Here is Part One of my smallmouth bass river fishing adventure. Today I try my hand at river fishing for the first time, and man was it fun!
Species: Smallmouth Bass
Date: May, 2018
Location: Mississippi River (Minnesota)
Partner: Luke Swanson, Livin’ The Dream Guide Service (linked below)
Overview: How to fish pre-spawn/mid-spawn smallies
YouTube: Livin’ The Dream Guide Service
Rod: G Loomis 7’1″ Medium action
Reel: Shimano Sedona 3000
Line: 20lb Braid
Lure: White Fluke
Try out the Ned Rig, my goto pond bait for cold water bass!
First bass caught at 1:20
Big bass caught at 4:00
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Recommended gear – 6′ or 6’6″ light to medium power spinning rod/fast or extra fast action. Use light line 10 lb braid (with a fluorocarbon leader) or 6-8 lb fluorocarbon or monofilament
1/16 ounce to 1/8 ounce mushroom jighead with a 3″ stick bait reduced to 1.5″ to 2″
Tips – When fishing in cold conditions, the memory of fluorocarbon and monofilament can become troublesome. Therefore, try braided line in really cold weather for a tangle free fishing day!
Effective water temps – I prefer the ned rig in really cold or really warm water temperatures 37 – 45 degrees or 80 – 90 degrees
Ideal conditions -The clearer the water and the tougher the conditions, the more effective the ned rig will be compared to other finesse baits!
Colors – Natural translucent colors for clear water – watermelon seed, watermelon red, translucent brown. Try opaque colors in stained water like green pumpkin or green pumpkin magic.
Hookset – With finesse gear and light wire hooks, you want to avoid strong hooksets which can bend out the hooks. Try a light sweeping hookset or simply reeling in the bait with the rod tip up when you get a bite.
Note: When the water is cold, the bites will often feel very subtle. Either you won’t feel anything and you’ll see your line move off to the side, or you’ll feel a light “tick” when the bass picks up your bait. You probably won’t feel that classic “thump” as you would during the warmer months of the year.
Retrieval – I like to fish the ned rig similar to a shaky head. Drag it along the bottom a few inches at a time, and shake it when you get to a rock/stump. The colder the water, the slower the retrieve and include deadsticking (not moving/shaking the bait) the bait up to 20 seconds as the water temp drops below 45 degrees.
Where not to use the bait – Muddy water, where the visibility is less than 15 inches. The ned rig is a visual finesse technique, the bass must be able to the bait for this rig to be effective.
Lures Used: Bass pro shops shroom jighead (1/8 ounce) with a 3″ bps stick-O (watermelon seed)
Rod/Reel/Line used: Shimano JDM Aldebaran BFS XG Limited (8:0:1 – 10 lb suffix 832 braid, 12 lb seaguar tatsu leader) with a BPS Bionic Blade micro 6’6″ med/fast
Location: Ellicott City, Maryland
Date: December 5th, 2015
Primary Pattern: Slowly fishing the ned rig in shallow water adjacent to deeper water
Time Fished: 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Air Temp: 48 degrees
Water Temp: 42 degrees
Water Clarity: 18 inches
Conditions: Sunny with winds from the SE up to 4 mph
Hatcam Used: Gopro hero 4 silver (1080p, 60 FPS, medium FOV) – chesty + external audio
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A quick overview of Table Rock Lake for those who have no to little experience on the lake.