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Creek Smallmouth Fishing Made Easy

The “brown bass”, formally known as the smallmouth bass is one of the greatest natural resources, we have swimming in the waters across our country. Even more special is the fact that this hard-fighting species roams abundantly in the smallest creeks and streams offering excellent wade fishing adventures for anyone who seeks! Finding and catching them though can be a task worth researching though, because smallmouth aren’t everywhere in creeks and won’t bite just any particular lure. A sense of stealth needs to be implied and some fishing skill must be put forth.  I’m going to give you a three-part system in this blog to hopefully provide enough information for you to be successful and have some lasting fun this summer wading creeks for smallmouth bass!


  1. Study Google Maps

This might seem like overkill, but it has saved me many times when I’m thinking about hitting an unfamiliar creek or for finding new ones. You can zoom down and see individual small creeks that run through public property, nearby roadways, or that drain into larger bodies of water. Google Earth helps you take it a step further and see the vegetation and how you can actually access these spots by foot. Often times I hear about fishing a certain creek from a friend and the way to access it is pretty hairy, so I always like to check out Google to find the easiest way to get in and out so I don’t step on a water moccasin or wade through a pile of poison ivy.


Often times I can just check Google Maps in an area I’m not familiar with and find some small creeks that look promising. I look for creeks and streams that are close to road access and that look like they may have some deep holes in them. Smallmouth love creeks that have some deeper water, but deeper in creeks can simply mean 4 or 5 feet deep. The best creeks you will find have some type of vegetation on the banks as well, and lots of big rocks for smallmouth to hide around. Once you have identified a creek that looks worthy to fish you have to get the right equipment!

  1. Choosing the right equipment


The right equipment means everything when chasing after creek smallmouth, this is from your clothes all the way to the very lure that is tied to your line! Clothing is very important for wading and bank walking creeks due to the nature of the elements you are in. I always choose a good pair of shorts that I don’t mind getting wet, some cheap wading shoes from Wal Mart – trust me these really save your feet when walking on slick rocks, and a good moisture wicking shirt and hat to keep you cool. Aside from the warm weather clothing, always spray yourself down with a good bug repellent before hitting a creek so mosquitoes and other annoying pests stay far away from you.


Now to the most important part, your lure and other gear that is needed for a quality creek wading trip. Lets begin with rod/reel and line choice. For the rod and reel I recommend something small like a 6 ft medium light spinning rod with small spinning reel for casting small hard baits like we will mention later and then for small soft plastic options I opt for going to a medium power spinning rod and slightly larger spinning reel so you can deliver a good hookset. For line I go with 4-6 lb. monofilament on the smaller spinning set up and 8 lb. fluorocarbon on the larger. Accurate casts are a must!


Now for the meat and potatoes of the blog, lure choices! Creek smallmouth are notorious for being difficult to entice so you have to have the right selection of lures to ensure you get some brown bass selfies. I narrow my choices down to micro hardbaits and small soft plastic options to fit the two spinning rods I like to carry. My first choice and top pick for mornings and evenings is the Heddon Teeny Torpedo. This little prop bait provides a gentle glide atop the water similar to small water bugs and brown bass can’t take it! I toss this little guy near any shoreline cover in hopes of enticing a blow up. The other hard baits I choose are the Rebel Crickhopper and Teeny Wee Craw. Both of these options are small crankbaits and work best for novice anglers who would like to simply cast, reel and catch fish! There is no wrong way to fish these or wrong area to throw them, they seem to bring up fish everywhere they are thrown. For soft plastic options I like two lures in particular in creeks, and those are a ned rig and a small swimbait/grub. I choose the YUM Ned Craw or Ned Dinger for my ned rig because they are compact and stand on the bottom when thrown with a mushroom head, smallmouth cant seem to ever resist but bring lots of small mushroom heads because breaking off is inevitable. The other option I like is a small Gene Larew Long John Minnow or YUM Ribbontail grub on an 1/8 oz. jig head to cast and reel around shoreline cover. This is a great option for novice anglers because it doesn’t snag often and entices a lot of vicious bites!

  1. Treading lightly


This third tip might not be the most informative, however it can be the most important when beginning your creek wading adventures for smallmouth bass. Treading lightly means being very aware of your surroundings, this includes the water and ground you walk on that might have snakes or other harmful animals nearby or even watching out for other people along the way. You must also stay very careful as you wade along to not fall on slick rocks and get yourself into a major bind. Always take your time and be cautious. Also, by  walking lightly you don’t spook off fish in the shallow pools of water.


The other side message to treading lightly is to always help our natural resources and waterways by maintaining good stewardship and not littering or harming any wildlife. If you pack it in, please pack it out. Also, its always nice to pick up some trash you see that could have washed in and take it with you. By doing this it ensures these great little resources will continue to be fruitful for years to come!


Thank you for taking the time to check out the blog, and as always you can find all of the lures tagged in todays blog on our site at!