Smallmouth Lines

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by CoastalCutt, May 14, 2008.

  1. CoastalCutt Member

    Posts: 547
    North Bend, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    So traditionally, I have done very well with just a 15' intermediate tip for Smallmouth, but I have that extra spool filled with a T-4. What do you guys think I should throw at em this weekend at Banks? I'm fishing 10-12 ft ripraps/rock structure.
  2. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,744
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +103 / 0
    Well there is the obvious full floater but I am sure you have that already.

    Smallmouth are really surface oriented, even this time of year if it is shallow enough.

    I have to admit though, when the fishing is real good, I have gotten them on top water at 20 feet deep but I always assumed they were suspended near the surface already.
  3. WaFlyCaster Tricoptera

    Posts: 464
    Fife, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    i just fish floating line with heavier weighed flies on a fairly long leader (10-12ft)... alot of my smallies and LM's come as the bugger/leech is initially sinking. I have fished sink tips though the same area and end up getting to the bottom too fast and snagging rocks. Dont get me wrong sink tips will work and you'll catch fish but I end up with better luck the other way. I generally use a really slow presentation let the fly sink to the bottom and then retrieve a quick strip and then let it sink again. I usually fish water 6-10 feet deep. I'm by no means a pro at bass fishing with the fly but ive been doing it for the last 5-6 years and i always end up having a good time. I'm sure there is someone else on this board with more experience who will share their knowledge.
  4. CoastalCutt Member

    Posts: 547
    North Bend, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Well thanks! I'll pack the 5 with a floater then.
  5. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,744
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +103 / 0
    iagree With everything you just said and I got a lot of experience fishing for them and that is my rig 80% of the time. I prefer fishing shallow structure and not deeper humps anyway. For me the fun in bass is reading structure I can see and a lot time even seeing fish I can catch.

    Anyway, here are some of my observations that are true a good part of the time.

    -Smallies really like rock shoals where the rocks are mostly the size of basketballs.

    -If the water is clear and calm and the lake is QUIET, topwater IS ALWAYS a good pattern to fish at any time of day. This means no boat motors especially and it isn't because of the spook factor it is because they need to HEAR the topwater.

    -If you are having trouble hooking up fishing streamers, try tying on a smaller, buggy trailer fly. I have hooked 6 pound smallies on a 16 Copper John or Prince. The trouble is for the nymph to swim right it can take some light tippet and than can mean you lose some of those big fish on structure. The trailer has really made some bleak days bright in a matter of the next cast and BANG!

    -Spawning smallies hit the shit out of flies drug along the bottom through their nests. I don't hardly ever do this nowdays but there was a time.

    -If you are bringing in one smallie and you have a buddy there and he is adept at casting and reading where fish are heading, or you simply don't care if you lose your fish from tangling lines, have him cast in the area of the fight and fish as close to the hooked fish as he reasonable can. You will hookup A LOT. I have had this happen 8 times in the same evening with some sizable fish (No lunkers because they tend to be rogue fish).

    -Smallmouth will hit the shit out of red and white and mixed red/white streamers and topwater as darkness falls and even into darkness. If the moon is out fish red/white. This is the reason all those classic topwater and crank lures were red on white....because they caught fish but smallies especially.

    -Straight black is the only color topwater I will use during the day and it can work when the sun is high in the sky.

    -Don't be afraid to let a big juicy topwater fly sit TOTALLY still for 5 minutes if you think a lunker may be near.

    -Lilly pads and smallmouth don't mix so well. Largemouth like lilly because largemouth don't mind muddy bottoms. Smallies like rocks and gravel.
  6. CoastalCutt Member

    Posts: 547
    North Bend, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Exactly what I know and practice. I have fished them lots and caught lots of fish, just wondered if anyone had experimented with some deeper running lines. Thanks for the advice everyone.
  7. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,856
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,260 / 1
    Another option is to fish a full sinking line. I started using this techique after reading an article by a fellow named Rich Osthoff out of Wisconsin. He utilizes a full sinker with his Bobbing Baitfish pattern. The premise here is the line will pull this pattern down on the strip. On the pause, since the fly floats, it will float (or bob, thus the name) up. The full sink line will keep the fly in the zone.
    You really get a very up and down motion with the fly during the strip and pause phases of your retrieve. Basically the opposite of what you'd get with a clouser, which would drop on the pause.
    I've had pretty good luck with this techique. Just another option to consider.
    Attached is a picture of his Bobbing Baitfish pattern.
  8. WaFlyCaster Tricoptera

    Posts: 464
    Fife, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    iagreeiagree The basketball size rocks is a great way to describe where to find the smallies. I always seem to find them in that area..especially if there is a drop off to deeper water close to the basketball size rocks. Cannot agree more on the smaller flies. Ive caught all of my biggest smallmouth on smaller flies out of areas that were hammered by gear fisherman just before i went through with the small fly. Its amazing how they will turn down larger baits and take the small flies.
  9. Jmills81 The Dude Abides

    Posts: 1,877
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +128 / 0
    dont forget your deer hair mice patterns

    get ready for some shheeeet when they hit those
  10. musashi Member

    Posts: 75
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    bring toilet paper incase you get smacked the sh_t out of ya! :rofl:
  11. Be Jofus G Banned or Parked

    Posts: 2,051
    Washington
    Ratings: +53 / 0
    I said I said I said you're doing it all wrong boy. :rofl:

    Cortland intermediate 333 rocket taper line. Clear.

    9 ft #4 leader

    1 ft of fluro tip

    12 ft is too deep. I promise, the assmasters make the same mistake every memorial day weekend. Launch at steamboat rock. If you are standing on the boat launch Look in the 10:00 direction. There is a cluster of cliffs and large boulders seperated by sand beaches. Fish the shadows of those cliffs in about 3 - 6 ft of water. Tie a # 8 - 6 softhackel. Burnt orange or burnt yellow body, black rib, brown softhackle and a golden pheasant tip tail. The hackle should be sparse and long. If you fish the middle to leading edges of the shadow you probably won't make it past 3 strips. Follow the shadows around the cliffs. You'll see what I mean when you get there. It sort of looks like a gigantic sun dial. Don't bother fishing after 9:30AM. It's an early bird game.

    Banks lake smallmouth are runts anyway. When you get bored, break out the pop gear and chase the walleye. :thumb:
  12. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,635
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +539 / 0
    Now there's some opinion that i can put to use! Been dyin to get into the Smallie action, but am clueless as to the nearest places...know of some that aren't too unreasonably far away, though, and thanks for all the tips!
  13. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,792
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +643 / 0
    This time of year the smallies with be relatively shallow (especially the males) preparing or actually spawning. Fishing that surface down to the 10 depths would be a good strategy.

    However at least here in Western Washington a full sinking line with a good sink rate is a very useful tool. Much of the year I find most of my lake fish in that 12 to 25 foot range and a full sinking line with unweighted flies or even floating flies allows you to give the fish a different presentation (something they have not seen from all the conventional anglers).

    Even in the pre-spawn period a full sinking line would be useful in targeting some of those larger females holding outside the spawning flats. Again those fish will be in that 15 to 25 range. By fishing outside of those anglers fishing the shallow flats you can sometimes seriously upgrade the size of the bass caught.

    Tight lines
    Curt
  14. CoastalCutt Member

    Posts: 547
    North Bend, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Well, I caught some very large (3-4 lb.) female Smallies, but pictures got deleted because my card was too full. Anyways, I did very well on largemouths too...most 1-2 lbs. on poppers at dusk. Caught Smallies mostly on a T-4 sinking line, and caught the biggest Crappie of my life on a floater and bugger. (14"....no shit.)
  15. WaFlyCaster Tricoptera

    Posts: 464
    Fife, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Nice work on the bass! and those dinner plate size crappie and pretty cool..and rare to catch these days.
    :thumb:
  16. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,744
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +103 / 0
    I LOVE big crappies.

    They also run in tight packs, lots of double headers if you put your fly/lure next to the hooked one.