3 Tips for Chenango River Smallmouth Bass!

I grew up fishing the Chenango River in Upstate NY, and I just took a quick trip down it on October 11th. ¬†Now granted, I had just gotten back from having spent two days at Lake Ontario, so I wasn’t expecting to have my mind blown. ¬†But I did catch about 40 smallies, and it took me a minute to figure them out but once I did I could catch them at will! ¬†So here are three tips that will hopefully help you do the same!

1. Know where to look.

It’s so funny because I went to Ontario expecting the fish to be shallow. ¬†The water was 45-49 degrees, so you would think they would be on the shore, crushing shad, gorging spinnerbaits and jerkbaits. ¬†But they weren’t. ¬†They were deeper and finicky. So I expected the river fish to be in the same boat. ¬†Water temp was 58, and there was almost NO current. ¬†So, I went to my deep holes but couldn’t buy a fish. ¬†By mistake I drifted to an edge and caught one in 5 feet. ¬†Casted again and caught another, then another. ¬†Went to another spot similar to that and found the same thing. ¬†So it was pretty obvious what I wanted to look for:

Any bends in the river that had rocks/gravel/trees that were 5 feet deep on the outside edge and were adjacent to deep water. ¬†Here’s a screenshot of what that looks like from one of my favorite holes in the river, near the Genegantslet Golf course.

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 6.09.47 PM

2. What to throw

I caught all my fish on a Bass Pro Shops tender tube, green pumpkin, with a 1/4 oz jig head.  Not complicated at all.  Just drift it, and work it slow.  I was using a seven foot medium action extra fast rod with a high speed casting reel.  20 pound fluoro leader, 50 pound Cortland Line braid.

3.  Stealth mode

Being quiet is key, especially in some of those low pressure areas. ¬†Trolling motors are not common for them. ¬†Stay off your tolling motor as much as you can, cast upstream, and drag it down with you as you float. ¬†If there’s too much current and you have to work your motor, try to do it as little as possible. ¬†You’ll catch more fish the quieter you can be.

Good luck and post your pics in your replies!


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