Color and Scent For Big Smalliesby: theangler
“I’m always going, going, going. I live on the water,” says Wiebe.
Although Wiebe’s been a fishing guide since age 16, these days his bag is chasing big fish on camera. His cyber show, “Uncut Angling,” has become an overnight success due to the sheer number of big fish he catches on cue and the wildfire of social media burning through his clips.
And while the notches in his cane include several muskies in the 50-plus-inch class, dozens of “over 30” walleyes, leviathan lakers and sturgeon, Wiebe is quick to point out that he loves nothing better than a good smallie outing. “It sounds cliché, but it’s true,” says Wiebe. “Pound-for-pound, smallmouth bass are really hard to beat for a good knock-down-drag-out fight.”
From day to day, that could mean anything from pitching Trigger-X Tubes to Flappin’ Bugs, Swimming Grubs, Flappin’ Craws or Minnows—all the way to bulkier profiles like the Trigger X 4-inch Hodad or 5-inch Little Moe.
“There are days when you’ve got to size up for bigger smallies,” says Wiebe. “The same big bait, big fish principles utilized for many trophy fish in the toothy variety absolutely apply for smallmouths. You’ve got to make sure what you knock them on the head it packs a serious caloric punch. There are times when I’ll Carolina-rig or football head jig deeper structure and they’ll kill a Little Moe—same goes for the Hodad around wood and weed cover, or even 5-inch saltwater Trigger X Minnows in Herring, which has uncanny resemblance to a smelt at first glance and a bit of openwater probing will provide a heavy tournament bag of supporting bronze evidence,” says Wiebe.
As a fisherman who spends the lion’s share of his time in clear water smallmouth fisheries, Wiebe is a big proponent of matching lure color to forage.
“My cameraman Jay Siemens often juggles his camera duties with a sneaky line out the back of the boat that always has another color option. Regardless of all color theories, the fish will tell you what they want—day in and day out—and duplicating their forage in color, profile, and smell is often the win.”
Smallmouth bass forage sources range from minnows and baitfish, to crawfish, gobies, and dragonflies—which just scratches the surface of a long list of land and water dwelling creatures they’ll eat—so Wiebe wants his bait color and profile to match as many different forage patterns as possible.
"I've never used a slime towel in my entire life…wipe those fishy hands on your clothes or through your hair and get back to fishing. I'll often rinse my hands with a couple sprays from a bottle of Trigger X rejuvenator throughout the day to keep my scents masked…when a picky five pound smallmouth inspects a worm rigged weightless on 6 pound fluorocarbon, I'm winning with Trigger X as cologne."
Wiebe also knows that choosing the right stick and line is critical to success. "Completing your soft plastic attack with a proper outfit is something that you will appreciate immediately in comfort and shortly after in success," says Wiebe.
The young gun uses only St. Croix tournament "blues,” but says comparable rods in the extremely affordable Mojo series are a very near substitute. He picks rods like the 7' 1" medium-power "plastics" model and the 6' 8" medium-light "finesse" model for incredible versatility in a huge range of soft-plastics rigging when coupled with 10 pound and 6 pound Sufix 832, respectively, for normal and lighter applications.
“Sufix 832 can also be marked with a permanent marker, which helps for several depth management tricks. An 18-inch section of 6- to 10 pound Sufix Invisiline Fluorocarbon rounds out every one of my smallmouth outfits for stealth and standing up to the abuse of abrasive underwater structure, including that found on the jawline of a bass.
“I’m a big fan of the new Trigger X colors,“ says Wiebe. “They’re exactly what a lot of us have been waiting for, stuff like the new pumpkin variations that do well to match different crayfish color phases and Bluegill, which also serves as a killer goby imitation."
When asked to pick his one desert-island smallie color, Wiebe paused for a second, “Muck. I think they really hit it with this color. It represents multiple forage options. I know, it sounds strange, but we catch a lot of bronzebacks on Muck!”
By Jim Edlund
Added: Tue May 01 2012
Last Modified: Thu May 03 2012