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Too Big for River Smallies?


Parkerhollow

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Question for the group....

Anyone tried the larger swim baits in the rivers for Smallies?  This thing looked to good not to try but I'm new to throwing swim baits and honestly dont know what to expect.  Its almost 4.5" long and fairly tall and I have to rig it with a 5/0 EWG weighted hook so I'm not sure??

Image result for little creeper sunfishImage result for little creeper sunfish

"Floaters make it hard to fish but sometimes they improve the scenery..."

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Question for the group....

Anyone tried the larger swim baits in the rivers for Smallies?

 

I haven't but I do throw some flies that are 6 to 8 inches long and they catch fish. Bass, especially smallmouth, aren't shy. 

 

 

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Agreed, that's why I thought I would try it.  Never ceases to amaze me at how small of a fish will hit such big lures!  

Where I'm a little pessimistic is in the profile, specifically top to bottom.  I know Bass will eat a small sunfish but I'm not sure how "preferred" they are as a component of their diet compared to shad or other larger but more slender easier to swallow forage.

hence the success of the large trout swimbaits in the western lakes.  

Anyone know how much smallies love sunfish?

"Floaters make it hard to fish but sometimes they improve the scenery..."

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Anyone know how much smallies love sunfish?

Several years ago I was drifting a caddis pattern into a rootwad on the James and catching some decent gills. As I was bringing one of those in a nice sized smallmouth came up and swallowed it. The gill wasn't huge but neither was the smallmouth. It was very cool to see but was way more than I could handle on a 3 wt. A smallmouth eats whatever it wants.

20160911-P9110005.jpg

 

 

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We watched a 20"+ smallie chase a sunfish that one of us had hooked all the way to the boat. As luck would have it, the sunfish popped off just as the big smallie was about to chomp it. This was on the Gasconade a few years ago.

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I believe that is a little creeper? Its definitely not too big.  I've caught smallies on weedless/single hook soft plastics like Hudd 68s, 3:16s, ragos, etc but the hookup ratio is not as great as with largemouth of course.  If you want to try larger baits on smallies I suggest going with treble hook options to increase hookups, either hard swimmers or line through soft plastics.  I feel with bigger baits smallmouth aren't trying to flat out engulf them but give em a smack just so they know who's boss.

 

I'm no expert but this is just what I've found

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Definitely not too big , I have caught smallmouth on magnum flukes , 6 inch swimbaits and crankbaits in the 5 to 6 inch range . 

what a long strange trip it's been , put a dip in your hip, a glide in your stride and come on to the mother ship , the learning never ends

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Just because you CAN catch river smallies on something doesn't necessarily mean it's a good option.  I personally don't like that profile on a lure that big. In my opinion, it's likely that almost any time, a more optimum size lure will catch more, with as good or better chance of big ones. But I could be wrong. If I tried it, I'd do it on a day when the water was murky and you were already catching fish. It's usually pointless to try a new lure when you can't catch anything on your usual stuff.

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Al

 You are right about that , it will cut down your numbers of fish . Big and bulky is an advantage in chocolate milk . Then again there are some folk especially in Illinois that just aren't quite right . Well , maybe most folks that live in Illinois instead of Missouri or Arkansas . 

what a long strange trip it's been , put a dip in your hip, a glide in your stride and come on to the mother ship , the learning never ends

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