Smallmouth River Fishing: Dealing With Weeds

When smallmouth river fishing, weeds can sometimes become a problem and some people don’t know how to deal with them.  As the spring fades and summer, low water conditions take over, weeds can grow heavily in some rivers.  This can be a hindrance to your fishing success if you don’t know how to deal with it.

In lakes, it can sometimes be easier than rivers to deal with weeds because the water is deeper and there is no current so you can pinpoint your approach better by either fishing above the weeds, ripping through them or throwing a jig in small pockets.

Smallmouth River Fishing: Dealing With Weeds

As Tim Holschlag says in his book River Smallmouth Fishing, you can modify these techniques for rivers.

Pocket Drop – cast several feet past the pockets in the weeds and then maneuver the lure across the surface into the pocket, where you let it fall on a tight line…Spinnerbaits are hard to beat for this type of fishing, especially lighter weight models.  You need to start the retrieve the instant the spinner hits the water, so it doesn’t sink into the weeds before it gets to the hole.

Slithering Slider Worm – Depending on current speed and depth, you use either a 4-inch skinny worm (Texas-rigged on a slider head) or an unweighted fat worm, also rigged weedless.  Both types of worms lsither overand through weeds quite well without snagging, and when you let them drop into openings, smallies nail them.  This tip as well as more great tips, can be found in Tim’s fantastic book here.

Some weeds are obvious like in the picture above, some are below the surface or can even just be on the bottom.  You can always throw top water baits such as poppers, buzzbaits and cigar/zara spook type of baits as well.

If you have further tips that you have tried, be sure to mention them in the comments section below.

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