Summer Smallmouth Bass Fishing

If you are like some of the team here at FishVault, fishing for smallmouth bass is a favorite summertime tradition. Unlike its largemouth bass cousin, smallmouth bass prefer not only cooler water, but areas with rocks and current. River fishing for smallies can be fun this time of year and looking for structures in the river is a great place to start. Common structures like tree roots and rock ledges likely not only serve as ambush points, but the calm eddies also let the fish conserve energy between feeding times.

Summer bass fishing tips usually include lures with moderate action, and this especially applies to smallmouth bass lures. Spinnerbait fishing is usually a great place to start for summer fishing. Using heavier versions in current, a spinnerbait usually has only one hook so it can be worked slowly without much risk of snagging. Thanks to a flashing blade or two, even a leisurely retrieve provides vibration and flash that may appear like a couple of bait fish.

Despite multiple treble hooks, jerkbait and crankbait fishing have a surprisingly low rate of snagging around rocks and submerged wood too. Depending on how these smallmouth bass lures are weighted, a stop and go action may do the trick when river bass fishing because the lure can remain at a certain depth even when not in motion.

Summer is traditionally when soft plastics for bass really come into play as actively feeding bass will even hit a rubber worm or crayfish resting on the bottom. However, soft plastics are diverse and versatile and become some of the best lures for spring bass when they are paired with other lures such as jigs, bladed jigs, and even spinnerbaits as a trailer. A dropshot rig with a small soft plastic grub, minnow, or worm imitation simply added to a hook or rigged weightless to drift in the current are also highly effective techniques for river smallmouth bass.

When dealing with a river, water level, clarity, and floating debris can change rapidly so anglers are continually adapting to fishing conditions. While a finesse soft plastic drift might have been working in clear water, one may need to switch to something with more vibration or flash like a spinnerbait when murky water arrives from upstream. Further, bass fishing sunrise and sunset bite windows often become more pronounced as the water continues to warm in spring.

As the summer temperatures rise, find some time to get out on the river and target some smallmouth bass. Be sure to take along your FishVault fishing subscription box with you that will have plenty of gear and tackle to help increase your bite chances.