What’s the best solution for a tough smallmouth bite? Minnesota guide Brad Hawthorne harkens back to their favorite treat: a nice, juicy leech. In this video, he shares his three favorite leech imitating jigs/plastics you need to try next time you’re chasing bronzebacks.

One question I get asked a lot is when there is a tough smallmouth bite, what is you go to bait.

I have three baits I like to chose from when I’m fishing a tough smallmouth bite. My first choice would be a hair jig in a 1/16 or 1/8 ounce. I very rarely go any heavier than that and my favorite colors in a hair jig number one black. The black VMC hair jig is the best hair jig in my opinion then I would choose brown and then green. All of the colors will work, but I have just found that black has worked the best for me.

My second choice would be the Northland limber leech. It looks just like a leech and it’s got a ton of action to it. You can swim it through rocks ,it’s really its snag free. You can also work it a little bit faster than a hair jig but not much.

My third bait would be is the limber leech head on the Northland impulse rigging leech right there that gives it basically a longer profile a little bit more action in the water and a little bit slower fall.

The one thing you’ll notice with all three of these baits is that they all imitate a bug or leech. I think the hair jigs look like a leech or a bug same thing with both of these are things smallmouth can’t resist.

When there is a tough smallmouth bite happening, these are the baits I choose to trick those sluggish and inactive smallmouth bass into biting.