New Hampshire smallies await

Weighing in:

Average air temperature (Fahrenheit) in November 2011: 43

Number of miles of Connecticut River in New Hampshire: 255

Number of bridges crossing the Connecticut River registered with the National Register of Historic Places: 10

Year of earliest permanent European settlement (Fort #4 in what is now Charlestown, NH): 1743

Lures to pack:

An assortment of tubes, football and shaky head jigs, drop shot sinkers and hooks, accompanying soft plastics, and blade baits should be all you need for a successful outing. Football jigs, such as the Jim Moynagh Football Head Jig from All-Terrain Tackle, in 3/8 and 1/2 ounce, are a necessity for the rocks you will often encounter. Shaky head jigs such as those from VMC or Strike King are great for focusing on shallower water areas, as are Owner’s Jig Rigs. Make sure to bring some larger drop shot weights for deeper areas.

In November, huge schools of big smallmouth move to deeper water.Gabe GriesIn November, huge schools of big smallmouth move to deeper water.
Watermelon, green pumpkin, pumpkinseed and white are some productive colors for plastics. Crawfish or creature baits such as Zoom Baby Brush Hogs and Super Speed Craw, Chigger Craws, Havoc Craw Fatty, Z-Man Flappin CrawZ and Hag’s Undertaker Junior work well on this river when used in conjunction with football jigs. Good shaky head worms to bring include those from Zoom and Berkley PowerBait and Strike King Finesse Worms. Favorite local drop shot plastics include the 4.25-inch Paddletail from Mayo’s Hand Poured Baits, Zoom Meatheads and Lunker City’s Ribster and 3-inch Slug-Go in alewife color. I like to add a bit of Smelly Jelly (bass feast) to all my soft plastics when fishing the river.

Local tournament angler Sean Graves recommends the following blade baits: Silver Buddy, Heddon Sonics and Binsky. He uses 1/4- to 3/4-ounce baits depending on the depth he is fishing and how strong the current is. For tubes, he suggests Berkley Power Tubes or Bass Pro Shops Tender Tubes.