Aug 7th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Aug 7th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
Shallow SmalliesIts summer time and most of the smallmouth bass have moved to deeper structures. They’re hanging on submerged humps and points, etc. It’s a light line and finesse scenario. Forget about midday fishing, you’d better get up at sunrise and stay out until sunset to have consistent success.The above scenario may be true if you are fishing deep water shield lakes, but not if you fish one of the many shallow-water rivers in the Midwest. In fact, shallow muddy water is common in many of the streams and rivers in the flat farm country, and so is shallow water smallie fishing.Deep water in many of these rivers is 3-feet, under normal non-flood conditions. Drop-offs can be as little as 6-inches and will often be the secret spot-on-the-spot that hold the mother-lode of bass.The basic location of smallies in these rivers is simple. When the water is high, anglers need to fish the shoreline current breaks. When the water is at normal levels, anglers need to fish shoreline cover that is still deep enough to provide cover, typically a foot or so of water, and also look for off-shore current breaks like the river channel or current breaks like rockpiles and other submerged objects.Stock your tackle box with a few basic lures. Shallow running crankbaits, tubes, spinnerbaits and a few topwater poppers will have you covered under most circumstances.Color choice is really up to you, but black or green pumpkin is good for tubes, white or chartreuse for crankbaits and spinnerbaits and any color will work for topwater plugs.Leave the light line at home, unless you enjoy donating lures to the river gods. Many of these shallow rivers are located close to large populations and that often means industrial products on the bottom of the river. Re-bar, rocks, and other snaggy cover will tear up light gear. Try a medium-heavy set-up with 12-20 pound line. The muddy water will make the need for light gear unnecessary.Give small shallow Midwest rivers a shot this summer and enjoy some private smallmouth fishing that most anglers never knew existed.