hook, attached to 16-lb fluorocarbon line.
His trash pocket flipping combo is a 7’3” Daiwa Elite Multi- purpose Brent Ehrler rod paired with a high-speed Daiwa SV TW 8.1:1. gear ratio reel.
The third way to
sight fish for smallmouth
on a river system
involves targeting sand
bars. The sandbars act
like a current break and
forms points in the river
where smallmouth congregate to actively feed.
A good sandbar can hold plenty of smallmouth and
baitfish. The best ones are usually near very deep water,
slack current or some kind of channel swing in the river.
Lain prefers to target sandbars that make eddies,
current breaks and/or points in 4- to 8-feet of water.
“I use my Lowrance Live fish finders and Navionics
Regions West charts to find high percentage sandbars,”
shared Lain. Water movement is key to where the
smallmouth position on the sandbar. This is where visually
seeing a fish will often reveal key locations and sweet spots
on the sandbar.
The most active fish will either be in the eddies or the
current breaks. When there is no or little water movement,
the smallmouth tend to move on to the points within
the sandbar. Lain
searches for sandbars
that make good sand
points with current
nearby. He likes to
fish these areas with
an EverGreen shallow
water crankbait in a
shad pattern or craw
is a great lure to
cover a lot of water
and spark a school
of smallmouth into
biting,” he said.
For cranking gear,
Lain uses a Daiwa
Tatula Elite Casting Rod 7’, medium-light Randy Howell rod paired with the same namesake reel in a 6.3:1 gear ratio. He prefers 10-lb Daiwa fluorocarbon.
For presentation, Lain casts the crankbait up stream and retrieves it in the direction that the smallmouth are facing into the current. Long casts in clear water are a must to ensure that a sneak approach on unsuspecting smallmouth.
Consideration to boat position, allows Lain to be in deeper water and throw upstream across points in the sandbar.
Sight fishing for river smallmouth is a very exciting way to catch aggressive fish in fairly shallow water. Give these three high percentage areas a try the next time you find yourself up a river or a creek looking at monster smallmouth in current. You just might land a catch of a lifetime. •