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Do you want more excitement with game fish? Do you want to fish for one of the hardest-fighting fish in North America? Would you like to learn how to catch smallmouth bass? Despite its size, many anglers will attest that smallmouth bass with give you a fight that you least expected for its size.
In this article, we discuss how to catch smallmouth bass, tips and techniques, baits and lures,
as well as fishing tackle to be successful with it.
Table of Contents
- 1 How To Catch Smallmouth Bass
- 2 Best Bait For Smallmouth Bass
- 3 Best Lures For Smallmouth Bass
- 4 Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tackle
- 5 How To Catch Smallmouth Bass In Rivers
- 6 How To Catch Smallmouth Bass In Creeks
- 7 How To Catch Smallmouth Bass In Early Spring
- 8 How To Catch Smallmouth Bass From Shore
- 9 Largemouth Bass vs Smallmouth Bass
- 10 Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tips
- 11 The Bottom Line
How To Catch Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth bass like to be around large-sized rocks, reefs, shoals, and expansive flats. When fishing for smallmouth bass, the water temperature and time of the year will be the factors that influence smallmouth bass behavior. They are always moving and you will have to adjust your fishing to their behavior.
Additionally, they like clean and clear water. if the water is not deep, and you can’t see the bottom, there is a strong chance that they are not in there.
Baitcasting is one of the fishing methods used by anglers when fishing for smallmouth bass. It involves setting your presentation with the bait or lure and casting it into the body of water. Cast and retrieve until you get a bite. Then reel it in.
If you are fishing from the shore, a long rod will be more efficient as it will allow you to cast very far. Lures such as hard plastic baits, spinners, jigs, or plastic worms can also be used when fishing for smallmouth bass.
2. Bottom Fishing
Bottom fishing is effective when smallmouth bass has moved to deeper water. You can then use jigs tipped with a minnow or plastic twister tail that is cast to the bottom.
3. Vertical Jigging
Vertical jigging is also used when smallmouth bass is deeper in the water column. Dropping a jig to the bottom and then pulling it up abruptly can get the attention of smallmouth bass and result in a strike.
4. Fly Fishing
Fly fishing is not the least complicated fishing method. However, if you have the experience and skills needed for fly fishing, it can be an effective fishing method to catch smallmouth bass. As long as you use the right-sized flies, smallmouth bass will go for the flies.
Best Bait For Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth bass feeds on crawfish and it is one of the best baits used by anglers when fishing for smallmouth bass. When you are learning how to catch smallmouth bass, crayfish is a good bait to use
Minnows also work well as bait when targeting smallmouth bass. It is also a great choice of bait when you are learning how to catch smallmouth bass.
3. Aquatic Insects
Aquatic insects are also food for smallmouth bass and this makes them a good bait when fishing for this fish.
Best Lures For Smallmouth Bass
Jigs work well when smallmouth bass moves into deeper water. Bottom fishing can be used with the jigs or vertical jigging is also implemented with jigs.
2. Topwater Lures
Topwater lures are also used when fishing for smallmouth bass especially when they are further up the water column and closer to the surface.
Crankbaits are also very effective when fishing for smallmouth bass. Using crankbaits slowly about two feet below the surface can be very productive.
4. Small Plastic Worms
Small plastic worms are also used by anglers to lure smallmouth bass.
Swimbaits also work well when fishing for smallmouth bass, especially when fishing in creeks.
Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tackle
Regular fishing rods with lengths in the range of 7 to 71/2 ft will work. Additionally, many anglers opt for baitcasting reels when fishing for smallmouth bass. Spin-casting reels also work when fishing for smallmouth bass.
Braided lines with a minimum of 15 lb test are the trend now over mono lines, especially if you will fish this fish around heavy cover. A good cast net and needle nose pliers are always good to have when fishing ut much more when learning how to catch smallmouth bass. if you are interested in cast nets and fishing pliers, you can read the best cast nets and the best fishing pliers.
How To Catch Smallmouth Bass In Rivers
When fishing for smallmouth bass in rivers, look for rock piles, expansive flats, rocky points, reefs, and shoals. By studying the surface of the water, you can spot isolated swirls and ripples which may indicate where sizeable rocks and other objects are located.
Smallmouth bass will usually be found around these structures. You can cast your baits or lures into these areas to get a bite. Bottom fishing can also be used to catch smallmouth bass when they move into deeper water.
How To Catch Smallmouth Bass In Creeks
Fishing for smallmouth bass in creeks is a little different than fishing in rivers, or lakes. Fishing in the creek is influenced by the moving water. When fishing for smallmouth bass in creeks, look for eddies, pools, and undercut banks.
Use baits such as crayfish and minnows when casting for smallmouth bass or lures of crayfish and minnows to catch smallmouth bass. Make a short cast since setting the hook in current is not the easiest of fishing tasks.
How To Catch Smallmouth Bass In Early Spring
Smallmouth bass fishing is influenced by two factors: water temperature and the time of the year. In early spring, smallmouth bass will start preparing for the spawning period by moving to secondary points. They spawn from 1-foot of water to 20 feet. After the spawning season, smallmouth bass will move to 8 to 10 feet in the water column to get ready for summer.
With this knowledge of their movements, you can cast your baits to these water depths to catch smallmouth bass. Crayfish or baitfish can be used to target smallmouth bass in early spring or spring.
How To Catch Smallmouth Bass From Shore
Fishing for smallmouth bass from the shore can also be done by casting baits and lures to areas where they are maybe hanging out. Rocky shorelines, shallow rocky shoals, drop-offs, reefs, and eddies are areas where smallmouth bass can be found. Casting your bait into these areas increases your chances of catching them.
When fishing from the shore, study the water to identify drop-offs, deep holes, and other areas that smallmouth bass may be hanging out in.
Largemouth Bass vs Smallmouth Bass
|Largemouth Bass||Smallmouth Bass|
|Habitat||Shallow underwater grasslands||Rocky shoals at the bottom|
|Fishing||Casting baits & lures||Deep water techniques|
|Size||Over 10 lbs||10 lbs or less|
|Length||15-30 inches||10-20 inches long|
|Appearance||No vertical lines; speckled green body||
Vertical lines on the body
|Best Time to Fish||Summertime||Spring or Fall|
Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tips
- Smallmouth bass can be found in shallow rocky shoals, reefs, drop-offs, eddies, and pools.
2. Smallmouth bass doesn’t have great vision like other fish. However, they are driven by smell and sound.
3. Keep your bait close to the bottom as smallmouth bass will be preying on marine life close to the bottom.
4. Smallmouth bass are easy to catch but difficult to find.
5. Smallmouth bass like cold running water. When fishing for smallmouth bass, look for clearwater streams and small rivers.
6. Target areas with large rocks at the bottom of clear lakes and streams.
7. Smallmouth bass has a good sense of smell and is attracted to scents like garlic.
8. When the temperature goes below 60 degrees in clear water, smallmouth bass hibernates.
9. Smallmouth bass can’t spawn in unclean water.
10. Smallmouth bass comes to the surface early in the morning for feeding. When fishing shallow streams, be careful about casting a shadow.
11. Smallmouth bass like clear water. For a body of water that is not deep, if you can’t see the bottom of the water, chances are smallmouth bass is not in it.
The Bottom Line
Smallmouth bass are not the favorite bass that most anglers like to fish. However, they a good sport fish that will test your fishing skills to locate them and get them to bite your presentation.
In this article, we discussed how to catch smallmouth bass, the fishing methods that work in different situations to catch this fish, as well as the best baits and lures to use. You can also read how to catch largemouth bass to pick up a few tips to enhance your fishing skills to land more largemouth bass.