Smallmouth Bass


Smallmouth bass live in freshwater lakes, rivers, creeks and reservoirs throughout the United States and Canada.  They are a favorite among anglers because of the strong fight they put up, and their frequency jumping above the water's surface during a fight.  While native to the upper and middle Mississippi River basin, the Saint Lawrence River - Great Lakes system, and the Hudson Bay basin, smallmouth can be found in other regions due to stocking efforts and illegal introductions.   

Generally speaking, smallmouth bass are brown with golden tints, red eyes and vertical bands rather than a horizontal band.  Their upper jaw extends to the middle of the eye.  Males are generally smaller than females, averaging two to two and a half pounds.  Females can range from three to eight pounds! Smallmouth tend to prefer clearer and cleaner water than largemouth, and can often be found in or near current (rivers and streams), and also calm water.  

SCIENTIFIC NAME:  Micropterus dolomieu

HABITAT:  Rocks, gravel, sand, weeds, man-made structure, riprap

RANGE: North America


DIET: Carnivore

NICKNAMES: Bronzeback, Smallmouth, Small Jaw, Smallie, Brownie, Football

Tags: kids-club  -s  -fish  -smallmouth-bass  small-mouth  animal 


3 Types of Fishing Reels

There are three main types of fishing reels, and each has advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a brief explanation of the types to help you choose the right one for your fishing needs. READ MORE »


Summertime Wet Wading

I’ve fished from 70 mph Ranger bass boats, 5 mph johnboats, pontoons, kayaks, canoes and yachts. I’ve fished from shore, from docks, and from dams, bridges and piers. But my love of fishing grew from wading streams. READ MORE »


Think Small for Big Results

We all like catching big fish and big numbers of fish, but sometimes when you want big, you need to think small. One of the biggest errors I see by anglers is they use tackle that is too big and catch fewer fish as a result.  Let’s start with the bait. A great big night crawler might catch a great big fish. But too much bait on the hook makes it hard for a small fish to eat it. When you fish a great big worm under a bobber for bluegills and other panfish, the fish often pull down the bobber, but don’t get the hook. You’ll miss the fish and wind up having your bait stolen. READ MORE »


3 Tips for Finding Summer Bass in Shady Areas

In the summertime, everyone has a favorite spot to stay cool and beat the heat. Some go to the water park; others just hang out inside the house. Now, here is the cool thing: Fish also have predictable summertime hangouts. They go to places where there’s food, current, plants, high levels of oxygen and shade, which they use as cover. Of all those factors, shade is one of the easiest for anglers to find and target. Use the tips below to help find good shady fishing spots and get more bites during your next fishing trip. READ MORE »


The Wacky Rig: The Best Bass Lure

I always get asked about my favorite lure, and it’s hard to pick just one. But if you asked me what lure I would want if I could only have one for bass fishing, a wacky worm would easily be my choice. A wacky worm will catch a bass anywhere from shallow water to 20 feet deep, and it will catch all species of bass. Not only will it catch big fish and lots of fish, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to fish for bass. READ MORE »