I use both tube jigs and skirted grubs. And remember, most importantly, be patient! Fish care done the right way. The summertime river smallmouth angler’s arsenal should include both finesse and power-fishing lures. Another area that can be very productive are points and weed lines that have a strong water current, effectively pushing the baitfish directly into the path of smallmouth ready to ambush their prey. Top Five Fall Baits For Smallmouth Bass with Ben Nowak TFO Ambassador Ben Nowak is no stranger to smallmouth fishing. And, it creates tons of smallmouth … I never like to waste an opportunity to go smallmouth fishing. As for the plastic portion, 3.5 inches is a proven performer for me, with brown, orange or … Best Color of Worms for Smallmouth Bass Worms are another popular and effective way to catch smallmouth bass. No votes so far! You can use a variety of baits to catch smallmouth in … I use a two-pronged attack to catch the most bass possible from each spot. Sure, it’s hunting season. Fall smallmouth can be found across the United States and Canada and the fishing can be absolutely awesome through the month of October and sometimes even into November, depending on the weather. The biggest Smallmouth I’ve ever caught was during the Fall of 2005. 8. The first tactic is to fish aggressively. Plastics can also be effective on fall river smallmouth especially when faced with a severe cold front. They’re also great for fall smallmouth bass fishing. Small versions of largemouth crankbaits and also crayfish-shaped models are terrific mid-level smallmouth lures. It is a great idea … They are also fond of river … The heat of summer makes river fishing ideal for smallmouth. “The river in the summer time is really good because of the water temperature,” Bench says. Be the first to rate this post. The lures do not weigh much and light line and tackle is required to cast them. Based out of Michigan, Ben hosts a YouTube channel called The Smallmouth Experience where he uploads weekly videos sharing his experiences of catching smallmouth bass, as well as helpful tips for anglers out there who want to find more success on the water. In rivers across the Midwest, smallmouth bass make a fall migration from their summer ranges to deep wintering holes in the main channel. As the water temps start to drop into the 60s and 50s, smallmouth bass, as well as all warm water species shift into overdrive for the upcoming winter. Whitetail Wednesday: Is the October Lull a Myth? He finds most smallmouth in deep water — 40 to 50 feet where he’s fishing — about Labor Day. You can prepare as best you can, but you’ll never know exactly what they are biting until you show up that day and dangle it in front of them. Occasionally, I pause to throw slack in the line, which causes the lure to turn, often triggering a strike. As a result, a river smallmouth feels like a lake bass twice its size. Looking for a Bargain Bear Hunt in Canada? My typical rig consists of a pegged sinker, 24-inch-long 12-pound monofilament leader, 3/0 hook and either a creature body or Northland Fishing Tackle IMPULSE Fatty Tube, rigged weedless (below). Jerkbaits, spinner baits and buzz baits can all be used for smallmouth fishing. Latest. Fall smallmouth spawners? Sure, it’s hunting season. An example would be points or ends of islands which create current breaks and allow the smallmouth to remain out of the current and wait for baitfish to wash down to them. Casting crankbaits is a great way to pluck aggressive bass off the spot. When throwing baitfish streamers I focus on areas with shallo… Massive lakes and impoundments aren’t the only places that giant smallmouth call home. By this point, I would recommend casting parallel to the river towards the pond and try to find any areas of stagnant water where a school might be hiding out. Look for areas with an abundance of weed lines, drop-offs and scattered rocks. Willis’ Mike Smith operates New River Fly Fishing and offers this advice. This combo mimics the look and movement of a crawfish to a T — and fall smallmouth will readily gobble it up. Fishing for smallmouth in rivers is an exciting way to spend a day. The Case Sinking Shad is my favorite fall bait for weed related smallmouth and largemouth bass. The passage of fall cold fronts can also put a damper on smallmouth fishing in rivers but not always. Shooting with the Mann: Ballistic Reticle Basics, Shooting with the Mann: Defensive Handgun Reliability, Video: Monster Channel Cat with Plus-Size Whiskers, Shooting with the Mann: Bonded vs. Non-Bonded Bullets, Video: Melissa Bachman Gives Great Arrow Advice. What to use: Weights vary depending on water depth, so carry various sizes. Guns. As rivers cool below 57 degrees, dramatic changes in smallmouth bass behavior occur. New River, West Virginia. Also be on the watch for fish swirling. I spend the day chasing smallies on the river and share some tips and tricks I use to catch them. Fish Eddies Along Main Current When fishing rivers or streams, bass will congregate along the current for food passing by. The fish weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces and I caught her on a Big Bite Baits 3.5” Tube in the color ‘Old Ugly’ which mimics crawdads and other baitfish. Frogs . Stick with crankbaits measuring 1¼ to 2 inches for most situations. Abandoning their summer haunts, fish may travel many miles downstream to slack-water hibernacula, where they will overwinter. (Photo by Jeff Knapp) GET AGGRESSIVE. “Most of the largemouth leave the large spawning bays and swim upstream,” Klatt said. Fall smallmouth bass fishing is almost always dynamite. Shooting with the Mann: Anatomy of a Miss. “The warmer the water gets the more active the fish are.”. Fall is here and it’s one of my favorite times of the year because it’s transition fishing time for fall smallmouth bass. Hunting. We’re not talking about a break like you find in a Tennessee River impoundment. I even start to see them get into feeding groups in an effort to trap baitfish easier. Across the southern-most range for smallmouth bass one hears chatter about “winter smallie fishing.” However, upon examination of water temperatures on the lakes and big rivers down south, those readings rarely fall below the mid-40 … Along the way, they stop at predictable places to rest and feed, offering diehard anglers some of the year’s best bass fishing. Best river smallmouth fishing rod and reel. Late October through November is an excellent time to fish large streamers for big smallmouth bass. How to Fish for Smallmouth Bass in the Fall. Bass don't spawn all at the same time, so it follows that they don't all communally recover from spawning stress. Fall Fishing for River Smallmouth. The best jig colors for smallmouth are brown, green pumpkin, watermelon and any other natural color that best resembles crawdads that live on your home lake. All over North America, river smallmouth bass fishing can be absolutely phenomenal if you know where to look. In the fall, they will stay on the summer pattern until the water temp drops to about 60 degrees, and after that they start moving to wintering holes.” If you haven’t done it much, you should get on it while you can. The Ultimate Guide to Hunting Snowshoe Hares. .380 Auto + The Right Bullet = Conceal Carry Confidence, Pickin’ Deep-Water Fall Pike from Green Veggies. During our trip, the gigging season for suckers had started, which Smith claims also makes the smallmouth skittish. Seth Feider takes the guesswork out of choosing the best lures for smallmouth bass fishing from late summer through late fall. In fact, if I had to pick one month out of the year to fish for smallmouth bass I would choose the month of October. I’ve had a lot of success catching fall smallmouth on almost everything at this time of year including crankbaits, jigs and of course a variety of soft plastics. “Any time you have a front come through the fish shut down on the back side of that front as a general rule,” Smith says. Bench’s favorite time to fish for river smallmouth though is in … One of my favorite fall fishing areas is the tip of a firm-bottomed, sandy bar bordered by softer substrate and vegetation such as wild rice. If you’re located in the south and want to catch smallmouth till you’re sore – head to Wilson in the fall or early spring. Whitetail bucks are rutting, and waterfowl, grouse and pheasants are flying. First, I cast a diving crankbait such as a LiveTarget Threadfin Shad Magnum Crankbait (above) tight to the weed edge and quickly crank it down, then slowly bounce it along bottom. I have read about the river for years, and see plenty of instagram photos showing some great fish caught from there. Depths of 2-4 feet are ideal. In shallower waterways across the northern portions of the species’ range, smallmouth actually migrate. You can slowly drag the rig or let it rest in place, allowing the river’s current to activate the soft plastic. This post guest written by Bob Adkinson, Professional Bass Fisherman & Guide. NRA Competitive Shooting Series, Part 1: Is It for You? Editor’s note: Check out the video below to see Chip Leer take advantage of this outstanding autumn opportunity. Whitetail Wednesday with Dr. Grant Woods: Simple Trick for Sneaking into a Treestand. The lightest weight plastics like a Texas Rig or jig head need just enough weight to make bottom contact and then walk it down the shoal. Light spinning tackle is the best choice for anglers fishing rivers for smallmouth bass. “Fly fishermen should wait until we’ve had 50-degree-plus air temperatures for three or four days, which typically cause the water temperature to rise from, say, 40 to 44-45 degrees,” he says. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year for fishing, and can be yours too. By Will Ryan. More Fishing. NRA Competitive Shooting Series, Part 2: The Disciplines, Shooting with the Mann: Running a Bolt-Action Rifle, Graphic Video: How To Remove Fish Hooks From Your Skin, Keeping It Old School: Hunting with the .30-30 Winchester, INFOGRAPHIC: Safe Firearm Storage Ideas from the NRA, Whitetail Wednesday: Don’t Clean the Table, Shooting with the Mann: Ballistic Balance. Shooting with the Mann: Why Steel Targets. A smallmouth in a shallow river fights better than any lake smallmouth, and it’s a truly unique type of fishing. By Mark Zona. Live minnows can also be used, but it is a bit more difficult to present them naturally. Whitetail bucks are rutting, and waterfowl, grouse and pheasants are flying. Bouncing from one high-percentage spot to the next with these two tactics is a great way to enjoy banner days for hard-fighting bronzebacks. On some northern U.S. and Canadian rivers, migrating fish congreg… This is river fishing. ... done the right way. It’s not uncommon on the rivers that I guide on to see multiple bass chasing my flies during the retrieve. At this time of year, the rivers are absolutely full of shad minnows which the fall smallmouth feed on to get ready for the winter. Don’t miss a chance to fish undercut banks, fallen trees, weed beds, deep holes, and eddies. Just as when fishing the river grass in summer, it is important to fish both the weeds and the weed line. When the water starts to cool down in mid to late September, the fall smallmouth start to feed up for the winter months. These flats will hold fish that are roaming around looking for prey. Fly fishermen and conventional fishermen both can enjoy the hard-fighting nature of the smallmouth in this absolutely beautiful river, which flows from the confluence of the Cowpasture and Jackson Rivers in Bath and Highland Counties, through Lynchburg and Richmond, past Williamsburg and Jamestown to the … During the month of October, these fall smallmouths make such great changes, you are going to go through a full spectrum of presentations in a relatively short period of time. But that’s no reason to forget about fishing, especially if you happen to hit a day or two of unseasonably warm temps, which often slows down the movement of bucks and ducks. It never even crossed my mind that I would be fishing the James River near Nixa this fall. These all are found naturally in rivers. They become somewhat reckless as they chase baitfish near the banks and in the shallow flats of river systems. When the water starts to cool down in mid to late September, the fall smallmouth start to feed up for the winter months. The upper James River in Virginia offers some of the best smallmouth fishing in the country. September 1, 2004. Also, rivers run clear and low in summer and early fall. I use 13 Fishing’s 7-foot, 11-inch Envy Black Crankenstein casting rod (below) with 10-pound mono for crankbaits, and their medium-heavy 7-foot, 1-inch or 7-foot, 4-inch Omen Black casting rod with 30-pound Northland Bionic Braid mainline for Carolina rigs. Many smaller rivers have tons of smallmouth. The smallmouth bass will face upstream angled towards the current but be resting in slack water to the sides called the eddy. The areas I look for fall smallmouth are flats that have sharp drop-offs nearby or scattered rocks and riprap. 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