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Hula_Grub

"Early" smallies

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So, I'm lucky enough to be headed to Basswood next week, just outside of Ely. Anyone have any tips for smallies this early?

I have no intention of targeting bedding bass or using live bait. Mostly just looking for ideas on presentation and depths given the spring water temps. Any fishing for bass I've done this early has been in streams, so I'm at a loss as to where to begin.

Thanks!

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Ice just got off the lakes up there, they will be no where near spawning yet. In fact one webcam I've been watching, the ice went out Tuesday night. Think pre-spawn activity, what that entails, I'm not sure. But somebody should chime in and help ya out.

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Erratic jerk baits and twitch baits, pointers, x-raps, shad x-raps, rogues etc. Hits will be on the pause. Experiment with the pause time. I think it's too early for the lipless bite. Tubes and small jigs with chigger craw or rage chucks too.

My thoughts anyway. Thats what worked well for me in the spirit lake area last month when the water temps were in the 40s.

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I'd try to find the warmest water, but I don't have much experience with smallies on a lake other than Mille Lacs. They should be close to the area where they spawn and feeding up. Well in theory:)

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Drag a 3" tube on a 1/16 ounce jig with a good sharp hook. Rattle baits can draw a good reaction bite regardless of water temp. Smaller swimbaits like the 4" shadalicious slow rolled ought to produce as well. And as said by Reid G, suspending jerkbaits should produce well too.

Don't be afraid to look in shallow water up on flats or especially on saddles between points and islands. I caught 22 fish off one saddle in less than 4' of water last year up that way when the water temp was 41 degrees...

Just be thorough in the areas that you choose and you ought to scratch out a few.

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my vote is for the small x-rap - in lindners hardbait video they are on a lake with smallies day or 2 after ice out and he says he has the trick for these smallies and it is an x-rap. I like al and the gang

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They'll be bunched up too (wolf pack, as zona would say). Not spread out yet like you see deeper into the pre-spawn. If you find one, throw out the marker buoy and stay there. There are definitely more down there.

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On the 'sippi it's open all year in some spots, and right when the ice went out up until right now we've been doing really well on normal-size white spinnerbaits, slooooow rolled just above bottom. We also did pretty well on a fluke with a weighted hook, jerkbaits and lipless were dead. We were fishing within about 100 yards of where we know they spawn, in slack water, basically just getting fat and ready to drop eggs. That was dark water though, it should be alot clearer in basswood. I'd start in 8-12fow, on points adajacent to any good-looking spawning grounds. In the river we've been catching 'em in about 2-5 fow, but everything's different on the river.

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I second Reid's comments. I think he pretty much hit the nail on the head. Jerkbaits, jerkbaits, jerkbaits. Tubes and small jigs will work too.

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