Baits for Spring Smallies

Discussion in 'Tackle Talk' started by OSU_Fisherman, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. OSU_Fisherman

    OSU_Fisherman Bassin' Buckeye

    Prior to this point, I have caught 1 smallmouth bass in my short fishing career. I am going to be in a tournament the second week of April on a lake that is known (in that area) for big bags of Smallmouth.

    These fish will probably be in prespawn mode, so what should I use?

    I've been told that fluke-shaped baits and tubes have done very well the last couple years. But, I do not want to head up there with two lure types to try...suggestions please.

    Thanks guys,
  2. Rebel craw
    small crankbaits
    small tubes (3 in or so)
    shad raps
    vibees - blade baits
    walk the dog baits and poppers

  3. OSU_Fisherman

    OSU_Fisherman Bassin' Buckeye

    I should also mention that this is a natural lake. It has zebra muscles, and if I remember right, that should mean the water will be real clear.
  4. crittergitter

    crittergitter Multi Species Angler

    Don't go to that tourney without some Mepps spinners.

    Get some Dressed Algia spinners with a gold blade. 1/6 oz and 1/4 oz.

    Work em slow.


    Clear water........take some florocarbon to tie up a 4' leader and you're good to go!

  5. Exactly what these guys said but also use a jerkbait extremely slow (X-Rap). Pull it down to its depth and then let it sit for long periods (10-20 seconds) them just move it a couple of turns maybe one soft jerk. This is how to get the big ones! and in a tournament that's what you are looking for.
    You might want to try and get you limit first and then work this method. I would work a small 1/16 oz jig with small brown worm trailer to get a limit.
    Just my 2 cents.
  6. zachtrouter

    zachtrouter FISHAHOLIC

    rebel craw and in-line spinners and you are in business.
  7. x-rap in size 8 and 10 are good search baits along with other jerkbaits, after finding fish you can use dropshot rig with minnow,leeches other plastics. I just cast out and reel in slow kinda like carolina rig fishing.Rattle traps,craw crankbaits and ole yeah my favorite bait for smallmouth A.C SHINER in perch fished on top.The list can go on but confindence is the most important thing to have in selecting a bait.Good luck
  8. Hey Jason!

    These are all great suggestions so far by everyone

    We will probably talk about this more at our meeting but some things we need to try are:

    -Large Jig n Pig (cold water = bigger profile/slow moving) remember they dont want to expend much energy still.

    -Suspending Jerkbaits as someone mentioned are KILLER once you find them. Buy some smithwick suspenders and some suspendots.
    This will be especially good since the water is clear.

    -Tubes tubes tubes...anytime you're fishing for smallies, have tubes. I use bullet weights and slide them inside the tube itself so it kind of goes nose first, works great for me.

    There are a couple more things but we will save them for our meeting thursday so everyone knows what to bring to Maxi.
  9. There are several baits/presentations which could be effective in the spring, alot of which have been covered in this thread already.

    Do you know what the major forage is in the lake? Is it steep with superdeep channels or a lowland type natural lake. You'll have to confirm water clarity, also...not all lakes with zebra mussels are clear. Does it have good weed growth? Do they tell you what lake it is so you can look at a map? You can draw better conclusions about the water temperature, if you know what part of the state it's in and how big/deep it is.

    If you could answer some of these questions (if you're given that info.), it will help us answer your questions better.

    Smallmouths like shale or fist-sized rocks with wood scattered in close to deeper water with a spawning flat somewhat nearby in the springtime. Lure selection/tactic depends on above questions.
  10. Another thought - If there are feeder creeks and it happens to rain make sure you fish those spots. Warmer water coming in will make the mouth of those, feeding hot spots.
  11. OSU_Fisherman

    OSU_Fisherman Bassin' Buckeye

    It is Lake Maxinkuckee in NW Indiana. I found that the max depth is somewhere around 45' and the average is about 25'. I do not know the main forage right now, but my research should turn that up sooner or later.
  12. Check out this map. Based on the map, I'd try to find the beginnings of green weed growth and a hard bottom (see earlier post) near a ledge. Water will be in the high 40's or low 50's at best. Lure selection: suspending jerks SLOW, tube jigs, small jig n' pig, blade baits or jigging spoons or swim a hair fly and 101 rind. If you get a couple of warm and windy days prior to prefishing, try a slow-rolled small willow leaf spinnerbait on the shallow side of the ledges, the biggest bass move up to feed the earliest.


    Check out the 1876 Plat Map
  13. Marshall

    Marshall Catch Photo And Release

    Hey guys i have looked at the lake on my Map source from my gps. It looks like there are lots of humps in the lake which could hold lots of fish at this time of year. Lots of shallow water with quick deep water access. Jerk bait bite could be good. I'm sure there are lots of docks along the bank which will hold a decent largemouth population as well. The trap bite could be killer over the grass also. Good luck guys.
  14. lucky craft pointer 78 or slender pointer 97, dont forget the drop shot gear, small roboworms, and the 7lb shooter. natural lakes in Indiana are gin clear. there's gonna be quite a bit of grass even in the 2nd week of april. you could prolly clean up with a trap in the right conditions.
  15. We always use Tubes in crawfish colors, 4" curl tail grubs, hair jigs and crank baits, sometimes a reaction bait will kill the Smallies in the early Spring. My favorite soft bait is a 3-1/2" Cut'r Bug in Color #013

  16. i like the idea of x-raps, flukes should work well if the water is clear. if its still cold and you find some fish i have found that smallies cant refuse the drop-shot, and i am also a fan of hair jigs, i tie my own, black bear hair works really well and i tip with gulp and deadstick them. things like swimming 5in dark curly tails works if you have confidence in it. jig-n-pigs will take big fish. as for location, depends on weather going into the tourney, i always like wind, fish deeper points that the fish can use to come shallow, and never forget deep cranks or big spinnerbaits as search baits over that type of cover. goodluck hope this gives you some ideas.