Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tips, tricks to help you catch that monster!
Smallmouth bass are a notoriously fun fish to catch! They are incredibly strong and their power and voraciousness catch the eye of many anglers looking for a good fight. Not to mention that they taste really good as well!
There is a necessary amount of skill that comes into play when catching these beautiful fish though. It helps to learn from more experienced anglers about the techniques when it comes to targeting the Smallmouth Bass. It makes fishing easier when you know the species you are targeting. For this instance, we are targeting the Smallmouth Bass.
The SmallMouth Bass is a freshwater fish that is common in the lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and streams of North America. Fish, in general, are largely dependent on their environment and this affects their size, diet, and feeding habits. For example, if we look at SmallMouth Bass in Lakes and reservoirs you will see they have a lighter yellow-brownish color to them. Whereas the Bass in rivers and streams are darker brown.
Smallmouth Bass prefer cleaner water and can handle strong currents relatively well. They are generally daytime feeders but are more voracious early morning to just before sundown. The warmer months of the year would also influence the activeness when it comes to feeding. Now that we know our target species let's get into the technical side of catching this fish!
When to Fish for Smallmouth Bass
As the majority of your bass species, Smallmouth Bass are far more active in your summer months. The reason for this is that when the temperature climbs the bass’s metabolism gets faster thus requiring them to feed more often. Most proficient anglers would say that the best times to fish for bass would be in the early hours of the morning.
Bass are ambush predators so they would most likely be active during the times when they have the highest chance of catching fish whilst having the least amount of work. This means when other fish start to be more active in the early hours of the morning as the temperature rises the bass will look for structure areas like rocks, weeds that can shelter them from passing by fish.
Noon is also a great time to target the species as they would be waiting in similar spots within currents to target their prey. Another time Smallmouth Bass are incredibly fun to catch is during spawning season. The spawning season goes from Mid-March through to the end of May and believes me, these bass become extremely aggressive and territorial!
There are many different ways to catch Smallmouth Bass. I'm sure many Anglers have their preferred style and tackle they use. Some particular methods work very well though!
Let's start with lures. As crawfish and baitfish are the two main imitations for smallmouth bass. Go ahead and find something like crawfish and baitfish. All lures have their benefits but it comes down to knowing how and when to use them. In any type of fishing, it is important to learn how to read the water. As I said early, Smallmouth Bass like structures and tree cover so you want to look for small continuous ripples on the surface of the water, this shows that there are most likely rocks at the bottom causing the current to rise thus disturbing the water. Using the current to your advantage will also help you greatly.
Our goal is to try to present the bait as naturally as possible so throw upstream near some structure and allow the current to carry the lure down with a gentle or fast tug here or there ( depending on the lure ).
When reeling in your retrieve is entirely dependent on what movement your lure presents so keep that in mind. When using a crankbait don't reel too fast but keep a slow moderate pass allowing the crankbait to swim low close to the bottom. I personally have made the mistake of retrieving too fast and I ended up picking up tons of vegetation.
Places to fish in the US
The US has several incredible lakes to fish in which produce amazing trophy-worthy bass! In 2015 Wired to fish created a list of the top 15 lakes to fish in for Smallmouth Bass. I would say the top three more than likely still hold their position now in 2022.
Rated at number 3 we have Lake St Clair in Michigan. Filled with grass patches, rock structures, and sand flats this gives anglers a variety of places to catch beautiful monsters! The lake is said to be very consistent in its production of decent size bass.
Next up at number two, we have Lake Erie which borders a few states such as Ohio, Michigan, and New York. If you're looking for the size I would suggest you fish the South of Detroit. This lake is known for its great consistency and some of the real trophies that come out of it.
Last, taking first place we have Sturgeon Bay in Wisconsin. This lake produces large bass consistently and is known for it. If you are looking for a thrill I would suggest giving these three lakes a try!
Smallmouth Bass are amazing game fish to catch and can really target this species if they know how to. Summertime produces a fun time when it comes to bass so remember using the right lure, learning to read the water, and perfecting the way you retrieve and present your lure are all ways to help you in your endeavors to catch that monster Smallmouth Bass and remember there are many ways to catch SmallMouth Bass so keep learning what they like and how to catch them and you will be the veteran giving advice in no time!