Fishing for smallmouth in a light rain is usually productive for those who can brave the wet weather. The rain disturbs the surface just enough for the bass to not be frightened off easily, especially if the wind is light or non-existent. Smallmouth are prone to traveling into shallower water during a light rain and will feed throughout the day on whatever the rain washes into the river or stream they inhabit. A heavy rain, however, will discourage smallmouth activity. Torrential rain causes the water to become cloudy, muddy and stained. These are not good conditions for smallmouth, which prefer clean and clear waters. A thunderstorm brought about by an approaching cold front will really turn off the smallmouth bite. After it rains heavily, the angler should seek out those spots that offer a break from the increased current. Behind logs, boulders, near dams and anywhere the water is calmed by the presence of a jutting shoreline will hold smallmouth.
Night crawlers and crayfish are two of the most popular live baits for smallmouth bass. The crayfish is one of smallmouth's favorite prey. Catching crayfish at night in most shallow brooks, streams and rivers right along the shore can be enjoyable. Crayfish try to escape by swimming backward so catching one from behind with a large can as the creature tries to evade a frontal "attack" is the best method. Light test braided line on a spinning reel rigged with a number four snelled hook is a good smallmouth set-up. The crayfish hooked through the upper part of its tail drifts in the current when cast downstream. Night crawlers, caught by hand on a wet night with the aid of a flashlight, will also catch smallmouth. Threaded on a similar rig with two small split shots the worm is kept on the bottom where the bass will find it and gobble it up.
Work the Rocks
Rocky-bottomed bodies of water greatly attract smallmouth bass. These fish prefer no other cover to this type. Areas that have rocks and boulders will typically have smallmouth bass among hiding in them. Anglers should thoroughly fish around any large boulder in a river. Many individuals will actually cast their lure and hit the rock. This will cause it to bounce off and fall into the water right next to an unsuspecting smallmouth. In medium-fast currents a two-tailed plastic grub about 3 inches long will catch smallmouth. A worm weight attached to the line in front of an offset worm hook is the ideal set-up. Hooking the grub through the tip and pushing it onto the hook will make the point come out between where the two tails meet. In strong enough current the grub will have plenty of action as the tails flutter. Reeling it in slowly by rocky cover will get responses from any smallmouth in the vicinity.