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Best Smallmouth lures?


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I was just wondering what soft plastics everyone uses as their go to bait for smallmouth. I know that a lot of you will say tubes, but what are some of your more unique plastics? Do they readily eat a jig and pork combo?

How about spinnerbaits? Do they go nuts for them or do they prefer something like a husky jerk instead? I have probably caught 100 largemouth over 4 lbs. in the last 3 years, but i have never even saw a smallmouth in person! That is gonna change this year though. I have had so much fun fishing largemouth the past couple of years that I haven't had to really think about smallies, but after seeing them everyday on the fishing shows I think it is time that I get with the program.

Will I find them on sand and gravel flats, or am I gonna have to find some structure like rocks, points and humps?

One more thing. How much current is there in the Miss. River say by St Cloud and Little Falls or Annandale? How do you key in on spots on the river? Any help would be great.

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Plastics for smallmouth... I was going to say a 4" tube but since you want to get a little creative, how about a Zoom Baby Brush Hog. A good go-to plastic for me would be anything that can be slowly crawled along the bottom imitating a crayfish. If the fish are going after baitfish, I really like to throw Millennium Lures Bass Candy Fingerlings. They are kinda like a Zoom Super Fluke, only they have an real baitfish image printed on the bait. Really works well. Yes, smallmouth will eat a jig-n-pig, just downsize a little bit.

As for spinnerbaits, smallies really do like them a lot. I like to use the same ones I catch largemouth with. One tip for colors, smallmouth seem to have a thing about chartruse. Chartruse and white spinnerbaits (at times fish with chartruse and white painted blades also) is usually my starting color choice. Husky jerks are also a very good choice, especially in the spring and fall. Just try both and see what the fish tell you they want for that day.

For finding fish, smallies will use sand and gravel flats all year, but spring is usually the best time to find numbers. Otherwise, rocky points, docks, wood cover, rock humps or bars, deep breaklines, bullrush beds, or weedbeds are all good places to find smallmouth.

I have not fished the Miss. River very much, but what I have fished was very good. The current varies quite a bit depending on rainfall and season and navigation is quite trecherous in places even if you have a small boat. Places to look for are just about anything that creates a current break. Islands, pools, riffles, wingdams, cut banks, bridge pilings, log jams are all good places to look. Hope this all helps you out. Good luck, and once you do hook that first smallmouth, you will be hooked yourself!! smile.gif

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Adam Johnson
www.adamjohnsonfishing.com

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River fishing from shore can produce smallies, too. They are a blast, and the few I've gotten were by letting a 4" powerbait crawler (or better yet a real one), hooked in the middle (wacky) drift down-current into the structure, and like BackWater Eddy says - current is structure. I'd put a heavy egg or a 3-way to a bell on the main line, a swivel, a leader, then the wacky (white). I cast the whole mess so that the weight lands in a non-fish area up stream from the fish area (in my case it was a hole with stumps). I pulled taught until I knew the weight was in place, then let slack-line go by hand to 'tumble' the worm at 'em. Smallies suction-feed, like a LM, and I probably missed more hits than I caught, just 'cause I'm new to river fishing and had a numb rod.

This year I'm gonna use rubber craws on a football jig. A simple tip, and something I didn't realize, is to try to fish downstream whenever possible - that's where their food comes from! River fish also seem to feed almost always near the bottom, so don't throw any hardware you're not willing to lose.

I'm no pro, or expert, but I hope I helped.

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<)/////><{
RobertC

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Smallies, what a hoot top water is extremley fun and effective for smallies.

This last year I started catching alot of smallmouth on big jig and pork combos. Most of the the time I would say down sizing is better. I would be fishing largemouth spots where smallies would be mixed in.


For plastics I like throw yamamoto's Ika series grub. Wich is alot like a tube but not hollow.


Good Fishing.

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Another great lure that has not been mentioned is crankbaits. I like to throw Bandit 200 and 400 series cranks in craw patterns. They work great on rocks and in the wood. I have caught smallies on these baits from ***** down to pool fourteen in clinton.

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Wading the streams and rivers of SE MN I have found that chartruese (sp?) twister tails are always good for a bite or two even on really slow days. My bigger smallies have been caught on reaper plastics.

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Lew

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I caught a Smallie on a shinner with a tip up hard water fishin about a month ago here in Ma. and that was the first one ever for me. It was only 12 inches but gave a nice fight! No more ice around here now except what's in my drink when I get home. Bass will hit anything if their hungry enough.
Good luck!

Wishin2BFishin

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The plastic that I had the most success with this past summer were the little drop-shot worms that powerbait makes. I like to use my ultra-light and just cast it out there and work it back like a jerkbait. That isn't my favorite go-to lure though, my favorite is the storm subwart. It is just about perfect for the spots that I fish on the mississippi. It can be worked pretty fast and not get snagged up and the fish really seem to nail it. I haven't really tried spinerbaits to much but when I have they worked ok, the river is a little fast in most spots for me to use them effectivly though. As to the structure that I find them on, early on I have had my best luck with shallow gravel/rocks and then later on in the summer I find them in a little deeper water on the rocks and in wooded cover. If you really want to get some action I would try to get some live crawdads, whenever I get my hands on some they get used up really quick and really nail the smallies. ><>
deadeye

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Hey, you guys with the zara spooks, are you fishing lakes or moving waters? If you're on moving waters, what method do you use?

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Lew

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Lew,

I run the Spooks in both waters. On the rivers, they have worked literally everywhere (breaks, eddies, backwaters, laydowns, etc.). I don't have one spot on the river where it hasn't worked. I caught one screwing around by throwing it upstream in the main current with no breaks in the area, just the strong current....

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God bless,
Judd Yaeger
Yaeger Guides (Twin Cities Guides) www.yaegerweb.com/guide

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With the Spooks I have been on the lakes. I haven't done a lot smallie river fishing lately. A few years back I used Flukes and Super Flukes on the Mississippi River a lot. Also white tandem willow spinnerbaits worked good for me.

Mickey

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THE BEST THING WHERE I FISH IS A RATTLIN' RAPALA, THEY HIT IT HARD TOO. IT WORKS BEST WHEN IT IS REALLY HOT AND MUGGY OUT.

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"You're mad, that wasnt your mayonaisse was it?"

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