Finding Smallmouth Bass In Lakes

Finding smallmouth bass in lakes can be easier if you know how to narrow down your choices and if you know how fish behave.  Smallmouth bass tend to be creatures of habit and can often (but not always) move in predictable ways.

Finding smallmouth bass in lakes

In this article from, Stephen Headrick explains the basics of bass movement and how they relate to banks and the difference between larger, less vulnerable bass and smaller bass.  Knowing these habits will help you find bigger and larger bass.

With regards to the bank, he writes…

In my experience, smallmouth relate to it all the time, regardless of what else is happening in their world. They do not just wander around in a lake or stop anywhere that happens to look good to them. They move according to what they are — creatures that must adapt to their environment because they can’t change it. Here’s what I mean:

If a fish lives on the north bank, he or she will always relate to the north bank. Movements straight out, away from the bank into and out of deep water will happen and when they do the fish will relate to underwater structure way out in the middle of the lake. They’ll follow it east or west, to be sure.  But when they’re done out there, and they want to return to shallower water, they’ll come back to the north bank.

When we cross a lake, we’re almost always fishing a different group of fish. Let’s say you caught them on a certain bank yesterday but today you can’t buy a bite? If you want to find those same fish, you’ll move up or down the same bank. If you want fresh fish you’ll want to move over to the other side.  Source

And some differences between small and large smallmouth bass:

The smaller fish tend to stay put more than the big ones. I don’t think many of them move more than a few hundred yards, if that far. And even when they do move they tend to do so slowly. It rarely happens overnight.

The bigger ones will move miles up and down a bank over the course of a season, and they sometimes do it fast. They can move a mile or more in one night. I know that sounds like a lot but I’m telling you I’ve seen it happen.   Source

Understanding bass behavior, the forage and the habitat of the lake you are fishing will help you find smallmouth bass in lakes so you can spend more time in productive areas and less time fishing water that doesn’t hold fish or doesn’t hold the fish you want.

To learn more about bass strategies, pick up this awesome book.  It will help you catch more fish :).

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