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Old 12-31-2016, 02:54 PM   #1
Ifish Nate
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Milwaukie, OR. & Silver Lake Wa:-)
Posts: 2,892
Default More reading material for the winter months:-)

Smallmouth Bass Spawn
Let’s talk about The Spawn for the Smallmouth bass. The spawn for smallmouth bass in the Columbia River happens about the middle of May. The peak is May 12 – 20 most of the time. The smallmouth are motivated to spawn on Temperature over moon phase. The smallmouth will move out of current and into areas like bays, pockets, marinas or sheltered areas without current. Smallmouth bass prefer to spawn on small gravel, rocks or hard bottom areas. They also like to spawn next to objects like bigger rocks, boulders, logs or even downed trees or in or near brush. You can find smallmouth bass in any backwater with fair access to the Columbia River. Even back water areas that only access to the river through a culvert. The bass will use these culverts to move to the warmer water and spawning areas. I focus on back water bays that a bass boat can get into. But I have found some ponds that have good bass and good numbers with the only way for the bass to move into the pond is through a culvert. Female smallmouth bass start to move in to the back waters in good numbers near May 14th. If you have some warm weather in the 90s during that time the bass could move to the spawning area a little earlier. I used a frenzy flicker shad crank bait, the color I use is chartreuse and I fish that color in the morning or low light I fish it at a medium / fast speed retrieve with a twitch from time to time. Then I use silver & blue (more natural Colors and not so bright) midday and fish it a little slower in the afternoon. I will use a twitch to the crank midday also, it helps trigger the bass into hitting the lure! This works great when you are getting bass following the lure. Whenever you are fishing a crank bait you need to keep the rod tip low so the crank bait can dive deeper! If you start hanging up then raise you rod tip a little till the crank hits the bottom but does not hang up all the time. I even turn my body to the side and reach out the hand my fishing pole is in. This will give you more power in the hook set and you will land more bass. Always be in a good position for setting the hook. I even hold my hands lower when working plastic baits. This gives me the ability when setting the hook I can move more line on the hook set and I land more bass. When I am in a boat or on shore will put one foot out about 18 inches out in front of the other foot. This gives me better leverage when setting the hook because as I set the hook I push myself back with that foot and I get a better hook set.
I also fish three inch Senkos on the outside edge of the brush and rocks in the spawning area. Red, June bug, watermelon and smoke work well.
This is how I work the lure (Texas and wacky rig), I cast near shore and let the lure fall with a bow in my line. As the senko sinks I watch my line to see if I get bit. Now the bait in on the bottom. I lower the rod tip till is a little above parallel to the water. I now reel in the slack line (I never move the bait with the reel as I am working my bait!) I only move the bait with the rod tip when I am working the bait. If you use the reel when working the bait it WILL move up in the water column and away from the bass and you will catch less bass. So now the bait is on the bottom and I have reeled in the slack line. I start shaking the rod tips and as I shake the rod tip I raise the rod tip (I raise the rod tip to take up the slack that happens as the bait slowly moves towards me) till I can feel my plastic bait as I am shaking the rod tip. Once I feel the bait through the rod I continue to shake the rod tip about one or two inches at the rod tip. I shake for about 5 to 7 times then stop shaking and lower the rod tip back to just above parallel to the water. I then reel in the slack again and allow the bait to go back to the bottom. This is the only time I reel, only when I am reeling in slack line or a fish. Repeat this till you get the bait about 10 to 15 feet from shore most of the time then reel the bait in and make another cast. Working to bait farther than about 10 is much less productive this time of year and you are just wasting your time!
Hook sets are very important! If you feel a small tap (or your line goes slack) you need to lower the rod tip to about parallel to the water. Reel in any slack and SET THE HOOK HARD! If you think you did not get a good hook set, set the hook again but not as hard as the first time, you do not want to break off the bass. You need to practice hook sets! You can tie the line from your rod to a post or mail box and practice. Your goal is to get you drag to slip just a little on a good and hard hook set and not break your line. This is a good way to set your drag too! If you hook a bass and it gets off the hook as it get near you, than means you did not pop the barb into the bass and you need to work on your hook setting!

I have found 95% of the bass are within 10 feet of the bank and most of the time within 5 feet of shore. I cast the crank bait parallel to the bank about 5 to 7 feet off the bank for best luck. The males move in to the spawning areas first, Females can be found in the river and in current not far from the back water bays earlier in May. Try fishing the points near the opening of the bay to the river. I use lipless crank baits, drop shot rig and the split shot rig. The spawn lasts about a week or two depending on the weather and water temps. Every day more bass move into the bays and back waters. The new arrivals are easier to catch because they have not been pressured by fishermen. When the bass are a bit harder to catch at this time you can do two things to catch lots of bass.
Number one is to fish slower. A slower presentation is needed to get the bass to bite. Sometimes dead sticking or letting the bait rest on the bottom for 5 to 10 seconds will really do the trick but most of the time a shake let it rest on the bottom for a few seconds and then shake it some more will work very well! This is a good time to use a soft shake and fish slower. Instead of 5 to 7 shakes of the rod tip try 3 to 5 and let the bait sit of the bottom a little longer. You will catch more bass if they have been pounded by someone the day before.

When to use plastic baits or Crank bait
If you are fishing a large area and you do not know what areas are holding bass. A crank bait works great at covering lots of water and helps in finding areas that are holding bass. Or the bass are just not hitting plastics. The bass may be more inactive and do not want to hit slower moving baits. A crank bait elicits a reaction from bass. The two things they do in reaction to seeing a crank bait. 1. They hit the crank bait or they turn away or do not hit a crank bait. Bass are instinctive and you can get them to hit a crank bait even if they do not want to. Bass strike out at a crank bait instinctive way as a reaction to the bait passing near them. Think of it like if I put my hand up near your face your eyes would blink as a response. Bass respond on that level and you can use that against them!

When to use plastics: You know were the bass are and they are holding in cover. You know were the bass are and plastic baits will disturb less bass and you will catch more bass in the area with a more shuttle approach.

So if you know were the bass are, slow down and fish plastics. If you have not found good numbers of bass or they will just not hit plastics today then pick up a crank bait and start covering water. If you start catching bass slow down and start fishing plastics if the bite slows switch back to the cranks.
Spinner baits can be lots of fun this time of year. The bass will flat out knock the fire out of a spinner bait and almost pull your rod out of your hands!
Drop shot in current is a great way to go. The added weight help you cast farther so your bait goes by more bass. The bait is weightless and the bass love it!
Smallmouth bass bite best midmorning all the way to late afternoon. The bite can really pick up just around sunset. Most of the time the bite slows way down as darkness approaches. I use 5 inch grubs on a led head jig and between sunset and dark I have often landed 20 bass in that small window. After sundown is a good time to try top water!
On hot days look for shade the bass move under trees to get out of the sun and into the shade. Try skipping a senko on top of the water to get back under the tree limbs!

Summer pattern smallmouth fishing pattern. I fish current breaks or current seams coming off points. The bass will hold in about 12 to 17 feet of water. The bass will most often be near the bottom. A current seam is a line on the surface of the water that has slower water on one side and faster water on the other. The bass will hold in the slower water (but near the faster water) and move into the faster water for food and then move back to the slower water and watch for food going by.
Now I am telling you how to catch many bass please respect the fishery. Please do not keep bass any over three pounds. Help keep the genetic quality intact! If you would like to keep a few please keep the one or two pounders! Please.
Take a camera with you take some nice photos to post on line then slip the fish back in the water to make babies and for other fisherman to enjoy catching and returning to the water!

The first thing you should ever thing about when going fishing is safety! Keep safe
And wear a life jacket when you can, like when you start the big motor and you will be moving to another spot! Be safe – think safe!

Thank you for yout intrest in bass fishing!
My email is: [email protected]

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I hope you enjoyed this information. Good luck
With all this information! And now go out and land the biggest bass of your life.

Thank you
Roger A. Luce the Ex Silver Lake Bass Guide
Or ExBassGuide
738 BASS 2008 / 714 BASS 2009
1064 BASS 2010 [email protected]
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