and some inline spinners are all I have ever needed for summertime river smallies. What is the river like you are fishing?

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As a general rule, a couple floating minnow baits and some inline spinners are all I have ever needed for summertime river smallies. What is the river like you are fishing?

its the wapsipinicon river. average depth is 5 feet, but its very low and its expected to continue to be low for awile unless some big storm comes.

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Here's my top 5

fat albert grub

Mizmo 3.5" tubes

Black ***(stickbait)

1/4 oz siebert's jig rigged with a small craw trailer of choice

#4 inline spinner

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3" Curly tail grubs in a brown or green color of your choice with 1/16 to 1/4 oz jig head

Tube jigs of a similar or slightly larger size, same jig heads

Roostertail inline spinners in 1/8 oz ( I like the "grasshopper" color)

Baby Rage craws (you can use the jigheads above)

Maybe a small Spook

That should get you covered and be well under $30 for everything.

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Grubs

Tubes

Senkos

Spinners

Baby Rage Craws

Heddon Tiny Torpedo

Rapala X-Rap

Hair Jigs

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3" curly tailed grubs on a 1/8 oz. plain jig head; white, smoke and chartreuse. You're good to go.

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River smallmouths are not that finicky, and the guys have given you great options... small plastics, inline spinners, jerk baits... etc. Just pick what you can afford, and go catch some. :D

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I have been fishing a small river for smallies for about 20 years. If you gave me one bait to use, id pick a grub, hands down. Everyone already gave you great smallie baits. A Yum Crawbug and baby Rage craw are smallie magnets.

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Rage Tail Baby Craw, Shadalicious, Hollow Belly and Keitech Swing Impact Fat.

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Rage Tail Baby Craw, Shadalicious, Hollow Belly and Keitech Swing Impact Fat.

Funny thing roadwarrior, I've tried and tried to catch smallies on the Impact, but all I ever get is pickeral! LOL! They (smallies) crush the larger 5" size Shadalicious baits, but not the Impact - for me anyway. Hands down though, the cheapest, most effective piece of plastic out there is the grub. At least on the large river I fish.

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Agreed, the grub is still #1.

:D

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As a general rule, a couple floating minnow baits and some inline spinners are all I have ever needed for summertime river smallies. What is the river like you are fishing?

throw in some smoke colored grubs and thats every lure i owned till i was about 16 or 17 and i caught plenty of smallies on just those few lures

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From what I've seen of this river in Iowa, get some darker baits. The river appears to be quite dark comjpared to some streams both north and south of you. Reckon it's that Iowa farmland that surrounds it. I'd add some small 1/4 oz. spinnerbaits with at least a #4 blade either willow or Colorado. The trouble with in line spinnners is that they snag so easily whereas the spinnerbait can fish through lots of wood cover. Look for sales on spinnerbaits and other stuff. I really like the Lurenet site because they constantly run some good specials, charge no shipping and very little tax with orders of $35 or more. Walmart also has some cheap spinnerbaits that do catch fish for less than $2.

WIth the grubs, worms, and other soft plastics, go with darker shades as well. Just a rule of thumb---darker the water darker the lure.

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Most economical bait? Crankbaits and hard jerkbaits. Get a plug knocker, too. You can catch a 1,000 bass on one crank.

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I have a couple good smallie rivers near me that i put my yak in or wade and i dont think theres been a time that i havent been able to catch at least a few on a little 3inch tube in pumpkin or one of those rebel craw crankbaits.

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Tubejigs on a budget:

Barrel Jig heads - 18.99 for 100

http://sfttackle.com...08&ParentCat=13

4 inch Mizmo Tubes - 37.99 for 100

http://sfttackle.com...=10&ParentCat=7

Shipping is free for orders over $50

0.57$ a tubejig. You can't go wrong.

They also have Right Bight Baits 3 1/2 inch tubes in 100 packs for 31.99.

http://sfttackle.com...48&ParentCat=32

Now you're talking 0.51$ a tube jig. ;)

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Fishing plastic is expensive...Topwater plugs, buzzbaits, floating jerkbaits, and spinnerbaits seem to last for ever and you hardly ever lose one...Diving cranks and suspending jerks are good choices too...but be prepared to lose one from time to time. Have fun!

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I fish small rivers so i tend to like smaller baits, but here is my $.02

#1: rebel craw

#2: 5" gulp wacky worm cut in half with 1/0 texas rig (double the worm and 2.5 inch will still get them off bottom)

#3: rapala f-5

#4: 2.75" tubes (bass pro sells them cheep as dirt)

#5: 1/8 ounce chrome and red rooster tail

no matter howbad the day, one of these will normally get me something

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If you are talking about the wapsi river in Iowa, I would use a 1/8 oz ball jighead with either a live craw or a yum crawbug. Most local walmarts carry a yum crawbug kit. Another good bait is a senko type bait cut in half and threaded on the same jighead. The In-Fisherman guys call it the "Ned Rig." Also, a #5 gold/black back original floating rapala on 6 lb test is always fun. They will both catch walleyes and catfish too.

Here in Ames, the Skunk River smallies love a #2 mepps spinner with an orange blade. They also like a small white grub on a pink jighead (yes, the pink jighead gets more bites....trust me).

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Rebels crawdad crankbait.Excellent Smallie bait.

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since im most likely getting a kayak soon, my fishing budget is down. what is the top five must haves for river smallies.

thanks, Wapsi smallmouth

Match the color of your local crayfish to a Yum Crawbug, stick a shaky head jig up it's tush, so it is standing up trying to threaten the fish, and your done... Well, the smallies will be anyway. They also like crappie minnows, and if you want sine, or dig under rocks on the rivers edge, hellgrammites will slay them. Case makes a pretty good hellgrammite bait, and Berkely just came out with some as well if you want to use plastics. Others have mentioned some great baits as well.

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Craw-fish colored ball jig heads and craw-fish colored twister tails are my favorite for cast and crank, but if you want a real slap, and tickle try a fly rod. Large dries, streamers, or rabbit fur streamers that look, and act wormy will do you fine. They can't get much cheaper especially if you tie them yourself. By the way don't let these fancy fly rod boys fool you about it being an art. I can cast a fly rod better then most (that includes over hand, side arm, front or back, double haul, parachute, ET AL). I taught myself when I was 12 (about 54 years ago). Anybody that can chew gum, and walk can do a passable job after a couple of hours of practice, and have fun for the rest of your life. Berkley makes a fine inexpensive cherrywood rod, reels are just line holders so you can really go on the cheap there. Line should be the best weight forward you can afford though, but if you can't afford good stuff get some on the cheap, it will work until you can afford better.

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Get some 1/8 and 3/16 ounce ballhead jigheads and some green pumpkin 4 inch single tailed grubs.

Fish them on 8 pound test and a spinning rod.

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Kayak fishing in a shallow river for smallies, I do this a good bit and I can help. The advise you got is very good but if you stick to tubes and grubs you'll likely use your entire budget for jig heads as they will get hung up a lot and with the Kayak you may not be able to get them all. The list of 5 lures you will need in addition to the tubes and grubs, will be as follows:

1. spinnerbait,- a 3/8oz silver or nickel indian blade with a secondary small colorado blade in gold or brass. This will cover clear or dirty water and appeal to all size fish.

2. Floating jerkbait - Smithwick Rogue model ARB 1200 series, these are the shallow divers in 4.5" and 1/3oz. They aren't expensive and river smallies crush these in summer, the only 2 colors you need are tiger minnow or clown, the tiger minnow is olive with dark stripes, looks like walleye or musky fry.

3. topwater popper - Rebel premium pop-r, these are slightly bigger and have better colors than the original and draw strikes.

4. topwater walking bait - Heddon super spook jr. , versatile bait that will appeal to bigger fish mostly but all sizes will hit it.

5. Rattle trap - 1/2oz Bill lewis floating model rattle trap, you can really burn this and when it hits bottom just kill it, normally it doesn't make it back to the surface as a smallie will crush it.

Good luck!

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