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umsmallyz763

What has been working for the smallies as of late?

13 posts in this topic

Ever since the water temp has taken a nose dive I haven't for the life of me been able to figure them smallies out. I have tried everything I can think of to get bit, but nothing has been working. Up sizing, down sizing, slowing down, speeding up, hard, soft... nodda. I have been looking at every spot I can think of from summer haunts to winter haunts and still nothing. I would really like to know if anybody else is having any success, or is this going on for others too. If have success, any suggestions?

Joe

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I've been on the water for the last seven days.

The bite is there....but I hadta fish slow....

TX rigged 4" tubes / Deeper eddies with current close by....

Workn' well for me....good luck!

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not to long ago i got a few on top water but lately ive moved to the tubes and jigs. Just this morning i caught one on a spinnerbait. They are definetely unpredictable right now.

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I have found what Mr. Turner said to be true today, and it was perhaps one of the best days of Upper Miss. smallie fishing I have had. The weather alone made this a great day, but oh the fish were biting!

The fish were very aggressive today and cruising the current edges in deeper water (4 to 6 feet) along eddy pools and areas where current was diverted by shoreline structure. We fished 3 inch tubes with 1/4 ounce tube jigs inserted. The smaller tube allowed us to get the bait down quickly. We cast to the current breaks and hopped the tubes back to the boat slowly along the bottom. Hits were hard and fast for a while, we boated many fish in the 14 - 16 inch range, several 17 - 18 inchers and one complete hog, 20 inches on the nose. I took my boss today (I know, what a suck-up) the 20 incher was his and it was his biggest bass of all time. They showed a strong preference for dark brown or dark green colors today.

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RandyR-

Hi. We were going to head out today - but figured the water levels would be too low....I have a 16 foot lund and have had that on water that has been very low before..but this year things seem really low....however, I was wondering what the levels were like when you were out today??

Thanks for any input. By the way, we went to Minnetonka today instead - and it was the dead sea. Way too many big pleasure boats - and waves. Caught zero bass, and had 2 large muskies follow - but they were just sniffing around not really interested.

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Hoffer,

I have a 16 foot Crestliner, 25 hp Mariner.

Water levels have improved, not great but definitely better than the midst of the drought. You need to stick to areas you know and go slow if you have a prop boat.

I hear you about the number of boats you can encounter on area lakes. I would rather risk dinging a prop on the rocks and be able to fish without worrying about getting run over by a half drunk Tonka pleasure boater.

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RandyR-

Thanks for the reply! I notice you are from Maple Grove too. I have probably run into you somewhere - I live on the Southeast side of "town" - older part of the area. We usually just go as far North as Monti - sometimes Clearwater - not asking for your spots - but did you have to go north of Monti to get the decent water levels...I dont think many boaters will be going out to the river from here on out anyways - and i probably wont make it either - but just in case - I was just wondering....yesterday we saw 2 very drunk groups. One guy had fallen out of his boat by a dock and couldnt get back in. trhe water temps were around 58. His partner just sat in the back of thre boat - and watched him - he finally made it back in. Then when we were getting our boat out - the guy in front us us at the landing had a big fiberglass pleasure boat - a big one - and when he pulled it out - they didnt put the chain on the boat from the trailer and the boat started moving down the trailer. my buddy who was watching this from his truck saw it and yelled to the guy to stop and hook on the chain. Well, one of the guys (in the boat still while they were pulling it off the landing.....) got up from his seat in the boat to check things out and fell flat on his back and a** on the landing from about 5 feet up. He couldnt believe it. Thanks again for the input on the Miss.

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Randy, We bumped into each other last week end. Thanks for the advice on the spot wink.gif. I saw you up there this weekend too. I don't like to crowd people so I stayed down stream. I was getting a few smallies jigging minnows and trolling a spinner rig. Nice report, maybe I'll have to get out there ealier and be first to the spot. I have the 16ft Alumacraft with 25hp johnson.

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Big Musk,

We literally did bump into each other!

Thanks for being such a good sport, I went brain dead for a minute and didn't realize the current was taking my boat right into you. Great way to meet people wink.gif

It never ceases to amaze me how the smallies will behave so differently from day to day. It is great fun trying to figure them out.

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I can tell you what hasn't been working for me, spinnerbaits of any sort. I have been trying in-line spinners and bass type spinners and have not been producing much at all. I am going to have to learn other techniques on rivers. Maybe tubes?

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Packer fan,

Tubes are my go to bait in the upper Mississippi.

I use 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inch tubes, darker colors. I look for tubes that are molded from thin plastic,I believe they are more flexible and life-like and I have proven to myself they catch more bass than the thicker and tougher tubes.

I will even modify the leg length with a small scissors, longer legs wiggle more. I have also noticed that they like a beat up looking tube, so I will trim some of the legs to a different length to make the tube look a little ragged. I know that sounds a little goofy, but it makes a difference.

I fish tubes with 1/4 ounce tube jigs inserted, hook exposed. I don't have too much trouble with snags, the hook points up and tends to not catch on things. I get better hookups with an exposed hook. (Texas rigging also works, but this is what I have settled on.)

If the fish are cruising the shallows I use the longer tubes and if they are in the current or in deeper water I use the 2 1/2 length. the smaller tubes act like a heavier lure, less affected by the current and they sink faster.

Vary retrieve until you find out what they want, sometimes slow and steady works, other times a quick pull and let it drop works.

Try tubes, they work well in the fall.

When I first started fishing smallies in the river, I used large minnows, taking the advice of a local bait dealer, but I have found that tubes catch at least as many fish and are much lesss prone to harming the fish from deep hooking.

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Thanks a lot for the advice Randy, I will definitely give them a try. I have been reluctant because I do not have a lot of experience fishing tubes in the River, or lakes for that matter. I have always been a spinner bait, senko or T-rigged worm guy. Tubes are a whole new ball game for me. I C&R everything, so I do not use live bait to fish any species.

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I ended up with quite a few little smallies last weekend and monday morning on tubes along with a couple walleye. Wasnt fast and furious but that was the only thing working.

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