Smallmouth bass have a well-deserved reputation for giving an angler a hard fight once hooked. These fish will jump high out of the water trying to escape and put up a battle the entire time. In the summer, fishing for smallmouths is a favorite of anglers and these individuals have garnered different insights into how to catch smallmouth bass.
Smallmouth bass react to cold fronts in the summer. These fronts typically lower the temperature only a few degrees when they pass through. Smallmouth bass living in rivers will keep feeding but those that live in clear lakes will slow their feeding down slightly for about one day. Warm fronts on the other hand have a more drastic effect on smallmouth feeding habits. Hot weather that lasts for extended periods will force smallmouths into the coolest water they can find. To find them anglers will need to locate the deepest water in a lake. Smallmouth head for the cool pools in a river and abandon shallow water unless there is shade. Fishing along a riverbank in the waters underneath overhanging branches of trees and bushes is one way to catch smallmouths in the heat. Many people will only fish early in the morning or right before dark when a heat wave is in progress since at those times the heat is less intense.
Smallmouth bass love to eat crayfish. The small crustaceans live in many of the same locations smallmouths inhabit. Anglers have the option of using live crayfish or plastic imitations. Most people using real or plastic crayfish will rig their lines with a No. 6 size hook and attach a pair of small split shots 2 feet above the hook. This lets the crayfish bob up and down in the water and keeps it from remaining right on the bottom. They hook the crayfish through the thick part of its tail and let it drift downstream. In lakes, a crayfish added to the hook of a bass jig and flipped into the water is an excellent smallmouth rig.
In the Water
In July, August and the first part of September shallow rivers have water that is warm enough to go in once the sun comes up. Many anglers will put on old footwear and shorts and take the fight to the fish in the water by wading along the shore. If the middle of a river or large slow moving stream is shallow enough the angler can traverse it and cast towards either shore with live night crawlers, jigs or plastic grubs. People will target cover such as logs, downed trees or boulders. Any type of structure that can break the current will give a smallmouth bass a place to hide as it waits for food to come its way. In current, a smallmouth will swim facing the oncoming water. Smallmouth will be where shallow waters dump into wider and deeper pools. People that can access these spots will stand in the shallows and cast into the pools. On the hottest of days the angler will walk along the river bank in the water and cast in front of her, looking specifically for shady spots where the fish will be lurking.