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I have always had success in early spring with these, 4-6' diving depth. Toss is out there, let it sit for a few seconds, from there I vary my cadence with the lure. the "snap snap paaauuuse" has worked well, as well as a slow retrieval. One thing I found was that with the 3 treble hooks, one tends to either catch the eye of the smallmouth or gets lodged in its head, therefore I removed the middle treble hooks on all my crankbaits.
Topwater Poppers have also proven successful. I find its necessary to get that "pop" sound inorder to run the lure properly. I have had success with these in and around weed edges and shorelines. From what I have learned, (someone correct me if I am wrong) but, one way to find the smallmouths is to follow the breeze to whatever shoreline it is blowing to, where all the baitfish are being pushed to. and of course, try working structure. I am no bass pro but I thought this might help.
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Some of the most fun I've ever had fishing is going for smallies in the back country lakes north of Kenora in canoes. Find structure (fallen brush, etc) and toss some poppers in there. When that smack hits the top of the water, it'll give you a start. It's just an absolute blast. Toss it to the structure and give it a few quick pulls with a big pause in between. It'll get the job done...
 
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The Heddon Spook has been my main go to for topwater and has always triggered strikes. Doesnt matter how big the spook, they cant seem to leave it alone if its walking along a weedline.
 

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i think the puppy is a more realistic size bait and those heddons are my go to lure. :cool:
 
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