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#12829500 - 07/15/18 07:29 PM Headed north for some smallies.... any advice?
BlueSkeeter13 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/21/17
Posts: 42
Loc: Cleburne, Texas
I just booked a 3 day fishing trip to Rainy Lake in northern Minnesota for me and my 2 boys. They are in their early 20s and we've talked about doing this for some time. We have plenty of experience fishing for largemouth, but smallies is a new game for us. We are planning to go with a guide on the first day, and I've reserved a boat for the last 2 days. Hopefully we can apply some of what we learn from the guide on those other days. No doubt this will be a great trip to get away with the boys, but catching a bunch of 4-5 lb fish would make it even better. Please let me know if you have any tips on the smallie game.

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#12829528 - 07/15/18 07:51 PM Re: Headed north for some smallies.... any advice? [Re: BlueSkeeter13]
Allen Bass Fisher Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 2219
Loc: Allen, TX
Light line (6-8 pound)maybe even 4 pound spinning gear. Grubs, tubes and small creature baits. Bright colors. Smallmouth like lots of sun.

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#12829533 - 07/15/18 07:55 PM Re: Headed north for some smallies.... any advice? [Re: BlueSkeeter13]
Okie Poke Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 18761
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
Been to Rainy Lake 4 times. We've always hauled our own boats up there. Our trips were usually first week of June every year. Smallies have been in prespawn and spawn mode at the first of June. I would guess your best baits would be same as here during post spawn. Make sure to have a northern map chip and good graph or you'll be buying the outfitter's lower unit on the boat. It is a very dangerous lake with all the submerged, gigantic rocks. They show up everywhere. I have a map chip, Navionics Classic North that we've used that covers all of Rainy. I will loan it to you if you're interested. Some of the funnest fishing that I've ever done was at Rainy.....GL.
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#12829541 - 07/15/18 08:04 PM Re: Headed north for some smallies.... any advice? [Re: BlueSkeeter13]
John Peebles Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/18/05
Posts: 1132
Loc: Seabrook
Jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and shakey heads work down here, so I would think that should work up north as well.

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#12829579 - 07/15/18 08:52 PM Re: Headed north for some smallies.... any advice? [Re: BlueSkeeter13]
C130 Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/26/16
Posts: 556
Loc: Magnolia, TX
They are a blast to catch. My son and I just got back from Tennessee. We didn't get to fish much due to visiting my dad who is in pretty bad shape but took the boat anyways and fished a little. We try and make the trip every summer. Last summer my son and his friend only caught them on a jig, did great last June. Last week caught them on a drop shot. I seem to only catch largemouth every time we go for some reason. Most people locally were fishing at night though, we didn't have a chance last week. I bet ya'll will have a blast.

I want to go back around December when the bite is typically really good. I have a friend and his dad who have fished the lake we go to their entire life and really catch some great smallies around December.


Edited by C130 (07/15/18 08:55 PM)
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#12829963 - 07/16/18 09:12 AM Re: Headed north for some smallies.... any advice? [Re: C130]
Okie Poke Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 18761
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
Originally Posted By: C130

I want to go back around December when the bite is typically really good. I have a friend and his dad who have fished the lake we go to their entire life and really catch some great smallies around December.



That's when the lake starts freezing over, in December....when were the great smallies caught?
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#12830052 - 07/16/18 10:29 AM Re: Headed north for some smallies.... any advice? [Re: BlueSkeeter13]
BlueSkeeter13 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/21/17
Posts: 42
Loc: Cleburne, Texas
Thanks for the info guys...much appreciated. And thanks Okie Poke - I will watch out for those big rocks too!

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#12835002 - 07/20/18 06:58 AM Re: Headed north for some smallies.... any advice? [Re: BlueSkeeter13]
Okie Poke Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 18761
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
No prob, Blue....let me know if you need that map chip. It was a lifesaver for us.
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#12835006 - 07/20/18 07:19 AM Re: Headed north for some smallies.... any advice? [Re: Okie Poke]
Doug R. Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 9690
Loc: back in the day
Originally Posted By: Okie Poke
Originally Posted By: C130

I want to go back around December when the bite is typically really good. I have a friend and his dad who have fished the lake we go to their entire life and really catch some great smallies around December.



That's when the lake starts freezing over, in December....when were the great smallies caught?



Lakes in Tennessee freeze over in December??

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#12835029 - 07/20/18 07:37 AM Re: Headed north for some smallies.... any advice? [Re: BlueSkeeter13]
SteezMacQueen Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 11/02/14
Posts: 5879
Loc: Red Oak, Galveston, and Pagosa...
Gonna try South Dakota tomorrow. Haven't fished in SD in 40 years.
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Eat. Sleep. Fish.

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#12835037 - 07/20/18 07:44 AM Re: Headed north for some smallies.... any advice? [Re: BlueSkeeter13]
Ken A. Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 10/02/06
Posts: 10080
Loc: Trophy Club, TX
Originally Posted By: BlueSkeeter13
No doubt this will be a great trip to get away with the boys, but catching a bunch of 4-5 lb fish would make it even better. Please let me know if you have any tips on the smallie game.


I have a couple tips for you on the smallie game. The best advice I have for you is to have realistic expectations. I have fished with a bunch of guides around this Great Country. I have caught a few smallies the guide called a 4-5 lb fish that were 2-3 lb fish.

I fished with a great guide on Lake Champlain two days in Oct a few years ago. We caught probably 100 smallies in those 2 days (1-3#) along with maybe 30 largemouths. Our guide kept calling our bigger smallies 4 pounders and didn't get too excited about them. he acted like 4 pound smallies were common.

I hooked a 5lb 4oz largie the second day and the guide almost killed himself trying to get the net. That was the ONLY fish he wanted a pic of. That told me how many true 5 pounders he sees every year. Me & my buddy still laugh about it. roflmao

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#12835047 - 07/20/18 07:55 AM Re: Headed north for some smallies.... any advice? [Re: BlueSkeeter13]
Jeff From Iowa Offline
Angler

Registered: 01/07/18
Posts: 306
You can catch them on the same stuff as large mouth, for the most part and then because of water clarity smaller stuff like ned rig shakey heads etc.

When I go to sd I primarily use spinner bait, ned rig slow rolled on bottoom or a few feet off the bottom with a steady retieve, craw colored crank baits 1.5 size or smaller.

Wacky and finesse tactics seem to work really well also for guys in my club.

I never have gone to lighter line. One guy in my club goes to 6 and breaks off half his fish and doesnt end up with more than any of us who still throw 12-15.
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2017 Phoenix 920

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#12835069 - 07/20/18 08:17 AM Re: Headed north for some smallies.... any advice? [Re: SteezMacQueen]
crankn101 Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 04/12/07
Posts: 4503
Loc: Longmont co.
Originally Posted By: SteezMacQueen
Gonna try South Dakota tomorrow. Haven't fished in SD in 40 years.


Some of the smaller lakes?

They have some killer lakes up there that rarely get fished for smallies.

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#12835207 - 07/20/18 09:59 AM Re: Headed north for some smallies.... any advice? [Re: Doug R.]
Okie Poke Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 18761
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
Originally Posted By: Doug R.
Originally Posted By: Okie Poke
Originally Posted By: C130

I want to go back around December when the bite is typically really good. I have a friend and his dad who have fished the lake we go to their entire life and really catch some great smallies around December.



That's when the lake starts freezing over, in December....when were the great smallies caught?



Lakes in Tennessee freeze over in December??



Rainy Lake is in Canada, my friend...…
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#12835393 - 07/20/18 12:05 PM Re: Headed north for some smallies.... any advice? [Re: Okie Poke]
C130 Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/26/16
Posts: 556
Loc: Magnolia, TX
Originally Posted By: Okie Poke
Originally Posted By: C130

I want to go back around December when the bite is typically really good. I have a friend and his dad who have fished the lake we go to their entire life and really catch some great smallies around December.



That's when the lake starts freezing over, in December....when were the great smallies caught?



Center Hill in Tennesse never freezes over, doesn't come close.
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Bass Cat Eyra

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