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Smallies in their pre-spawn or active spawn are very aggressive during May and early June. Bigger females are in
close to shore relating to the rocky-sandy areas looking for or on their spawning beds.
Drifting into these areas or using your trolling motor to position your boat will create less chance of spooking
these shallow water fish. I like to work these areas with a 7' medium action rod spooled with 10-14lb. test line. Bait
of choice for fishing this type of structure and other structures that I will mention further on is the ISG 4" scented
tube jig, crawdad, gobee, and watermellon red have always been the most productive presentation. Cast these
shallow water areas up close to shore in as little as a foot of water and swimming the tube out, keeping the
presentation fairly close to the bottom. Letting the tube settle to the bottom and sudden quick jerks of it will also
After the spawn, (usually end of May to mid June) the TFF smallies head to their summer and fall locations.
Although some do take up their summer and fall haunts in the shallow rocks and sand close to their spawning
grounds, most head to the center lake mud humps. These mud humps are scattered though out all areas of the
TFF. Locators are a must for finding the humps. Best humps come from out of 14 feet of water or deeper and up to
as shallow as 4 feet. The humps lined with submerged stumps or topped off with a rock base are always the best.
Humps can range in size from the size of a 16 foot boat to as large as 100 yards by 100 yards. Once finding the
hump you would like to fish, mark it with a bouy and back off till you see on the graph where the edge of the hump
drops off. Again I like to use the same tackle set up and presentation as mentioned for the spring smallies. Start by
casting your tube jig to the shallowest portion of the hump, swimming the tube back to the boat by lifting and
dropping the tip of your rod trying to keep slight contact with the bottom. Make sure to work all areas and edges
around and on top of the hump. Watch your graph as you move around the hump for submerged stumps and sharp
breaks. These can be key areas that hold the best fish. If you locate a stump or stumps on or on the edge of the
hump try vertical jigging your tube straight down into the structure, lifting and dropping. Lots of these stumps have
excellent root systems which the smallies love to hang tight in on certain days and vertical jigging is the only way
to get them to hit.
Pound for pound small mouth are one of the best fighting fish around. Plus adding the above average size, you are
sure not to be disappointed with the smallie action the Turtle Flambeau Flowage produces.
Mike "Doc" Sabec is a Wisconsin Licensed Guide that specializes in walleye and small mouth fishing on the Turtle
Flambeau Flowage. Doc is a lifetime resident of Mercer, WI., and has been fishing the Turtle Flambeau Flowage for
Doc can be reached at 715-476-2305 Office * 715-776-7693 Cell * email firstname.lastname@example.org
|Turtle Flambeau Flowage Smallies
By Guide Mike "Doc" Sabec
Although much known for its fantastic walleye
fishing the Turtle Flambeau Flowage also boasts
a excellent population of Small Mouth Bass.
With 17,000 acres of superb small mouth habitat,
abundant feed, and acres of prime spawning
areas the small mouth population on the Turtle
Flambeau Flowage has exploded in the last six
years. Commonly referred to as "footballs", the
Turtle Flambeau Flowage produces much
heavier smallie than the average inch to pound
ratio than most other bodies of water.From early
spring to late fall the small mouth can be found
roaming the various structures of the TFF. Not
knowing where to start can always be a tough
way to start a fishing trip, lets narrow down the
searching a bit.