Summer smallmouth bass fishing is a great way to spend the day targeting a furiously fighting fish that never seems to give up. They are aggressive feeders, spunky fighters, and their aerial acrobatics is tops in fresh water. If there is a downside to smallmouth fishing though, it’s that once summer comes it can be downright difficult to find them. We checked with several of the top smallmouth anglers in the country, and put together this quick guide on where to find them on lakes, rivers, and reservoirs.
Summer Smallmouth Bass Fishing In Lakes
On natural lakes, summertime smallmouth usually retreat to deeper, cooler water during the hottest part of the day. Look for them on points, break lines, saddles, and offshore humps. The best spots will also have rocks, scattered grass, or manmade cover like fish cribs and brush. Use your electronics to find ideal locations, and cover water with search baits like jerkbaits or crankbaits – then slow down with a tube or drop shot once you find some bass.
Locating River Smallmouth
Summer on river systems should mean one thing for smallmouth anglers: Find the baitfish. River smallies need to feed regularly to replenish the energy they spend fighting current, so they will never be far from baitfish. Look for submerged bait on your electronics, visible schools on the surface, and signs of feeding activity. Likely places to find bait include current seams, points and cut-banks, wing dams, and sand flats. Once you find an area with some baitfish, start with topwaters, spinnerbaits or other minnow-imitating baits to find active fish. If the bite slows, try working a shakey head worm or Texas-rig to maximize the area.
Summer Patterns for Reservoir Fish
Smallmouth in reservoirs typically head uplake in the summer , looking for cooler, more oxygenated waters that are found near the river entrances. Focus on the upper ends of reservoirs and look for shell beds, shallow bars, and manmade rock cover like jetties, rip-rap, and marinas. Once you’re in the right area, throw lipless crankbaits, walk-the-dog style topwaters, and spinnerbaits until you run into some fish. Pay attention to any bird activity as well. Seagulls, cormorants, and herons can be indicators of the presence of baitfish, and smallmouth won’t be too far away.
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