Smallmouth Bass

The smallmouth bass is one of the most popular freshwater game fish in North America. A fierce fighter, it has been called “ounce for ounce and pound for pound the gamest fish that swims.”
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Where and When?

Smallmouth bass are found in lakes and streams in the northern, central, and western U.S. and parts of Canada. Smallmouths are generally found in waters that are too warm for trout and too cold for largemouths. Look for smallmouths in cool lakes and reservoirs, as well as in warmer rivers. The best fishing is usually from late March to mid-October, when water temperatures are between the low 50s and the mid-70s F. These fish move into the shallows to spawn in the springtime, and the males become very aggressive in defending their nests. In summer, as the water warms, the fish disperse but feed actively. As winter sets in and the water becomes colder, smallmouths migrate into deeper water, where they become much less active.

About Smallmouth Bass

A type of black bass, the smallmouth bass thrives in cooler, clearer water than the largemouth bass, and is found in streams and rivers as well as cool-water lakes and reservoirs. Originally native to the Mississippi River basin, the Great Lakes, and the Hudson Bay basin, smallmouths have been stocked widely throughout the U.S. and Canada. Smallmouths average approximately two to six pounds, but can grow much larger, with the world record close to 12 pounds.

How to Catch?

Smallmouth bass are most often taken on spinning spinning and baitcasting gear, but they are well suited to fly fishing as well. A wide range of natural baits can be used, as well as artificial lures including soft plastics, jigs, tubes, jerkbaits, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits. Fly anglers often target these fish with streamers or crayfish or leech imitations. Smallmouths are also well-known for providing exciting topwater action with buzzbaits and dry fly patterns. While these bass are tasty, they are often targeted by catch-and-release anglers because of the excellent sport they provide.