Smallmouth Bass

The Smallmouth Bass is generally brown, appearing sometimes as black or green (seldom yellow) with red eyes, and dark brown vertical bands, rather than a horizontal band along the side. There are 13–15 soft rays in the dorsal fin. The upper jaw of smallmouth bass extends to the middle of the eye. The smallmouth's coloration and hue may vary according to environmental variables such as water clarity or prey diet. Males are generally smaller than felmales. The males tend to range around two pounds, while females can range from three to six pounds. Their average sizes can differ, depending on where they are found; those found in American waters tend to be larger due to the longer summers, which allow them to eat and grow for a longer period of time.

Their habitat plays a significant role in their color, weight, and shape. River water smallmouth that live in dark water tend to be rather torpedo-shaped and very dark brown to be more efficient for feeding. Lakeside smallmouth bass, however, that live in sandy areas, tend to be a light yellow-brown to adapt to the environment in a defensive state and are more oval-shaped.

They have been seen eating tadpoles, fish, aquatic insects, crayfish. They have been seen eating frogs, small mice,small birds, and even French fries. There are two recognized subspecies, the Northern Smallmouth Bass (M. dolomieui dolomieui) and the Neosho Smallmouth Bass (M. dolomieui velox).

The smallmouth bass is found in clearer water than the largemouth, especially streams, rivers, and the rocky areas and stumps and also sandy bottoms of lakes and reservoirs. The smallmouth prefers cooler water temperatures than its cousin the Largemouth bass, and may be found in both still and running water. Because it is intolerant of pollution, the smallmouth bass is a good natural indicator of a healthy environment, though it can better adjust to changes in water condition than most trout species.

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, artificial worms, spinnerbaits, and all types of soft plastic lures, including curly tail grubs or tubes with lead head jigs. Spinning reels or baitcasting reels may be used, with line strengths of 2 to 15 pounds typically utilised. Rods are usually of ultralight to medium-heavy action. They may also be caught with a fly rod using a dry or wet artificial fly, nymphs, streamers, or imitations of larger aquatic creatures, such as hellgrammites, crawfish, or leeches. Floating topwater popper fly patterns and buzz baits are also popular for smallmouth fishing. For river fishing, spinning tackle or fly tackle has been the most popular angling tools for smallmouth in North America for many years.

Species Information

Scientific Name:Micropterus dolomieu
Environment:Lake, River, Stream
Ideal Temp:58-70°F (14-21°C)
Technique:Casting, Fly, Jigging, Trolling
Lure Type:Crankbaits, Flies, Jigs, Plugs, Spinnerbaits, Spoons, Topwater, Trolling
World Record:5.41 kg (11 lb 15 oz) Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee, USA
Other Names:smallmouth, smallmouth bass,

Latest Smallmouth Bass Fishing Reports and Spots

Virginia’s Summertime Fishery. Smallmouth bass. - 6/19/2018 12:01:13 PM

Virginia’s Summertime Fishery. Smallmouth Bass. The wait is over. Most Virginia rivers are back down to great fishable levels and the smallmout (View)


Dog Days of Summer - 8/10/2018 5:08:00 AM

Hi Folks The summer heat continues and being next o the water or in it is not such a bad idea. Actually it looks like we are getting a reprieve (View)


Warming back up - 8/27/2018 5:10:00 AM

Hi folks Still chasing smallmouth bass with a reckless abandon. No rain even though it had been predicted.  Rivers and lakes really low. Never (View)


- 6/29/2010 12:26:00 PM

Rubber Leg Crystal Zonker Hook: Daiichi 2220 Sz 4 Eyes: Painted Dumbell Eyes Thread: Black 3/0 Body: Olive Estaz Tail/Wing: Chartreuse Zonker L (View)


SALTY FLY: gIFT GUIDE - 12/4/2020 12:36:45 AM

IN THE FIRST our our Gift Guide series we will be putting together some of our best-selling or newest products for the fly fisher in your life. (View)


Das Boat: the Menominee - 11/8/2020 1:21:16 AM

THE RIVER THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED ….. EVEN mentioning the word Menominee in certain smallmouth circles is enough to end friendships. But for the (View)


August 17 2020 - 8/17/2020 9:17:41 AM

Our warmwater species trips have been good and full of action. The smallmouth bass bite has been consistent. Late summer & early fall is a good (View)


Smallmouth Heaven – John Day River Trip 2020 - 8/1/2020 2:01:23 PM

We took our annual John Day River trip late this year. Our trip started at the “30 Mile Wilderness Study Area” and ended at Cottonwood Bridge. T (View)


July 27 2020 - 7/27/2020 8:41:28 AM

Summertime fishing has been great on the Grand and Muskegon rivers. We are boating good numbers of smallmouth on our trips with some real dandie (View)


Trout fishing Michigan’s UP - 7/27/2020 12:42:37 AM

Trout fishing across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan has been good. Some great hatches have had some good fish looking to the surface currently (View)