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Yes, the Shoal Bass is closely tied to shoals due to spawning and raering/feeding of young fish. However, an angler who only fishes the shoals may miss out on the true trophies. Those fish will seek a rock or wood in 4 to 6 feet of water with flow.
Don't downsize your bait! A common mistake is to think of the shoal bass as a small fish. It is not. Why waste time on roostertail dinks when you can fish the same baits you would use for largemouth, and catch five pound shoalies? They are numerous. (sixes and sevens are rare).
Buzzbaits, flukes, worms, jigs, spooks, you name it. If a LM will hit it - so will a shoalie. A 7+ pounder was recently caught on a large California style swimbait.
Flyguys: Helgrammite imitators, shad imitators, crawfish imitators, and poppers.
Have fun, but remember that this species is facing extreme pressure and dwindling habitat. Please practice C&R unless you want to mount a trophy.
In all waters of the ACF river system, I urge you to keep ALL spotted bass - which are a non-native species which may pose a serious threat to the continued existence of shoalies in fishable numbers.
shoal bass and golden eye
Shoal bass love shoals, Duh So deep pools of water just before a set of rapids can be very productive. Throw a spinnerbait (1/4 -3/8 oz.)across rocks with hiding spots underneath.soft plastic jerk baits have landed many 5 plus shoalies in my local river. hang on and have fun.
I have caught more shoal bass on jointed minnows from Rebel and Rapala than any other lures. They love orange/chartruese colors. Another favorite technique are floating live Hellgrammites (Rockworms). These can be found in the river before your trip. Just pull moss from teh rocks and check at the base of the roots. (Careful, they pinch) You can also get a small net and flip rocks up river from it and catch them that way. Soft plastics work good as well, but they are often hard to work properly in the swift current that shoal bass love. I also like a small (1/4 oz or less) spinnerbait with a grub trailer. These fish are in teh smallmouth family, and I tend to have better lucj with a smaller spinnerbait the smae colors as reccomended with the jointed minnows.
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