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Creek fishing for bass can be a fun way to catch fish at any time of the year. But you might find you have to change up your tactics slightly, particularly if you’re used to fishing open water.
Creeks can be a little different to lakes and ponds, especially in terms of current, but they can be ideal places to target bass whether you want to fish from the banks or from a kayak. So we’ve put together a few tips to help you make the most of it.
Why Creeks Are Great For Bass Fishin’
Creeks can be great places to catch bass at different times of the year, even when you may think they’re deep in the lake, for example in the summer. It can also be pretty lucrative if the creek feeds into a heavily fished lake, as it can give you a quieter spot to fish where the fish may be less spooked by some lures.
The water temperatures in creeks can vary from the temperature of the main lake, which is why bass may often seek out creeks for more comfortable conditions. Creeks are usually warmer than the main lake in the winter and can maintain cooler temperatures in the summer.
Creeks can often be pretty shallow, which can make finding bass a little easier, as you may not need to cover as much water to locate them as there tends to be less places for them to hide. It also means that bass holes can be more obvious, especially in very shallow creeks where you may be able to see to the bottom.
8 Tips To Catch More Bass – Creek Style
1. Consider The Current
Remember that creeks will often have current, which can affect where you find the bass, as largemouth in particular will often prefer to be out of the current. The current may also affect how you fish your bait, as you may want to think about letting it move with the current rather than against it, so that it can mimic natural food.
2. Look For Overhanging Trees
Overhanging trees, submerged timber and brush can be ideal places to locate bass. Bass are often attracted to the same type of cover and structure in a creek as they are in a lake. If you find brush and submerged wood close to where there are depth changes in the creek then you may have found a good bass hiding spot.
3. Use A Kayak
A kayak can be a useful tool for getting closer to the bass and it can let move along the creek with minimal disturbance while you scope out the best spots.
4. Look For Weeds In Summer
Summer can be a lucrative time to fish for bass. Weeds can provide ideal cover for bass during this time, sheltering them from the sun and providing them with oxygen and access to food.
Shaded areas, such as under bridges can also be good areas to target. Topwater lures, such as frogs can work well in these conditions, such as where the water is shallow and there is plenty of vegetation or overhanging trees.
Texas rigged soft plastics can also be a good choice, especially if you’re fishing in thick weeds.
5. Prespawn Bass
During the prespawn, bass will usually begin making their way towards the shallow flats. In a creek, these spawning areas may be much shallower than the spawning areas in a lake or larger body of water. Just like in a lake, though, you’ll often find bass in shallow sandy areas.
The spawning areas in creeks will often be in sheltered spots away from the current. Soft plastics on a Carolina rig can be good options for targeting bass in these flats, and jigs with crawfish trailers can be ideal for when bass are in shallow cover.
6. Target Pools
Just like in rivers, bass can often be found sheltering from the current in creek pools. This can be even more likely if the pool is adjacent to depth changes or cover. The minimal current can mean the bass don’t need to work as hard to maintain a position while they wait for prey to be brought down with the current.
7. Use The Right Gear
When you’re fishing in a creek, you might find that a shorter rod is preferable since you will be unlikely to need a long casting distance in a small creek. Heavier fluorocarbon line may also work well, especially if you’re fishing with jigs or Carolina rigs. Fluorocarbon line can also be a good choice if the water is very clear.
Video: Creek Fishing For Smallmouth Bass
But if there’s lots of vegetation or you’re using topwater lures, for example, you may want to use braided line.
8. Creeks In The Fall
The fall can be one of the best times to target bass in creeks and crankbaits can be a good choice of lure to use.
Balsa crankbaits may be useful for fishing in creeks because generally creek bass are more active than lake bass because the current tends to force them to keep moving.
Balsa crankbaits tend to rise quicker and be more buoyant than plastic crankbaits.
However, sometimes the water might be too shallow for a crankbait. This is when you may have better luck with a spinnerbait or a jig, which can be ideal in muddy water.
Creeks can be fantastic places to target bass, as they can often provide good levels of food, shelter and oxygen for bass. Water temperatures in a creek can often be appealing to bass at several times of the year and that you may find it easier to locate ideal bass habitat in a creek compared to open water.
Just remember to think about how the current might affect bass behavior and use this to your advantage. Leave us a comment to let us know your thoughts on creek fishing and share these tips with your fellow fishers.