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Getting Started with Smallmouth Bass

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    Getting Started with Smallmouth Bass

    Click image for larger version  Name:	III.J.jpg Views:	1 Size:	203.6 KB ID:	1118484

    Type of Water:
    I-80 lakes, Merritt Reservoir, Missouri River, Lake McConaughy, Tri-County canal.

    Rocky areas preferred; also flooded trees, brush piles and weedbeds.

    (From Hooligan) Spinning rod/reel of medium light action. (from Harold) Spinning or baitcasting rod/reel, 6.5' (or longer) Med Light action rod.

    (From Hooligan) 6 lb mono. (from Harold) 6-8 lb. "thin" mono.

    Terminal Rig (hook, weight, swivel, bobber):
    (From Hooligan) Different rigs for different baits. A simple size-4 hook with a couple splitshot and a night crawler threaded on can be the best rig to use for finiky smallies. A slip float with a 3" minnow or leech 18+ inches down is a great rig. Those would be "go-to" baits for those starting out.

    Active = 60-73 degrees; peak feeding = 68 degrees; spawning = 61-65 degrees.

    Food Preference:
    Crayfish, fish, insects

    Best baits:
    (From Hooligan) Typical, easily found live baits such as night crawlers, minnows in the 3" range, and leeches will all work for smallmouth. Crayfish, worms and minnows best baits.

    Artificial alternatives:
    (From Hooligan) Small crankbaits and spinnerbaits are very good options, as are small to medium sized platics. The northland slurpies line has been a phenomenal producer for me on WI rivers over the past several years. On Pueblo Reservoir, I fish medium sized Fat Raps, Minnow raps, and husky jerks as well.

    (from Harold) I prefer a "popping" topwater across a rocky area next to deep water, especially at sunrise/after sunset. Some prefer plastics, like a tube bait. I also have had success with smaller spinnerbaits (usually BLACK) late evenings, or during the day with (Mepps size 0 or 1) in-line spinners.

    (From Hooligan) Free drifting, or slowly bottom crawling on rivers and lakes.

    (from Harold) From the shore, cast beyond the drop at 45 degree angles, steady pop/retrieve back to the shore. With a boat, cast to the shoreline, steady pop/retrieve across the rocky structure, continuing well beyond the drop.

    Time of Day:
    (From Hooligan) It really shouldn't matter; smallies are typically aggressive and will eat at any opportunity.

    (from Harold) Early AM, After sundown, all night!
    Dawn, dusk often best, but can be active anytime.

    (From Hooligan & Harold) Spring through fall ice-up.

    Member Suggestions/Tips:

    From Hooligan:
    Merrit can be a lot of fun, as can some of the I-80 lakes. There are other rivers and lakes within driving distance that are GREAT fisheries. I fish smallmouth in WI more than any other place. It is much akin to fishing for stream trout, and in some situations is the same as fishing stream trout. Learning to read water is very important, as is relocating constantly. Smallmouth are not a fish that you sit and wait, it is active fishing. You are on the move if you want to catch them, plain and simple.

    From Harold:
    The NGPC has released SMB in a few of the Interstate Lakes; I believe some lack the structure necessary for consistent reproduction. The Missouri River offers some EXCELLENT SMB opportunities.
    �I think every happy memory plucks a hair from your head; if you see an old bald guy, he�s probably had a great life.� �-Red Green