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Where are the smallies?


Tim Smith
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I would have hoped for a better photo to kick this off, but this one will do.

 

Here's Phil F on a favorite stretch of smallmouth water. It's mid-afternoon in the early fall with scattered clouds, 1.5 feet of water clarity and water temperatures in the mid 70s. If you were here, where would you fish and where are the smallies holding?

 

There is a small piece of riffle just out of view of the camera just to the right.

 

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i like this! first, lone rock on far bank. woulda rip a spinner thru all that water where he is standing in to the rocks spanning to the right of photo. fan cast tube down far bank. then beginning of ripples.

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Since it is fall and cloudy, I would probably throw a Sammy 100 and quickly canvas the whole area. I would try to get my bait as close to the far bank as possible on each and every cast.

 

 

:)

 

Sammy 100 around the current seems below the first riffle, then across the eddies, banged off the rocks and in the push water above from different angles. The current looks slow enough, the sun overcast enough that there should be plenty of midstream fish. Work my way up parrallel to whatever side is deepest.

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I would start by sending a 3" Watermellon Stick-O on a 1/16oz. Charlie Brewer Sliderhead behind every rock I see in the photo. Then infront of those rocks and then start fishing the riffle areas.

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I would back up from where the camera man is and throw a fluke or other plastic around those rocks. Hit that wood on the left and then concentrate on the right bank, which should be the deeper side. If midriver boulders are present I would try those too. lastly I would hit the head of the pool concentrating on the fastest current and most depth. Basically I would fish it all with plastic and a topwater.

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What is making all those waves at the bottom of the picture? Did Bob Long Jr. fall in? In honor of Bob, I woulld pick the flat water above that big rock in the forground right of center. There even seems to be a bubble line there.

 

The zoom helps take a closer look. The fallen trees on the left are probably "eye candy' since they look to be in shallow water < 1.5 feet deep. The right bank seems to be fairly steep indicating that that is the deep side. So I would check that area next. Since the clarity makes it hard to determine the depth, probing with a sinking lure or walking through the "hole" a la the previously mentionded Jr. would be important. The timber further down on the right bank may be good if there is some depth to the water in front.

 

It is starting to rain too.

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My first cast would be into a tree. That would assure me no fish on the first cast :)

 

I would then start at the top of the water column and work my way down.

 

1) Skitter Prop

2) Terminator

3) Yum crawbug

4) Helggie (when desperation calls for it)

 

Looks like some sweet water. I would work close to me first and then out towards the far bank. I'd even try the timber to the left. Sometimes the inside bend has deep spots too...especially near tree roots.

 

After fishing the area thoroughly I would then walk through it to become familiar with the area for next time.

 

95tocl.jpg

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My first cast would be into a tree. That would assure me no fish on the first cast :)

 

I would then start at the top of the water column and work my way down.

 

1) Skitter Prop

2) Terminator

3) Yum crawbug

4) Helggie (when desperation calls for it)

 

Looks like some sweet water. I would work close to me first and then out towards the far bank. I'd even try the timber to the left. Sometimes the inside bend has deep spots too...especially near tree roots.

 

After fishing the area thoroughly I would then walk through it to become familiar with the area for next time.

 

5) Then I'd give up and use what Steve was throwing.

 

;)

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Terrific answers and in general a terrific intuition about hydrology and fish habitat use. THESE answers are what the ISA stands for. If you can read the water you're always on fish.

 

I'll give Phil a chance to comment on fish location. We caught several here, some in exactly the spots mentioned in the posts, but none were big.

 

If anyone has a similar photo...throw it up there.

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Great thread.

Hope to see more like it.

 

Personally, given the water depth I'd go with a #7 black and silver Floating Rapala.

But as we can see, everyone will gravitate to their confidence bait.

 

Long ago I posted something like "5 minutes and one lure to use", and this really showed not only the differences but similarities in what we do and how we do it.

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Great to see so much interest hope we can do more shots like this. Over all it was a slow day. Most of my fish came on tubes with very light hits. I checked crankbaits and spinnerbaits but could only pick up an occasional fish no real pattern. The water was pretty murky and most of the deeper pools had no current. This makes for scattered fish. Many fish hit on the gravel to sand transition that was in the middle of the river. This is also the deepest water available. I probably was standing where I should have been fishing as usual.

I got out yesterday and hit some areas slated to be dredged just to get a before and after reference. I brought out the 6lb line and some smaller jigs. I'm starting to think a smaller size jig, not necessarily a lighter one is more important. Also combining this with a little more concentration on what my lure is doing will hook more fish. Tim and I probably spent too much time talking but that's not so bad. The light hits I did hook I let them run for quite a while too. Having barbless hooks I don't worry about gut hooking fish. Tim thanks for getting out with such short notice.

Phil

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