Northern Smallmouth

Up in the North Country, our water temperature stays pretty low year round. However, that doesn’t stop the smallmouth from having an aggressive attitude.

I love to fish fast and throwing a swim jig is the name of the game for me. I have experimented with the “free swinging” style jig head and I pretty much love it.

I’ll swim it just inches under the surface and sometimes even pop it on the surface. I’ll fish it in less than a foot of water or even as deep as 7 or 8 feet. Fish will always feed up and as the fall starts to approach, they will be very focused on baitfish on the surface. At least that’s how I like to fish for them.

When it comes to color you do what you are confident in. Normally, I’m always throwing a white or chartreuse for something to grab their attention, because most of the time, it is a reaction bite.

That being said, maybe color doesn’t matter as much, but I like all the advantage I can get. Again whatever you are confident in!

When around thick vegetation, I’ll use a heavy action rod just so I don’t need to worry about them getting buried in the thick grass. However, anytime I can get away with a medium action rod I’ll always opt for that.

I feel like it gives the fish a bit more time to wear themselves out and lets them eat the bait a little more. This is true whenever I’m using a crank bait or similar bait. I love a rod that gives and will let the fish show its true power. A rod around 7 ft is what I prefer but everyone has their go to rods.

I’m always going to be using a high-speed gear ratio reel, for me that’s a 7.1 and I do have some faster ones, but 7.1 does the job. If I ever want to slow my retrieve, I just reel slower, it’s that simple.

I’ve never understood why people buy 5.3 gear ratios. But to each their own. I have used some 6.3, however, it’s difficult to pop the lure on surface and that’s sometimes how you get that reaction bite.

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