Whitesburg KY
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Gabby’s fishing fever

Try these baits to catch smallmouth

This is the time of year when many anglers love to be on the water to fish for the smallmouth bass. This fish has a hardcore following of anglers that will fish in freezing temperatures to have a chance of catching the smallmouth bass of their lifetime.

One big way to get that big smallmouth bass is to use lures that are known to be top producers for cold water smallmouth — jigs, crank baits, big spinner baits, rattle trap style baits and the tube bait. The tube bait shares many of the positive factors of the jig in that it can be fished 12 months of the year. Simply changing line size, speed of retrieve, color of bait and area fished can make the tube bait great bait for catching cold-water “smallies.”

Most anglers like to stick to two color patterns — shad colors like silver with black fished in clearer water and the crawdad-colored baits in the more off-colored or slightly stained water. Colors like brown, orange, red, blue, green, and black are great color choices. Most smallmouth anglers will use the shad colored baits in the more open water areas and around light cover and fish the darker crawdadcolored baits in darker water and around heavier cover.

Just about anywhere you can or will fish a jig this time of year you can fish tube baits. Use a long rod with a fairly stiff tip and a good backbone like a medium-heavy action rod.

I like to fish the tube bait this time of year with a 10- to 12-pound test line. The clear fluorocarbon line works very well as the line is practically invisible under the water. Fish this bait on a weedless jig setup. A size of about 3/8 of an ounce is good. For the best location to fish, look for banks with large broken scattered rocks or with shale or small gravel size rocks.

Smallmouth love these types of banks in the cooler weather. Make your cast close to the bank and work the bait back slowly to the boat and feel for any type of pull or tug. This is just like jig fishing, but you can fish this bait a little faster at times.

When planning your next smallmouth trip, stock up on tube baits. You can e-mail me at gabbysfishingfever@yahoo.com



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