Disclaimer: There are many ways to fish successfully. This is one of them. There are other ways … but this one works for me. I expect newbie anglers will be my audience.
Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass have enough differences that we treat them separately. Today– Smallmouth Bass.
A member of the sunfish family, smallmouths are rather picky about the waters they honor with their presence. The temperature in streams, rivers, lakes, etc., must be rather cool.
In the spring, the females move to spawning flats * when the water temperature heats up between 48 to 55. When the water temperature reaches 60 to 65, smallmouths get frisky and start the spawning process.
Smallmouths are also picky about pollution. They will not live in polluted waters. Even better, they prefer oxygenated waters.
Using This Info to Catch More Bass
Understanding the paragraphs above will help you catch more bass. First, let’s talk about oxygenated water.
As water splashes against rocks and other barriers, the water mixes with the air. This makes the water more oxygenated.
Thus, you will want to fish for smallmouths wherever water can be re-oxygenated – around boulders, in riffles and under/in underwater structures (weed beds, rock formations, log jams, etc.).
Try smaller lures and hooks in the springtime. Look for water with a gravelly bottom.
When you are thinking about live bait, consider the crayfish. We carefully polled as many smallmouths as we could find and they assured us that they prefer crayfish.
Smallmouths are not interested in the heat of summer. As the water heats up, they move to deep pools (during the day). They only emerge from sundown till sunrise. This is the best time to fish.
They will move into shallow areas, rock piles and in reefs.
Now the water is cooling down and the smallmouth bass prefer the deep pools because the temperature is steady. Again, these bass will come out of the pools to eat at night.
Smallmouths stay in deep pools – where the temperature is constant. They are not very active. Mostly, they chase small bait fish (that are also in these deeper pools) during the cold months.
Favored Lures & Bait
Crayfish, Mepps spinners, Rebel, jig and pig, Rapalas & spinner baits.
* Spawning flats have a gravel floor in 8 to 10 feet of water.
** Smallmouth Bass Tailwalking Profile is used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics
This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com