For several years now, Tiffany “Snookie” Risch has been blowing up social media (Instagram and Facebook) with her ability to catch big bass from jon boats and kayaks. Absent from her rig are expensive graphs, anchoring systems, and trolling motor. Yet, she still pulls out bigger bass than most anglers with over $50,000 invested in the chase. Today we’re excited to have her share some of her small boat fishing tips.
Small Boat Fishing
“A few years back I joined the Virginia Bass League,” Snookie recalls. “It was after my grandfather passed, which was a dark time for me. But I wanted to get back to fishing – something my grandfather would be proud of.”
She was matched up with “Brucey” who has since become her best friend. It lighted the flame she needed to become a marketing force in the fishing industry, snatch up bass, and be a pillar of encouragement for her followers. Most importantly, she became a self-proclaimed bass addict.
Small Boat Fishing Advantages
The Richmond, Virginia angler enthusiastically points out, “A small boat takes you to places you may not notice from a larger boat, kind of like the journey of life,” she insists. “A big boat cannot get into the creeks and pockets that I can get in. Plus, when I get there, there’s no one else around! The fish are all mine.”
Disadvantages of a smaller boat are obvious, but she views them as an advantage. She says that it forces her to determine where and how she is going to be fishing that day.” A successful day begins before getting on the water. “I don’t have the luxury of running across the lake to a different area if the fish are not biting. Because of that it’s important I choose wisely where to launch, and then have the right tackle with me.”
Small Boat Fishing Tips – Conditions
Knowing the current conditions on the water is a must before launching with small boat fishing. Because of limited space, Snookie typically only has space for 4-6 rods. She also brings just one bag of tackle.
“If I get out there to find that the water is low or high and I wasn’t expecting that, it could ruin my day.” She calculates which lures and plugs accordingly, “If it rained, I’m going to have worms. If the winds are going to be calm, I’ll have my topwaters ready to go. However, if those conditions are not present, I don’t pack it. You gotta to be lean, man. Otherwise that stuff gets in your way.”
Small Boat Fishing Tips – Overcoming Disadvantages
Beyond the space, the inability to stand is something she has faced and overcome. “I had to learn how to cast sitting down and move in awkward positions. Casting down a skinny channel from the back of a jon boat that is moving with current is tricky! Accuracy is vital, or you throw your bait right in a tree!”
Those awkward positions are not just for casting either. They come when navigating through a skinny channel, under branches, and over debris such as logs. “I don’t know how many times Bruce has said to me, ‘Watch your swing, babe!’”
She bounces around between a jon boat and kayak, “I’ve recently gotten into a Vibe Kayak and love it.” She claims, “Again, it takes you to places you can’t get to in bigger boats, but it puts you close to the fish as well. I’m able to see the details in the water, which helps me match my baits and understand the ecosystem better.”
Small Boat Fishing Tips – Baits
Her go-to baits are crankbaits, chatterbaits, rattle traps, ned rigs, and Texas rigged Senkos. “Mostly I’m slinging them against shoreline structure such as lily pads, grass, and wood.” She also quips, “The challenge is studying the land – where are they at, what structure is holding them, and what’s the bait’s bait to catch them?”
Kayaks and jon boats can handle a beating against the aforementioned structure, but don’t risk it if you run a larger boat – protect it with Megaware’s protective products, and seize the day like Snookie.