Topwater Lures For River Smallmouth

Topwater Lures For River Smallmouth

The roof of a river is an interesting place. Fall river smallmouths in lakes tend to move deeper, and the topwater option is gone until next year. In rivers, the opposite happens. Smallmouths tend to feed shallow water right up until the water drops to 41°F or so.

Chris Beeksma admitted he'd never experienced it. "I've heard about it," he said. "But I've never really fished rivers in fall." Poor guy. He's "stuck" up there on Chequamegon Bay with all those six and seven pounders.

So I pulled the boat over on a flat behind an island—a spot I honestly seldom fish, but I knew the area was primarily 3 to 5 feet deep. "This is the best spot on this part of the river for topwaters," I said.

Chris is so tuned in to the usual fall tactics on still water, he wasn't prepared for a topwater bite. I wasn't either, really—because the water was up and most of the spots in the area we were fishing were 8 feet deep. But I always have a little of everything on board, so I dug up a popper and handed it to him. Over the next 45 minutes or so, Chris popped his way to 5 or 6 nice ones, and had several others blow up on it that he missed.


I tried an old favorite—a Buddha Baits Pop Fire. They don't make them anymore, but they hang in the water with a very interesting profile—with the tail underwater, pointing down at a 45° angle. You can only find them on E-Bay anymore. Once upon a time, it was the only thing to throw on the Mississippi. About 15 years ago, it was the best thing to throw every day for 6 solid weeks—the most incredible stretch of topwater action I've ever experienced. But the smallmouths we found the other day weren't interested in antiques, apparently. Fishing memories is like that, sometimes. Excuse me. Gotta take a call from Shaw Grigsby....


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

MLF BPT angler and former Classic champ Casey Ashley has been with Costa del Mar sunglasses his whole career. At ICAST 2019, he shows OSG writer Lynn Burkhead some new products and talks how to pick the right lens color for the water.

Mustad

Mustad's Inkvader Octopus Live Jig

From big fish to small, just about any saltwater game fish out there will love the new Mustad Inkvader Octopus Live Jig that Mustad's Russ Whisler shows to OSG's Lynn Burkhead.

Simms

Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor Hoody

John Frazier of Simms Fishing Products helps OSG's Lynn Burkhead understand the new features of the new Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor sun protection hoody.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Everything you need to know about popular catfish species and how to catch them on proven riggings. Catfish

All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Everything you need to know about popular catfish species and how to catch them on proven...

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is simply a matter of putting a good bait in the right in front of them. Catfish

The Best Catfish Rigs

In-Fisherman - January 11, 2018

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is...

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north or south, will help you pinpoint their predictable locations year after year. 

Walleyes spawn in spring, but spring may arrive in February in Mississippi, March in Walleye

Understanding Spring Walleye Migrations

Gord Pyzer - June 02, 2018

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north...

See More Trending Articles

More Bass

In debut of new video series, Dr. Todd A. Kuhn discusses how to use soft-plastic lures for bass.

Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight: Soft Plastics

Game & Fish Digital Staff - February 11, 2020

Sponsored By
Streamlight
Episode 2: Dr. Todd A. Kuhn discusses why compact soft plastics are great options for bass.

Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight: Tube & Creature Baits

Game & Fish Digital Staff - February 18, 2020

Sponsored By
Streamlight
A recent study examined how being either lefty or righty affects feeding mechanics of largemouth bass. Bass

Lefty, Righty Bass

Rob Nuemann

A recent study examined how being either lefty or righty affects feeding mechanics of...

See More Bass

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.