Christopher Smith

Lures To Catch Smallmouth Bass

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If you have figured out your next fishing destination, you are going to need lures to catch your share of smallmouth bass. The type of lure you choose will depend heavily on many factors. These include:

  • Water temperature
  • Water clarity – how clear or muddy are we talking
  • River or Lake and is there current
  • Depth
  • Time of Year

So let’s get to it!

Lures to catch smallmouth bass

Water clarity is very important in understanding which type of lures to use. Smallies are clear water fish but can survive in muddy water environments. Observations of the fish seem to indicate a lateral-line sense similar to the largemouth that can detect vibration in the water and aid the fish in foraging. In muddy or stained water the lateral line is relied on to compensate for the lack of visibility when searching for food. Lures that rattle or make radical vibrations can trigger strikes in muddy conditions but could also alarm fish living in clear water that do not rely on the lateral line to feed thereby making your fundamental choice of lure very important.Another key point to consistency is matching the lure to the primary forage of the smallmouth. In most areas and in particular in rocky, clear water reservoirs the crawfish is the predominant type of forage. This bait can be easily and rather cheaply imitated by using a three to four inch split tail grub with a skirt. These grubs are readily available at most online/mail-order merchants and sports outlets. Combined with a 2/0 super sharp hook rigged weedless (Texas style) and a 1/4 ounce weight (up to 1/2 ounce) this economical rig can provide a mind numbing catch of smallmouth time after time in the same body of water.  Source

Larry Nixon loves Spinnerbaits for smallmouths:

Question: What is your “poison” if you are luring smallmouth?

Nixon: If I want to target smallmouth, my first lure of choice will be the spinner bait. I prefer a 1/2-ounce Premiere Pro Model with tandem willow-leaf blades. I like to have one white blade and the other chartreuse, and I prefer a chartreuse-and-white skirt. You have to remember that smallmouth bass like light-colored lures. They also enjoy chasing bait. For this reason, I crank this spinner bait as fast as I can and keep it just under the surface of the water. I’ll make really long casts and crank the bait back through open waters. You have to remember that smallmouth bass are sight feeders, and big smallmouth love to chase and run a bait down. When a smallmouth sees a bait trying to run away, the fish seem to become aggravated and want to chase that bait.

Question: Where is the best location to use the spinner bait for smallmouth?

Nixon: I like to fish around scattered grass or boulders. I like to fish along fairly flat banks, have my boat in 7 to 12 feet of water and cast into 2 to 3 feet of water. I want that spinner bait to run across the break line where the bottom drops off from shallow to deep. I’ve seen smallmouth come up from 10 feet of water to take the spinner bait, especially when I’m burning that spinner bait. I prefer the willow leaf blade because these blades allow me to fish the spinner bait faster than I can with the Colorado blade.  Source

As you can see, there are many choices and considerations when choosing a lure for smallmouth bass. Other choices are of course tube jigs, top water baits and soft plastics such as Senko style worms and soft fluke–type baits.

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