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slabchaser

Smallmouth tactics

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hey everyone im taking a trip to ontario next week and the area has a ton of big pig smallmouth. Ive neve been really consistant with catching them and was just wondering if anyone had any dynamite tactics for smallmouth. live bait seems to work on them and spinnerbaits dont. any input would be great.

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dido on the tubes!! usually go with crayfish color or yellow during the day and black at dusk for a larger sillouette. the smallies almost always hit it on the initial fall. if you can get a jigtube hook with a rattle attatched even better. Its money in the BWCAW!

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Huskey jrks, xraps, medium sized buck tails, and my personal favorite, the brown and orange Bitzy Bug with a 4 inch brown and orange or brown and chartruse tube jig should be in your future.

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I do alot of smallie fishing in Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario. We do really well on spinnerbaits, rapalas, and skitterpops casting the banks. We catch alot of bass in river/current/pools on jigs too, along with slip bobbers and leeches.

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RK    29

Hiya

It depends a little bit on the water clarity. In darker, tannic-stained water, single spin spinnerbaits and crankbaits like Shad Raps, Flicker Shads or small Fat Raps and Bombers can be very good as search lures. Once you find fish, you can go back through an area with a tube to pick off a few more fish. Basically, in darker water, louder horizontal-running baits, then bottom-oriented slower moving presentations.

If the water's clearer, I tend to tone down the intensity a little on horizontal baits. My main search lure in clear water is a 4 or 5 inch twister tail grub on a jighead. We normally think of jigs as a slow moving presentation, but you can cover an amazing amount of water with a swimming grub, plus you can fish it at any depth you need to to cover a spot - just count it down to where you need it to be. Best way to fish them is just cast them out and reel them straight in - don't swim them, hop them, or jig them. Just reel 'em in. Speed can be anywhere from slow crawl to as fast as you can turn the handle - it just depends on the day. Experiment.

Slashbaits or jerkbaits like Husky jerk-baits or X-Raps can be great in almost any color water - snap them a couple times, pause, repeat.

And definitely topwaters in either case. About as fun as it gets. I like poppers like Skitter Pops, Pop-Rs and Yozuri poppers, small walk the dog baits like Zara Spook Jrs or Skitter Walks, and prop baits like a Boy Howdy, Devil's Horse or Tiny Torpedo. Topwaters aren't just for mornings and evenings though. They're worth trying off and on throughout the day.

Have fun - sounds like a great trip!

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

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