Aggressive presentation have been producing the most smallmouth bass and the biggest over the past couple of weeks on the Suquehanna and Juniata Rivers here in Pensnsylvania. There are two stand out baits. The River Darter Swimbait and the River Darter Soft Jerkbait. These big baitfish immitation are drawing strikes form the biggest fish in the river.
Swimbaits are best burned across water chutes created by boulders or openings in ledge systems. You can’t crank them too fast. Most of the time we are getting bit while running the baits less than a foot under the water.
River Darters which are a soft jerkbait are best fished with very aggressive “snaps” of the rod. Three to five aggressive and hard snaps followed by about a three second pause has been producing the absolute biggest fish. Again, we are only fishing a few inches deep with the bait skittering at times across the top of the water due to the aggressive snaps. So far the biggest smallmouth caught on this technique
We are finding smallmouth bass positioned in front of major ledge systems and in the fast water chutes created by gaps in the ledges. Check out a couple of the quality fish that we’ve been catching in these locations.
Here is a nice 19 inch smallmouth bass caught on a swimbait worked through some ledge chutes.
This 20.5″ smallmouth bass was caught using a River Darter soft jerkbait. It smashed the agressively presented bait!
The top water bite has been picking up as well. Here’s a bruser caught in the early morning light. We had camped on an island so we could get on the water just at daybreak. The plan worked as we landed several really nice smallmouth.