Small water fishing can lead to some of the most fun and productive days spent on the water in the fall. And Southern Indiana resident Eddie Arthur (AKA MediumMouthFishing) is all about it.
“I like targeting smallmouth up in the creeks,” said Arthur. “It’s kayak fishing. It’s really more like a river system, miles and miles long. And we do have some dams too. But we kayak up and down it.”
These small creeks and rivers have some deeper water in them, but most of the time it’s pretty skinny fishing.
“I’m usually fishing about 4-foot and under, really shallow clear water. They’re up shallow feeding on the shad and little baitfish.”
Arthur does his damage from a kayak with four primary rods rigged up most of the time. A Ned rig, a football jig, a small swimbait and then a small stick bait on a wacky rig.
“I’ve been using the Drop Dead Ned from Battle Baits, it’s a skirted Ned rig. That’s probably the best smallmouth bait I’ve found in the last year or two. And then an X-Zone Lures 3.5-inch Swammer just on a jighead or on an underspin sometimes, depending no the weather.”
Though the cold weather is coming, the topwater bite is hanging on for now. "Topwaters still work good sometimes too. So I’ll throw something like a little Whopper Plopper 90 or 75, and they’re killing it still right now.”
It’s mostly the four basics for him for though, with the topwater sprinkled in from time to time. This is his approach when he finds a little deeper water in the creeks as well.
“I usually just throw the jig in there, or the Ned rig, one of the two. I’ll let the Ned rig float down the current a little bit and it works perfect. Or I’ll run a Whopper Plopper across it since those smallmouths are very aggressive.”
Water flows through these tributaries, creating current. And that current is key. There are some places where the water widens and the flow slacks up, and then other areas where the water passes more quickly through tighter pinch points. Paying attention to this will help you catch more fish according to Arthur.
“The bass are definitely current related. If it’s slow water, there aren’t any. It’s gotta have a little current. Where the current ends is the best.”
There are some spotted bass mixed in with the smallmouth that Arthur is targeting. And these fish are quite aggressive as well, helping keep things interesting whenever the smallmouth bite hits a lull.
Arthur’s approach is fairly straight forward, with a handful of baits to offer that have proven themselves over time. And he has some advice if you’re interested in trying this type of fishing out.
“Be patient, go up in the shallows and find some current. That’s about it.”