8 Gain Some Weight
Feather and bucktail jigs work great in rivers, as do plastics such as twister-tails or shad, or even miniature jigs-and-pigs. Tubes, however, may be best. Nearly all the smallmouth forage in rivers-crayfish, sculpins, darters, dace, chubs, and aquatic nymphs-have a cylindrical form, and tubes copy that shape perfectly. Carry jigs and tubes in the 1/4- to 1/32-ounce range, and one of them will be the perfect match for the current. Try fishing upstream, letting the lure tumble back to you along the edges of mid-river slicks, as you reel to keep the line taut. In deeper, slower water, work the jig or tube around rock piles and dropoffs. On weedy edges, try twitching a minnow-imitating plastic through the middle depths.