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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would like to hear from anyone who has had success catching smallmouth on the Fox. I've caught several largemouth over the years, but have yet to hook a smallmouth. One of my goals this year is to catch my first Fox River smallmouth. Any tips or advice would be appreciated!
 

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Target slack water and change up your baits and methods. Sometimes they want a fast retrieve, and sometimes they prefer the current working the lure. They seem to like the crawfish-looking lures, but there are a large variety of lures that they will hit. Read up on some of the older Fox River posts (especially by Darth Wader).

Here is a good one: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6550
 

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Pikemaster- I'm not sure what parts of the river you fish, but the Batavia stretch always produces smallies. Once the high water settles down this spring you should try behind the Funway Amusement Park in Batavia. There's a lot of fish back there especially by the rock bar that is in place of the dam that was removed there. Try the current breaks and the slack areas next to the rocks and you should find some fish.
 

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I am no expert but here's my two cents.

Early spring should make your quest an easy feat. The high cold water will have smallies and many other species stacked up on current seams and eddies. They will move from their winter holes but don't have the strength yet to hold in the strong current. Target the areas that are getting the most sun, warming the break walls/rocks or mud bottom.

As for techniques the easiest is large fathead, splitshot and float, others presentations float and fly, plastics
Cranks and stick baits worked or should I say not worked per the post Koolaid referenced.
I haven't used spinnerbaits too much but if Darth suggests it you can bet I'm going to be giving it a go this spring.

I'm sure there will be many posts as our beloved Fox wakes from winter. Seeing how this is a long way off I would search the Fox archives and enjoy all this site has to offer.

Looking forward to hearing your reports.

Tight lines,
Hoffman
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I can see I've found the right message board! Thanks to all who have responded thus far!
I was amazed by the quality of the fish that I viewed on koolaid's post reference (thanks koolaid). I mostly fish the stretch of the Fox between the Algonquin and Mchenry dams, but maybe I should be looking a little further south for smallmouths. Has anyone had success in this northern stretch of the Fox?
 

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While I have seen and caught plenty of nice fish from STC, Geneva, and Batavia. IMO the section you're fishing has bigger fish. Are you wading? If not I highly recommend it. Try and partner up with someone that knows the area. i.e. where the holes or deep water is if you plan on heading out in the spring after the water comes down a bit. a lot of talented and knowledgeable guys up in your area.
 

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I also fish up in Alogonquin in the spring and fall. There actually is a lot of smallies up that way too. I'm usually fishing for eyes and white bass, but I usually catch a couple smallmouth each time out too. Jig/minnow's or realistix/gulp plastics will probably be the best bet once you head out there for the first time this year.
 

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Paul S said:
Hey Root,
Smallies crush buzzbaits. While I prefer a Sammy or walk-the-dog type bait over a buzzbait for smallies, buzzbaits definitely work. Give 'em a shot.
I Totally agree Paul. I like skitter-pops, chug-bugs. buzz-baits for sure, the Basirisky is also a favorite for LM and Smallies, even over deep water... when im chasing smallies with top-water, A Zara-Spooks, 6 inch in ghost is my favorite as well as the Sammy! :p... :D

Heres one on a chug bug. They explode harder than Largemouth on top-water baits... damn I wanna catch a bass!!! I only caught 2 through the ice this year... :?

 

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I'm surprised that you've been hitting the largemouth over the smallmouth on the Fox. Usually it's the other way around. My bait of choice is fairly simplistic. Jig and twister. Summertime use 3" motor oil, green pumpkin, watermelon something in that color on the twister tail and a 1/32 jig. Work it along the current seam between the current and slack water. Bounce it off the bottom. Where ever there is sufficient structure in the current cast it in the slack water behind the structure...smallies should take a liking.

Btw I think Darth is or was recently up in Lake of the Woods. I'm not sure if they are back I haven't seen the post from EYE yet.
 

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I've caught some incidental smallies on buzzbaits, but have better luck on walk the dog or stop and go type topwaters for them. I know Darth likes to do some topwater on the Fox with awesome results at times. I can't wait for their LOW report. It was a good one last year.
 

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Thanks for the votes of confidence guys (and gal) =)

I can assure you there are smallmouth both large and small from Algonquin dam all the way down through Yorkville.
Irrefutable photographic proof available upon request.
To slightly modify an R.E.M. song title, I say..."Fish in the place where you are"=)...Or waste 30-40 minutes or more driving to some "magical" big fish holding destination.
It's your fishing time.

Gaining a FIRM grasp on river current and how smallies relate to it is far more relevant than lure choice in my opinion.

Keep an eye out for the "SpringPrimer" post in the Fox forum sometime in February..if you're a newbie you'll find it very informative..I promise=)
Until then read thru the archives as there are some major contributions from the members of this fine site.
 
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