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Favorite Lures of the Smallmouth Guides

From Dale Hollow Lake - which gave up the world-record smallie - to Maryland's Potomac River, we grilled four top bronzeback guides to find out which lures are their go-to patterns all season long.

Guide John Blais

John Blais
Location: Belgrade/Cobbosseecontee Lake, Maine
Credentials: Blais has been chasing smallmouth throughout Maine for over 20 years, both is still-water and the river systems. Boating 50 fish a day is common, and he’s led clients to his share of six-pound bronzebacks.
Number of years guiding: 7
Contact: (207) 872-9688; belgradebassin.com

Favorite Spinnerbait: War Eagle Double Willow
Color: Mouse/Nickel Blades
Weight: ½ oz.
Details: “I like War Eagles because you can really burn them. It almost seems like the faster you reel, the better they look. The water up here in Maine is really clear, so the fish tend to be spooky. I’ll have clients cast way past the area we’re targeting and get the blades moving right away. That way, the lure looks natural when it reaches the fish and the splash doesn’t scare them.”

Storm Wiggle Wort

 

Favorite Crankbait: Storm Original Wiggle Wart
Color: Phantom Brown Crayfish
Size: 2 in.
Weight: 3/8 oz.
Details: “Ninety-five percent of the smallmouths’ diet in my waters is crayfish. The Wiggle Wart looks a lot like a wounded crayfish if you work it correctly. If you’re retrieving a crankbait and feel it bump a rock or stump, stop reeling immediately. If it doesn’t get hit, start again with a slower cadence. This action mimics a wounded crayfish trying to escape. If you’re not deflecting the lure off structure, you won’t catch anything.”

Favorite Soft Plastic: Yamamoto Senko
Color: Black/Red Flake
Size: 5 in.
Details: “Dark-colored lures create great contrast in clear water. Senkos work particularly well in the post-spawn when you want big, suspending females. They’re also easy for novices to fish. I always fish a Senko whacky-style, but you want them to fall horizontally so they look natural. Too many anglers run the hook through the collar of the bait, but that’s not the center of the bait. Bend a Senko until the ends meet so you find the center and put the hook there.”

Favorite Jig: Bass Stalker Finesse Jig
Color: Black/Blue
Weight: ½ oz.
Details: “The concave, angled head on these jigs makes them sit upright on the bottom. If you match them with a pork trailer, they look just like a defensive crayfish. People don’t realize that jigs are very versatile. If I’m fishing one more traditionally, I just move the rod tip from ten o’clock to 12 o’clock to impart slight action. But sometimes I’ll just reel steadily and swim them. Both work as long as you maintain constant contact with the lure.

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Comments (11)

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from buck hunter 17 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

nice

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from VT Outdoorsman wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

I also love the Yamamoto Senko's. its good to see some reputable guides do too.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from markpangler@aol.com wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

The rattle rap in crayfish color is great in crayfish waters for smallies, so I've found. Cast near rocky points in deep water, as soon as the lure hits the water give it a pull then let it sink for a few seconds, keep tension on the line and hold on!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

A friend of mine bring me few bass stalker and there are letal weapons for largemouth too.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Huntersteve wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

I'm surprised that no Lake Erie guides were polled. It's known as the Walleye Capital of the World, but the Smallmouths could be a close second, and they get big.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from smallmouthbandit wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I've fished with J. Davis on Dale. Had the best fishing day of my life. Took about 25 fish that spring day - most fish were 18-20 inches.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bill Boucher wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

John Blais has guided me several times over the past several years and I have yet to be disappointed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from boomer1 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

i like to us the rebel craw fish

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Buffryan wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

Sinko rigged on a weedless wacky hook is hard to beat in clear water

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from REV wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

NO TUBES MENTIONED - interesting - #1 lure for small mouths!!!!!!!!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from beaverlog wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Rattlin' Rogues!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from buck hunter 17 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

nice

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from boomer1 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

i like to us the rebel craw fish

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from VT Outdoorsman wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

I also love the Yamamoto Senko's. its good to see some reputable guides do too.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from markpangler@aol.com wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

The rattle rap in crayfish color is great in crayfish waters for smallies, so I've found. Cast near rocky points in deep water, as soon as the lure hits the water give it a pull then let it sink for a few seconds, keep tension on the line and hold on!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

A friend of mine bring me few bass stalker and there are letal weapons for largemouth too.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Huntersteve wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

I'm surprised that no Lake Erie guides were polled. It's known as the Walleye Capital of the World, but the Smallmouths could be a close second, and they get big.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from smallmouthbandit wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I've fished with J. Davis on Dale. Had the best fishing day of my life. Took about 25 fish that spring day - most fish were 18-20 inches.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bill Boucher wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

John Blais has guided me several times over the past several years and I have yet to be disappointed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Buffryan wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

Sinko rigged on a weedless wacky hook is hard to beat in clear water

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from REV wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

NO TUBES MENTIONED - interesting - #1 lure for small mouths!!!!!!!!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from beaverlog wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Rattlin' Rogues!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment