Swimbaits for Smallmouths in Current

Hey I’m Bassmaster Pro Jimmy Mason. Today
I want to talk to you today about one of myfavorite ways to fish for pre-spawn smallmouth.
Today we’re on Pickwick, which is my favoritesouthern smallmouth lake. This time of year
the smallmouth are gorging and getting readyto spawn. They’re feeding on big threadfin
and gizzard shad. Pickwick, Wilson, and allof the Tennessee River are current lakes.
So what I want to do is look for areas wherethe current is broken so the fish have something
they can get behind. One of my favorite dealsthis time of year is gravel bars. As a gravel
bar goes out into the current, it causes awash. Depending on the level of current you
can get an area where the fish can get outof the slight current and chase the bait.
When I’m fishing this my favorite lure forthat is the YUM Money Minnow. This is a 5″
swimbait. This is the Foxy Shad color andit imitates the thread fin and gizzard shad
very well. It’s got that little splash ofchartreuse shoulder down there and this is
a 1/2-ounce Buckeye J-Will head. Also dependingon the current I may go up to a 3/4 and if
it’s really light maybe a 3/8. But typically1/2 ounce is the smallest I use because that
gives me more lure control as I’m trying towash it into the current. We’re sitting off
the end of a gravel bar and what I want todo is get my boat slightly downstream from
it. I want to cast up past the tip. I picturein my mind the current coming around. If it’s
really flowing I’m going to be able to seea seam line where that current is breaking.
If it’s a more gentle current or if they’repulling less water then I’m going to have
to picture in my mind where that current iscoming around. But I want to cast up past
that seam/ current break and slowly retrievemy lure so that I’m bringing it into that
seam and letting it float around. I’m lettingthat current wash it around. Those fish are
going to be sitting inside this more slackwater out of the current and letting the bait
get washed to them. My goal when I’m retrievingmy bait is I want to let that bait wash in
and let that current take the bait to thefish. So you’re kind of fishing on a controlled
slack. You’re retrieving your lure so thatyou’re pulling most of the slack out of the
line and keeping a little forward motion toit. But a lot of that movement is going to
be the natural current pushing the bait forward. When it washes into the current a lot of times
you’ll see your line jump before you feelthe bite. So you really want to pay attention
to your line, the tip of your rod, and letthat current take the bit to the fish.

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