Every time I get on the water, it’s a new experience. However, I love when fishing from year to year can in some ways, mimic itself. For example, fall fishing last year I was dedicated to square bills on the Mississippi river.
On my first trip out to a small river, I stuck with the cranking idea and started with a 3XD diving down to about 10ft and never took this rod out of my hands. This little river only gets to about 14ft deep with an average of 6ft or so. Current was running at about 3 MPH, creating plenty of current seams and eddies.
So, my fishing partner and I chugged up river for 30 minutes and stopped at a random spot with a small current seam and some fallen trees with less visibility than I would have liked…. and it’s raining…... Also, keep in mind, this little river is only 50 yards wide and even narrower in some spots. Water temp is down to 62 degrees and after the storms in the metro area, I’m sure it went down a little bit in the past day.
For two solid hours I threw that lil crank bait and absolutely killed the smallmouth. Hands down one of the best days on that body of water I have ever had. Throwing the bait up stream and working it HARD against the bottom, the fish just loved it.
A black and silver/white chad colored crank was all I needed, I paired this with medium action cranking rod and 10lb fluorocarbon line. These smallmouth bass in current, are true fighters and having my drag super loose, was important when fighting them because of my light line and the strong current.
These fish were so hungry that most fish had both trebles in their mouths. That’s when you know the bite is HOT. They were short striking my fishing partners bait, a swim-bait-football jig-swimjig and crushing my crank bait, so I never switched it up.
Working those slack water areas was our focus, however, we found a school of these fat fish in the middle of the river. It’s such a small river that they can move so much with little effort, it’s also easier to find them so quickly in a small river.
My tip would be to never assume an area doesn’t have fish in it. A couple cast never hurt anyone! Now that the water temp is dropping, the smallmouth will only school up more and usually once you find one, you find half a dozen or so. Its officially fall time and getting out on the water is the only way to truly learn how this football like smallies live. Tight lines and good luck!