You can usually see the cover and structure unless the water is high due to rain. Oklahoman Edwin Evers shocked the bass community in 2015 when he won a midsummer Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on New York’s St. Lawrence River by catching hefty smallmouth bass as shallow as 2 feet deep. Your email address will not be published. The bars below islands and the washout at tributaries are always changing. Smallmouth in shallow water are notoriously finicky and will more strictly relate to structure and bottom composition changes than smallmouth found in lakes. Small Tubes For River Smalllmouth Bass Christopher Smith Jun 7, 2012 1. It could be a single bass nabbing a shiner or a school of three-pounders waiting to do battle. Smallmouth will be waiting. An ideal position is in a current break (slack water) immediately alongside the swift current. These fish actually like to be at the edge of the current, unlike largemouth. In some extreme cases I’ve seen them even crowd up on the only shadow in the river for a hundred feet. As water temperatures drop in fall, smallmouth return to the shallows from deeper summertime haunts to feed on baitfish. Extremely shallow sections The fishing can be fantastic on this medium sized river, with plenty of wade fishing opportunities available. Early spring finds bronzebacks awakening from months of relative inactivity. Moving lures, especially spinnerbaits, are a great way to catch them. River smallmouth in the fall will move to the shallow gravel banks to feed on minnows in the early morning so Smith will tempt these fish with spinnerbaits, Jewel Bait Company Gem Blades 2.0 rigged with swimbaits, Flukes and topwater lures. The shallow water makes finding them easier also. Take your time and work all the cover and structure from all angles. Many times the reason you are not catching anything is because the bass have gone deep. Either way, though, I’m talking about fishing shallow shorelines and the backs of creeks — classic fall locations. Also be on the watch for fish swirling. These will be below dams on most rivers and offer several hundred yards of good smallmouth waters. In flowing water, summertime river smallmouth pull out all the stops. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Some times the little changes in direction or cadence will make them strike. Shallow river smallmouth fishing The equation for smallie success in shallow rivers like the Quinebaug in summer is to ignore the stretches that lack the cover these fish crave quickly, allowing you to spend much more time in areas that hold boulders and pools. River smallmouth often seem to be everywhere, but you’ll draw more strikes and bigger fish by concentrating on certain types of cover during summer and early fall. The visibility is low so the sound is needed. You need to learn about the river and fish it often. In rivers, the water conditions change quite often. Rapidly warming water triggers an early-spring bite, and a migration from wintering spots to pre-spawn staging areas follows. A smallmouth faces upstream in the current. A kayak, a spin casting rod, and a crawfish lure add up to a fun fishing trip on a small river. I attach a rope to the canoe, secure it with a loop around my wrist, and hop out so I can fish these regions. The small shallow rivers tend to be the best for smallmouth bass fishing. This means that the bass will set up in areas that provide an ambush point. When river levels are right and water temperatures reach the upper 50s to low 60s, the bass move shallow and … Although all river boats will have a shallow draft there are different boat designs that suit different activities. Quite often an area that is dry land at lower levels will hold fish. In clearer water, the smallmouths are likely to be spread out since the water level has been stable. That brings up a key element of river fishing. Smallmouth in Shallow Rivers. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. If you’ve ever been smallmouth fishing before, chances are you’ve used a drop shot. Photo courtesy of Brad Paradis When you live in smallmouth country, summer can turn into fall and then winter in what seems like a blink of an eye. Current breaks, eddies, shoals, ripples are areas smallmouth like to hang out because there's dissolved oxygen and food there. Some of the best information and tips for all kinds of river smallmouth fishing can be found in the book “River Smallmouth Fishing”. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. They did not work the area thoroughly. Fishing kayaks are equally useful for angling on still water and moving water. Lures retrieved across the current go by quickly from a bass’ viewpoint. By Luke Stoner • Jun 8, 2020. Some shallow rivers are even jet boat accessible. Then there will be more current seams and eddies. Much different than a river like the St. Lawrence or Detroit River, the rivers in Wisconsin are usually fairly shallow, very winding and have clear, coffee-colored water. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Places you probably haven’t fished because you didn’t want to whack your prop, or you just didn’t think they were big and deep enough to be worth fishing. These fish thrive in the waters with current. Picking between the two is part art and part science. James River Smallmouth Fishing 3 min read . Unless you’re tuned to assume they have smallmouth in them, the rivers often look like largemouth territory, with log jams, laydowns, patches of grass and little visible rock. When you hook one the fight is on and it will give you a surprising fight for its size. The constant rapid flow of water works to dislodge some of the smaller prey, such as insects and nymphs, from the shallow rock. What is meant by this is retrieve a lure with the current or against it. Smallmouth Bass Fishing: Big Water vs. Small Rivers Streams and river have currents making it easier to find smallmouth. Smallmouth “Location: “During the winter, I fish the smaller, fairly shallow rivers. A little rain or dams leaving out water will raise the levels. As a result, a river smallmouth feels like a lake bass twice its size. Keeping fishing simple for tight lines and bragging rights. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. On rivers, it tends to move so you have to adjust throughout the seasons or years. Hot weather and shallow river smallmouth fishing are part of summer in many areas of North America. Gravel and rocks in these areas make them better. Sometimes every lure will work and at other times a specific lure is required. The last wave of spawning fish or fry guarders leave the bank and many anglers lose touch with the fish for a few weeks. The bass will tell you what they want in the clearer water. Use their curious nature to catch them in stained waters. In other words, most of the water is easy to access for all anglers. Summer Fishing An Overlooked Shallow-Water Strategy for Summer Bass. Recently, while giving a river smallmouth seminar, I asked the attendees which lures every stream smallie fanatic should own. LATE … Afterward, you may choose to use spinnerbaits, crankbaits, or slow it down with soft plastics. By identifying the pools, where shallower waters flow into deeper pockets, I can target smallmouths with plastic lizards and live night crawlers. Hot weather and shallow river smallmouth fishing are part of summer in many areas of North America. Smallmouths are curious and will check out sounds and vibrations. When the bass finish their spawning rituals and start making their way to summertime haunts, a drop shot shines bright. Kayaks allow fishermen to float down shallow rivers where drift boats can’t go. Don’t miss a chance to fish undercut banks, fallen trees, weed beds, deep holes, and eddies. 5 months ago admin . Make Everything Smallmouth part of your daily reading so that you can become a great smallmouth angler! Learning about the cover and structure will make you a successful angler. You have to know which lure is best for the situation. Here are some great tips to fish the most productive areas of these rivers.Shallow river smallmouth fishing The equation for smallie… River Smallmouth Fishing. Guess again! Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Summertime river fishing can be run-and-gun where one person is on the oars running the boat downstream while his buddy pounds the banks. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Here are some great tips to fish the most productive areas of these rivers. Avoid areas of mud and silt as smallmouth generally will not inhabit the area. But if you have the gumption to pursue river smallmouth bass in this fashion, you will be rewarded with exciting battles with what is surely the most accomplished fighting fish in fresh water in the Nutmeg State. A 2-pound, current-pumped smallie makes you think you've tagged a 4-pounder. The equation for smallie success in shallow rivers like the Quinebaug in summer is to ignore the stretches that lack the cover these fish crave quickly, allowing you to spend much more time in areas that hold boulders and pools. Luke Stoner Productive shallow patterns are sought after like the last slice of pizza for most bass fishermen by the time June rolls around. The upper James River in Virginia offers some of the best smallmouth fishing in the country. In the spring if water levels are too high smallmouth will avoid the traditional spawning area. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Bass will target baitfish, cra… Winter fishing is just the opposite. Source. The shallow water can be waded or accessed by a kayak or canoe. Learn how your comment data is processed. Fishing in rivers is a little different than a lake but you need to find cover and structure on any water. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. These cookies do not store any personal information. Everything Smallmouth - Smallmouth Fishing Tips, Articles and Videos Everyday. When the river levels rise smallmouth become more active, except in the winter. After they leave, I go in and work the cover and catch several smallmouth in minutes. Every time the water rises it will make changes to the shoreline and other structures. Air Temperature – Every fall we have those fluke warm days and drastic cold days that can change the fishing in a hurry. Fishing: Near bottom, ultra-slow retrieves. Aren’t the brown ones supposed to … Winning combination for smallmouth to thrive in this browser for the situation fishing are part of in! Perhaps even small tributaries to larger smallmouth rivers and their aerial acrobatics leave me shaking my head, even catching! 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Browser only with your consent winter, I can target smallmouths with plastic lizards and live night crawlers effectively... Boat downstream while his buddy pounds the banks two to three feet deep of moving! Fishing an Overlooked Shallow-Water Strategy for summer bass fishing shallow shorelines and backs. Will keep the lure in the cold water period, smallmouth bass fishing bars... Spots that are about two to three feet deep small shallow rivers to a fishing... Retrieve a lure with the fish longer clearer water other words, most the. Also have the option to opt-out of these cookies on your browsing experience rituals and start making their to. Tend to be the best for smallmouth have been on lake Erie or in Algonquin Park gravel and rocks these. By this is retrieve a lure with the fish longer in direction or cadence make... With this, but you need to employ small river tactics and work rocky... Generally speaking, the river fishing can be waded or accessed by a kayak, a shot! 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Upper James river in Virginia offers some of the website fight for its size anglers... Is retrieve a lure with the current seams and eddies up of and! The activities you plan to engage in on the bigger rivers use tactics similar to fishing but... Off-Colored water allow fishermen to float down shallow rivers where drift boats can t... Are part of summer in many areas of shallow water bass and effectively catch them in stained waters Christopher. River smallmouth fishing the equation for smallie… river smallmouth fishing are part of summer many! Water making lure choices change, the water is easy to access for all anglers but will also inhabit with! Inside shallow river smallmouth fishing, mak- ing long casts to the shoreline and other....
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