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Can anyone explain in more detail on how to catch smallies.
For example, when using "tubes" are they attached to lead jig heads and simply casted out and reeled in or are they worked a certain way? What size works?

Every one is happy to say what they caught fish on but I am wondering how to use these baits.--set up and retrieve techniques.

Whats the best bait for a beginer to start with??

Thanks in advance for everyones help.
 

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Welcome to the board.....

As with most beginners, you fail to realize that these topics have been covered here in detail many times.

If you look near the upper right hand corner of the page you will see a search function. Typ ein tubes and see what happens.

But the Cliff Notes version:

MOST people rig tubes using a tubejig inserted inside the tube with an exposed hook. Weights ranging from 1/16oz to up to an ounce and more if wind and waves dictate it. Use as light a weight as possible. Stick with the basic colors to start, watermelon, white and brown are really the best colors on Clair (a few flake variations are better at times). The 4" size seems to be the most popular, you can fins all the tubes you need at Bass Pro Shops (4" Magnum Flipping Tube is a fav of mine).

Good luck and make sure you post back how you did, it helps everyone out and you will learn more from adding info than just "lurking".

Mini
 

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Tube fishing is very relaxing. Chuck the tube over board, let it sink to the bottom and the wind do all the work. Then you just kick your feet up and relax.


It's important to keep the rod in your hand though. Smallies bites on a tube are often very subtle and you need to stay focused.
 

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if tubes aint doin it for ya, try a 1/2 oz double willow leaf spinnerbait in white. i would use a terminator or other titanium spinnerbait tho, the fish really smack it, they will ruin a normal spinner bait in a hurry.

fish in 5 to 8 feet near some weed beds. my favorite way to catch them. guaranteed you will be hooked on spinnerbaiting lake st clair after a couple smallies smack that thing. burn the lure fast just under the surface.

good luck!

madman himself
 

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I like to put a tube on one rod, put it in the rod holder, with just enough line out to have it float above the weeds. Then take a second rod and cast with another tube, rattle trap, spinner bait or husky jerk. The one in the holder usually catches the most, however. Something about the boat/wave action that they can't stand.

My favorite tube is the 4" two tone brown/creme flake. It looks just like the gobies that the smallies eat. I snagged a goby on it last year that looked exactly like the tube.

Good Luck.
 

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Guaranteed formula for catching smallmouths:

1. 4lb.test fireline.(smoke-color)
2. 1/8 oz. leadhead jig (just un-painted will do, won't have to bust the eye out of all the paint poss. nicking the eyelet, causing your line to break!!!
3. Berkley PowerGrub, 3inch. white or chartruse and shad works get the tourneyment strength ones.
4. Get in deeper water this time of year 8-16 feet. Or near the channels, work the channel edges cooler water there.
5. Now cast that baby out there, before the lure hits the water click your spinning reel, this will take the slack out of your line. If your in 10 feet count slowly to 9.
6 Start your retrieve as slow as possible.
7. Get ready your about to catch a smallmouth on the mighty Lake St. Clair... This works for me all the time.... Last hint lite line lite line lite line lite line........ 4lb.test. h2o
 

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And possibly the most important.......have confidence in what you are doing. These guys gave you the baits and presentations, now find which of these catches fish and keep doing it. Have three rods rigged with the baits you are most comfortable with and stick with them until you develop a pattern. Trust me, it works. Good luck!
 

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I swear that I catch more fish on my dead rod than the one that I am casting.
I will drop a 3/8 oz Twister tail, Chart Green tail and a motor oil body and just drag the darn thing around and catch about evrything in the lake. I have caught jumbo perch all the way up to small muskies but the most I catch on it are the smallies.
I have what seems like the fishing section of Bass Pro Shops fishing section in my boat yet what I catch many fish on in St Claire is the most basic fishing rig.
some day there will be a posting in this forum of a pile of floating lures found in the lake. Those will be my lures except for my tube jigs and twister tails.
 

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I agree Gitzit, i would catch so many on the dead rod. With a spottail on the tru-turn hook, and bobber. 10 feet from the boat that i could hardly find time to cast... I hear you clearly. Your not tell a fish story... it's true.. I'm living proof... good call gitzit...h2o
 

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I "third" the dead rod theory. We call it the "stinger" rod. I know it outfished the live rods this weekend.
 

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Dead rods work darn well but I don't use them much anymore, except when I have kids with me who need a break and a place to put their rods. Reason is that fish that take the dead rod bait take it often reel deep, making a healthy release a lot more risky. My two cents ...
 

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All great tips. Thanks guys. Like the dead rod theory. Gotta try it. My personal favorite is a Carolina or Texas style rig. Love fishin with crawlers. Bob.
 

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Does the mayfly hatch slow down the smallie bite?? My buddy says it does and they really start hitting after the mayfly's are done doing their thing. Thanks
 

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That's a good question dsull585 and it all depends on how you look at it. With the mayfly hatches going smallies and other fish have plenty of food at there disposal. Fish that are in a nuetral mood from feasting on mayflies are going to be more difficult to trigger. On the bright side, if you can find an active hatch, you'll likely find active smallies. Get them in a frenzy and hold, it could be the fastest 10minutes of fishing in your life. Get them going and it doesn't matter what you throw at them, they will just inhale it. The key is to find the active schools and not wasting time on over-fed/nuetral fish. The other plus is the fish you catch will likely be very healthy and fat this time of year.
 
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