Many rivers contain populations of smallmouth and largemouth bass. Knowing where these fish are in a river is the key to capturing them. There are certain structures in a river that bass will be near. There are different places along the river bank where bass will be looking for food. Finding these spots and then exploiting them will help the angler catch more fish.
Smallmouth bass tend to hide behind any object that can break up the flowing water and allow them to rest. These bass will stay in these spots waiting to ambush their prey. Rocks, boulders, bridges and logs that are partially submerged are some of these objects. By casting behind these current breaks the angler will be putting her bait where the smallmouth are waiting. Largemouth bass in a river also will be near such structures. When looking at a river study it carefully. Look for these current breaks and you will have a grip on where the bass are.
There will normally be fish, including bass, along the bank of a river underneath overhanging trees. Calm water or water that is not moving quickly is ideal for these fish. Bass use tree branches hanging over the water for shade and also wait for insects to fall off and into the water. The best way to be able to fish such a venue is to walk right into the river and follow the bank. This allows the fisherman to cast towards bushes partially underwater and beneath tree limbs. Being in the water keeps the angler from being hindered by the growth around the river when casting. By learning to cast into these openings between the surface of the water and the trees you will get hits from bass. Practice casting side-armed and keeping your bait low. In some cases you may have to skip the bait into a tight spot. Once your bait has been delivered think ahead to how you will set your hook if you do get a bite in such tight quarters.
In the summer heat most bass will flock to the deeper pools. If there is available shade from a tree then that will be even more attractive to bass. Fast shallow water running into slow deeper pools brings food to waiting bass. Smallmouth will be in pools facing the current looking for whatever comes their way. Largemouth will be in these pools and patrolling them looking for bait fish or insects to eat. A great rig for this scenario is a night crawler on a No. 4 snelled hook with a large split shot about 2 feet up the line. Casting it into the pool will attract the attention of bass. There will be no nibbling at this presentation. Bass will take the worm and then try to swim away and swallow it. Set the hook and try to keep the bass from getting out into any existing current. Once in the current landing a big bass will become more difficult.