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creek smallmouth bass

Must-Have Finesse Soft Plastic Baits for Creek Smallmouth

Some of the best baits for catching creek smallies were not made for that application, but we don’t need to tell that to the fish!

“It was designed to be jig trailer,” Patrick Marbury said with a knowing smile as he reeled in yet another creek smallmouth on a YUM Craw Chunk, “but I’ve learned that it works REALLY well on its own!”

A creek fishing enthusiast from northwest Ark. who heads various marketing projects for Lurenet.com and associated lure brands, Marbury often goes outside the box with the soft plastic lures he chooses for creek smallmouth bass from Ozarks streams – and in doing so he finds exceptional success.

Marbury’s favorites include some baits that offer natural attraction and subtle action and some that kick hard to move water and prompt attacks. The common denominator is that most are at the small end of the spectrum – baits that would be considered “finesse soft plastics” for bass fishing.

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Bass on YUM Christie Craw

The 5 Best Ways to Rig a Soft Plastic Crawfish for Bass

Crawfish-imitating soft plastic lures are incredibly versatile and imitate highly favored bass forage. We’ll look at the advantage of five top rigging techniques.

Soft plastic crawfish are among the best lures for catching big bass, whether you’re on a massive reservoir targeting largemouths or a small stream chasing smallmouths. Even spotted bass love crayfish. Everything does, it seems, which is what makes them so effective with so many different techniques.

Crawfish lures come in a wide variety of sizes, colors and designs. You can get tiny craws for small jigheads to throw on wadable streams and catch a zillion hungry bass, or you can get some monstrous craw imitations to fish around wood and vegetation for big brutes. If a soft plastic crawfish can even get to the bottom of a top smallmouth fishery, such as on one of the Great Lakes, it won’t take long for a bronzeback to nosh on it.

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Crappie on Bobby Garland Itty Bit

Think Small for Crappie Fishing

Learn why downsizing crappie fishing baits can help you catch more fish during summer.

Never say never.

“Never” did crappie guide and host of The Crappie Connection Brad Chappell ever see himself doing anything in August other than long-lining jigs or pulling crankbaits, two trolling techniques that he helped develop and popularize for catching slabs in the hottest months of the year. And never did he dream his summer catch rates would nearly double because of using different crappie fishing baits and tactics. Today, though, you’re likely to find him on Mississippi’s Ross Barnett Reservoir sitting still and casting Bobby Garland Itty Bits to cover.

“It’s true.” Chappell said, “Things just clicked last summer, and tossing these little baits is my new favorite summertime way to fish, and a method my clients love because they’re at the front of the boat and fully engaged in the fun of the action, from casting to catching.”

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crappie on Bobby Garland Hyper Grub

Swimming Bait Tactics & Tricks for Summer Crappie

Summer crappie fishing often calls for moving baits, both to find the fish and to trigger strikes. Learn trolling and casting techniques of several expert anglers.

Crappie and baitfish are more active when water temperatures are high during the heat of summer, meaning both move a lot. Savvy anglers approach summer crappie fishing by mimicking the fleeing motion of baitfish, using “swimming” lures with lively tails.

“A crappie’s metabolism this time of the year is really cranking, and they are eating more now than any other time,” said North Carolina tournament angler Stokes McClellan about summer crappie fishing. “Crappie are moving more so I think they like the tail action of those lures a lot better than they do in the wintertime when it is cold. The water temperature has lot to do with it.”

Mississippi guide Brad Chappell believes a swimming bait triggers more summer crappie fishing strikes. “It draws that instinct for crappie to bite something moving away from them,” Chappell said. “The tail on those baits creates more disturbance that actually just helps crappie locate the baits and gets their attention a little bit better.”

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river smallmouth bass

4 Overlooked Crankbaits for River Fishing Smallmouth Bass

If you’re not throwing these crankbaits for smallmouth bass, you’re missing some fabulous fish-catching opportunities. Learn why and when to use each.

Hard-fighting, high-jumping river smallmouth bass serve up serve up spectacularly fun summer fishing, and a well-chosen and properly delivered crankbait is one of the finest lures available for covering water and prompting fast action from river bass. Not all crankbaits are created equal, though, and some of the best crankbaits for smallmouth bass in rivers are largely overlooked.

We will look at four of the finest crankbaits that you might not have considered for river smallmouth bass. Each is distinctive in its appeals and the specific situations where it tends to work best. A couple of colors each of these four crankbaits would provide the tools needed for a broad range of river smallmouth fishing situations.

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slip bobber bluegill

Your Guide to Catching More Summer Panfish on Slip Bobbers

Want easy fishing and fast summer fishing action for multiple species? Slip bobbers open excellent opportunities for mixed panfish catches.

What you never know with summer panfishing is what species will be at the end of the line when a slip bobber darts out sight. More certain – assuming decent location choices – is the notion that you will get to watch your bobber go under several times. Slip bobber fishing is a highly dependable way to tap into summer panfish fishing action, and it is an easy style of fishing that is fun for the entire family.

Anglers commonly associate most panfishing pursuits with spring and early summer and stop targeting bluegills, perch, crappie and other panfish species once mid-summer hits and the fish become less plentiful around shallow, shoreline cover. Those fish seldom move far, though. Most just slide a bit deeper to a weedline, brushpile or slight break, to the deep end of a dock, out a point or to the deep edge of a riprap bank.

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