Track Seasonal Habits
Both largemouth and smallmouth bass tend to frequent different areas of lakes depending on the season. In the spring, both species prefer shallow waters where the water is warm, according to All About Fishing. For the rest of the year, both species prefer shallow water in the mornings and evenings and deeper water once the sun is up.
Use a Variety of Gear
Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are varied feeders, particularly the largemouth, which can open their mouths quite wide to eat larger prey. They will consume frogs, fish, and local favorites like crawdads. Bring a variety of tackle including spinners, crank baits, spoons, surface plugs and plastic worms to give yourself a variety of options for catching your quarry. Be aware of seasonal baits and tackle as well. For example, largemouth bass are susceptible to pork baits in winter, while smallmouth bass go crazy for lures shaped like crayfish in the summer, according to All About Fishing. Minnows are a good bait for both species, according to LABassPro.com
Try out specialized jigs designed for particular turf. According to Louisiana Sportsman, the football jig or football head jig is great for clear, deep water along the edge of grass, a dropoff, wood pilings or another structure. It will stand up straight on the bottom, attracting bass as it rocks back and forth. It can be either jerked up and allowed to settle again on the bottom, or dragged along at a constant speed to lure bass.
Chatter bait is another specialized lure. It mimics the sound and appearance of a fleeing prey fish, attracting nearby bass. According to Louisiana Sportsman, it is designed to "have the profile of a jig, the flash of a spinnerbait and the vibration of a crankbait." It's a great bet for spring fishing, when its loud and flashy profile will attract the extremely active bait. It must be retrieved quickly and not dragged or hopped along the bottom like regular jigs. Because it is so different, a chatter bait is a good thing to use when slower, more methodical methods aren't hooking the Louisiana bass.