John Rankin

Spring Smallmouth Bass Fishing Has Arrived

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Thomas Taylor, Muskingum River Ohio

Thomas Taylor, Muskingum River Ohio

A common question I hear is “when is the best time to begin fishing for smallmouth bass”? This is a loaded question in several ways because it all depends on where you are thinking of fishing. In the northern climates of the United States and Canada the water temps are still below optimal temps, with ice on many rivers and lakes, and while you might catch a fish or two, it is not yet time to hit the water. Spring smallmouth bass fishing in the lower states never really stops, and in the mid-range states the time for hitting the water is now.

Spring Has Sprung

April has traditionally been the month when spring smallmouth bass fishing begins on a wide scale across the nation. By this time most of the U.S. and Canada have officially been a month into spring and the water is beginning to warm. The fish are in the initial stages preparing for their annual spawn which means they will be on the move and feeding.

As this time also coincides with trout fishing for many fishermen, you can get by using the same tackle for both species. Spinning reels with eight pound line works fine, as does many of the same lures that trout go after. Small spinners, jerkbaits, tubes and swimbaits often are the ticket for catching smallies in spring.

Due to the fact a great many of the spawn locations are up small tributaries with water level of six feet or less, as the water temperatures increase into the 50s and 60s, you can even have some success with spinnerbaits and top water baits. Many of the bronzeback anglers in northern Texas and Tennessee are catching bass on top water already.

The key is to have a large selection of baits (and rods) available because what the bass want can change from day to day this time of year.

Spring smallmouth bass fishing can be some of the most productive fishing of the year. Sure it is going to be windy and cold but man up and get out there! You will be glad you did.

Are you ready for spring bronzeback fishing? In the comments box below please let our readers know what spring fishing is like in your location.

3 Responses to Spring Smallmouth Bass Fishing Has Arrived

  1. Thomas Taylor April 28, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    The water in our river is dropping for good spawn conditions but has also moved a lot of the smallies out of the feeder creeks they was feeding during high water. Now we are finding them in more normal river location feeding and still preferring live bait over tubes and jigs. Water temp 53 in southeast ohio

    Reply
  2. Mack Holbrook March 9, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Hi …. what kind of live bait ?

    Reply
    • Paul Grove March 28, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Scared .

      Reply

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