Reservoir Fishing

Reservoir Fishing Video: Al Lindner and Jeremy Smith go on the hunt for anything that will bite on a Midwestern reservoir.

Reservoir fishing can be an exciting and aggressive way to chase smallmouth bass. In this article, we will explore the run and gun approach to fishing for smallies in reservoirs. We will discuss the importance of structure and cover, as well as the effectiveness of fishing rip rap. So, let’s dive in and learn more about this thrilling fishing technique.

The Run and Gun Approach

When it comes to chasing smallmouth bass in reservoirs, the run and gun approach is highly effective. This approach involves sampling large points with rock rip rap and current pushes. Smallmouth bass are not shy and will let you know if they’re around. Once you start hitting the fish, it’s important to break down that stretch of water extensively before moving on to the next spot. This aggressive approach keeps the excitement levels high and ensures that you cover a lot of ground in search of active fish.

The Power of Rip Rap

Rip rap is a type of structure that can be found in reservoir s all across the country. It is man-placed rock or other material used to protect stream beds, bridge abutments, pilings, and other shoreline structures against erosion. Rip rap can be a fish magnet because it provides prime locations for baitfish to gather and predators to feed. The surrounding area is often devoid of cover, making rip rap an attractive spot for fish.

Anglers should never pass by rip rap without fishing it. Schools of fish visit rip rap on a regular basis, and you never know what you might catch. One day it could be loaded with white bass, the next day with smallmouth, and another day with walleye. The key is to keep moving and cover as much rip rap as possible. The fish often move along the length of the structure, so it’s important to crash into them and capitalize on the action.

Transition Periods and Baitfish

In the spring, when the water temperature is around 50 degrees, it’s a big time of transition for fish. Baitfish start to move, and where there is prey, there are predators. This is the time to experiment with different depths and find those transitional zones where fish are actively feeding. Depths of around 8 to 12 feet can be particularly productive during this period.

It’s important to note that while some fish may be shallow, others may still be deep wintering. So, it’s crucial to explore different depths and adapt to the changing conditions. The key is to find the baitfish, and you’ll likely find the predators.

Technology and Boat Control

Advancements in technology have revolutionized the way anglers approach fishing in reservoirs. With the Humminbird Minn Kota combo, anglers have a one-boat network that allows them to control their boat with precision. The fish finders can talk to each other, waypoints can be shared, and the Talon can be deployed with ease. This level of boat control ensures that angl ers can stay on the spot and maximize their fishing opportunities.

The Importance of Line Selection

When it comes to fishing in reservoirs, having the right fishing line can make a big difference. There are several types of lines that anglers can choose from, each with its own advantages. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Suffix 832: This is a braided line that is great for all-around fishing. It has a high visibility color, making it easy to detect bites when fishing slackline. It is versatile and can be used for jerk bait fishing and jigging.
  2. Suffix Nano Braid: This braided line is specifically designed for casting light baits. It is perfect for throwing light baits long distances, especially in windy conditions. It is the ultimate line for casting light baits.
  3. Suffix Advance: This is a monofilament line that is great for fishing crankbaits. It has a little bit of stretch, which is ideal for fishing with crankbaits and light wire hooks. It provides a soft rod feel and allows for better hook sets.

By selecting the right line for the fishing technique and conditions, anglers can increase their chances of success on the water.

Mixing Up Baits for Success

When fishing in reservoirs, it’s important to mix up baits to see what the fish are biting on. Smallmouth bass can be finicky at times, and what works one day may not work the next. By having a variety of baits rigged and ready to go, anglers can quickly switch up their presentation and increase their chances of getting bites.

For example, if one angler is throwing a boot tail swimbait, the other angler can try a jerkbait or a ripping rap. By mixing up the baits, anglers can determine what the fish are keying in on and adjust their strategy accordingly.


Fishing for smallmouth bass in reservoir s can be an exhilarating experience, especially when using the run and gun approach. By aggressively sampling large points with rock rip rap and current pushes, anglers can cover a lot of ground and find active fish. Rip rap is a prime location for smallmouth bass, as it provides structure and attracts baitfish. It’s important to explore different depths during transition periods and adapt to changing conditions. Technology, such as the Humminbird Minn Kota combo, has revolutionized boat control and allows anglers to stay on the spot. Choosing the right fishing line, such as Suffix 832 or Suffix Nano Braid, can greatly impact success. Mixing up baits and being versatile in presentation can also increase the chances of getting bites. Overall, fishing for smallmouth bass in reservoirs is an exciting and rewarding experience that can lead to memorable catches.

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