Early Fall Smallmouth Fishing – Targeting Gorging Giants

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Z Man CrosseyeZ Flipping Jig

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Z Man Pro CrawZ 3.5-inch


Targeting Big Smallmouth In the Early Fall

Kristine Fisher is in Northern Wisconsin doing what she loves most in early fall…Targeting BIG Smallmouth. Right now in late September and Early Fall smallmouth are Gorging themselves on crawfish. Kristine knows that if she throws the right imitation out, her chances at some truly giant bronze backs are quite good. 

Crawfish Imitation in Early Fall 

Why Early Fall? During this time many crawfish will molt, leaving themselves an ideal target for a giant hungry smallmouth. These softer and most likely more enjoyable (to eat) crawfish often protect themselves directly after the period of molting, meaning fish will move to seek them out. This is why it is best to present a finesse jig, and not a fast moving crawfish imitation like a crank. With a finesse jig as Kristine mentions below, you are imitating a freshly molted crawfish, sticking close to rock or cover, which is exactly what smallmouth are keying into, often ignoring the faster moving un-molted crawfish. 

When it comes to getting footballs to gorge themselves on your imitation, it has to look the part, and act it! Kristine’s choice during this timeframe is a tungsten finesse jig with a live rubber skirt and a Z man TRD Craw as a trailer. The live rubber looks the part underwater, and the acting comes in with the buoyance of the trailer allowing this imitation to truly act the part of a crawfish on the bottom of the lake. 

 One thing you might not think of, that is on the mind of most smallmouth is sounding the part…not just looking and acting like it. This one critical detail Kristine is paying attention to by throwing Tungsten as it is a softer noise that sounds clean, imitating some soft shell scraping crawfish action on the rocky bottom of these clear Wisconsin’s lakes.