Use a Bobber
Bass will often inhabit areas of water that have downed trees, logs, roots and brush in them. Such spots are too risky to cast lures into. The lures would become snagged in the timber and lost to the angler. One effective method that can catch bass in such spots is to suspend your bait with a bobber. Attach a bobber two feet up from a No. 4 snelled hook. A balsa pencil-type bobber is best. Use live bait such as a shiner or a night crawler. Hook shiners between their tails and their top fin. Thread the night crawler on the hook. Cast out and be immediately prepared for a quick strike. Bass that are hiding over structure such as this will typically waste little time coming to grab your bait. Larger shiners may require a split shot on the line a few inches from the hook to keep them from swimming up.
You can fish using topwater lures in the early morning and then again toward early evening. In the heat of the day, bass will prefer to stay in the cooler water beneath docks, weeds and tree branches that offer shade. Low light conditions also make a topwater lure appear more life-like to a bass. Do not be fooled into buying elaborate and expensively painted lures. A bass cannot see the top of such lures from its vantage point. You can also fish by using surface plugs, plastic mice, or frogs close to and around water plants. Cast these out and let them sit at least 30 seconds before twitching the rod tip and making them move. Each time you twitch reel forward just a bit. Be observant for any strikes. Large bass will come up from under such lures and literally suck them into their mouths. Set the hook hard whenever a fish strikes. Prepare for the fish's return if you miss it the first time.
Wade into a shallow river or stream in search of smallmouth bass. You should scout an area beforehand from shore to see how deep the water is along the banks. Wear your old sneakers and a pair of shorts. Purchase a fishing vest that can carry extra hooks, weights, bait and other tackle. Enter the water and work your way along the bank. Cast into places where the current slows from the presence of large rocks, bridge pilings, logs, trees and other structures. Smallmouths wait in these places for food to come to them rather then constantly battle in the stronger currents. Cast downstream and reel the lures back toward you. Two-tailed white grubs work well for this purpose. A night crawler on a No. 4 hook with two split shots to keep it on the bottom or from staying on top in the current is also effective. Never pass up an area where trees and bushes hang over the bank. Smallmouth will be there for the shade from the summer sun and for the insects that can drop into the water.