Smallmouth Bass Lakes – How to Catch Big Ones

Fishing - Smallmouth Bass Lakes - How to Catch Big Ones

While fishing for smallmouth bass in lakes can be an overwhelming experience, there are a few essential strategies for success. These strategies include sticking to natural areas and using shallow water. Learn about the best baits to use on different bodies of water. Also, learn about water temperature. These factors can make or break your smallmouth bass fishing trip.


When fishing for smallmouth bass, jerkbaits are among your best options. They are particularly effective around rocks, boulders, and holes in the grass. They also work well on windy days and in colder weather. But jerk baits are not suitable for every type of water, so it’s important to choose the right type for the location and type of fish you’ll be targeting.

There are two basic types of jerkbaits: hard and soft. Hard jerkbaits have two or three treble hooks and can be made of plastic, wood, or polymer. Many jerkbaits also have rattles in them for a loud presentation. These jerkbaits also have jointed bodies, similar to crankbaits. The two pieces slap against each other when they are submerged in water, producing a loud noise.

The most popular jerkbaits are neutral buoyancy models. These fish baits will hang in the water column at mid-depths, giving the bass enough time to grab it. They will then slowly sink as the bait reaches the bottom. These jerk baits are also effective topwater lures.

Smallmouth bass often tends to seek out the shallows after a long winter. Typically, these fish are aggressive feeders, but sometimes they are stubborn and won’t strike. If you encounter a stubborn smallmouth, it’s best to try suspending your jerk bait. A slow retrieve is best, as fast retrieves will just cause the bass to drift back down to the bottom of the lake.

Crayfish colored crankbaits

Crayfish-colored crankbaits are a great way to catch smallmouth bass during the pre-spawn period. These baits mimic crayfish and can provide fast action as they bounce off rocks and create a silt cloud. The lure can be fished with lead heads and soft plastics and can be trolled with an erratic motion to trigger bites from hungry smallmouth.

Crayfish-colored crankbaits are also a great choice in the spring and fall when bass are feeding on baitfish. These baitfish tend to pack on weight months before spawning, so the right bait will help them concentrate on baitfish. Crawfish-colored jigs are another option, but the old-fashioned dandy crankbait will continue to produce. The lure tracks true at a variety of speeds and roots through cover with ease.

Crayfish colored crankbaits are also effective in deeper water. Crayfish-colored crankbaits are best fished in ten to fifteen feet of water, where smallmouth bass can be found close to rock reefs. You can use split shot to make the crankbaits dive deeper.

Smallmouth bass are attracted to this lure because of its size and appearance. They prefer to feed in flowing waters and are attracted to baits that simulate their favorite prey. They are also active in the current, so choosing a bait that is capable of tracking true and diving to the right depth will help you catch the most fish.

Stick baits

Smallmouth bass are naturally aggressive fish, and they will attack a stick bait that provides exciting walk-the-dog action. However, you must be careful when using a stick bait to avoid unpincing trophy fish. You must use a hook that has a strong enough bend to prevent it from snapping off during an aggressive fight. For this reason, you should use a strong treble hook, such as the Trokar Tk300.

Stick baits are incredibly versatile. They are excellent for Carolina-rigging and drop-shotting. They are also effective when used with finesse tactics. For example, you can fish a stick bait with a Senko rig to target bass in pressured lake systems. You can also fish a stick bait with a large jig head to target large bass.

The Senko is another popular stick bait for smallmouth bass. This topwater lure has two blades that churn the water when retrieved. These lures are often made from hard plastic or lightweight aluminum. Their unique action allows them to skim over weeds and other vegetation. They come in U or ‘L’ shapes, and they feature one or two spinner blades. An experienced angler can bend the blades to alter the angle of the propeller.

Another great smallmouth fishing technique is using a wacky-rigged stick bait. These are about as close to a live bait as a stick can get without being soaked in water. When casting them, let them sink slowly to attract a fish. If a strike occurs, set the hook immediately. Stick baits are prone to becoming eaten by smallmouth bass, so being careful and ready to respond immediately is crucial.

Water temperatures

Water temperature is one of the most important factors to consider in smallmouth bass fishing. Smallmouths are sensitive to water temperature, which determines their feeding behavior. A water temperature below fifty degrees Fahrenheit makes them less active. They typically prefer shallow water, rock cover, boulders, and drop-offs. Once the water temperature rises, smallmouths migrate inshore. During the warmest months, male smallmouths tend to guard their fry and nest.

When the temperature reaches the mid-sixties, bass typically begin to feed. In this case, the use of soft plastics and moving baits can produce good reaction strikes. Bass are more docile in cooler water, so subtle, slow movements will work. A lipless crankbait may also be used to get reaction strikes.

Depending on the area you’re fishing in, the right temperature can make a huge difference in your success. In the warmer Texas waters, smallmouth bass are more active and feed better when temperatures are around 65 degrees. In cooler Michigan and Canada, the water temperature may be lower, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t catch any.

The late winter water temperature in streams and rivers can reach the mid-fifties. This will slow the fish’s bite and make fishing tough until the fish begin to spawn. Clear, low water conditions will also present a major challenge for even the most experienced anglers.

Time of year

When the weather cools off and water temperatures drop, smallmouth bass move into their winter haunts and school up in big groups. On lakes such as Lake Erie, schools are often located on rocky piles and isolated areas. The key to trophy fishing during this time of year is calm weather. Smallmouth will be stacked up in schools and you can often get a “Super Catch” if you fish these areas with the right bait.

If the water temperature reaches the mid-40s, fish will start feeding. Some will have gone through the winter without eating, and now they’re eager for food. Some fish will begin to spawn, while others will retreat into the deeper waters. You can tell when they’re most active by their feeding patterns.

When the water temperature cools off in September and early October, smallmouth bass will move into deeper, cooler waters. These cooler temperatures will trigger feeding binges for the big fish, which are most active during the evening hours. This is also the most productive time of the year for smallmouth bass fishing, especially on lakes with rusty crayfish.

The best time of year for smallmouth bass fishing is during the pre-spawn. During this time, they will move up close to the shore. This is a good time to wade-fish or float large rivers. The shallower water provides more oxygen for smallmouth bass.


A variety of lures are available for fishing smallmouth bass. Choose a type according to the type of water you’re fishing in. For example, if the water is murky, a bright plastic lure might be more effective. But if the water is sunny and clear, a natural colored lure might be best. If you’re fishing in a lake, you may want to use a jig or a spoonbait.

When selecting a smallmouth bass lure, remember that the smallmouth bass are attracted to colors, movement, and size. Bright colors, whites, and greens are good choices. Anything sparkly will also work well. Cloudy water is also conducive to attracting smallies. When choosing a lure, try using different colors so the fish will be attracted to your lure.

A smallmouth bass fishing lure should imitate the natural movement of the water to attract the fish. The lure should be placed in water that is 20-30 feet deep. Smallmouth bass prefer water with a current, which brings their prey to them. The current also picks up food as it flows through the water.

A smallmouth bass fishing lure should mimic the bait fish that are local to your area. The lure should be around four to six inches long. The size of the lure must be large enough to make it easy for the bass to handle. It should also be scented to attract the fish. This is important because it will help eliminate the human scent from your lure. You can also get lures with reflective scales to make them easier to spot.

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