Catching BIG Smallmouths
May 29, 2018
Clouser Deep Minnow
Created by Bob Clouser in 1987 for smallmouth on the Susquehanna River, Lefty Kreh made it famous, claiming 87 species caught with it. I think it works well because the hook rides point up, avoiding too many hang-ups, and with stripping it jumps up, then jigs down, like a wounded fish. But you should vary your stripping speed and amount.
I used the pink and white version last week for smallmouth bass in Horsetooth Reservoir near Fort Collins. Why now? Spawn or pre-spawn. Why pink and white? Two years ago it worked when nothing else did. Do smallmouths key on red/pink since they have red eyes? Worked again last week: several large smallmouths, one 16-17 inches and easily 5 lbs.
Some like a “Deep Dead Clouser” with white on top, others the usual with white on bottom. I didn’t find the fish cared. I use 70 Denier Fish Hair and dumbbell Realeyes on a 2/0 hook. Loop the Fish Hair around the hook, over the eyes, tie in to begin with, then rotating the hook, tying on three strands each side of pearl crystal flash, then similar loop around hook and tie on white Fish Hair.
Where to fish? Yeah. . .
Not my place! Try Horsetooth where there are rocks and other structure.
Video for tying the Clouser Deep Minnow.