When fishing for smallmouth bass, it is important to remember that these fish love deep, clear waters and a moderately swift current. They stay away from the fastest parts of rivers and streams, where the trout may prefer to swim, but would rather swim in pools with noticeable current than those which are stagnant. Smallmouth bass love structures and obstacles in the water, such as piers, bridge supports, tree trunks, rock beds and boulders. Unlike largemouths, smallmouth bass does not like to stay in heavy weeds. The mainstays of the smallmouth bass diet are crayfish and insects, but they will eat small fish when they can get them. The largest smallmouth bass on record was almost twelve pounds. Most state record smallmouths are seven to nine pounds.
Smallmouth bass are a very popular game fish. In addition to widespread wild populations, these fish are stocked in cool rivers and in lakes through North America. Smallmouth bass fight fiercely near the top of the water when hooked and are generally considered for this behavior. Spinners, crankbaits, and imitation worms, grubs, and crayfish make excellent bait. These types of bait are most popular with anglers using baitcasting rods. Smallmouth bass can also be taken on a fly rod using dry or wet flies, nymphs, and streamers. Most fishermen angling for smallmouth bass use a 5.5-6.5 foot rods with a 6-8 pound line. Since smallmouth bass tend to feed at greater depths, sinkers may be employed to bring the bait low enough for the fish to reach.
Smallmouth bass may be adapted for the table, or, as is common among sport anglers, caught and released to improve the stock. Smallmouth bass are susceptible to oxygen depletion when kept out of running water for any length of time, so it is important to be careful with these fish if you plan to re-release them. After large fishing tournaments, many smallmouth bass die shortly after release because of being stored in small compartments with inadequately aerated water.
Smallmouth bass can be dug from shore, or by fishing from a boat. In the case of casting from shore, be certain to cast into deep waters, or you will miss the bass. Once you have caught one bass, you are likely to catch another, as these are schooling fish. The best type of bait to catch smallmouth bass changes, depending on time of day. Crankbait may work best in the morning, plastic representations of insects and crayfish in the afternoon. It is important to try many different baits to try to catch your smallmouth, as these fishes' moods change by the hour. Time and practice will help you land your smallmouth.