5 Things You Should Be Using on the River This Summer

Soft Plastic Jerkbait

Ok, sure, I think the Zoom Super Fluke is the number one option here, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only option.  There’s a ton to pick from in this category and if I’m being honest, I would say it’s 20% the bait and 80% how and where you use it.  So while there is something to color and brand, it’s just something – not the only thing or even the most important thing.  If you really want to dive deep into this topic, look for our course where we will cover everything we know about fishing the Super Fluke.

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Swim Jig

This isn’t the same version of swim jiggin’ we were doing in the spring.  There are some important modifications that have proved to be most successful over the past few years.  You can find the components we are using below.

Dirty Jigs Matt Allen Tactical Jig Head (I mostly use the 3/8 oz. but all of the weights have a time and place)


Wire Keepers

Paddle Tails

Wake Bait

Something that we began to experiment with last season with great success was different versions of a wake bait.  The keys seemed to be something that was jointed, and would swim/swing side to side just under the surface.  More on this as we continue more research on this technique, but here is a look at the initial testing with this last summer.

Click here for topwater and wake baits

Hair Jig

For the past 2 seasons, we have been experimenting and having a good deal of success on hair jigs.  There seems to be certain scenarios in which they work best which we will outline in future articles, but for now, try something 1/8 to 1/4 oz, black, with a section of rabbit strip.

Ryan did a video earlier about tying some hair jigs that we have had the most success on so far.  You can find that article and video here.

Click here for hair jigs


Nothing earth shattering here, but we have found that all summer and especially when summer starts to slip into fall, a big topwater (walking or popping) can produce some healthy smallmouth and largemouth catches on the river.


A new favorite for us last year was the Boing Topwater.

Click here for topwater and wake baits

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  1. Like to hear more about how using hair jigs have worked for you. Back in the Northeast, this was a bait used in the winter or very early spring to entice the bite, especially with smallmouth. I’d like to think this was a pre-spawn bait, but I’m thinking earlier than that.

    1. I have had great success with it when smallmouth are in a picky mood and the water is clearer than normal. Mostly late summer through the fall.