show / hide sidebar
As the red mercury in the thermometer starts to creep higher and higher, you’ll notice that many of the lakes and rivers have begun to clear out. Fishermen have begun to put their gear back into storage as they await the bright colors and cooler temperatures of autumn. But this isn’t you. You’re gonzo. You’re ready to brave the elements to catch fish, and no temperature gauge is going to deter you. And as I sit here writing this in the AC, I applaud you. However, you should know that smallmouth patterns are different this time of the year. And below we’re going to discuss how you can still catch them in the dog days of summer.
River Fishing Smallmouth
With the water temperature increasing, you’ll find more and more fish making their way to deeper and cooler water. This is true during the heat of the middle of the day, but the early morning and dusk bite is still going to be shallow. This is the perfect time to throw topwater. Look for any current breaks around structure that would be good ambush points for smallmouth. Buzzbaits, poppers, and the ever-popular whopper plopper are all great options for early morning topwater.
After the early morning bite starts to taper off, fish will be dormant for a while. However, because the warmer waters have increased the bass’s metabolism, they’ll need to eat again a few hours later. In turn this means that the bite turns back on again by mid-day to early afternoon.
Because fish won’t be as aggressive, you’ll need to slow down your presentation to entice a strike. Rig up a drop shot with a senko or yum dinger. These are deadly effective for smallmouth and the perfect lure for that middle of the day lull. Keep the worm around 5” up from the weight and allow it to drift naturally with the current past deep structure, drop offs, and tail outs.
Lake Fishing Smallmouth
Similar to river fishing, smallmouth will be found up shallow during the low light and low temperatures of the morning and evening. Again, this is a great time to throw a topwater or a shallow running lure such as a jerkbait or a crankbait. Look for spots with rocks in 6-10 feet of water during this time. Smallmouth like to hold on these areas to ambush their prey.
In the afternoon you should be looking in deeper water. Typically, around 15-25 feet deep. Throw a Carolina rig, or a wacky rigged senko, near rocks or weedy edges. If the wind is strong you may need to throw more moving lures such as a deep diving crankbait or jerkbait. If your lake has a lot of submerged timber you can throw those same lures and knock them off of the wood to entice a strike.
If you’re not finding anything shallow or mid-range then the fish could be deeper. This could be due to a number of reasons, but fishing pressure can definitely play a role. Keep a close eye on your sonar and start looking for humps or steep drop offs in the 25-35-foot range. Once you’ve found a spot, allow your trolling motor to keep you in a holding pattern and begin bouncing a jig, tube, or dropshot off the bottom to try and get a strike.
Selecting your rod and reelIt can be overwhelming when checking out Amazon or your local sporting goods store for a rod and reel. There is a vast selection to choose from, but for right now all you need to do is keep it simple and in your budget.When looking at rods try to find one [...]
If the Pacific Ocean feels like a washing machine and you’re concerned about getting tossed around, then stow away your heavy gear, pick up your light tackle and take a day to explore some of southern California’s inshore waterways. There are plenty of bays and harbors to try out, including the Long Beach Harbor, San [...]
Now that the spawn is over the fish will be looking to replenish their energy stores. During the early part of the summer bass are going to be very aggressive and looking for a meal. But when the weather begins to heat up, that’s when the bass bite begins to cool down. Below we have [...]
If you didn’t grow up as a member of a scout troop, you might find yourself getting tangled up in the web of sheets and lines which are so integral to the rigging of your sailboat. No worries – you’ll have to learn a variety of knots and rope skills before you really get underway, but practicing knots is [...]
It always pays to be prepared when spending a day outdoors. There have been many trips of mine that were either cut short or ended poorly because of something I forgot to pack or just didn’t have with me on the boat. A perfect example of this is sunscreen. There are more days than I [...]
California Smallmouth Bass FishingThe beautiful state of California is known to produce some of the largest freshwater fish in the country. Currently,8 of the 10 biggest Largemouth bass caught have resided in The Golden State. However, there is one fishthat people don’t pay enough attention to. They have many nicknames: bronze back, small jaw, smallie,but [...]
Have the plan, work the plan, and then adjust when said plan fails miserably.Being a great angler with the ability to catch fish anywhere you like boils down to adjusting your tactics throughout the day.Adjusting Your TacticsConsider this. You’ve been fishing hard all day for largemouth. They didn’t pick up your jig, so you switch to a top [...]
Keep in mind that this trip is not about you, or catching fish. It’s ensuring they have a good time. If they do wind up catching fish, then that’s just a bonus. Make sure to have all the gear you need prepped the night before. Fishing poles, hooks, split shot sinkers, lures/bait, and of course snacks and drinks. Pack [...]
Catching fish is what brought you to the sport of fishing, but catching them on topwater is what makes you an addict. Bass are the apex predator in most of the lakes in America, and you can see it firsthand when throwing surface lures. It’s one of the most exciting ways to fish, and below [...]