How To Hit Smallies Where it Hurts


What To Use at Different Times When Smallies Are Pre-Spawn

Early Morning. The early morning is a great time to target active pre-spawn smallies. Rig the Lab Worm on a modified in-line spinner such as Terminator’s Snagless In-Line Spinner. Target hard-bottomed points and ledges near expansive flats, keying on subtle density changes on the bottom of the lake. The key is to drag the in-line spinner along the bottom, running it into underwater structure as much as possible.

fishing for smallies

Mid-Morning. As the sun rises, and the morning bite slows down, use the Lab Worm as a more subtle alternative to traditional jig trailers. The long slender body provides a random, life-like motion as the jig sits still on the bottom. The key is to pull the jig across hard-bottomed deeper ledges, from shallow to deep water. Don’t hop or bounce the jig, pull it and pause. In this scenario, use natural colors such as browns and greens.


Late-Morning, Early Afternoon. Late morning can be a tough time for pre-spawn smallies. It’s time to lower your profile and slow down your presentation. Lose the extra body of the skirted jig, and rig the Lab Worm on a standard 1/16-1/8 oz. football head, such as Lunker City’s Lunker Grib Jigheads ( Position your boat on the shallow side of a hard-bottom drop off and drag your Lab Worm from deep water to shallow, pausing it frequently to sit on the bottom. Often times, you’ll simply feel the weight of the fish as you lift up to drag it the next few inches. In this scenario, match the color of the lure to the bottom of the lake (green, gray, or brown). As the morning transitions to afternoon, consider switching to a drop-shot and allowing the Lab Worm to sit horizontally for as long as you can wait!

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