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alyswim

What's A Good Spring Time Rig For Smallies In Nh Waters?

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Got our first Bass boat last year and hoping to do better in tourneys this year. Wondering if anyone has experience fishing the clear rock covered bottom that is all ovee the place in NH? Learning how to use the carolina rig but I have been having a hard time telling the difference between the rocky bottom and actual bites? Any tips would be useful...

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Tubes will work well

Haven't fished those too much. Tips on rigging?

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For the c-rig, Mojo Rockhopper sinkers work wonders. "Was that a bite?"-- That just takes some experience. SWEEP the rod on the hookset.

Other baits for your waters: Fat Ikas, Flukes, Shaky Heads with a Craw and Senkos are a good start.

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Thank u! Will keep that in mind.

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Haven't fished those too much. Tips on rigging?

You can rig them multiple ways. T-rig, C-rig, Drop Shot, Nose Hooked, etc. The way I fish them (and most others) the most is to take a tube jig head and insert it through the hole in the back of the bait and push it up to the front and poke the eye of the hook out. I just drag and hop it on the bottom. They work year round for big smallies. My top three baits for smallies would be a Jerkbait, Tube, and Senko.

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Awesome. I'm gonna give em a shot! Thanks

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On the main small lake I fish I rarely catch SM(dont target them) only like 3 last year but I caught 2 in one day using a ragetail baby craw on a 2/0 hook with splitshot. That sort-of tells me they like that bait.

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Depends on the lake, but I've had EXCELLENT results using jointed wakebaits and mid depth crankbaits. Focus on key main lake points.

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Thanks! Appreciate all the ideas.

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Alyssa George... I fish Waukewan & Winni all summer and I will be happy to share my thoughts but first>>> I'm gonna go out on a limb here and hope no one takes it wrong. I fished /guided and owned Virginia Outdoorsman on Smith Mtn Lake. When I got to NH I felt lost because everything I learned in VA was hardly used up here...just plain different. The majority of what I see here (club members) is Senko's. So what did I start throwing...Senkos...Rigged Texas and wacky mostly because that’s what I saw everyone using. I think that’s a bad habit that I bought into and I just did not give myself enough time to take what I learned and apply it. Instead I jumped on the same boat. Don't get me wrong "they" throw other stuff but by far it’s Senkos.

I switched towards the end of the year and started throwing twin tails and tubes. The twin tails (smoke with Blk Pepper) on a 2/0 hook on Winne worked well for smallies...Nice results. Green pumpkin tubes also did well, I know that's still plastic but I was hesitant to switch away from the Senkos. This year I'm getting back to more of what I learned in VA I just need to tweak the colors and the presentation. For me getting stuck on mostly one bait was a mistake...Too comfortable is not good. Sure there are “go to” baits when nothing else seems to be working, there always will be; but in my opinion don’t be so quick to follow. This year because I never threw jigs I’m focusing my efforts on them. I’m reading and getting great info of this site…can’t say enough about this forum.

So if you see my new Lund Predator (white) with a 115 Merc on the back on Winnie or Waukewan come say hello! I’ll have a jig on the fluorocarbon. I'll try and get a pic on my profile... but for some reason it won't load up.

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Having never been on the lake your asking about, but fishing plenty of other smallmouth waters.........I have not been to a body of water yet where a 3" or 4" green pumpkin, or watermelon colored plastic bait of just about any style ( worm, senko, tube, fluke, craw) on a drop shot has not worked.

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Usually fish the soft plastics. Did well last May with the x-rap. Can't wait to get out this year and get more experience w different rigs!

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I'd say a 3/4oz football jig with a Baby Craw.

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We ave a lot of rocky water to fish here. One very good bait is the simple ball head jig with a twister tail. Slowey swim it over the rocks occasionally bouncing of the rocks. They come in every color imaginable, even mixed colors. You will just have to figure which colors work best on your lake.

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...jigs, tubes and goby-style lures work great. For finesse, nothing beats a dropshot for me. Tie on a Owner Shaky Worm or a Roboworm and work it slow.

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With all of this advice I am gonna hv to make a big trip to bps for some new baits!

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For the c-rig, Mojo Rockhopper sinkers work wonders. "Was that a bite?"-- That just takes some experience. SWEEP the rod on the hookset.

Other baits for your waters: Fat Ikas, Flukes, Shaky Heads with a Craw and Senkos are a good start.

Been looking at shakeyheads... Recommend one in particular?

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Not sure about the regs in NH, but are you talking about ice-out, pre-spawn, spawn or summer periods to fish? If you are trying cold water, I'd highly recommend a hard jerkbait. i.e.: X-Rap, Pointer, etc.. They work exceptionally well on smallies when the water temps are just below to just above 50 degrees.

After the spawn, the smallies will start to migrate deeper and you will have to search for them with a tube jig or Senko. Once the water really starts to warm up, they will move to their off-shore structures; humps, deep points, channel drop-offs, etc.. Then it's just a matter of searching water between 20' - 45' until you find such structure with bait fish on it. You don't have to look for fish!

During this summer period, you'd have to go a long way to find anything better than a drop shot rig. JMO!

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Cool thanks! We will be fishing ice out to ice in hopefully. Last yr got out late and I was in a kayak until about July. Got out and did fairly well with the Carolina while the fwisb were out deep. Unfortunately lost my finesse in Nov and didn't do so hot once the water started to cool down...

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