Spring Smallmouth Bass

Fishing, Bass, Ontario, Smallmouth
After the snow melts and the temperatures of the rivers and lakes begin to rise it’s time to prepare for pre spawn smallmouth bass. Hard bodied or jointed jerk baits made to suspend in the water are a terrific choice this time of the year, particularly on windy overcast days once the smallmouth appear to be aggressive. Conversely, it appears slower moving weightless plastics appear to work best on calm sunny days.
Tackle and equipment: I typically for 3 sticks rigged up for fishing with a jerk bait.
7′ Medium fast action rod with a 5:1 reel or higher, Abu Garcia creates a few great reels for jerk bait fishing. Line this up with 15lb braid using a fluorocarbon leader and you have yourself a great setup for your bigger hard baits and bigger spinning lures.
I really like this setup on still sunny mornings. This is a wild card pole, in the past I’ve had success with this using weightless flukes in addition to smaller hard bodied lure. What I have discovered is that since fluorocarbon line sinks it has a propensity to bring the hard and soft plastic baits a bit deeper and the 6lb line has a better feel with the lighter baits than the 10lb baitcasting installation. If I could just take one I’d take this one since I feel it’s the most flexible but the other setups are unique to the task. . Natural colors in clear water and heavily fished areas, pearl, white, perch and Chartreuse are winners at the spring in stained water. Recently I Berkley Gulp Alive, KVD and many others have come out with great quality products also.
Location
Spring is such a excellent time for smallmouth because no other time in the year are their routines more predictable and so many big females being”piled up” in precisely the identical location. Concentrate on regions deepwater drops and inland spawning areas 10ft deep with gravel bottom and floor structure is a superb place to start. Egg laden large females will be actively feeding and may have many trophies sitting in the exact same small indentation or around exactly the exact same stump. Small mouth will spend the majority of the winter in 30-40 feet of water then move into shallow flats right after ice out and until the spawn which usually starts when the water temperature reaches into the upper or mid 50’s. Any big flats in 8-15 foot of water alongside 30-40 shelves are great place to begin. Start looking for a gravel bottom, often times a wonderful rock pile or stump could hold 10 big females in this time of year.
Smallmouths often must find baits a couple times until they opt to strike if they’re not actively feeding so in case you find a good-looking place take 3-4 casts before proceeding. When they’re feeding and you grab one make sure you throw back to the identical spot because large females are seldom alone at this time of year. This may be some of the most fun, quickest fishing of the year. When they’re feeding it isn’t from the realm of chance to land five pound fish in ten casts.
When it’s overcast and windy it seems to stir the build-up and have the best bite. Anytime I am using a jerk bait in the end I use larger and thicker hard bodied baits. I also work the lure quicker than I do with soft plastics. Rapala Husky Jerk 10 is a favourite bait in these state with white, Chartreuse and pearl white being sexy colours. I check with a bait store or on the internet about hot colours on a certain body of water.
I work the lure at about 3-5 feet of depth with longer snaps blending with short twitches. 1 key suggestion is to maintain constant slack in your line particularly when using the braided line setup, it is going to provide the lure more of an erratic darting movement and the twitches more realistic appearance. I remember one time a buddy and I were in exactly the exact same boat using the very same colors and the exact same bait. The only difference was that he added a very small weight and was working the lure at a rate he was averaging 3 casts to each one of my casts. By the end of 75 minutes it had been 14 fish and he had 1 and I was averaging about 16″ per fish with a few four pound, nineteen inch and smallies. The only difference was that I had no weight added and was working the lure very slow, sometimes as slow as 4-6 minutes between activities. This method is particularly deadly on a sunny calm morning, the smallmouth are not as stirred up as they’ll be if the wind picks up but they’re always up for a simple meal. This is often the first bait I begin with and the final one I finish with.
For the men and women who fish them, spring smallmouth bass fishing is in a category of its own. Using jerk and twitch baits is among the most fun ways to capture them. Tight lines!

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