A creek bass with a jig in its lip with blog title "Creek Fishing: How To Catch Unexpected Fun In Little Creeks"

Creek Fishing: How To Catch Unexpected Fun In Little Creeks

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Have you ever wanted to catch lots of fish without needing…

…a boat? 🚤

…a kayak?

…lots of expensive tackle? 🎣

…or a huge tackle box filled with every fishing lure?

When I started fishing, this was exactly what I was looking for. I simply didn’t have money to spend on a boat or expensive tackle!

But I still wanted to catch fish.

That’s when I discovered a fun way to catch fish without needing a kayak or lots of tackle – that’s when I discovered creek fishing.

Welcome back to Jig Is Up Lurecraft!

Today we are going to talk about creek fishing! More precisely, we are going to look at why creek fishing is so awesome and how you can easily get started catching fish today in little creeks near you!

Like I said, I started creek fishing because it required nothing more than an old pair of sneakers and a simple rod and reel combo. It was a great way for me to catch fish without spending a lot of money!

But I quickly discovered there are other great benefits to creek fishing.

Here’s what they are.

Why Go Creek Fishing?

👉 Creeks Have Tons Of Fish

I love being able to catch fish without needing a boat. But once I started creek fishing, I quickly discovered another awesome benefit to creek fishing – creeks hold tons of fish!

a caught smallmouth bass with a jig in its mouth
Beautiful creek smallmouth

Just in my local creeks, I’ve caught 👇

  • Largemouth bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Redear
  • Bluegill
  • Pumpkinseed

And that’s not counting the countless creek chubs, sauger, and catfish that live in my native Indiana.

There’s even some regions in the U.S. where you can catch walleye and trout in your local creeks!

The point is, creeks hold way more fish than you might think. 

If you explore your local creeks, you might be pleasantly surprised…

👉 Creeks Are Everywhere

Super cool fact ➡️ not only do creeks hold fish, but creeks are everywhere

If you start creek fishing in your local area, you will immediately begin noticing creeks that you had passed over without a thought.

Farm countryside with a small creek

Some of my favorite creeks are ones that meander through the middle of a small town. These kinds of creeks are typically easy to find, easy to publicly access, and hold plenty of fish! 

Just be sure to double check your local water access laws to ensure the creek you see is publicly accessible, and you should be all set!

Another great way to find fishable creeks involves finding a good fishing lake with a creek flowing into or out of the lake. Since these creeks are connected to the fishing lake, many times they are publicly accessible (and full of fish!).

“Okay Blaine, I’m ready to go creek fishing. But what do I need to get started?”

Like I said, creek fishing does not require a lot of gear. But it does require a few fishing essentials. Here’s what they are.

👉 Clothes suitable for wet wading

If you fish in a creek during the summer, you should consider wet wading.

At its simplest, wet wading is simply walking in a creek with clothes that are suitable for water activity.

For me, this means wearing quick dry polyester pants and an old pair of sneakers. What’s great is that I can move through a creek very quickly with these on, and they quickly dry out afterward!

For you, I would recommend these lightweight Columbia pants at Bass Pro. These pants will protect your legs from sunburn and will quickly dry once you are out of the water!

Old sneakers will serve you well (that’s all that I use). But if you’d like shoes that are purpose-built for wading, Bass Pro has some great affordable Ascend water shoes available 👉 right here.

BONUS TIP: Wear bug spray

Being outdoors brings the risk of mosquito and tick bites. Be sure to spray yourself down with a quality bug spray before you go out!

👉 Small pack

When it comes to creek fishing, a light pack out is the name of the game.

Light pack ➡️ easier creek wading (which means more fun out in the water!)

You will totally want a pack for carrying water, snacks, and extra baits.

For my creek fishing, I simply use an old backpack. It’s basic, it’s light, and it carries everything I need!

Your mileage may vary.

If you want a purpose built fishing pack, check out the Stalker Sling Pack at Bass Pro Shops. This is a lightweight, comfortable pack at a great price ($39.99!). I have one or two friends who use this pack all the time!

👉 Lightweight rod and reel

I’m sure you are beginning to see a pattern here – the less weight you carry, the more enjoyable creek fishing is!

The same is true for your rod and reel. 

Choose one light combo to take with you, and leave all your other combos in the car.

My personal preference ➡️ an ultralight or light power rod, with 4-pound or 6-pound line.

a rod and reel laying on the bank beside a river, with a dam in the background

A light powered combo is just the ticket for the small sunfish that flourish in creeks. This combo may be light powered but do not fear – it will still provide plenty of power to handle any bass or walleye you might stumble across!

Your mileage may vary of course – you might prefer to creek fish using a heavier powered combo! But considering the amount of small fish you find in creeks, I consider it much more fun to use a light powered setup 😉.

👉 Great creek fishing baits

When creek fishing, I opt for smaller baits suitable for these skinny waters.

If you are looking to go creek fishing, you can’t go wrong with any of the following baits – they absolutely slay fish!

Rebel Craw Crankbait

The Rebel Craw is a classic creek bait that catches all kinds of fish.

I’ve personally caught pumpkinseed and smallmouths with this bait, not to mention an absolute hulk of a redear…

Big Ol’ Redear

I love the action of the Rebel Craw. It wiggles and darts very aggressively in the water, generating aggressive strikes from any fish in the vicinity.

Simply cast this bait out and reel it back in – its natural wiggle will take care of the rest!

Get yours at Bass Pro 👉 here.

Zoom Fluke

The 4” Fluke by Zoom is another great creek producer for me.

In fact, I’ve caught more smallmouths on this bait than any other!

jerkbait soft plastic lure

To use this bait, rig it weightless with an EWG Worm Hook. 

Unfamiliar with EWG Worm Hooks?

Then check out 👉 this article about bass hooks!
It teaches all about the different worm hooks for bass fishing and how you can rig them for success!

Throw it out and let the current slowly drift it back towards you. Give it occasional twitches and pops to give it life.

I’ve had days where I couldn’t cast this bait fast enough – fish were eating it as soon as it hit the water!

Get yours at Bass Pro 👉 here.

Tiny Terror Jig

Last but not least is my prized custom creation ➡️ the Tiny Terror Jig.

I love this jig above all others.

Tiny Terror Jig with Black Eyed Craw color

It’s small. It’s compact. And it’s all out deadly.

And it’s transformed my creek fishing game! 

When the fishing gets tough, throw out the Tiny Terror and just let it sit on the bottom. I’ll even give it a few subtle twitches.

If no fish commit, reel it back in and try again in another spot!

  • PB Smallmouth with a Tiny Terror Jig in its lip
  • smallmouth bass with a bass jig stuck in its upper lip

You’ll be surprised how many smallmouths will commit to this little jig. 💪🏻

Creek Fishing Tactics

Now that you have a solid selection of baits to take to the creek, let’s dive into tactics you can use to catch fish!

👉 Look for deep holes

Big tip ➡️ find deep holes in a creek and you will find fish.

Deep holes are simply sections of creek where the creek bottom deepens for a stretch. This depth change provides fish with a couple things.

For one, it provides fish a reprieve from the constantly flowing current. Think about it – how would you feel if you had to constantly swim against the current, just so you could stay in the same place?

With that said, the main reason fish love deep holes is because the deeper water is slightly cooler. If you were outside on a 90 degree day, would you prefer to relax in the sun or in the shade? Answer: you would relax in the cool of the shade!

Fish are very much the same! The cooler water in deep holes affords them a very comfortable environment to relax.

Find deep holes ➡️ you’ll find fish.

👉 Work baits with the current

If you observe fish in a creek, you will almost always notice that they lie in wait facing upstream. This is because their food is brought downstream to them by the current!

smallmouth bass caught with a jig

To give your baits a natural appearance, you should keep this in mind. Cast your bait upstream and retrieve it with the current.

This puts your baits in the fish’s face, right where you want it!

👉 Look for rock, wood, and grass

If you fish in a lake, you typically can find fish anywhere where there there is an outcropping of rock, wood, or grass.

The same is true for creek fishing!

a wooden logjam in the middle of a creek

It is a fact that fish are strongly attracted to any kind of cover or structure that sticks out.

Go to an aquarium free of cover and fish will roam mindlessly around the tank. But the moment you add a single underwater tree, you will find that most of the fish will tightly pack themselves underneath and into the canopy of the sunken tree.

With this in mind, if you are creek fishing and see a rock outcropping or a submerged tree, dedicate a few extra casts to that area for any fish that might be lurking therein!

Conclusion – Creek Fishing: How To Catch Unexpected Fun In Little Creeks

Creek fishing is a favorite pastime of many anglers, and for good reason!

Not only can you find lots of catch-able fish in creeks, but you can catch them using very affordable gear!

To go creek fishing, all you need is a few basic essentials. 👇

  • Creek wading clothes ➡️ such as quick dry pants
  • A lightweight pack ➡️ for carrying snacks and extra baits
  • A light rod combo ➡️ that is easy to carry in the creek
  • Classic creek baits ➡️ that are proven creek slayers, like the Tiny Terror Jig!

If you haven’t fished in a creek before, I encourage you to give it a try!

Have you gone creek fishing before? Leave a comment below and share your favorite creek catch!

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2 thoughts on “Creek Fishing: How To Catch Unexpected Fun In Little Creeks”

  1. “Choose the right bait, cast strategically, and embrace patience. Observe the surroundings, adhere to regulations, and finesse your technique. Success in fishing requires a blend of skill, knowledge, and respect for nature’s rhythms. Happy angling!”

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