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bassNspear

Small Mouth in August

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Planning a trip? haha. If anyone has pointers im all ears, I can't catch smallies for my life.

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Bigger lakes or rivers have been best for me this time of year. You can catch them on deep rocks now, but they seem to be ghost fish this time of year.

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Did well this weekend on a rock point, worked a Mann's baby -1 over the shallow rocks and they just mauled the thing, couldnt get them on tubes even though I tried for a while. That was on the river, we got far more bites on the side of the point that was getting the most wind and current blown into it btw

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Like Cecil said, they can be really tough this time of year... I have always found it best to fish the deep ones or fish out from the boat a ways... Baits I would try would be jerkbaits, topwaters, and spinnerbaits... If those don't work out then crayfish imitators ... smile I think they tend to hangout close to drop offs that go into deep water...

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craigums, when your fishing your Mann's minus ones do you find that you loose fish from time to time on jumps or big head shakes close to the boat? When I set the hook on one I darn near have to put the rod tip into the water to keep them down... Just curious if you have the same thing happening. Great lure though. I find myself throwing them in the place of spinnerbaits.

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Since I don't really target smallies mid-summer, most of the smallies I catch in august are accidental catches while walleye fishing. Deeper sunken islands and points with plenty of baseball-basketball rock seems to hold most of them

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Fever, I did lose one fish next to the boat but I take blame for that, The previous smallie had bent my rear treble into some funky shape and I half heartedly bent it back with the pliers instead of changing the treble that probably played a roll in him getting off. I havent really had to many problems with those cranks, infact they are one of the few I have much confidence in.

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The Cannon River is full of them look for deep pools. Bring your waders.

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I agree Craigums, love the Manns baby -1 and Subwarts. I've had a few vicious strikes on those that almost seemed like topwater hits.

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Craig... no doubt. I have a ton of confidence in the minus one and the storm wiggle wart but if your not focused on keeping your rod tip down and not horsing fish too much, I think those small cranks (just like lipless cranks ) are suseptable to coming unbuttoned. This is more so with small cranks becasue you can't really put bigger hooks on them or they'll tangle up. I know when I loose fish too alot of times I'm rushing... need to slow down a bit. But I'll take the risk of loosing one over not having them bite at all.. hence confidence in the shallow cranks.

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Fever-

What set up are you using to throw the 1 minus on? I use a couple different setups, depending on cover. If I am throwing over rocks I 'll use 10-12 lb flouro and a 7'medium moderate action graphite rod. In the weedy areas I have gone to a 7' light slow glass cranking rod with 15-17 lb flouro. Rarely have a fish come off on either set up. Have you tried to replace the hooks with better than what they come with? I like to use the triple grips in bln or ultra points in bln. They have also improved hooking and holding for me.

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Hiya -

Back to the original question for a second...

Lake smallies late in the summer can really be a challenge on some lakes. It's also, partly because it's tough, one of my favorite times to fish for them. Pretty satisfying when you get on them. Caveat emptor for this post - my lakes may be different from your lakes...

A couple general thoughts:

- Smallies this time of year can really be a here today, gone tomorrow deal. Sometimes it's a here now, gone 10 minutes from now deal. You have to really be willing to try a lot of things and keep an open mind.

- At least on the lakes I fish, you really have to be willing to think beyond 'classic' rocks/crayfish/smallies patterns a lot of the time. Lots of smallies are fish eaters a lot of the time, especially when YOY forage fish are abundant.

Specific things to think about:

- Be aware of how often smallies suspend at times. REALLY pays to watch your electronics and at least check for suspended fish. They don't seem to really go out to sea like muskies can - they're usually within a couple hundred yards of structure - but they do get out away from stuff. I catch a lot of August smallies 5-15 feet down over and around humps that top out anywhere from 20 to 35 feet down. They may be tight to the top of deep humps one day then rise up and spread out around it the next day. If you've located fish on a deep hump or something, come back to them and can't contact any fish, start looking for suspended fish...

- Try to determine if they're looking up or down. Smallies are funny. Whether they're looking up feeding on fish or down on crayfish or bottom dwelling fish really changes how you fish for them. If they're looking down, it can be really hard to get them to come 2 feet off the bottom for a bait. If they're looking up, they'll come up 10-12 feet. But if they're looking up, they won't go down to the bottom for something much at all. The one exception is sometimes they'll go after a noisy Carolina rig....sometimes.

- Along with the above, see if you can determine if they're eating fish or crayfish. If they're fish eaters, I use a lot more horizontal presentations vs vertical, on the bottom stuff like tubes. I don't necessarily mean crankbaits or spinnerbaits but horizontal presentations for soft plastics - swimming grubs or jigworms for example. A 4-6" jigworm in transluctent colors like clear/black flake, smoke, etc. is an awesome minnow immitator. On some lakes they way outfish grubs.

- Look a lot deeper than you're used to looking. 20-25 feet isn't unusual on clear lakes. Look at the base of points, on deep flats, on top and along the edges of deep humps. Deep flats are really overlooked sometimes I think. Fish scatter across them and you just have to cover water. I fish a football head or Carolina rig/floating tube, and fish them pretty fast. Cast as far as you can and scoot it back on the bottom. Or, a 5" grub on a 3/8 oz ball head. I fish them with a 7'6" ML spinning rod, a big spinning reel (Diawa SS 1600) and 6# mono. You can cast a LONG ways with that combo...

- Resist the temptation to slow down unless you have fish pegged and can drop shot for them or something. Cover water...

Hope this helps. Lake smallies can be a challenge sometimes but they're fun. Pretty satisfying when you figure them out too.

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

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Thats the key, is to figure them out on the lakes, its hard to know where there at when they move around so much. Awesome info, thanks for the help

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dont fish smallmouth much but were going on vacation for a week that has smallies on it so i may have to give your guys tips a try and see if i can catch a few. im going on lake miltona so if anyone has any suggestions for that lake im all ears. Not looking for a hot spot but maybe some lure choices or depths to look for.

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I spent the last 4 days up at the lake in the park rapids area. Spent some time lindy rigging for eyes and caught a number of smallies. they seemed to be hanging on the bottom in that 15-25 FOW. I worked some of those areas where the weed patches were just scattered clumps on a sandy/gravel type bottom throwing a storm wiggle wart in shallow and retrieving, that lure runs to 13'. i picked a number of nice ones that were holding tight to the weed clumps. they's shoot out into the open and hammer it! I didnt top the Personal Best, but had a few in the 19" range. A few pig largemouth mixed in there also, it was a BLAST.

Now if i could only find those fish in mid-june when i fish a tourney up there!

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I always float medium sized rivers in my canoe this time of year. Last weekend I floated a nameless river in St. Louis county and caught around 80 smallies in a 10 mile stretch over the course of a day. I was having pretty good success on a perch colored stick rap, but then really started banging them on a Heddons tiny torpedo with an orange belly. I also caught a 37" Northern on the torpedo. It was the biggest Northern I've ever had hit a topwater. Most were targeted near rock piles at the headwater of the faster water. The fish really seemed to respond best when I sat the torpedo on it's tail and really rooster tailed it through the water.

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Made a quick decision today to head up this weekend to Spicer for some smallie action on Green, Nest, Koronis. Anyone been on Green specifically, recently?

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There are plenty of smallies to be caught on Green. It's just not as easy as it has been in years past. In fact, largemouth have been the key to winning most of the recent tournies out there.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • See details and join the conversation at the link below.    http://fishingminnesota.com/forums/topic/210112-st-cloud-area-get-together-22418/    
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D8B7xbrAGw   Ice fishing in Wisconsin can be a challenge at times. Catching walleyes is not always an easy task either. We had some crazy weather leading up to this weekend, it was -20 degrees for a solid week and a half, followed by 2-3 days of mid 30s and pushing 40 plus some rain, then we went right back down to -20 degrees. This made for a challenge fishing tip ups this morning. I’ve got some new hole covers for my Finicky Foolers, which do work great as I’ve used them before, but unfortunately with no snow cover I made the mistake of not setting them right away and forming slush to the cover. Lesson learned. I did get a bit lucky catching that walleye as I thought it would have dropped the minnow with the line being froze. The first fish I caught was definitely a surprise, a species I have never caught through the ice before, although I have heard they are fairly common to catch out on this lake. Still was hoping it was a giant walleye, but fun nonetheless! With the cold we weren’t really planning on moving much. We would mark fish every 10 minutes or so but many of them were tight lipped. We did manage a couple more fish jigging, which were some good sized crappie and perch! Overall I did end up accomplishing the goal of catching a slot walleye out here, so can’t complain. I will be out on Petenwell Lake more times this winter!
    • Drilled the holes first then set the sleeves down seemed to work a lot better...just have to make sure you mark your holes lol
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    • I believe I picked that one up at Red Rock Wilderness Store.  It’s located east of Ely on the Fernberg.   Good thing is he does have an on line store too. 
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    • The Marcus Willimans that plays for the saints is not from Minnesota. The Marcus Williams that you are referring to plays for Houston.     Going to be 52 degrees there????? 
    • Did you ask @Wanderer since it was a picture you took from his post?    
    • Good job Ryan and dad!  Great photo too!  
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