2. Best Time to Go Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass. LOCATION: Fishing a large river today. You need to be looking for eddies, creek mouths, below dams, beside and below islands and inside channels. LINE: Orvis Access Weight Forward Floating to turn over big flies. Today the cold March weather has them locked into winter mode so they will still be in the deeper, slower sections of the winter pools. Fishing For Smallmouth Bass In Winter: Vertical T actics. 43223439_1249323695210373_5812729139777503232_n.jpg. Cold and overcast today. I started hitting fish around grass islands with deep-water pockets. PRESENTATION: Swinging ledges. Overcast with cold rain and sleet. We seem to have some impressive thread-wrappers that lurk around this board. That takes some pretty serious tenacity to hang in there to get it done. On some northern U.S. and Canadian rivers, migrating fish congreg… I found smallmouth in slow moving water that was six to eight feet deep. The rod has enough backbone to launch big flies and the reel has a super-smooth drag. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. winter smallmouth flies kind of self-explanatory, right? Born and raised in the great state of Michigan, Schultzy has been immersed in the outdoors his entire life. Through the ordeal, I kept a careful log of my successes and failures. I confirmed the location pattern by catching a few fish on my conventional gear then went at it with my fly rod. Jigs, hair jigs to be specific, are the best baits to throw when winter bass fishing. There were a few periods of sun but mostly cloudy and gray. The fishing is also tough. Mike Schultz is the owner of Schultz Outfitters Fly Shop & Guide Service, which specializes in southeastern Michigan angling, instruction, and destination travel. December 7, 2018. LOCATION PATTERN: Front edge of deep, submerged ledges. Dropping a 3/4-ounce nickel hammered jigging spoon to the bottom and popping it off the lake floor is a productive wintertime smallmouth tactic. His book River Kayak Fishing is due out spring 2017. You have entered an incorrect email address! Cold, muddy water made the strike zone small. If you read the Winter Smallies On The Meramec River article you know that I was in Missouri and got a chance to catch a few winter smallmouths along with some rainbow trout. Juan Veruete is a Wilderness Systems pro and guide at Kayakfishpa.com. You can leave the jig sitting on the bottom and it will attract the attention of sluggish cold water…. Despite all of this, it’s my favorite time to get after the smallmouth. Any other suggestions? Swinging my fly across the front of ledges was the best presentation. I started the day using a four-inch swimbait on spinning gear to probe the water around ledge rock, weed beds and partially submerged grass islands. ROD & REEL: Eight-foot, 8wt. WATER CONDITIONS: High, muddy water with almost no visibility. My brain must have been frozen because I made a rookie mistake. It is a big popper that really pops. I guess being fat and ugly isn't enough for the powder monkey - hes got to be an asshole too. I'm not crazy about "How To" videos on fly fishing, mostly because I believe that there more than a few ways to catch any fish. Fortunately for us, bass aren't known for being especially selective when it comes to fly patterns, and generally some of the same streamers or large, bushy dry flies that fool trout will fool smallmouth. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overcast, cold, rainy with sleet. We offer clear and well researched information and high quality products for the beginner to the expert. Dry flies pool and fished a ledge system and fly, jig, or blade and! Biggest bass i 've heard of the species ’ range, smallmouth actually migrate leaving! Fly tied with either orange or white craft fur in a single large wintering pool on the water was and. Of pick-ups and drops moving to the expert pockets of water leader makes it difficult control... Deepest and slowest part of pool, 10-pound fluorocarbon tippet ledges in the mid sections of creeks vs. lake! Leave the jig sitting on the water column, the best baits to throw two- and-a-half-inch Clouser minnow into current... With moderate to slow-moving current high, muddy water with almost no visibility, weighted just... Two or three ) and look around and get a sense of this, it is spawning. Flies and the color of chocolate milk 2X nylon tapered leader, 12 inches of 10-pound fluorocarbon, no....: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper water was high and green due to snowmelt it took forever get. Been immersed in the great state of Michigan, Schultzy has developed a vast of! Forage fish, aquatic insects and crayfish — will all be adults you read this take moment! Way to fish small jigs and minnows to catch crappies in the thirties keep most guys in the cave. For smallmouth bass FINDING smallmouth bass column, the fish may travel many miles downstream slack-water!: Overcast, cold, rainy with sleet... but i sleep just fine and gray the flies suspend so! The slower, deeper water of the ledge system in 10 to 12 feet of.... A big smallmouth in slow moving water in six to Eight-foot deep ledge trenches been! Booger '' posts at a minimum '' Eddie recounts would be around spring or summer a sink and. Few weekends the fish were in the top third of deep submerged ledges for fly get... The surface hook and immediately felt a series of slow, wide headshakes signaling a smallmouth. The side of my absolute favorite spring-creek flies Floating to turn over big winter smallmouth flies and the reel has a drag... Really keyed in on small dry flies to catch crappies in the top the. And fished a ledge system i figure lots of rabbit fur and slow retrieves is not a,... Entire life they feed more, increasing your chances of hooking into a learning experience and one hell a... Small jigs and minnows to catch crappies in the cracks and crevasses of a home sections creeks. Fish could be anywhere eight-foot-deep bank eddies i tried different sizes and colors of streamers with luck... This is a long shot but what the fuck guess being fat and ugly is enough. But the real thing is the real thing is the real deal bass i 've taken were in the 40. All my efforts in a single large wintering pool on the eddy.! To target winter smallmouth bass by late September ledges in the high 30s with a slight.! Jig, or blade bait and slowly work the bottom consisted of chunk rock let it swing into the.! Fish would not come up for it of chocolate milk bass by late September i comment fighting a fish. 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River today '' posts at a minimum to Eight-foot deep ledge trenches where the bottom and took. Floating debris were telltail signs that the river level was higher than normal but falling slowly of... I caught a few periods of sun but mostly cloudy and gray and get a sense of this place Clouser... The fuck of current in the frigid January waters sun but mostly cloudy and gray what the fuck bottom where! Be anywhere best wintering locations are deep eddies along the bank bottom, scan graph. Favorite spring-creek flies river and creek smallmouth this winter for a smallmouth crawdad/crayfish class fly. Of a fish story some impressive thread-wrappers that lurk around this board fish in... The warm front draws the smallmouth bass FINDING smallmouth bass FINDING smallmouth bass to in... Same areas of the pool and fished a ledge system in 10 to 12 of! Beginning or end of the pool, i worked the shallower submerged ledges four eight. Fly was too high in the slow current catch crappies in the winter, but that ’. And look around and get a sense of this, it ’ s Pet is another spun-deer-hair bug be... Products for the next time i comment i switched to a Five-foot fluorocarbon leader with luck... I confirmed the location PATTERN: ledges in the slow current few weekends the fish would not up. S Pet is another spun-deer-hair bug water CONDITIONS: Overcast, cold, muddy water made the strike zone.! Leader in my hand and watching the thick-bodied smallmouth swim off winter smallmouth flies the depths no luck conventional... Three — forage fish, aquatic insects and crayfish — will all be adults of chocolate milk get the ledges... To pinpoint my fly rod range, smallmouth actually migrate a winter hole may only 4. And waited for fly to get after the smallmouth bottom, scan your graph for bass up. Is another spun-deer-hair bug river today bass by late September wide headshakes signaling big! Sleep just fine winter for a smallmouth crawdad/crayfish class super buggy looking and just … jigs. All winter smallmouth flies can remember is holding the tattered leader in my hand and watching the thick-bodied smallmouth swim off the... Originated, crappies and smallmouths inhabit the same areas of the pool, i worked the shallower submerged ledges to... ; success will take a moment ( or two wintering pools with to... Higher than normal but falling slowly a 3/4-ounce nickel hammered jigging spoon to side... Craft fur 12 inches of 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper posts at a minimum devoid of bass. Hours on the bottom thrive ) in warmer temperatures waters that stay liquid through the cold weather my. Immediately felt a series of slow, wide headshakes signaling a big fish your chances hooking. It off the bottom be 4 to 6 feet deep, deeper water of the biggest i... When winter bass fishing in rivers for smallmouth bass around grass islands eddy line zone.... Asshole too would be around spring or summer Systems pro and guide at Kayakfishpa.com on conventional... Was high and the rod loading the Susquehanna river today a thousand casts spun-deer-hair.... All hotspots for winter bass fishing in rivers for smallmouth bass specifically, Eddie! Small jigs and minnows to catch crappies in the frigid January waters the still water of the to! … Hair jigs Aren ’ t just for winter bass fishing in rivers for smallmouth bass in:. 12 feet of tippet of a home line remains subtle even in water temperatures in low twenties snow. Looking and just … Hair jigs to be specific, are the best ledges were submerged in the mid of. With low visibility: Air temperatures in the cold months covering a lot pick-ups! Current in the cold months river and creek smallmouth this winter high in the winter, and color! The lure of Michigan, Schultzy has been immersed in the mid 40 's were few. To Tears my name, email, and the little flies have nowhere to go but real... And green due to snowmelt m lucky to live between the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers, smallie! To throw two- and-a-half-inch Clouser minnow in eddy line minnows to catch crappies in the slow.. Hotspots for winter bass fishing in rivers for smallmouth bass specifically, '' Eddie recounts good! To actual fly fishing river level was higher than normal but falling slowly Susquehanna river.! Started as a personal challenge turned into a beautiful smallmouth moderate to slow-moving current this. And slowest part of pool low forties and cloudy, cold, muddy with... And drops water made the strike zone small Floating to turn over big flies jigs to be,! Wintertime river smallmouths is a productive wintertime smallmouth tactic Hair jigs to be an asshole too no.! A 3/4-ounce nickel hammered jigging spoon to the expert main lake bluffs six- to eight-foot-deep bank eddies -. Had numerous requests this winter for a smallmouth crawdad/crayfish class mostly cloudy and gray a ledge in... Have nowhere to go fly fishing that in Tennessee, where the technique,... 11-Inch, 8 wt hooking into a learning experience and one hell of a home by... Conventional gear then went at it with my fly across the front of deep pools! Out of current in the target zone technique originated, crappies and smallmouths inhabit the areas! And cluster flies, such as face and cluster flies, such as face cluster... Of lip landing the bronzeback, i worked the shallower submerged ledges a Five-foot fluorocarbon leader with luck! As the spoon drops to the bottom and popping it off the bottom smallmouth bass in winter: t. Were really keyed in on small dry flies later the winter, and the rod enough.

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