Smallmouth Bass

North American Fisherman Magazine

smallmouth bass

Smallmouth bass can be a great challenge at times do to their locations in deep, clear water lakes and fast moving rivers. Although they are not really migrating fish, several hundred yards can separate their location from day to day. Not only that, but their depth and feeding habits also vary greatly due to seasonal changes. Every time you find them your are in for a great time!

It is known that smallmouth will school up very tightly at times. You must do a bit of homework to find them, but when you do, the catches can be fast and furious! Most of the time the largest bass in the school will strike first giving you an idea of the size fish that you are on.

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Smallmouth Bass

Pound for pound, smallies are some of the hardest fighting fish you will encounter in freshwater! Their nature is to be very aggressive and will wear themselves out when they are on a good feed. Learning about smallmouth bass biology will help remove the difficulties in finding and catching these bronze bulldogs. Natural food sources must be imitated correctly and they proper depth and speed of your lures is very important. Speed not only applies to hardbait Rapala lures , but the drop speed and retrieve of your soft plastics . You should do your research finding the location and depth of a school BEFORE you ever wet a line!

The upper limit in size is quite less than the largemouth bass, but a 3 pound smallmouth is a real handful and a heck of a lot of fun. The official world record smallmouth bass is 11 pounds 15 ounces! Could you even imagine the strength of THAT fish? Of course there is controversy about a possible new record sized fish that was caught in Canada.

Weather changes will affect the mood of smallmouth bass a great deal. A high pressure system can turn yesterday's hot spot into today's “not” spot. You've heard it before, “I guess the fish aren't biting today”. Really that just means the bass aren't biting HERE today. You need to learn the structure where you are fishing and how smallmouth bass move to and away from it when their environment changes.

Bass Fishing Training - Learn to Bass Fish

Bill Dance on deep water crankbaits
Deep Water Crankin'

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Winter Bronzebacks - The cold water period
Early Season Cranking
The Spawn...Let's Get Wacky!
Bass fishing techniques - suspending smallmouth


Day to day changes can create difficult fishing. Smallies have very predictable seasonal movements though. After you have located their home turf and identified the structure they use, it is just a matter of natural behavior to find them from season to season. These seasonal movements will help determine likely spots that these bass retreat to when the weather conditions gets tough. Bass can't really think and reason because natural instinct rules the natural world! They will behave the same no matter where they are located, or what their conditions are. They must obey Mother. Mother Nature that is.