I hit the Juniata River with my son and a friend to enjoy a day of smallmouth fishing. We had a great day swapping stories, poking fun at each other, AND catching some smallmouth bass. We landed over 30 smallmouth between the three of us during the trip. the biggest fish was caught by my friend. We estimated the size at about 18 inches. Unfortunately, as I was paddling down river to get a picture the fish made a few strategic “flops” and was able to escape my buddies grasp! ..now that’s a smart fish!
We had sunny blue bird sky all day. Temperatures ranged from 78 degrees in the morning to almost 90 degrees during the warmest part of the day.
River gauge readings were about normal for this time of year. Water levels have been fairly consistent for the past week or so. Visibility was about 3 feet.
Comments on Patterns
Active fish were holding in deeper areas in and around current. The best pattern was current breaks in 3-4 feet of water with medium to medium fast current. The fish were definitely actively feeding in these areas.
The second best pattern was short deeper pools (4+ feet deep) with good current leading into them. They produced the best smallmouth bass. Fish were positioned at the head of these pools.
Deeper longer pools with little current were by far the least productive areas.
Baits and Presentations
Top producing baits in order where:
1. Winco’s smallmouth specialty Spinnerbait (Blue glimmar Hollagram Grub trailer)
2. Winco’s baby stickworm (3 inch)
3. Blue Glimmar Hollagram Grub on 1/16 oz jig head or white twister tail grub
Presentations for all baits where critical today because the bites were tough to come by. Since the spinnerbait caught the most fish I’ll comment on that presentation. The most productive presentation was bringing the spinnerbait from a current shoot upstream then crossing over into a current seam/eddy. If you weren’t doing this, your chances of getting bit were slim to none. Also, paralleling behind the shoals or ledges in the “nervous water” was a very productive presentation.