Smallmouth Bass

More common in the northeast, Smallmouth bass are becoming an increasingly popular game fish to catch. Unlike Largemouth Bass, a smallmouth bass indeed has a smaller mouth. Also, unlike its often confused relative, smallmouth bass are usually more common in flowing rivers than they are in ponds and lakes. Smallmouth bass are a very intelligent species of fish but fight like crazy no matter how big they grow to be. Because of this, they have become an iconic staple of fishing in the northeast.

Many baits and lures can be used to target smallmouth bass. Like all other species, natural bait such as worms and bugs does work but isn't the most effective. Smallmouth bass are very active fish, similar to that of a trout, and are also hard to fool. Because of this, and their common location inside clearer water, it is important to imitate natural movements of baitfishes and bugs. Lures such as small jointed swimbaits, jerkbaits, small spinnerbaits, and crankbaits are what I find work best for smallmouth bass. This is because they are big enough to attract the bass but are also fast-moving and realistic to trick the smart minds of the bass. Fly fishing is also a very effective technique, especially for bass in the rivers. The flies imitate bugs naturally getting stuck in the water's current, and the bass will be quick to strike flies.

As mentioned above, smallmouth bass mainly live in clear-watered areas but are most common in rivers. A great place I go to fish for smallmouth bass is the Farmington River. Smallmouth bass are increasingly active during the summer months in the river but can also be caught year-round. In ponds, however, they have a very similar situation as largemouth bass because they can be found almost anywhere in the water at almost all times of the year.

Smallmouth bass spawning cycles are very similar to largemouth bass spawning cycles inside lakes and ponds. They will usually become more aggressive and larger while making their beds in the shallower areas of the water. However, in the river, Smallmouth bass prefer to spawn in shallower, calmer areas of the water near current breaks. If you would like to catch a larger smallmouth bass in the river, it would be wise to cast a slow-moving lure like a worm into a current break so the bass has enough time to think it is a threat and attack it.