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Must have smallie lures


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This last year I have really focused my attention to fishing for smallmouth. Although I've gained a lot of knowledge and confidence in a handful of lures. It's getting time to start thinking about stocking up for this upcoming season. So I thought I would ask those of you who fish for smallies what some of your best lures/baits, colors, sizes, etc are.

For me, I've gained a lot of confidence in plastics: tubes, craws, senkos, etc.

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Don't forget spinnerbaits, buzz baits, jigging spoons, crankbaits (lipped and lip-less) and fly rod tackle. If you fish rivers and lakes for smallies your arsenal will be fairly diverse...I think I hear cash registers firing up at tackle company's every-where...OR you can keep it simple and go with soft plastics like you mentioned.

My personal fav for soft plastics is BIG tubes fished mainly summer and fall followed by thinner profile worm baits year-round (for example, rat-tails, curly tails and the tail on a super doo) then followed by bulkier craws. With the exception of rat-tails, you can go here http://www.catch-n.com/ to pick up a decent selection of soft plastics and the rigging page has some how-to's.

As far as size and colors, again it depends on the fishery and time of year. For example, I use bright colors in the Mississippi in the spring and summer, but as the water clears like it "usually" does in the fall I switch to dark colors. BUT...then again I've caught some decent bass in the shallows on pool 4 on bulky, dark lures in the spring and early summer. Just depends...Nav

Jon Navratil
Navigator Guide Service
Central MN rivers & lakes

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Well I know you like plastics for smallies and spinner baits for pike smile.gif

Stock up on cranks, topwater, jigs, jigs and even more jigs. That should keep ya occupied while @ Bass Pro.

Later BigMike,

Only a couple more months of this cold dump and off to the river.

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EBASS you crack me up smile.gif!!!! LOL...for everyone else out there, ebass is only rippin' on me because on our outing this fall I caught a real nice smallie on a tube and about 3 pike on a spinnerbait!

Thanks for the info guys. As ebass mentioned, I'm headed down to Chi-town this weekend and i'm planning on stopping in for a long afternoon at the bass pro shop in gurnee. I've been reading A LOT about smallmouth fishing over the last 3-4 months and I've got a ton of ideas that I can't wait to test out this season. So that is why I asked for everyones ideas. I have all of the above to stock up on!!! Can't wait.

I also wanted to pass on the good news for those of you who want to stock up on tubes, hair jigs, storm cranks and misc randoms. I stopped in at gander and there is a lot of stock on clearance. Don't buy it all before I go back, I'm going tomorrow! wink.gif

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Big Mike--

i usually begin the season by using jerkbaits, all types, from Rogues to Husky Jerks, to Lucky Craft Jerks, to Floating Rapalas. They all seem to work at some time, but some brands work better some days than others, you just need to have a bunch tied on, including differences in sizes. I have gone down to a 2 1/2 inch bait at times, all the way up to 5 1/2 inches. Color does matter too, so you need a lot of different colors, shad (or a silver), perch, crawdad (or gold), white, and clown are just a few of my favorites. I also throw a scaled down carolina rig in the spring with a 4 inch lizard..this has tricked some huge prespawn females for me. Don't forget the topwater bite. Smallies hit topwaters in pretty cold water. I like the spook style baits with their zig-zag action, it drives them nuts!! Or the skitter pop if they tend to swipe and miss the spook style baits. Pop it and pause it for as long as you can....the smallies are not very patient, so they blast that thing out of the water, no matter how cold it is.
During the spawn, you have to experiment, i have had aggressive fish chase topwaters that were on beds, while others didn't even bother to look at these types of lures. So i move to plastics, worms, flukes, senkos, tubes, lizards or jigs. And it works really well.
In the summer anything and everything will work. It just depends on the type of body of water you fish, and how deep the fish go.
In the fall i use crank baits, rattle-traps, jerkbaits, and tubes as my primary weapons. In the fall, the size of the lures should be bigger because the fish are looking for a big meal. I focus on shad, perch, or crawdad patterns, because this is usually the main forage for them this time of year.
When you look at the smallmouth arsenal, it consists alot of the same lures you fish for largemouths, but just downsized a bit at times, including rods, reels and line. Fish with the lures that you have confidence in, and it is a lot easier, but fishing smallmouth allows you to be more creative than largemouths, at least i think so!!!

good luck--and have fun at BPS in Chicago--i was there 2 weeks ago, it was weel worth the drive!!!


As summer comes you have

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Thanks for the info. I'm headed out tonight for chicago grin.gif i can't wait! I've got a list and ready to come back stocked up. Then again, I may get down there and go hog wild and not know what to do with myself. Just like those circuit city commercials... "let's get in and out"...yeah right!!! LOL

I'll catch you all when I get back!

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I really like gold Rattlin Raps up on LOW as well on other stained bodies of water for smallies.

I caught some of my biggest smallies in the past couple years on float jigs just like the Hook-Ups amd Hook-Downs by Catch-N Tackle. Catch-N Tackle Floaters I like to add two split shot about a foot and a half up the line and tip the float with a leech, then let it drift over the rock humps and points. You have to have a sensitive rod so that you can feel the rocks so that you don't get hung up. A very good presentation for LOW in the fall with a slow troll.

And then you can't go wrong with the plastic crawdads in most situations, and with a few different sizes it makes our job easier. I like the Kick-N Craw's. Kick-N Craws

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

First Choice Guide Service

[email protected]
Catch-N Tackle and Bio Bait
Stone Legacy

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Some of the best smallie action of my life has came on the Mississippi River using fake weedless frogs. Cast the frog up onto shore, then twitch it into the water. Sometimes they'd nail it so fast you'd wonder if it ever hit the water.....

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Catch'n Tackle Kick'N Craws have great action and are dynamite for smallies in the 3" size.

I also have good luck with both the Super-do's and ring'n grubs for smallies.

I had very good luck last year with the Case Magic Stiks and the Lil Stiks as well on smallies and LM...

Also like cranks, in-line spinners, and buzzbaits for smallies..

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