Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass is a freshwater species and a popular game fish in North America. Smallmouths are in the sunfish family and one of the six black bass members, which is any of the six freshwater species of elongated fishes in the sunfish family of the genus Micropterus.

This fish is prolific in most tropical and temperate North American regions and can grow up to 12 pounds and 27 inches in length.

The smallmouth bass has been widely transplanted across North America; however, they are not as widespread as the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides).

Other smallmouth bass names include brown bass, bronze bass, and smallie. The smallmouth bass fish is one of the hardest fighting freshwater species, highly sought after by anglers in North America.

Where To Find Smallmouth Bass

In early spring, prespawn smallmouth move to secondary points on their migration to spawning areas in pea gravel coves or gravel flats. The best baits for prespawn smallies include medium-diving crankbaits in crawfish or fire tiger hues, jigs tipped with plastic chunks and plastic grubs. When the fish start nesting, try a Mojo rig with French fry-style finesse worms or 6-inch plastic lizards.

After the spawn, reservoir smallmouth move into the 8- to 10-foot range along pea gravel points where they can be takin on the Mojo rig or small crankbaits. Summertime haunts for reservoir smallmouth bass fishing include humps and drop-offs of pea gravel points where the fish hold at depths of 15 to 25 feet. A Carolina-rigged French fry or plastic lizard is best for catching smallmouth in the heat of summer.

When fall arrives, brown bass move back towards the shallows and can be caught anywhere from the bank out to 20 feet deep. The fish will scatter along the gravel banks of the creeks and on the main lake so try fast-moving lures such as spinnerbaits in white or chartreuse or medium-diving crankbaits in crawfish, fire tiger or bluegill colors. Wind-blown banks usually produce the best action for reservoir smallmouth in autumn.

Best Times for Smallmouth Fishing

Bass fishing can be awesome on days with overcast or cloudy conditions because the reduced light means bass won’t be as restricted to cover and the shade it provides. Cloudy conditions also mean baitfish like shad as well as crayfish will be out and about which is what bass love feeding on.

The reduced light from cloud cover also makes it harder for prey to spot bass approaching. Rain does a great job stirring up bass activity as well.

Not only does it reduce the amount of overhead sunlight and drop water temperatures, but it also stirs up dissolved oxygen and nutrients in the water which attracts prey. Before the rain, smallmouth bass will be much more likely to chase and hit topwater baits and moving baits like spoons and crankbaits.

The best time to catch bass around rain events is in the hours before the rain and right up through the 1st half of the rain event. Once the rain stops, smallmouth bass usually slow way down as well and become docile.

How to catch a smallmouth bass

The smallmouth bass is one of the hardest fighting fish in North America, and Minnesota has a bunch of them. Smallmouth bass exist in more than 500 fishing lakes plus many rivers, including the Mississippi and St. Croix. Many anglers who hook a two-pound smallmouth swear they are fighting a fish twice that size. If you have never fished for smallmouth bass you should.

Smallmouth bass can be caught in a variety of ways. Popular techniques include casting hard plastic baits, spinners, jigs or plastic worms or plastic crayfish. One of the most popular techniques for catching smallmouth bass in lakes is to cast or troll a hard plastic lure. Preferred areas include rocky shorelines and shallow points that extend into deep water. Casting or trolling a spinner bait in these areas works well too.

Jigs work best when fishing deeper water. A common technique is to cast a one-fourth ounce to half-ounce jig tipped with a minnow or plastic twister tail. Let the jig fall to the bottom then bounce it along the rocky structure. If this doesn’t work, a real night crawler or worm that has been threaded ono a jig may do the trick.

Another popular and exciting technique is to cast surface lures, especially during early morning and late evening hours. Twitching a surface lure that mimics an injured fish can result in spectacular strikes as the bass rockets upward to engulf it. For this reason fly fishing is also a popular technique for catching smallmouth bass.

Pan Fried Smallmouth Bass Recipe

Lake Superior still has ice chunks floating in it, but the inland lakes are starting to warm up. Bass season opened this past weekend so when temps hit the high 80’s on Memorial Day I decided to give it a try; the fishing was spectacular.

I always look forward to the 1st fresh fish fry of the season, because it’s hard to beat the taste of freshly caught fish, especially when the water is still on the cold side.

This Smallmouth Bass Recipe is a simple pan-fried fish recipe that is simple and good. Serve the fish with fries and your favorite vegetable – it doesn’t get much better.

  • Step 1: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a large zip-top plastic bag. Combine water and egg white in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Combine breadcrumbs and cornmeal in another shallow dish, stirring with a whisk.
  • Step 2: Working with 1 fillet at a time, place fish in bag; seal and shake to coat. Dip in egg white mixture, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining fillets, flour mixture, egg white mixture, and breadcrumb mixture.
  • Step 3: Add vegetable oil and butter to pan; cook until butter melts. Add fillets to pan, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.

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