Smallmouths prefer clear and cool water where aquatic creatures they eat, such as crayfish, thrive. Smallmouth bass like to stay out of heavy current by hiding behind such objects as boulders, logs and downed trees.
A spinning reel spooled with 6- to 10-pound test monofilament or braided fishing line will suffice for anglers who choose topwater baits to attract smallmouth bass.
Fluorocarbon fishing line is best for those that use bottom baits to catch smallmouths. Such baits include grubs, jigs and creature baits. A fluorocarbon line will sink quickly, will not stretch and is undetectable in the water by fish.
A night crawler baited on a No. 6 hook will catch smallmouth in most rivers. Individuals fish such a presentation in the current with the help of a large split shot 20 inches up from the hook.
A calm day with a light rain provides some of the best conditions to catch smallmouth bass. But a heavy rain will result in muddy rivers and streams, slowing the smallmouth bite as the fish like clearer water.