I'm sure you've read thousands of different tips and techniques on how to double the amount of smallmouth bass you catch or how to land the largest bass of all. There's literally thousands of so-called secrets out there, some of which people actually try to charge for! So, to make this article different than every other How To catch more Bass Than Your Boat Can Hold guide, we are going to lay out in plain English exactly what small mouth bass look for in terms of food and then cover some beaten and proven baits and techniques that will hopefully increase your odds of landing more small mouth bass. Let's jump right in!
What do smallmouth bass like to eat?
Smallmouth bass prefer fast moving bugs when they are younger and small fish and crayfish when they are older, typically after one year old. When crayfish are plentiful they will usually make up two thirds of a smallmouth's diet.
Finding where smallmouth bass hang out
Just as important as what smallmouth bass like to eat, is where they congregate. Start upstream and work your way down toward the tail, casting at various angles and various depths. Once you get a bite or catch a fish, keep working that general vicinity.
It's best when fishing for smallmouth bass, and most types of fish, to simulate patterns and appearance of live food sources such as crayfish or minnows, etc. Here's a few tips to effectively achieve this.
1. Smallmouth bass prefer the deer waters in summer and one of the best baits to use at this time is a live frog fished near the bottom.
2. An effective surface lure is a tiny plug with a propeller at the rear. Use an erratic, but gentle rod motion to simulate a crippled minnow. When using a bass bug on the surface remember to use an even more gentle rod motion as the smallmouth's respond better to ripples, wakes, and tiny splashes than to loud pops or big splashes.
3. When smallmouth are located in rocky or weedy areas feeding on crayfish try using a black twin spinner with a green frog added to the hook. Cast this as far out as possible and use the bottom bouncing technique as you reel it back in.
4. Try working a dark colored jig across the bottom of the lake / river. This is a good technique to imitate a crayfish.
5. And finally, when using a spoon as a bait try bouncing it across the sandy bottom of the river, allowing the sand to stir up a little. This will get the smallmouth's attention.