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Early Season smallmouth

By Nic DiGravio

smallmouth bassFinding Smallmouth Bass can be challenging at the best of times. But there is one window of opportunity that both shore and boat anglers can take advantage of.

Early in the season you will find comfortably prime temperatures for the Smallmouth Bass to dwell. Temperatures of up to 72 degrees F. will still hold them close to their spawning beds. There is no reason for them to move on to deeper haunts with good steady temperatures, especially when their food source is still abundant.

Find signs of spawning beds and work the adjacent areas thoroughly. They shouldn’t be far. Shoreline or flats with boulders and loose gravel make a good starting point. Lake shores with lumber and weed growth combined with a good steady sloping bottom will hold early Smallmouth as well. Morning water temperatures, especially after a cool night, will keep them close to shore. Basically temperature dictates their every move. Consistent weather plays a major roll in their early accessibility for Bass anglers.

smallmouth bassPost spawn Smallmouth are aggressive! During the spawn there is no time to eat! So when nature is done calling, the dinner bell rings! They feast on virtually anything they can get their mouths around so keeping our ears and eyes open for surface blowups is a key factor in pinpointing where to cast our offerings. Keep the polarized sun glasses on hand because Smallmouth are notorious for following the bait and if you see one, guarantied there are more!

When it comes to baits, I like to use minnow imitating plastics. If the Bass are not co-operative try down sizing, it can make all the difference in the world. Carolina rigged small plastics like a worm, craw or leach can get them. Crank baits and twitch baits have taken their share of Bass too. Spinner baits with a grub trailer are excellent for early season Smallmouth.

When I see the Smallmouth I become especially adamant about catching them because I know darn well they are there and not just an arch on the sonar anymore! Persistence now plays a major roll in success!

We, as Bass anglers, should be opportunists and take advantage of the great Smallmouth action early in the season. Keep temperature in mind when pursuing them and you will be successful! Remember to take a picture of your Bass and not picture it in your pan! The Bass normally caught are the ‘mamas’ and ‘papas’ of the lake so lets release them so that we can enjoy fishing for them in the Summer and Fall months to come!

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