1 - 4 pounds
12" - 27"
Smallmouth Bass belongs to the Sunfish family (Centrarchidae) and is a popular freshwater fish among anglers. Smallmouth Bass has a dark green or black color body, with vertical dark brown stripes that usually fade with age, and the color contrast may vary depending on the fish’s habitat. Their eyes are red or brown. They have two dorsal fins; the front one has 10 fin spines while the other has 10 to 15 soft rays.
Female Smallmouth bass are usually larger in size than males. The average size of smallmouth bass can be 18–20 inches. On average, they usually live only 5 to 6 years but can survive up to 15 years. Smallmouth bass found in lakes are larger than those found in streams and ponds. Females usually weigh from three to six pounds, while the males are around 2 pounds.
This bass species can be found in clear waters, such as ponds, lakes, and rivers. They prefer rubble and rocky bottoms. Smallmouth bass also prefer moderate temperatures, and they will swim deeper in the cooler water during summer.
Smallmouth Bass spawn March-May when water temperatures reach between 59 and 64 degrees. The males build nests in the shallow waters of lakes and rivers. The nest is built building within 150 yards of where the male built his nest the previous year.
The Smallmouth Bass eats small fish, crayfish, and insects. They hide behind a fallen tree or a rock and attack when the prey is near.
A light breeze and calm waters are best suited to catch Smallmouth Bass. In spring and fall, they like to swim in open waters during bright days and warm temperatures. In summer, they swim deep under cooler water and are harder to find. It is best to fish for Smallmouth early morning or late evening.
Smallmouth bass are fighters. A spinning rod of light to medium action with a 6 to 10 pounds test line is recommended.
There are plenty of baits and lures that work successfully to catch these fish; insects, jigs, minnows, plugs, plastic worms, spoons and night crawlers. A favorite of anglers is to use spinning baits that when rigged weightless, can hang on top of the water. When the fish are in deeper water during the summer, use a rig with a weighted vertical drop hook.
Fly-fishing Smallmouth Bass is popular due to their abundance and strength. When you want to cast into deeper water, use a 6, 7 or 8 weight rod. This will be suitable for strong winds, landing larger fish, and a long cast. A longer rod, 81/2- to 9-foot, is good when you need accuracy for casting near shoreline structures or long-distance casting.