Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

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Fish-N-Fool
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Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by Fish-N-Fool » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:18 pm

Check out this amazing video I did fishing the Pend Oreille river a few days ago for some toad Smallies, including a doubleheader while fishing by myself.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hUo4G3gb1I" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Image

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by Amx » Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:46 am

Lookin good. Congrats. :cheers:
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AJ's Dad
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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by AJ's Dad » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:58 am

Looks like fun!
Was that frost on the windshield? Must be getting cold up there.
Last edited by AJ's Dad on Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by BassFanatic » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:40 am

Nice smallies! I liked the double up.

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by Fish-N-Fool » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:37 pm

AJ's Dad wrote:Looks like fun!
Was that frost on the windshield? Must be getting cold up there.
Yes it is getting cold but that was not frost, lol it was mud as they had just graded the county road right before it rained. It never fails that the county can screw up anything that anit broke. Had to wash the boat and truck when i got home. Ah the joys of living in N. Idaho.

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by rwl » Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:10 pm

Do the smallmouth migrate in the fall around here? The usual spots in the Snake R. between Clarkston and Lower Granite Dam just went totally dead in September even after being great for a few weeks with the dropping water temps, but by late september it was like a switch turned off.

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by Fish-N-Fool » Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:11 pm

rwl wrote:Do the smallmouth migrate in the fall around here? The usual spots in the Snake R. between Clarkston and Lower Granite Dam just went totally dead in September even after being great for a few weeks with the dropping water temps, but by late september it was like a switch turned off.
Try fishing that same general area in deeper water, usually they don't go far just deeper in late fall I caught some at 95 feet the other day, although I did catch all my big ones in 10 to 15 feet of water.

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by rwl » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:07 pm

Thanks for the tip, these are rocky areas where debris from canyons makes underwater points, they were really responding to crankbaits in Sept in up to 15 FOW, then a couple weeks later nothing. I tried deeper (but not 95 feet!) out to 25 feet drop shotting etc and after several trips of catching only the occasional very small bass, I started to think they had moved somewhere else in the system.

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by Fish-N-Fool » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:32 pm

rwl wrote:Thanks for the tip, these are rocky areas where debris from canyons makes underwater points, they were really responding to crankbaits in Sept in up to 15 FOW, then a couple weeks later nothing. I tried deeper (but not 95 feet!) out to 25 feet drop shotting etc and after several trips of catching only the occasional very small bass, I started to think they had moved somewhere else in the system.
What is the deepest water in that area? Fish it and see if you can find fish. Bass and especially S.M. will move as much as 5 miles up or down river in just 1 day so they do move around, (but they prefer not to), so most of the time you can find them near where you were catching them at. This spot in the video is my late fall spot that I have fished for years and have caught them good up till late Nov. there. Once you find a good last fall spot they will be there year after year so make sure you take notes of where you caught them and where as well as what on and at what depth.

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by rwl » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:02 pm

It drops off pretty quick to about 100 feet. On this map I made with my fishfinder, the arrows point to two spots that are really productive in the spring, summer, and late summer that are right next to deep water. The scale for the grids on the map are 240 feet. From lower granite dam up to clarkston which is several miles, I don't think there are many places that are that much deeper than 100-150 feet, but not 100% sure there aren't good contour maps of the Snake that I know of.
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snake river spots.jpg

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by rwl » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:08 pm

Here are some closeups of the two spots
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East point.jpg
spot by valley.jpg

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by Fish-N-Fool » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:48 pm

Is this area a hump or a hole? If it is a hump what it the top of the hump in depth? This looks like it could be a killer spot to me if the depth is right.
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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by rwl » Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:09 pm

I'm not sure if that is real, the contours are based on fishfinder tracks and sometimes there are incorrect readings. but that gives me something to go on. Sounds like looking for humps or structure in the deep area would be something to look for...

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by Fish-N-Fool » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:04 am

rwl wrote:I'm not sure if that is real, the contours are based on fishfinder tracks and sometimes there are incorrect readings. but that gives me something to go on. Sounds like looking for humps or structure in the deep area would be something to look for...
Most definitely humps can be amazing hot spots winter or summer.

What kind of fish finder do you have that does that? I don't think my humminbird SI does, but I wish it did. Sounds like an amazing feature for areas you fish a lot.

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by AJ's Dad » Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:46 am

Has the water level you fish been fluctuating? I have seen smallies change location related to water level and flow in rivers. I have caught them in somewhat fst moving waters but for the most part I feel like they prefer to be hiding behind structure or cruising over rocky areas. If the water flow has increased, I would look for areas that have a defenite points to tuck behind. That photo you included that shows a finger strtching from 0 out to 40-50 feet is a spot I would concentrate on. I would fish the down stream side of that in every depth frm 6" to the depest tip. I read an in fisherman article where they were catching fish around flooded in very shallow water in the winter. There main point was that when you're small mouth fishing, expect the unexpected. They can be anywhere.

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by rwl » Sat Nov 07, 2015 7:00 am

Thanks for the suggestions. I'd love to find a late fall spots because I fish this area the most since it is the closest to home. That area of the snake (downstream from clarkston) has very little flow although you get slight currents from wind or dam spill. The upstream area to hells canyon has current. The stuff I've read says that the smallies migrate out of those areas in the fall to the deeper water. That finger that extends out to 40 feet depth is a hotspot all the time, but I haven't figured out late fall.

I'm using the Humminbird Autochart card with a humminbird 688 di and my home computer to convert the sonar tracks to contour maps. It is not completely user friendly, but once you figure it out it isn't too bad (even pretty good). It would work with a humminbird "HD" si unit. My SI is non-HD so I picked up the cheapest newer humminbird that I could find on sale that works with autochart and now have two fishfinders. There are some good tutorials on the forum "BBC", because the humminbird instructions I got were not sufficient. I think Lowrance is coming out or came out with a version of this

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by Fish-N-Fool » Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:54 am

rwl wrote:
I'm using the Humminbird Autochart card with a humminbird 688 di and my home computer to convert the sonar tracks to contour maps. It is not completely user friendly, but once you figure it out it isn't too bad (even pretty good). It would work with a humminbird "HD" si unit. My SI is non-HD so I picked up the cheapest newer humminbird that I could find on sale that works with autochart and now have two fishfinders. There are some good tutorials on the forum "BBC", because the humminbird instructions I got were not sufficient. I think Lowrance is coming out or came out with a version of this


Huh this is something I had not heard of yet. So My 698 SI should work great with this. I see they have 2 versions the Autochart and a Autochart Pro. I'm guess you have the reg. Autochart. I can find the reg one for $65 and the cheapest Autochart Pro I can find is $165. So it sounds like a will get the reg AutoChart and see what I think of it.

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by rwl » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:22 am

If you can get autochart for $65 that is terrific and I wouldn't think twice about it. I got Autochart pro on ebay for around $200 which I couldn't be sure would be worth it.

Autochart pro let's you map your SI data, but I haven't found it to be that useful so I use mainly the normal Autochart features.

I would double check that Autochart is compatible with your fishfinder because it isn't with all models (it can use depth data from any humminbird fishfinder, but to be able to view it when you are in your boat and not just on the computer, you need the compatible fish finder). I know it will work with a 700 series HD SI but not the non HD (so it doesn't work with my 798 SI). It has to do with what software version the fishfinder uses, it has to be compatible with more recent versions to read an autochart card. These issues are probably the reason why not many people seem to use autochart.

My 600 series HD DI unit is a 2014 model so that is why it works.

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by Fish-N-Fool » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:14 am

rwl wrote:If you can get autochart for $65 that is terrific and I wouldn't think twice about it. I got Autochart pro on ebay for around $200 which I couldn't be sure would be worth it.

Autochart pro let's you map your SI data, but I haven't found it to be that useful so I use mainly the normal Autochart features.

I would double check that Autochart is compatible with your fishfinder because it isn't with all models (it can use depth data from any humminbird fishfinder, but to be able to view it when you are in your boat and not just on the computer, you need the compatible fish finder). I know it will work with a 700 series HD SI but not the non HD (so it doesn't work with my 798 SI). It has to do with what software version the fishfinder uses, it has to be compatible with more recent versions to read an autochart card. These issues are probably the reason why not many people seem to use autochart.

My 600 series HD DI unit is a 2014 model so that is why it works.
Mine is the 698ci HD SI Combo that is only 1 month old so I'm sure it will work if your does.
Can you use yours to chart small waters that have no existing charts? I fish a lot of smaller waters and would love to chart them. Does it work on them, or does it have to be on their map to start with to be able to chart them. I also want to chart spots on the Pend Oreille river that also has no charts.

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Re: Late fall Smallmouth action on the P.O. river

Post by rwl » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:30 am

Yes that is definitely what it is good for. It comes with a chart that you can view on your fishfinder that you would put your own contours on. If the lakes you fish and the PO river do not have the shoreline on the map (surprisingly this is the case for the Snake River), there is a tutorial on the BBC forum that describes how to create your own shorelines which isn't a lot of work. The shoreline on those maps I posted were created using that method. It seems pretty unlikely that your new fishfinder won't work with autochart. There is a learning curve to get everything working, but once it works it is pretty nice, I'd be happy to help, this forum had all of the information that I needed to get mine to work: http://www.bbcboards.net/humminbird-son ... ource.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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