Freshwater Fish Species
The black bass family of the sunfish species
Saltwater Fish Species
Smallmouth Bass Fish Identification, its habitats, characteristics, fishing methods.
The Smallmouth bass is a well known for its fighting ability and table fare North American game fish. Most anglers consider them as a top fighter and excellent game fish for their energy. Smallmouth are often succeed in shaking the lure from its mouth to burrow into the weed bed cover or by jumping and twisting into the air. To do well in bass fishing, the best way is to study the creature, where it lives, what environment and water temperatures they prefer, what type of bait or lure better to use.
A combination of understanding the fish and the techniques used to catch them will help you to hook more fish to the end of your line. Better knowing and understanding of the fish that you are trying to catch will make you a more successful angler, whether you are fishing for trout on a river or surfing on the beach or trolling on the open water.
The Smallmouth Bass - Micropterus Dolomieui, Sunfish family, also known as Smallmouth, Bronzeback, Brown Bass, Brownie, Smallie, and Bronze Bass. The smallmouth bass is native to the upper and middle Mississippi River basin, the Saint Lawrence River–Great Lakes system, and up into the Hudson Bay basin. They have being introduced to Asia, Europe, Africa and Hawaii.
The smallmouth bass have body longer than deep, bronze streaks in cheek. They are green brownish with dark vertical bands rather than a horizontal band along the side, white bellies. They have 2 connected dorsal fins, spiny and soft, with prickly and 13-15 soft-rayed portions joint. The upper jaw extends maximum to the middle of the eye. The rear end of the lower jaw does not extend past the eye; it extends beyond the middle of the eye. The males tend to range around 2lb while females can range from 3 to 6lb. Their habitat plays a significant role in their color, weight, and shape. River water bass that live in dark water are very dark brown. Lakeside bass in sandy areas pretend to be a light yellow brown.
Smallmouth bass reside in Great Lakes bays where waters are cool and clear, and the bottom is rock or gravel. They prefer protective cover such as shoal rocks, talus slopes, and submerged logs. They inhabit in water temperature of 68-70 °F. Smallmouth bass prefer large clear-water lakes (greater than 100 acres, more than 30 feet deep) and cool streams with clear water and gravel bottoms. It is found in fast rivers and streams, and the rocky areas and stumps and also sandy bottoms of lakes and reservoirs.
The smallmouth may be found in both still and moving water. They prefer deeper water than the largemouth and areas of clear, fast-flowing streams and pools with gravel/rubble bottom. Smallmouth bass prefer shallow weedy flats that extend into deep water, large areas of sand, rock, and gravel, shores of tree roots and fallen brushes, drop-offs from 15 to 40 feet. Most smallmouth bass could be finding near submerged ridges and islands in deep water reaching within 15 feet from the surface and covered with rocks hiding crawfish and other prey.
Smallmouth feed when water temperatures are between 50°F and 80°F. In the fall they move to depths of 15 to 20 feet, following schools of small fish. In winter months, when water temperatures reach below 50ºF, the bass lie on the bottom of the lake at depths of 30 to 40 feet. At about 55ºF, the fish school together at about 10 - 20 feet deep, getting ready for the spring spawn. Smallmouth bass also prefer a lower light environment and it is said that they are most active in low light conditions.
Spawning begins from April to June when temperatures rise to the low 60 ºF. Smallmouth mature in 2 to 4 years, the rate of maturation depends on the body of water. Nests are usually located near shore in lakes; downstream from boulders or some other obstruction that offers protection against strong current in streams.
Male smallmouth clears a nest of almost 3 feet in diameter at a depth of 4 to 20 feet. When the male is finished scraping away the gravelly bottom, he leads up to six females to the nest. Mature females may contain 2000-15,000 golden to yellow eggs. Each female deposits her eggs in the same nest. Each nest contains about 2,500 eggs. After the female lays her eggs, she lies on her side at the bottom of the lake. The male guards the nest 3 to 10 days depending on water temperature. Eggs hatch in about 10 days if water temperatures are in the mid-50's (°F), but can hatch in 2-3 days if temperatures are in the mid-70's °F. After the eggs hatch tiny black fry with bright yellow eyes emerge. Male guard the nest from the time eggs are laid until fry begin to disperse, a period of up to a month. As in other black bass, fry begin to feed on zooplankton, switching to insect larvae and finally fish and crayfish as they grow.
The males rest for a about a week, and do not feed during this recovery period. While recuperating after the spawn, some females excrete a white, creamy substance that envelops their entire body. Some old and weak fish die after the spawn, but most recover their strength after a week recuperation period. Many of the eggs each female produces are not fertile, and the average nest contains around two thousand fertile eggs.
After recovering from spawning, smallmouth bass divide into 2 groups. The longer, slender fish leave the spawning grounds and trail groups of forage fish and the shorter, stocky fish that permanently inhabit the deep rocky waters off the spawning grounds.
The longer fish permanently occupy distinctive waters 15 to 30 feet deep. This group continues to travel to the open-waters of the lake, in school groups or individually, but also prefer the safe shelter of deep waters with typical rocky or deep shoal bottoms.
Fishing Methods are drift fishing, fly-fishing, spin-casting, still fishing and pole fishing. For river fishing, spinning tackle or fly tackle have been very popular angling tools for smallmouth in North America for many years. Many fisherman use a 5.5-6.5 foot, medium-fast action rod matched with 6-8 lb. test line. Fly fishermen seeking river or stream smallmouth use a 7- to 9-foot fly rod in a #5, #6, #7, or #8-weight size with a floating or sink-tip fly line, depending upon the water to be fished. They use a dry or wet fly, nymphs, streamers, or imitations of larger aquatic creatures such as crawfish or leeches. However, pole fishing for smallmouth bass has become increasingly popular in recent years. The pole gives you total control of your tackle whilst float fishing, allowing you to use much lighter rigs, provide a level of accuracy that a rod and reel can't produce. The pole allows you to place your bait in exactly the spot that you want to fish a smallmouth; it allows you to chum with ground bait or loose particles with extreme accuracy. It also allows you to land fish much quicker that with a rod and reel and many anglers successfully use it on a lakes, ponds and reservoirs where the water still.
In conventional fishing, smallmouth may be successfully caught on a wide range of natural and artificial baits or lures, including crankbaits, hair jigs, plastic jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, and all types of soft plastic lures including curly tail grubs or tubes with lead head jigs. Floating topwater popper fly patterns and buzz baits are also popular for smallmouth fishing. Smallmouth bass anglers may also use live bait to catch fish. Live nightcrawlers, minnows, hellgrammites, crayfish and leeches are the most productive live baits.
Spring fishing is the easiest time to land smallmouth bass. The fish begin to move into the two to ten feet deep shallows, and feed on spawning crawfish. Though actively feeding around fallen debris, boat docks, and rocky shorelines, the fish are suspicious of lures at this time of the season. When fishing in rocky waters five to fifteen feet deep, try ultra-light spinning tackle and a one-eighth-ounce yellow jig with a piece of night crawler at its tip. Cast the jig over the rocky area, slowly hopping the lure along the bottom. The lure imitates the motion of a crawfish or leech, and quickly attracts the attention of smallmouths.
In summer, smallmouths change depths often, frequenting rocky-island waters from fifteen to thirty feet deep to shallow flats. Smallmouths move feeding locations many times during the day, often lured into the depths by schools of small fish or found grazing the rocky shallows for crawfish.
Artificial worms and small split-tail plastic grubs are standard smallmouth lures. Weight the lures and retrieve them with little hops along the bottom. When fish are following artificial lures, but hesitant to strike, try crawfish, minnows, hellgrammites, or night crawlers.
A popular summer bait fish is a small live crawfish hooked near the end of its tail, or a shiner hooked through both lips. Use a No. 4 or No.6 hook attached directly to the line, with a light split shot weighted to bring the bait to the bottom. Work the shiner slowly. Retrieve the crawfish at a slightly faster, hopping pace, to prevent the crawfish from burrowing under rocks.
Smallmouth bass love fast water and are usually found below dams and power-generating stations. Schools of smallmouths frequently corner schools of smaller fish against the power-generating obstruction. A small top-water spoon or crank bait thrown among the leaping minnows works well to catch a smallmouth, or a try a heavier jig targeting larger fish beneath the skirmish.
Look for turns in rivers and streams where deep underwater ledges produce a slick calm on the water's surface. Fish the calm depths with small orange, brown, or dull yellow jig with a piece of night crawler or crawfish at the lure's tip. At the mouths of streams or at the edges of large channels, use light spinning tackle and six-pound test line while slowly back-trolling with a jig-and-shiner arrangement or trolling a small crank bait upstream.
In smaller streams and rivers, smallmouths and trout can be found around obvious rocks, under hanging rocks and ledges, and in shallow pools. In small streams, some anglers fish with a fly rod and a weighted Muddler Minnow or small streamer or buck tail. Fish spinning lures slowly, letting the lures hang in the fast flowing waters around protruding rocks and ledges. Live crawfish, minnows, and hellgrammites are effective when fished at the bottom and below the first riffles of the deepest pools. For this type of small-stream fishing, use light spinning tackle, a No.6 hook, and a small split shot In these conditions, anglers often catch both trout and smallmouths.
Where a fast current has smoothed the river bottom, cast a spoon lure directly upstream and allow the spoon to settle to the bottom. The fast waters smooth the rocks that would normally pose a snagging risk, and smallmouths like to rest on the smooth bottom, ready to strike. Fish fast, deep runs through rock layers or ledges in the same manner. Cast directly upstream with a small spoon, permitting the lure to settle to the bottom. This tactic often results in the capture of smallmouths and walleyes.
When the temperatures begin to drop in the fall, smallmouths begin to school near rock shelves near deeper water or near cover at the edges of deep drops. Anglers use the same tactics for fall lake fishing - a live crawfish or a slowly retrieved minnow.
Great rods for Smallmouth bass fishing are:
24ft Telescopic Fishing Pole
21ft Fishing Pole made of 99% Carbon
18ft Telescopic Carbon Pole
12ft Telescopic Fishing Hera Rod
18ft Telescopic Spinning Rod
12ft Telescopic Spinning Rod
12ft Telescopic Casting Light Rod