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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been going out since mid April, with off and on success. Walking the shore mainly w. side of S. Elgin in the slack. Started with spinners/buzzers & traps, but popping chug-bugs seem to be working best lately. Numbers aren't great, but size has averaged 3+ lbs. I would also get one (and only one) largemouth every time out.

With the fish seemingly all scattered about, I'm not sure if I can do better or not. I was thinking of hooking up some Carolina or drop shot rigs, but don't know if the clarity is good enough.

As a river newbie, any and all advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I appreciate it.

Except for the occasional trip to Canada, my mind has been programmed for largemouth. That's probably why I'm having so much fun. Catching smallies in a new environment is really addictive.
 

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went to my spot in batavia last night from 530 pm til 9pm usind floating jig and minnow and castin with crank had a few bites but right before i left i nice 10 lbs channel cat almost pulled my pole in the water sorry no pics cant seem to get my flash on camera workin. they r such beautiful lookin fish
 

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If you're headed to Geneva about a mile south(little less than) of the dam is the train bridge with a pedestrian one underneath it. I would park on the west side of the river, train station has parking and I know they have a lot of shops in that area so I would believe street parking is available as well. I'd almost be willing to bet my life there is a decent smallmouth behind everyone of those bridge pilings, or at least there has been in the past when I have fished it. 2 1/4 inch thunderstick or a 1/16th jighead with 2 inch grub, I' go with white, yellow or charteuese. Stand upstream from the pilings and cast 10-15 feet downstream of those pilings. Give the bait a twitch about once every ten seconds during a very slow retrieve and hang on tight :D A lot of guys like to walk the wall on the east side of the river but I'm not a fan of crowds and that wall gets hammered by everyone and their uncle's brothers' cousin.

*disclaimer: I haven't even looked at the water levels on the rivers yet this year but I know they're high as all get out. Bring a friend with your first time and if it looks like the current is raging skip it and hit a subdivision pond or something instead. Fox, as with most bodies of water, offers no forgiveness for ignorance
 

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Ill tip ya off wit my fav smallie lures, maybe it can give you a new idea or two.

1. bitsy bug wit craw trailer (green typically or brown) a great bass jig that can also catch big walleye if you tip it with a fathead.
2. Tube jigs!!!! greens, browns, and blacks.
3. skitter prop (something about the buzzing prop triggers smallies effectively)
4. spinnerbait, red and black double colorado, bronze or copper blades is my prefered color scheme for smallies, but I use that in relatively clear water.
5. senkos/yum dingers ect.
6. SWIMBAITS really rock, big thumpin tails make em hungry.i havent experimented with the hollow bodies yet much tho, i have always used lead headed ones.

Oh yea, and if ur into it, any live bait on a light jig will trick em readily. One of my biggest smallies I ever caught was on a jig tipped with a leech and 2 inches of crawler at the same time. we fished the spot numerous times and never got him till he was presented a leech/crawler, we had no idea he was even there till he hit. I like leeches for bass the most.
 

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Hey Samurai,

I'm from the same area as you and hitting the same water with the same lack of experience. I haven't really gotten in too much yet but I have been fishing from shore primarily at the South Elgin dam and walking down the banks keeping away from the crowds of bucketheads. If you're ever looking for someone to tag along with you by all means PM me and we can learn this river together.
 

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samurai said:
Numbers aren't great, but size has averaged 3+ lbs.
Wow..3+ lbs average?? sounds like I should be getting advice from you!!

Seriously though, sounds like your off to a good start and the baits you are using will catch you some fish. Various plastics (grubs, soft jerkbaits and flukes, swimbaits, and tubes to name a few) on 1/8 or 1/16 oz. jigs produce pretty consistently. Small cranks that dive in the 3-5 foot range produce as well as shallow divers (see Darth Waders latest post!!). Hard jerkbaits definitely have their place as well. I'd recommend perusing the reports in this forum to get you a better idea of what works.

As far as the fish being scattered...It seems like whenever you have these in-between water levels where the river is not real high and not real low the smallies can have a tendency to be a bit scattered. Cover a lot of water and don't spend a whole lot of time in one spot if it's not producing. If the river comes down to its normal summer level you should be able to find some larger concentrations of fish in more predictable spots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
WaterGuy said:
Wow..3+ lbs average?? sounds like I should be getting advice from you!!
You may want to rethink that. I probably average one fish every 1.5-2 hours.

I've learned of a few more spots to try. I've also began trying some of the ideas everyone has offered. (The help has been terrific)
Today was day one using cranks, jigs & tubes. Got skunked. I'm using the high sky/cold front combo excuse. Insert roll eyes smilie here.
I now realize that I'm going to need waders. If anyone knows of someone who wants to get rid of theirs (size 12 boot), pm me. I would buy new, but am between gigs.
 
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