Several Creek Fishing Tips You Need to Know

By Andy Whitcomb

Aug 28, 2017

 Creeks are small and sometimes overlooked fishing opportunities. Here are some fishing tips for these diverse bodies of water.

Although definitions may vary, creeks are generally smaller than streams. Some may even pronounce creeks: “cricks,” but the great humorous outdoor writer, Patrick McManus believes there is a distinct difference between the two. Creeks tend to be pristine, whereas he thinks a “crick” tends to have more of a “freewheeling, “raucous character. Whatever the name, if you are interested in creek fishing, there are a few creek fishing tips to consider.

Creeks are everywhere although they may not be flowing all year. The fancy word for this is “ephemeral.” Some fish such as green sunfish, bullheads, or creek chubs can survive in the remaining deeper holes until the next watershed event. Many of these creeks are overlooked by anglers and can be a handy, surprising source of great creek fishing fun.

It's important to start by thinking small when choosing the best bait for creek fishing. Bait under a bobber is always a great way to start but light line, small hooks, and a stealthy presentation may be necessary for these small waters. Once you gain experience on the creek, you may want to gradually increase your creek fishing gear. Creeks in some states are capable of tackle testing massive flathead catfish or even seasonal runs of striped bass.   

The same creek fishing tips apply when choosing creek fishing lures too. Start with small lures, and then gradually work up as you gain confidence.  In cooler creeks, tiny jigs, spinners, or small crankbaits may be the ticket for trout or smallmouth bass. In warmer creeks, white bass will hammer underspin jigs or small spoons.  

Have you tried creek fishing? Have you tried fishing a McManus’ “crick?” Whether it’s deep creek fishing, marsh creek fishing, or basic creek fishing, if you haven’t, you may be overlooking an entertaining fishing opportunity. Small fish can be a lot of fun, but you just may be surprised at the size of some of the fish a creek may hold. Just make sure you know where to fish and have a fishing license to better enjoy your fishing creek experience.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.