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River smallmouth spawning habits

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Old 05-18-2012, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default River smallmouth spawning habits

I read in another thread that the smaliies around here are going to be done spawning soon, and that the bite should be "on" pretty soon. I was surprised to read that.
Since I am still quite new to river smallmouth, I am hoping someone might explain the stages of river smallmouth spawing, the time periods that they typically happen in, and the effect on feeding/fishing. I am pretty familiar with largemouth spawning habits, so if they are basically the same, but at different times or for different lengths of time, that would be enough info for me.
Thanks in advance - I promise to absorb any information like a sponge.
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:34 AM   #2
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Nobody wants to share their knowledge? C'mon, don't make me beg!
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:47 AM   #3
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I don't know man but the bite has been rough for me the past couple days. Fished two big trees yesterday and didn't get a single hit.
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:49 AM   #4
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By no means am I QueticoMike, but I can at least usually get around 10 a wading trip. So something seems off...
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:03 PM   #5
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In spring the GMR is typically murky and spotting nest can be difficult, so pinpointing the spawn may come down to observing the fish you are catching. That said, smallmouth spawn in most areas generally begins when water temps are consistantly above 62 degrees and lasts for several weeks. In my area (north of Dayton) I believe we are getting towards the tail end of spawning activity. I have also noticed that for several weeks after the spawn, smallmouth bite may be a bit sluggish as the fish are recouperating from the spawn. During this time, you should slow down your presentation, try suspending jerk baits, or soft plastics worked slow. In a few weeks the bite will become much more agressive again.

There is incredible amounts of information on the internet for this subject, spend a little time with google. Here is an article I found in under 5 seconds with a quick search.

http://www.bassresource.com/fish_bio...al-habits.html
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SConner View Post
In spring the GMR is typically murky and spotting nest can be difficult, so pinpointing the spawn may come down to observing the fish you are catching. That said, smallmouth spawn in most areas generally begins when water temps are consistantly above 62 degrees and lasts for several weeks. In my area (north of Dayton) I believe we are getting towards the tail end of spawning activity. I have also noticed that for several weeks after the spawn, smallmouth bite may be a bit sluggish as the fish are recouperating from the spawn. During this time, you should slow down your presentation, try suspending jerk baits, or soft plastics worked slow. In a few weeks the bite will become much more agressive again.

There is incredible amounts of information on the internet for this subject, spend a little time with google. Here is an article I found in under 5 seconds with a quick search.

http://www.bassresource.com/fish_bio...al-habits.html
Thanks for that information.
Actually, I'm pretty familiar with the internet and Google. If I wanted general information on the subject, I would have gone that route. But, since I am looking for "area specific" information(GMR, Stillwater, LMR), I thought it made sense to pose the question here.
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:02 PM   #7
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In the streams I fish the most (Todds Fork and the LMR) I usually find smallies spawning in long holes with harder bottoms. They might have a slight covering of silt but nothing that cannot be fanned off by the fish. Avoid too slow too silted holes. Right as the fish are moving on the beds you can sometimes make huge catches then, I remember a fifty fish day like that on Todds Fork. Most years though in practical terms it means one day youll go to the stretches of stream where you can expect to catch a dozen or so fish and you fish the whole thing and catch a sauger because the fish go into a post spawn funk. Switch and catfish fish for a week or two as they are then in prespawn and hitting well. I know flooding has a huge impact on success of the spawn and afterward of fry survival. Ive also read studies of fry being displaced very large distances downstream by flooding, even completely out of a watershed into a larger one downstream. With last years multiple flooding I'm wandering if smallmouth numbers will be down somewhat over the next few years. But on the bright side this might mean fewer but much bigger bass. Ive ofton thought that was the reason most of the GMR seems to have fewer bass than the LMR but your more likely to catch a bigger one there. Lower water quality means less fish means bigger fish??? Not that there isn't great smallmouth bass fishing on the GMR, your just more likely to catch 30 on the LMR but more likely to catch a three pounder on the GMR. Though Ive caught four pounders in the LMR and alot of fish in the GMR, but in general thats how things are. In a river like the Little Miami I think the spawn is way more complicated than we know, numbers are affected by swings in water temp, flooding, if the main stems flooding and the tributaries are not, if a huge thunderstorm hits one stretch at the wrong time and not another and on and on. Smallmouth have been shown in several studies to return to allmost the exact piece of river every year to spawn, numbers of fry in John Bryan Park might be completely different than Foster or Bass Island in the same year. Trying to give you a complete "this is how it is" on hundred mile long streams like the LMR and GMR just isn't possible.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:43 AM   #8
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I was just wondering if it's any different in tribs. I live on the East Fork Black River way past the falls that are downstream. We are catching trophy fish past 21'' right now and we've never caught them this size. I think it's because we have never fished this early or just that we know what we're doing now. Anyone have any idea if these fish swim up from bigger water down stream? Not the lake but just big stretches where they grow to be big?
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by oldstinkyguy View Post
In the streams I fish the most (Todds Fork and the LMR) I usually find smallies spawning in long holes with harder bottoms. They might have a slight covering of silt but nothing that cannot be fanned off by the fish. Avoid too slow too silted holes. Right as the fish are moving on the beds you can sometimes make huge catches then, I remember a fifty fish day like that on Todds Fork. Most years though in practical terms it means one day youll go to the stretches of stream where you can expect to catch a dozen or so fish and you fish the whole thing and catch a sauger because the fish go into a post spawn funk. Switch and catfish fish for a week or two as they are then in prespawn and hitting well. I know flooding has a huge impact on success of the spawn and afterward of fry survival. Ive also read studies of fry being displaced very large distances downstream by flooding, even completely out of a watershed into a larger one downstream. With last years multiple flooding I'm wandering if smallmouth numbers will be down somewhat over the next few years. But on the bright side this might mean fewer but much bigger bass. Ive ofton thought that was the reason most of the GMR seems to have fewer bass than the LMR but your more likely to catch a bigger one there. Lower water quality means less fish means bigger fish??? Not that there isn't great smallmouth bass fishing on the GMR, your just more likely to catch 30 on the LMR but more likely to catch a three pounder on the GMR. Though Ive caught four pounders in the LMR and alot of fish in the GMR, but in general thats how things are. In a river like the Little Miami I think the spawn is way more complicated than we know, numbers are affected by swings in water temp, flooding, if the main stems flooding and the tributaries are not, if a huge thunderstorm hits one stretch at the wrong time and not another and on and on. Smallmouth have been shown in several studies to return to allmost the exact piece of river every year to spawn, numbers of fry in John Bryan Park might be completely different than Foster or Bass Island in the same year. Trying to give you a complete "this is how it is" on hundred mile long streams like the LMR and GMR just isn't possible.

That's a lot of good information...thanks!
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