Several Creek Fishing Tips You Need to Know

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.

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to since 2011.