Smallmouth Bass

The smallmouth bass inhabits clear, deep freshwater locations in the eastern U.S. and southeast Canada. These fish can be caught by fly fishing, drift fishing, still fishing, topwater fishing, and trolling. Smallmouth bass will hit on a variety of baits and lures.

Smallmouth Bass

Region: Midwest, South, Northeast, West
Habitat: Lake, Pond

How to identify Smallmouth Bass

Reaching an average weight of 12 pounds, smallmouth bass are the second biggest species of the sunfish family. It’s easy to tell largemouth bass from smallmouth bass. The dorsal fins in smallmouths are connected to their upper jaws, which go all the way back to their eyes. The coloring in largemouths is green while smallmouths are brown. The bar markings in smallmouths extend from their eyes backward. Other species, such as the largemouth may have similar markings; however, the bar markings in smallmouths are much more pronounced and consistent.

Where to catch Smallmouth Bass

These fish can be found in the eastern U.S. and southeast Canada. Although they aren’t widely distributed like largemouths, smallmouths are found in a lot of countries. They prefer clear, deep water in streams and pooling waters with hard bottoms. Largemouths and smallmouths coexist in some areas. Smallmouths spawn later than largemouths because they select deep, rocky, vegetative conditions with late-stage vegetation growth. Largemouths spawn early in shallow areas because the warm waters promote early vegetation growth. Both species use the vegetation as places to nest.

Range: Midwest, South, Northeast, West
Smallmouth Bass Fishing Map

The following are habitats where you can catch Smallmouth Bass:

How to catch Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass are known to be strong fighters. The best time to catch them is in the spring and fall when they generally stick to open water. They tend to move to deeper waters in the summer and can be harder to catch during this time. The best times to look for them are early morning or late evening when there’s a light breeze and calmer water. A favorite method for catching these fish is by fly fishing. They can also be caught by drift fishing, still fishing, topwater fishing, and trolling.

The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Smallmouth Bass:

Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass can be caught using bait, artificial lures, and bass fishing rigs. Effective bait and lure options are jigs, plugs, insects, night crawlers, plastic worms, crankbaits, and spoons.

The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Smallmouth Bass: