Lake Coeur d’ Alene pumps out some serious largemouth and smallmouth bass. It is an Idaho fishery known for big fish and the fall brings some exciting opportunities for bass anglers of all experience levels. I recently pre-fished for a tournament and caught several smallmouth over 3-pounds on Strike King’s Swim’n Caffeine Shad. A simple lure with extraordinary results. As you can see, it was the perfect size and color for this 5-pound smallmouth.
So what do you need? First, buy yourself the Swim’n Caffeine Shad. I prefer kokanee colors in the fall, but always have green pumpkin in the boat. Second, rig it on a 3/8-ounce or 1/2-ounce exposed jig head or underspin. Target rocky points or main lake humps and start chucking with a moderate retrieve. With the Swim’n Caffeine Shad, my tournament partner and I noticed how far the smallmouth would come to eat the swimbait. Since it’s action is perfectly suited for fall conditions, I watched a smallmouth come from deep water just to inhale it at the boat.
I caught this smallmouth bass on a Cousins 7’3″ Medium Heavy Casting rod, paired with a Lew’s Team Pro Speed Spool, spooled with 12-pound Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon. The setup is great for smaller swimbaits and provides enough backbone to keep the hook buried. With all of the smallmouth I’ve caught on this in the last couple of weeks, line diameter made a significant difference. Going lighter is even better, but try not to exceed this general diameter in order to keep those line-shy smallmouth coming back for more!