Fishing & Boating News

Intimidator Tubes Slay Allegheny River Smallmouth


(10/31/2000 - Franklin, PA) "Autumn and cool water means hot smallmouth action," said Legendary Smallmouth angler Jeff Snyder. "Smallmouth get a jump start in activity once temperatures dip into the low fifties and high forties. This drop concentrates bait which in turn...concentrates smallmouth."

Snyder was on a story and photo shoot for an upcoming issue of BASSMASTER Magazine. "Outdoor writer Darl Black asked me to fish with him on a river I had never been on before," he said. "He was hoping to see how I dissected the river and find smallies in tough fishing conditions. I chose the upper Allegheny because I had never seen it before and I knew that the tough old river would challenge me." Snyder concentrated on the deep river pool between Oil City and Franklin, PA. "I could still use my Stratos on this stretch which ranges in depth from riffles to over 18 feet."

Snyder choose three different presentations...jigs, crankbaits and the following. "My base lure was the Intimidator Tube," he said. I knew that the ISG Tube would bag the biggest, most finicky smallmouth." Temperatures fell into the 20's the night before. And once the sun peeked through the high hills, bright sun filled the valley. "Tough test...I thought," said Snyder. "But good test."

Snyder concentrated on "pushes" , areas above shallow water riffles, and drug the lure up the front side in water depths ranging from 8 to 12 feet deep. "The tube would bounce through the rocks that lie in advance of the push," said Snyder. "This turned the bigger bass on as the natural looking lure came darting through the structures."

Snyder rigged his lure on the Millennium Twist new Dart Head Jig. "The quarter-ounce size gave me bottom contact in the heavier current as it plowed through the terrain," he said. "But the real key was the Millennium Twist's natural action. The built in swivel gave the lure lifelike spirals and turns all without line twist!"

"I used two colorations of the Intimidator Tube...watermelon gold and sizzle. Both mimicked forage species that inhabit that part of Pennsylvania." Watermelon gold looked terrestrial, like craws and hellgrammites, whereas the sizzle gave off that baitfish sheen.

Bites were subtle, yet the fight was awesome. "Once you felt the light strike and set the hook, the smallie would use his broad shoulders and current to post some incredible battles," said Snyder. "There is nothing like big battling river smallmouth," said the Lake Erie Legend.

Snyder credited his success in finding these cold water bass to his fishing platform. My Stratos handled the extreme river conditions," said Snyder. "But my Raytheon equipment put me on them." Snyder used his Raytheon L470 Fishfinder to examine the river's bottom and cull though the dead water areas. "I was able to find those offshore rises in the deeper section of the river and make pinpoint casts to underwater obstructions that held both baitfish and bass!"

The L470 also gave me the ability to use "Bottom Lock" and eliminate surface clutter and enabled me to target bottom-holding bass."

Snyder netted numerous smallmouth yesterday, October 30th, including seven in the four to five pound class. "Rivers throughout the US are getting better," he said. "And the fall can be one of the best of all times!"