Crawdads?

Cliff

Well-Known Member
#1
Reading one thread saying that the fish were full of crawdads.
Does anyone trap and fish with crawdads? Or is it not necessary?
Or is it frowned on like fly fishermen talking about soaking worms for trout? :)
 
#2
There really is no need to use live crawdads for Lake Powell smallmouth. There are a lot of soft plastic baits that you can fish on jig heads, drop shot or split shot rigs or Texas rigs which will catch all the smallmouths you desire. Why fish with live bait when artificial lures work so well?

Ed Gerdemann
 

Cliff

Well-Known Member
#3
I guess I gotta learn more about SMs because I haven't caught any yet.
I'm a life long trout fisherman trying to learn a new way.
Old dog- new tricks???????
 

mtnpull

Well-Known Member
#4
I use a Maniac Cut R bug on a jig head. Kills them on Powell. Most fish too fast. Slow down the retrieve. In fact sometimes just cast is out, let it drift down to the bottom and then just let it sit and watch / tend the line. Then occasionally lightly lift it off the bottom and let it drop again and sit. Repeat the process over and over.
 

Cliff

Well-Known Member
#5
OK sounds good to me. I'll try it BUT-
can I find the maniac here in page?
Powell is 170 miles long- where do I look?
Like I said, I know virtually nothing about SM fishing.

If you ever get to June Lake in the eastern sierras, try trolling very slowly with a red cheek black matuka streamer #8 size or a #502 superduper red/gold lure. Usually we do real good using these methods there. We do much better on the east and north sides of the lake. Sometimes 5 or 6 colors of leadcore line work real good with the superduper also.
Down on the river below the dam here we do good drifting with larger globugs on 4lb fluorocarbon line in the riffles and shallows. Some days we limit out some days 1 or 2. It just depends on what? I have no idea.
 

Meatwagon

Well-Known Member
#6
OK sounds good to me. I'll try it BUT-
can I find the maniac here in page?
Powell is 170 miles long- where do I look?
Like I said, I know virtually nothing about SM fishing.

If you ever get to June Lake in the eastern sierras, try trolling very slowly with a red cheek black matuka streamer #8 size or a #502 superduper red/gold lure. Usually we do real good using these methods there. We do much better on the east and north sides of the lake. Sometimes 5 or 6 colors of leadcore line work real good with the superduper also.
Down on the river below the dam here we do good drifting with larger globugs on 4lb fluorocarbon line in the riffles and shallows. Some days we limit out some days 1 or 2. It just depends on what? I have no idea.
If you are in Page go to sticks, they have an excellent selection of smallmouth baits. I'm hooked on Yamamoto myself.
 
#7
I guess I gotta learn more about SMs because I haven't caught any yet.
I'm a life long trout fisherman trying to learn a new way.
Old dog- new tricks???????
You need to go the the Fishing Tips section of this website. There are articles there on smallmouth fishing. I wrote an article on drop shot fishing which I believe is the best technique day in and day out for catching Lake Powell smallmouths. It's also a very easy technique. Also go the Anglers Corner and read the fishing reports. While most are for stripers, there are smallmouth reports there as well. That should give you some idea as to what to do.

Some smallmouth can be found on nearly every piece of broken rock substrate on the lake. In the spring and fall you may find quite a few fish in 15 feet of water or less, while during the warmer months they will drop down to 20-30 feet. Dropoffs off the ends of points and along the sides of offshore reefs are often good spots. There will be some smallies on nearly every rockslide. Right now there are lots of smallmouths in the backs of the large coves and canyons as they have gone in there following the shad. As mentioned above they also eat crayfish, and some of the fish I've caught recently have been eating small sunfish as well. The fact is with so many predator fish in Lake Powell, a smallmouth can not afford to pass up anything that looks like it might be a meal. Even if a smallie is feeding primarily on crayfish, it won't pass up a shad swimming nearby. It can't afford to. That's why a wide variety of lures will catch smallmouths on Lake Powell as long as you're fishing where the fish are.

So review the Fishing Tips and Anglers Corner sections of this website and get back to us with some additional questions. Good luck!

Ed Gerdemann
 

Cliff

Well-Known Member
#8
I'll go look for your article tonight
THANKS!
I was using 1/4 oz leadhead with a Yamamoto 4" single tail grub (watermelon/red flake) but obviously I wasn't in the right spot or my technique is wrong.
I really want to learn how to catch SMs and if it is easy my wife might do it also. She likes to trout fish but not too hot about this lake for fishing. She likes the river below the dam.
 
#9
I'll go look for your article tonight
THANKS!
I was using 1/4 oz leadhead with a Yamamoto 4" single tail grub (watermelon/red flake) but obviously I wasn't in the right spot or my technique is wrong.
I really want to learn how to catch SMs and if it is easy my wife might do it also. She likes to trout fish but not too hot about this lake for fishing. She likes the river below the dam.
A Yamamoto 4-inch single tail grub in that color fished on that size of jig head is a good setup for Lake Powell smallmouths. As you suggested the problem is likely your location (my guess) or presentation. Again, fish areas with broken rock substrate. Right now is a good time to go into the backs of the coves and canyons as there are a lot of smallmouths in those areas. I would also be fishing along the ledges and reefs that front out onto the main part of the lake. Right now there are a lot of fish available above 15 feet, however it also pays to work areas between 20 and 25 feet. In addition to broken rock, look for irregular features such as a little trench running up into a cut or a drop off at the end of a reef or point or an underwater hump. Smallmouths tend to congregate on these types of areas.

If I were using a grub on a jighead, particularly in the color your were using, I would want to try and imitate a crayfish with it. I would let it sink to the bottom, raise it up off the bottom and let it settle down. If that doesn't work I would try a couple short, quick hops, and if still no action I would simply swim it back to the boat. Many of your hits with that, or any other soft plastic lure setup, will come on the initial drop. When it appears your bait is on the bottom gently raise that rod tip. If you feel any little bit of extra weight, drop your rod, take out the slack and set the hook. You'll set it in some rocks and brush from time to time, but a lot of those hooksets will be into fish. If you are not getting bit on the grub, try a three or four-inch tube in a watermelon or other dark green color and hop it along the bottom. I guarantee you Lake Powell smallies will take that for a crayfish.

While the jig/grub/tube combos will catch fish, I really think the drop shot is the more consistent method which is why I use it so much. My favorite drop shot bait is the Yamamoto Shad Shaped Worm. My favorite color is the watermelon/white laminate (901 in Yamamoto lingo). The natural shad color, sort of a translucent gray, is another good color in this bait as is pure watermelon, baby bass (lighter green) and green pumpkin. You really don't need any more colors than these. Another good drop shot bait is the slim Senko in either three or four-inch models. I usually prefer to wacky rig these (hook them through the middle letting the ends dangle). In fact, that was my drop shot bait of choice until the Shad Shaped Worm came along. Another highly underrated bait for smallies is the Yamamoto Kut Tail worm. These can be fished on drop shot and split shot rigs as well as on jig heads and Texas rigged. Again some sort of darker green (watermelon) would be the best color for Lake Powell.

Hope this helps. Lake Powell is stuffed full of smallmouths, and they are readily catchable right now. Get out and catch some and save a few to eat. They are much better eating than stripers in my opinion. :)

Ed Gerdemann
 

Cliff

Well-Known Member
#10
This is cool information THANKS
I'll be going out on Tuesday with my cousin and maybe try the dam or WC wall with bait for stripers then and after he's gone I'll go out again and try for smallies. Drop shot hook say 2 feet behind the loop and the shot about 1 foot long below the loop?
I was thinking last night (mind wanders about fishing) about using a surf style rig straight down on the targets I keep seeing directly below me. With no wind or drift I was thinking a 1/2 oz. weight on the end of the line and 2 short snelled #8 or #6 bait hooks at 2' and 4' above the weight. Fished straight down just bouncing the bottom drowning worms. I don't know but maybe it would entice both smallies and the bigger bluegill.
I've got a few watermellon tube jigs in the box somewhere.
 
#11
This is cool information THANKS
I'll be going out on Tuesday with my cousin and maybe try the dam or WC wall with bait for stripers then and after he's gone I'll go out again and try for smallies. Drop shot hook say 2 feet behind the loop and the shot about 1 foot long below the loop?
I was thinking last night (mind wanders about fishing) about using a surf style rig straight down on the targets I keep seeing directly below me. With no wind or drift I was thinking a 1/2 oz. weight on the end of the line and 2 short snelled #8 or #6 bait hooks at 2' and 4' above the weight. Fished straight down just bouncing the bottom drowning worms. I don't know but maybe it would entice both smallies and the bigger bluegill.
I've got a few watermellon tube jigs in the box somewhere.
I would doubt you'd need 1/2 oz. of weight for the setup you described unless you're fishing VERY deep or in significant wind. You should try to get by most of the time with the least amount of weight possible for greater sensitivity. I would go with a 1/4 oz. weight. If you feel you need a bit more try 5/16 or 3/8 oz.

As for drop shotting, I'm currently using 6-6 light action rods with open face spinning reels with a 6.2:1 gear ratio. I could make use of even faster reels. I'm using 14-lb.-test Fireline Crystal as my main line with a 15 to 20-foot fluorocarbon leader. I splice the leader to the Fireline with a double uni knot which is two fly fisherman's nail knots tied back to back and cinched together. I actually use a fly fisherman's nail knot tool for the job. I generally tie on my hook leaving 15 to 20 inches below the hook so there will be 15 to 20 inches between the hook and the sinker. I prefer to use the regular drop shot weights (Stix in Page has some very good ones from Bass Pro) in 1/4 oz. size. I prefer the cylinder shaped weights as they don't seem to hang up as badly in the rocks.

The hook I've been using is a #3 Yamamoto Split Shot hook which is comparable in size to most companies' 1/0 size. This is a type of circle hook. Any brand of circle hook will work as long as it's needle-sharp.

One thing I cannot emphasize more is to back off your reel drag. Most fishermen have their drags set way too tight. I set mine so there's just enough resistance to slow a fish down while still allowing the line to be pulled off easily against the drag. A circle hook will more likely pop out if the drag is set too tight. The other thing I can't emphasize even more is when fishing with a circle hook DO NOT set the hook! When you get a hit simply drop your rod and then take up the slack gently sweeping your rod into fighting position. If you give it the hard, over-the-head-TV-fisherman hookset you will more often than not pull the hook out of the fish's mouth.

So get yourself properly outfitted and get out and give those smallmouths a try. I got hooked in smallmouths when I was four years old, and I've been chasing them ever since - first in Missouri and Arkansas, then in Ontario and New England and finally out here. Lake Powell is one of the great smallmouth lakes anywhere so try to take advantage of that. Good luck! :)

Ed Gerdemann
 

Cliff

Well-Known Member
#12
I've heard of the circle hook technique for setting the hook but have never used them. Do you feel you have more hookups using them as opposed to other style hooks or is it just to make releasing easier on the fish?
I could be convinced (I may have already been) to fish smallies more than trout if I can learn a little more about doing it. All this info is fantastic for me and I'm going to try it all out.
I usually have a very light drag setting as I fish trout with very light leaders.
 
#13
I prefer circle hooks for the ease of setting the hook and for the fact the fish don't swallow the hook as often which makes catch-and-release of larger bass a viable option.

Ed Gerdemann