Generally, white with a silver blade works well on bright, sunny days in clear water. Anglers will often times find that the smaller fish are found in these shallow waters with a bit a current. (Strike King Menace Grub is definitely one of my go-to smallmouth river … Smallmouth bass love rocks! Click this link to shop Amazon for Senko lures. Smallmouth residing in rivers are not as fussy as fish in lakes can be. It is an extremely effective lure when pursuing river smallmouth bass. Anglers will not need to impart too much action as the jig will look very natural just drifting with the current. This results in them being around $.50 or so per bait. Lure Specifics: Trail prefers a Size 8 X-Rap in olive green. Jerkbaits, spinner baits and buzz baits can all be used for smallmouth fishing. With the rod tip low and near the surface of the water, the lure is brought back in using sharp jerks. Boulders and rocky ledges provide refuge from the current. This will put slack in the line and cause the bait to hover there motionless. Heddon Spook. Try using jerkbaits and crankbaits lures … One caveat, continues Trail, is that for whatever reason, summertime days exist when smallmouth won’t chase a buzzer. “The Big O’s wide wobble is key. That is one reason why the best seven River smallmouth bass fishing lures are bit different than those used in lakes. Smallmouth can be found in a range of habitats. Like the inline spinners, spinnerbaits work best with a slow, steady retrieve. “Fishing Lido Key is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. Smallmouth bass have a pretty diverse diet year-round but when the … In calm and slack water, the lure is cast out towards shoreline cover or submerged rocks or ledges. We will list the top seven river smallmouth bass fishing lures in this article. You'll have a blast! Anglers should use just enough to keep the jig up out of the rocks of possible. Smallmouth fishermen are a dedicated lot. Conversely, dropping down to 4 pound test might be required in extremely low water. Eddies during the day and shallow, rocky riffles in low light are great areas to try.”. fishing with spinners in rivers and streams. Anglers can read more about fishing with spinners in rivers and streams here. Football and Swinging Jigs. It floats at rest and dives down 2 or 3 feet below the surface upon retrieve. “In the spring and fall, [use] a pop-pop-one-second-pause; and in the summer, just keep popping it,” he says. While not large, they are great fun on light tackle and can liven up a slow morning.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'fishinglidokey_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_11',113,'0','0'])); In conclusion, this article on the best 7 river smallmouth fishing lures will help anglers catch more fish! Plus, I’ve included descriptions on how to use them. Current breaks and eddy pockets are just as good.”. It has a tapered nose and a propeller on the rear. Lure Specifics: Rebel Pop-R Plus in red eye perch. What are the go to lures for smallmouth bass in small rivers and streams 5wt. Proposing to name the best smallmouth streams in the Ozarks is a surefire way to start a heated conversation. Lure Specifics: Go with the classic Model 9 Rapala Original Minnow in silver. Here are six examples of good smallmouth bass lures and how to fish them. Using a blade bait like a Heddon Sonar is a very effective tactic in extremely cold waters. As I said above, make sure you get the line size right … To get the best results try to pick one that resembles the baitfish that the smallmouth feed on in the area you are fishing. Jigs are the most popular and best overall smallmouth bass lure, for two main reasons. They cast a mile, land softly, and Smallmouth hammer them. When it’s a wide-wobble day, tie on the Big O.”. Here is my list of the best 7 river smallmouth fishing lures. This lure has a very erratic action which will trigger a strike from smallmouth bass. After a hard jerk, anglers should point the rod tip right at the bait. Lure Specifics: Case tubes in green pumpkin, watermelon gold/purple flake and smoke purple flake on jigheads between 1/4 and 5/8 ounce, depending on current. “In the spring, the Original is most effective when fished with long pauses between short rod twitches around logs and fallen trees near spawning areas. You can utilize them on a Texas Rig, a drop shot, a flimsy … The most popular combination when fishing rivers for smallmouth is a 1/8 ounce round black head with a 2 inch to 3 inch root beer or green body. In the confines of a river, likely fish holding spots are much easier to identify as opposed to a large open body of water. I set no restrictions on the number of lures that could be listed, the only stipulation being that participants would list lures until all present were satisfied that they had enough choices to be able to fish successfully throughout the year. It will tend to turn sideways in heavy current and will also snag the bottom in shallow water. Smallmouth bass and other game fish will stage in these eddies waiting in ambush. Rocks have another attraction when it comes to smallmouth bass as well; crayfish! There are many different Rooster tail colors to select from. Techniques to target smallmouth through the seasons, 3 things a southern angler learned about northern smallmouth. Debris that washes downstream such as fallen timber will tend to collect in these areas. That is a good thing as many will be lost in a day of fishing for smallmouth in rocky streams. Outkast Tackle Touchdown 2 Football Jig. A 1/4 ounce Beetlespin spinner bait is an extremely effective lure for smallmouth bass and other species. The Middle Wee Craw is extremely effective when worked over submerged rocky ledges and boulders in 3 foot of water to 5 foot of water. This selection of … This lure has a very erratic action which will trigger a strike from smallmouth bass. Often times there will be holes in the slack water area right behind a large boulder. The 7 Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass in Rivers There’s a reason former Field & Stream Fishing Editor, A.J. The lure is designed with a spinning tail that “plops” its way on top of the water as it is retrieved to get the attention of bass … Many of the spots also have an undercut bank. Silver blades and a 2” white, green, rootbeer or black grub work well in most rivers. In the slower, deeper pools, the bait is simply dragged slowly across the bottom. The standard “lift-pause-flutter to the bottom” retrieve remains effective, adds Cundiff. Click this link to shop Amazon for Rapala X-Rap lures. It works great with or without a trailer. Click this link to shop Amazon for Rooster Tail lures. And secondly, jigs … This realistically imitates a wounded and helpless bait fish and will draw reaction strikes from smallmouth bass.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'fishinglidokey_com-box-4','ezslot_5',134,'0','0'])); The best color to use will depend on river conditions. Anglers River smallmouth fishing should never overlook these outside bends. The summertime river smallmouth angler’s arsenal should include both finesse and power-fishing lures. Downsized Smallmouth Lures For Winter Bass Fishing Good choices are grubs , jig and craw, smaller spinnerbaits and crankbaits, Whirley Bee/Jimmy D, Sliders, tube jigs or Texas rigged , 4" straight worms like the Senko, and 1/16 ounce synthetic craft hair or duck feather jigs when Float-n-Fly fishing. Anglers can swim it back using a steady retrieve to imitate a minnow. However, it will not be very effective in fast current. Required fields are marked *, ©2018 Sarasota Fishing Charters | Captain Jim Klopfer | 941-371-1390 | Websites By: 22nd Century Web Services | Web Hosting By: Web Planet Hosting. It is a good idea to give it an initial twitch to get the blade spinning. A 1/6 ounce Rooster tail spinner is number six on the list of top seven River smallmouth bass fishing lures. The grub tail can be easily changed. The Senko is very supple and will have a very lifelike action and the water. With the rod tip low and near the surface of the water, the lure is brought back in using sharp jerks. One of the most exciting lures to fish for river Smallmouth Bass is the Zoom Super fluke style soft plastic jerkbait. The lures do not weigh much and light line and tackle is required to cast them. This puts the lure in the strike zone yet in most cases keeps it working above the submerged rocky bottom. Since the Tiny Torpedo is a top water bait and virtually 100% snag proof, it can be used in any depth of water. Lure Specifics: Any minnow hue will do; Tex-posing is the norm. “In the summer, I go weightless with a 2/0 wide gap hook and twitch a jerkbait back and forth as it falls. “Burn it right under the surface in riffles and slicks on a 1/8-ounce jighead in the summer. A 1/6 ounce Rooster tail spinner is number six on the list of top seven River smallmouth bass fishing lures. The 4 inch Yamamoto Senko is a fantastic bait that will catch a variety of species in just about any environment. Also, rivers run clear and low in summer and early fall. Click this link to shop Amazon for Mister Twister lures. Stoudenmire says wide-wobble cranks perform best from prespawn well into autumn, especially in stained water and around any kind of rocks-and-current scenario. Shade pockets along the bank, current breaks midriver, slack water below rapids and aquatic vegetation are all targets. Here’s how these guides, experts and the seminar audience as a whole ranked the lures from No. Most rivers are shallow and rocky and baits that are dragged along the bottom will snag. Often times, the smallmouth bass will attack it as it sits there motionless. Click this link to shop Amazon for Rebel Wee Craw lures. The best smallmouth bass fishing lures are generally suspended lures that aren’t surface or divers. To help others in their quest, I’ve put together a list of five of my best smallmouth bass baits. The flashing blade and vibration along with the colorful tail will draw a lot of strikes! “Any current breaks, isolated boulders, wood or any irregular structure that are on flats near deeper water or the river channel will hold fish,” he says. It will snag occasionally but not too bad. A 2000 reel on a 6′ medium light rod is an excellent combo. While smallmouth bass are found in lakes, many anglers associate smallmouth bass fishing with rivers. Noisy rattles and a classic side-to-side walking action taunt smallmouth into … After a hard jerk, anglers should point the rod tip right at the bait. 3 Unlike trout, smallmouth will rarely be right in the swiftest current. Rebel Pop-R. One of my all-time favorite topwater lures to target smallmouth bass with is a … These are the preferred forage of smallmouth bass in both lakes and rivers. Each time the jig head hits the bottom it kicks up a puff of sand or dirt, realistically mimicking a crayfish. The most productive retrieve is to cast it out towards a likely looking spot. In all honesty, every color will produce fish. Light spinning tackle is the best choice for anglers fishing rivers for smallmouth bass. In swift water, the bait is cast out into the deeper runs and just allowed to sweep downstream in the current. Anglers can slide on a very small 1/8 ounce sliding sinker if necessary. This bait can be effective in both the deeper pools and the faster running water. They will hang up if used in very shallow water. The Rebel Middle Wee Craw is number two on the list of the top seven River smallmouth bass fishing lures. They are high in protein and fairly easy to catch. These lures work best in a slow to medium current. This realistically imitates a wounded and helpless bait fish and will draw reaction strikes from smallmouth bass. This is a very simple lure that will catch just about every species that swims. The list is in order by season, basically in order of what lures work best … But after the spawn, and the lower and clearer the water gets, I’ll retrieve it as fast as I can through the slicks and runs below rapids and past or through any kind of current break.”. Regardless, you can’t go wrong fishing … If you’re fishing deep rivers … Some days, the smallmouth want a crankbait with a wide wobble, and sometimes they want one with a tight wobble like the Wiggle Wart. Many anglers enjoy chasing smallmouth bass in rivers. The most productive retrieve is to cast it out towards a likely looking spot. Big smallmouth bass lurk in Ozark streams. Light-colored lures work best in clear water while darker colors work better in stained water. Anglers that fish rivers with trout in them use Rooster tails as they will produce trout as well as bass. (Photo by Jeff Knapp) Depth is pretty much a non factor as most smallmouth rivers are fairly shallow. Jigs can be fished in swift water as well. Outside bends in the river channel are smallmouth bass hotspots! The guide emphasizes that the Torpedo can be dead drifted when bronzebacks are lethargic, retrieved moderately with lots of pauses when smallmouth become active and ripped across the surface almost like a buzzbait when fish chase minnows. McClane called the river smallmouth “the greatest freshwater gamefish of all.” If you’ve come under this fish’s spell in its river … The bluegill colored one is usually a good choice for a lot of areas. The best approach is to cast 90° and then let the bait work downstream with the current while the angler keeps the tip up and gives the jig just a little bit of action. The simple yet extremely effective jig is bait number five on the list of the top seven river smallmouth bass fishing lures. “A Mister Twister Twister Tail or a Zoom Fat Albert is about the simplest bait you could ever use, but it’s an extremely effective bait from spring through fall,” he says. These are prime spots as well. Membership Includes 1 Year Bassmaster Magazine, Plus $50 in free gear. Lure Specifics: Top colors include leopard frog and baby bass. One great advantage to fishing for smallmouth bass in rivers is that fish are much easier to locate. The Rebel Middle Wee Craw will float at rest then dive down upon retrieve. “Fish it at a slow to medium pace, keeping contact with the bottom.”. Lure Specifics: prespawn, a Model 7A in any crawfish pattern, especially brown postspawn, a Model 7A in any shad or baitfish color. It is important that when a fish strikes this lure the angler waits until the weight of the fish is felt before setting the hook. Lure Specifics: Skirt and blade colors really don’t matter during the day, Trail says, but go with all black buzzers at night. The floating Rapala may be the best overall crankbait for smallmouth bass, but it won’t cover every situation. Chartreuse is very productive as well. Countdown Minnow. Powerful fighters, they leave an indelible mark on the hearts of fishermen. The beauty of these lures is that they can be used in both fast and slow water and rarely hang up. Best Smallmouth Bass Baits Here's a sneak peak at my top 5 favorite smallmouth bass fishing lures for summer! There have already been lots of great river smallmouth baits mentioned and I use most of them. “In the spring, I’ll rig a jerkbait with a weighted 3/0 wide gap hook so that it will sink slowly, with soft twitches, down into current seams or boulder fields,” he says. Baitfish are King in Fall. “The Bomber Model A is at its best from prespawn when water temperatures are in the upper 50s to late summer until the water becomes really low and clear,” he says. Top water baits are very easy to use and are a lot of fun to fish! These polls between riffles are prime spots for smallmouth bass, particularly if fallen trees and rocks are present. Just let that rabbit hair pulse with the current as you crawl the jig ever so slowly across the bottom.”. Recently, while giving a river smallmouth seminar, I asked the attendees which lures every stream smallie fanatic should own. A gold blade with a bright green/pink body works great on cloudy days or in stained water. Sarasota Fishing Charters | 941-371-1390. “Deep-water ledges are a great place to work an X-Rap year-round, especially in the winter. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”. This will realistically mimic a fleeing crayfish. These highly productive spots include holes or pools where the river slows down and increases in depth. While live bait produces plenty of fish, the majority of anglers opt to use artificial lures. Fishing for Crappie, Bluegill, and Panfish, Fishing for Striped Bass – Tips, Tackle, and Techniques, Best 6 Topwater Plugs for Saltwater Fishing. Experiment with retrieves and jighead sizes the rest of the year, and you’re set.”. Small River Smallmouth Bass Fishing: Where to Catch Smallmouth in Creeks and Rivers… “I’ll use 3 3/4-inch Case Salty Tubes then, starting off with a slower retrieve and keeping contact with the bottom. Once the list was created, I asked some of the best river smallmouth anglers I know how, when and where they fish these baits. fly rod, black or olive woolly buggers and balsa, foam or hair poppers. “I’ll retrieve a Model A pretty slowly around humps and spawning banks early on. Fall and spring, current seams between swift water are the best choices; in the summer, slicks below rapids and riffles.”. Generally speaking, the river fishing experience is more relaxed and less complicated. Anglers can read more about. It is in the family of lures that anglers term “jerk baits”. BioSpawn VileCraw. Light tackle will elicit the most strikes. That means that anglers do not need to impart a lot of action. This will put slack in the line and cause the bait to hover there motionless. JOIN TODAY! “In the winter, retrieve an X-Rap with a ‘pop-pop-three-second-pause’ retrieve,” he says. The best smallmouth bass fishing tackle is a light spinning rod and reel along with a good selection of lures would include spinners, spoons, plugs, and jigs. The smallmouth is such an awesome bass to chase. The heads and tails of pools and riffles can also be good spots to try for smallmouth bass. I'll … It is allowed to sink to the bottom then retrieved back in using a series of short hops. In the fall, I employ a combination of both methods. “As the summer warms up, I speed up my retrieve with faster twitching and only short pauses. It is the perfect size bait for river smallmouth and is another tried-and-true producer of smallmouth bass in rivers. This is a terrific bait for catching smallmouth bass anywhere, but particularly in rivers. 1. It’s best then to select other topwaters. The angler simply casts the lure out to a likely looking spot and then retrieves it with sharp twitches of the rod and a pause in between. A jig bouncing erratically off the bottom is an excellent imitation of a crayfish. Anglers mostly wade or drift in small boats. Click this link to shop Amazon for Beetle Spin lures. Little or no action is needed by the angler. The best 7 river smallmouth fishing lures are; These seven baits will produce smallmouth bass and rivers throughout the country. Otherwise, the lure and it’s treble hooks can come flying back towards the angler. It comes in a half dozen colors, and all of them are productive. Your email address will not be published. Often times, the water is deeper as well as the current gouges out a whole. It is also why finesse lures are very popular in smallmouth fishing. Originally published in Bassmaster Magazine 2019. Lure Specifics: It’s hard to beat a grub in smoke flake. White and olive are good all-around choices. Top 6 Smallmouth Bass Lures. Lure Specifics: A Cordell Big O in a crawfish pattern — enough said. Less really is more when fishing this bait. This one is the perfect example. The lightest weight plastics like a Texas Rig or jig head need just enough weight to make bottom … Lure Specifics: Stoudenmire’s 1/4-ounce Undulator consists of rabbit hair with round rubber for legs. In the winter, hop one on a 1/4-ounce head right above a rocky bottom. “Smallmouth are very aggressive toward a topwater bait hovering over their heads during this period, so a bait that can stay close to the surface is extra effective,” he says. Instead, they will find an eddy or bit of slack water where they can rest comfortably without expending a lot of energy yet be in a prime position to feed. Lures that are too big are a common mistake made on rivers when fishing for smallmouth. Anglers can bump the line up to 8 pound test in the spring when the water is higher and has some color. Click this link to shop at Amazon. “The Wiggle Wart is great on steep banks with rock,” he says. Roostertails are very simple and easy to use. It is #7 on the list of the best 7 river smallmouth fishing lures. The soft plastic lures are in the family of what many anglers call “finesse baits”. These lures are fairly inexpensive to use. “Two keys: Cast beyond the target, and make sure a buzzer is churning the moment it hits the water,” he says. Anglers simply cast across the stream and reel it in as slowly as possible using a steady retrieve. Click this link to shop Amazon for Tiny Torpedo lures. Plus a bonus bait at the end. It’s one of my go to lures when I start out looking for smallmouth. Serious anglers buy the jig heads and the grub bodies in bulk. This is a top water plug. This is a very simple lure that will catch just about every species that swims. In open water, these can be rigged on an open hook. Get a closer look at the Johnston brothers' favorite lures for a day of smallmouth fishing. They can dart out into the current to feed while not expending a lot of energy. “When the water temp reaches about 65 degrees, I’ll throw a 1/4-ounce Cavitron buzzbait parallel to grassbeds and banks with any kind of cover. Many of the artificial lures used to catch smallmouth are designed to mimic a crayfish.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'fishinglidokey_com-large-mobile-banner-2','ezslot_12',112,'0','0'])); There is one big disadvantage when it comes to rocks, and that is snags. “Those are deep, rocky pools protected from the current. If that’s not working, I will snap my tube with quick pops and then allow it to rest. 1/4 ounce is a good all round size, though anglers can drop down to 1/8 ounce if the water is low and clear. “People do fish a hair jig year-round for trophy smallmouth, but I mostly fish it when the water temperature is under 50 degrees to as low as the upper 30s, when smallmouth are in their winter holes,” he says. Zoom Bait Salty Super Fluke Baits. Tactics for pursuing smallmouth bass and rivers are a bit different than when fishing in lakes. Anglers can keep it simple with this selection of lures.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'fishinglidokey_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_8',106,'0','0'])); Number one on the list of the top seven River smallmouth bass fishing lures is the #8 Rapala X-Rap Slashbait. Lure Specifics: 2-inch, 3/4-ounce Wart in any crawfish pattern. These baits work for catching largemouth, but are especially well known for being deadly smallmouth bass lures.The best technique to use with a blade bait … As mentioned above, one advantage to fishing for smallmouth bass and rivers is that likely spots are easy to identify. A five-inch bait is fine for largemouth but a smallmouth will generally pass them up. The design of the lure keeps the hook out of harms way. Once it gets near the bottom, the lure is retrieved with short hard twitches, a bit less aggressively than a jerk bait. The idea is to get it down near the bottom and even bouncing off the rocks on occasion. However, since most productive smallmouth bass rivers have rocks and other cover, anglers either use a weedless hook or Texas rig the worm on a 1/0 worm hook. By: Bill Cooper. Lure Specifics: Texas rig with a 1/0 wide gap hook and a sliding 1/8- or 1/4-ounce bullet sinker; color: pumpkin pepper. A 6 ½ foot light spinning rod with a 2000 series reel and 6 pound monofilament line is a great all-round combination. There is no wrong time of year to be fishing for smallmouth with a some kind of a jig. Anglers that fish rivers with trout in them use Rooster tails as they will produce trout as well as bass. The jig and grub combo is very easy to use. Once again, light colors work best in clear water while darker colors work best in stained or dark water. The Heddon Tiny Torpedo is number three on the list of the top seven River smallmouth bass fishing lures. My goal is to get you “Kraken” more smallmouth bass! It is best to use the Rebel Crawfish in the slower, deeper pools and holes. They work best in shallow stretches of the river with a little current. The ideal river habitat for smallmouth bass are rivers with cool, clear water and a lot of gravel and rocks. Cordell Big O. Britt Stoudenmire, owner of the New River Outdoor Co., raves about the Cordell … “It’s one of the oldest crankbaits, and it just might be the best one for river smallmouth,” says the Virginia guide.