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Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

Joined:
2010/4/12 21:57
From Downingtown
Posts: 109
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Ryan where do you typically place the split shot? I have never used them in flyfishing and wasnt sure if it should be near the fly or further up the leader?? Have you found more success with a particular placement?

Posted on: 2010/7/22 9:53


Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

Joined:
2010/6/30 14:13
From Lehighton, PA
Posts: 1319
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Oh I used to put the splitshot anywhere from 6-12 inches above the fly but many times the splitshot ended up right in front of the fly. So now I just put it right in front of the fly, I think it helps get the fly right down close to the bottom anyway. Strip, sink, strip, sink.

Posted on: 2010/7/22 10:39
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Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

Joined:
2009/10/15 12:02
From Dispositionally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
Posts: 530
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Most of the larger SMB I take, especially mid-day, come to a dead drifted simple chenille/rabbit fur leech tied on a 3X long nymph streamer hook. These are good size flies, measuring up to 3" from the eye to the end of the trailing rabbit fur tail. Black seems to work best, but dark brown is also very good. A variation I've had real good success with is to palmer black hackle on a dark brown dubbed leech yarn body in a standard length ring eyed hook (like a Mustad 3366) in size 2 or 4 and then tie in a black zonker fur strip off the tail about twice the shank length. Ostrich herl also works well for the tail.

When I first started targeting these fish, I tried retrieving the fly in a dozen different ways until my eyeballs were about ready to pop and caught little. But once I started sort of guiding the fly on a dead drift ( to keep it from hanging up all the time) through the pockets and runs, my success rate quadrupled.

It can be surprising (at least I was surprised) how heavy of a flow the bass will be in, especially in hot weather. Especially in the deeper sections and any place where there is a pocket of calm water at least the size of the fish where he can hang in ambush.

While a lot of the takes will be pretty decisive and easy to detect, smallmouth in slower water will often simply inhale the fly and all you'll get is a vague feeling that something is there. That and maybe a light "tunk". Often a good deal more subtle than a trout.
So, I use an indicator in slower water and often simply cast and slowly creep the fly back towards me by slowly raising the rod tip, pausing now and then.

Another thing that works well for me is to work the banks with these same flies. The bass often like to lie in little depressions along the bank, even if the water is fairly shallow and especially if it is a shady bank. I still fish these areas with the same weighted flies I use in the faster pockets. I just flip it up tight to the bank and then immediately begin to move it slowly away at a speed that keeps it from hanging up, but not so fast that it looks unnatural. Often, the takes in these situations are pretty dramatic. You'll cast, barely get a chance to move the fly and the water will boil and you'll be hooked up.

I've also been doing well on Murray Marauders in sizes 4 and 6, especially in black. Got a 19" smallie and a 21-22" inch channel cat on a black Marauder yesterday out of a creek in SC Wisconsin. These are pretty versatile flies. They can be dead drifted or actively retrieved or a combination.

I should add that all the above presumes pretty good water clarity. If the water is off color some, I'll strip Clousers in smoke/white, blue/white and yellow/smoke and white/pearl Marauders through the runs and forget the dead drifting stuff.

Posted on: 2010/7/22 13:18


Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

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2007/4/8 20:43
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 11189
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Click to see original Image in a new window


I keep trying, but with little success.. I had a few this morning, through the early afternoon... I found my hits came when I was just letting it hang in the current for a moment while I did something else.

Of course, those were the ones I was least prepared for, and landed none of. I'm starting to get a better feel for where they might be, I'm surprised at some of the skinny water these guys live in, not that they're record breakers, but stiff, some of this water is only 8" deep and I noticed they'll come out of knowhere to strike at my bugger.

Posted on: 2010/7/27 16:06


Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

Joined:
2010/6/22 17:33
From Potter/montgomery
Posts: 58
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I was talking to sandfly over the weekend about delaware bass. He says the Hellgie population is bigger than the carwfish pop. any stream feeding the delaware will be the same. He swears by his hellgie pattern (skilton) on the rivers there. Also he ties a fun fur minnow thats killer for the area. He does something with goop to make it swim like a real fish. I know he will not be around for a few days as he's trolling the local lakes in his pontoon with some new patterns.

Posted on: 2010/7/27 19:11
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Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

Joined:
2008/2/13 21:52
From West Lawn, PA
Posts: 259
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I have been doing relatively well on the Schyulkill in the greater Reading are, but have not been hooking larger fish. 90% of the fish I catch are in the 6-11" range with only a very few over 12".

Is it (in your opinion) because ...

- Not many fish over 12" to be hooked.
- Not fishing where the big guys live.
- Big guys are smarter and pickier.
- Big guys spool easily.

The info on this particular link has been more informative to me than many of the books out there. Thanks guys.

Posted on: 2010/7/28 13:57


Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

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2006/9/11 11:30
Posts: 542
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An 18" smallie can be an 8 to 10 year old fish, so it is a rare bird and pretty street wise. In the Delaware I find the larger fish in deeper runs - generally not really in the pools, but where the water is maybe at least 4 ft to 5 ft deep and a pain to fish. Even in the deeper runs there are seams and bubble lines where more fish seem to be. There are some hotspots that are just big fish spots, but don't ask about those. Drop offs around creek mouths are good too. In a bigger river I just fish the better spots a lot and now and again a big fish bites.

I live on a small stocked trout river that also holds plenty of larger smallies. They are a pain to catch. The hang out in impossible spots to fish or they are cruising. The cruise around and occassionally bust into the shallows after minnows. The most reliable time to hook them is when they bust into the shallows, but you have to be at the right place at the right time. The only answer I have found is to spend plenty of time watching to spot better smallies and get a handle on their habits and then fish a lot to get them when they are vulnerable. Wish I had an easier answer, but IMHO big smallies are tougher to fool than big trout.

Posted on: 2010/7/29 12:01


Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

Joined:
2008/2/13 21:52
From West Lawn, PA
Posts: 259
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Jeff.

Your words have strong medicine. The fact is, I have homework on the river. What you, and others have been saying is that many bass does not mean that grandpa lives there too.

I am going to experiment with longer leaders (I use about a 10-12' usually), maybe find some shot for even the heavier "Deep Clousers", and focus more on the deeper holds.

PS - Any information is wiser for me, and I appreciate the response.

Steven Holgate

Posted on: 2010/7/29 13:33


Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

Joined:
2006/11/15 10:49
Posts: 71
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If you're adding extra weight to your clousers, and if this doesn't offend your sensibilities, try adding a rattle to them. might help with the pigs.

Posted on: 2010/7/29 15:06


Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

Joined:
2008/2/13 21:52
From West Lawn, PA
Posts: 259
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I am willing to try anything (within reason), the species intrigue me. It is more of a challenge than I expected. I am getting the numbers, now I would like to land some larger ones. If a 14" smallie can fight like that, I can't wait until I fool one over 15" ... that is, if i can.

Thanks again.

Posted on: 2010/7/29 20:54


Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19932
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sholgate,

I grew up fishing the skuke in that area. The majority of my larger bass came dead drifting unweighted "yamasenko" worms wacky rigged. The occasional twitch helped, but it was predominantly dead drifting. I used the 4 and 5 inchers, mainly in black, baby bass, and watermelon.

Click to see original Image in a new window

I'd imagine you could tie something similar with thick chenille, but figuring out how to imitate the buoyancy and action of twitching a wacky rig is a head scratcher. If you don't know, wacky rigging is just hooking it through the midsection (the fake egg sack), much like a child or uninformed idiot would rig it.

This was absolutely killer for larger SMBs wherever I found them.

Posted on: 2010/7/29 22:20


Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

Joined:
2008/2/13 21:52
From West Lawn, PA
Posts: 259
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I was trying to stay with Fly Rod. I grew up on the Susky near Tunkhannock, PA fishing with my Dad for catfish. I haven't fished with a spin rod in a while, but a thought.

This morning I did somewhat better. I only caught 3, but all of them between 10-12". All of them caught on a pretty heavy deep clouser
(I voted against the split shot because I usually tangle.) in 12-18" of water, BUT it was running hard. I believe I am on to something. More experimentation to come. And I may even make a visit to the mini-jam on the Little J.

Posted on: 2010/7/30 13:17


Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19932
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I wasn't suggesting you drop the fly rod. What I was suggesting is that it may be possible to imitate the action of the senko worm with it. I just don't know how.

Don't go to the little j for the jam! You'll end up very lost! It's the big j.

Posted on: 2010/7/30 13:26


Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

Joined:
2007/4/8 20:43
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 11189
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Dear Internet,

Smallies on poppers are awesome.

Your pal,
Gary!

Posted on: 2010/7/31 23:03
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Re: Smallmouth Bass Techniques

Joined:
2008/3/20 22:15
Posts: 1789
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How weighted are your buggers? I fish bead head with lead wire under dubbing. I cast and wait to give them a chance to sink. Catch little ones and a couple of rock bass once in awhile but I fish smallies so much slower than trout. I twitch, strip fast and wait, twitch, strip fast and wait. It's almost painful but I get some nice size bass. I also fish Zonkers and some jigs which I'm not sure are official fly fishing flies and I have to be really careful casting them as not to hook an ear. My favorite is still the weighted woolly bugger. Best of luck and send a pic when you hook up on that lunker!

Posted on: 2010/8/2 22:41



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