Smallmouth bass are moving out of over-winter spots on the River mainstem into tribs where they will live until water temps drop to about 55 degrees next fall. Water temp is key to this migration. It is now 50+ degrees on both mainstem and running sloughs, several degrees warmer than that near trib entry points.
Migration corridors vary in width from just a couple of feet to a couple of hundred yards…usually real close to some kind of current seam or structural break.
Swimbaits fished in a fairly slow retrieve usually work quite well fished in a pitch/drag/snap presentation…but the fish will tell you what they want on any given day.
Over the past three days i’ve averaged a solid 10 bass per hour coming into the Lund, about 90% coming on B-Fish-N Tackle sassafras pattern Pulse R fished on 3/16 pyrokeet Precision jighead. The past couple days the Northland Rippin’ Shad has also been hot, also catching pike and an occasional white bass.
On yesterday’s trip I hooked up with 5 SMB on the first 6 casts–all 15-18″ fish…and FAT throwing the Pulse R, then switched over to the Rippin’ Shad and pounded ’em til shoulders were sore.
River levels will be stable for the next several days, then rise back up into the solid ‘action’ stage by this time next week.
Perch are done spawning and are scattered as they slide into summer haunts. Walleyes are done too. Pulling 3-ways in sand-based running sloughs in 9-13 fow has been producing decent fish.
Had a half-day trip this morning with Don and son Jordan. Guys caught 50+ quality bass. highlights: 6 doubles and Don catching back-to-back fat 19″ SMB & LMB on oxbow pattern Trap.
Water temp has warmed since just yesterday–58 on current seam where SMB were suicidal and SIXTY TWO in a more secluded backwater where mostly LMB were on fire!