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There's Bronze in Our Streams

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Published on: May. 2, 2000

Last revision: Nov. 5, 2010

a harder time detecting your presence, and you won't be sending the debris that you disturb on the bottom of the creek into areas you are trying to fish.

Another reason to fish upstream is because smallmouth bass face into the current, so you can sneak up on them. Use stealth! Smallmouths are wary of their surroundings. If they hear you coming, you probably won't get a bite.

And don't forget that in the gin clear water of creeks and streams, if you can see them, they can see you. Try to blend into your surroundings by wearing light blues, greens and off whites. This will help to conceal you from the fish. There have been times when I have actually belly crawled down a shoreline to reach a likely looking hole to fish. If you can approach undetected by the fish, it can really pay off.

You should always cast upstream and let the current bring your lure downstream because it looks more natural to the fish. All stream fish relate in some way to current. Objects that lie directly in current, such as rocks, logs and even the shoreline, create current breaks that should be fished thoroughly.

A current break is anywhere that the water is deflected, slows down or changes direction. Smallmouth tend to lie just outside of the main current waiting for anything edible to come floating downstream to them. That is why the current plays such a major role in the survival of smallmouth bass and other stream fish. If you should happen upon a deep hole with large rocks at the end of a set of riffles, you could really be in for a bass bonanza.

Any lures that work on largemouth bass on lakes and large impoundments will work on stream smallmouths. Just remember to go light. If you use a 6- to 8-inch plastic worm for largemouth bass, use a 4-inch worm for smallmouth bass. Use light line, 4-to 6-pound test. I use a premium, green 6-pound test. It has superior strength and durability and is practically invisible in clear water.

There are a number of different lures, baits and rigs that will produce strikes from stream smallmouth bass, but for me one lure stands above and beyond the others. It accounts for over 75 percent of all the bass that I have caught over 4 pounds. It resembles the one culinary delight that Mr. Smallmouth just can't

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