Many anglers consider the Smallmouth Bass to be the hardest fighting fish, pound for pound, that swims in freshwater. I have always found this to be true, and catching these beautiful fish out of the flowing waters of a river or stream can be great fun, especially if ultra light spinning gear is employed. In this article I’m going to reveal some great tips for Smallmouth bass fishing (that are especially useful in river and stream situations).
You may not realize it, but catching Smallmouth Bass in small rivers and streams is much like catching trout. Very similar techniques can be used, the only difference being the type of fish that are caught. If you’ve never had the pleasure of catching a four-pound Smallmouth on an ultra light rod and reel, spooled with four-pound test, you need to give it a try. It’s as much fun as can be had, with your clothes on!
The first tip is to use lures that are a bit larger than you use for trout. Smallmouth are very voracious feeders, and have no problem chasing and biting larger lures. Anything from ¼ to ¾ of an ounce will work fine. If you prefer to use plugs, anything from two to four inches long will work fine for Smallies. If you prefer to bait fish, Smallmouth Bass enjoy a variety of baits, including; live worms, crayfish, hellgrammites, leeches, and minnows. Some of these baits can be difficult to use, so I prefer to stick with live worms. However, if you can find and carry them, crayfish are great bait for Smallmouth.
A great tip when fishing with live worms is to use gang hooks to rig said worms. There are few rigs as realistic and successful for fishing with live worms that rival a set of pre-tied gang hooks. Gang hooks are the best way to present live worms as bait, and if a live worm rigged on gang hooks is allowed to flow naturally with the current, bouncing off the bottom the entire time, the results can be flat out deadly!
Another wonderful tip for Smallmouth bass fishing is to make sure that you’re fishing at the most opportune times. That is, fishing when the fish are the most active. How do you know when the fish are the most active? Simple. By paying attention to the weather and moon. That’s right simply paying attention to what phase the moon’s in and what the weather has been doing will have an incredible impact on the amount of bites you get. All you have to have is the proper information.
These simple tips will help you catch more fish on your next fishing excursion. How am I so sure of this? Because I’ve been using every one of these simple tips to help me catch Smallmouth for more than twenty years, and I know they will do the same for you. And with any luck, you’ll have the pleasure of hooking into one of those four + pound bronze beauties sooner, rather than later.
Trevor Kugler is co-founder of JRWfishing.com and an avid angler. He has more than 20 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and 15 years of business and internet experience. He currently raises his thr