Small Mouth Bass Introduction
by Marty Descoteaux
Everyone strives to fish small mouth bass. The bronze backs are definitely the most popular fish that an angler wants to tackle.
What do you think about small mouth action? For sure you've noticed that smallies love to jump in the air with reckless abandon. Have you ever paid attention to small mouth jump?
After a few years of observation, I've come to conclusions of what it takes for smallies to jump high. First a bass needs to be strong and healthy, but I also believe longer fish generally jump higher than shorter fish. In some waters smallies are generally longer and thinner than other waters, this has a lot to do with their diet to determine their shape and size.
In order to reach for the sky, small mouth bass have to be caught on the right tackle and only the initial jump has the potential for maximum height reaching the 3 to 4 foot category jump, but also the water temperature has to be right, meaning not to cold. When the water is to cold for their metabolism the bass will not jump.
In order to catch your small mouth bass, my suggestion is to use a 7' to 7'6" medium action rod with a bait caster reel or a spinning reel using anywhere from 8 lb to 10 lb test line. There are various types of hardware to use when fishing for bass such as:
-Jigs tipped with a minnow, leach or a worm
-A hook and a split shot tipped with a minnow, leach or a worm
It would be highly recommended that you wear polarized glasses to enhance the vision of the structure you’re fishing in and around the water, and for a better view of the fish swimming near by.
Locating Bass in Different Seasons:
In Central Northern Ontario we have a small mouth bass fishing season which opens the last Saturday of June through until November 15th.
When the small mouth bass fishing season opens they are in what you call "in early transition time". The early transition time can vary from year to year with factors like temperature of the water. That factor controls the spawning time for the bass. Usually when bass season opens you will still find smallies around their spawning ground like river mouths, shallow sandy bays, shorelines, and shallow sandy shoals.
By mid July to the 3rd week of August, it is usually the peek of temperature, which is between 74 to 80 degrees F. During that period you will find that the smallies will hang around in depths between 10 feet to 25 feet. They love structure like rocky shoals, drop offs of weed beds, and rocky shorelines.
By late August to mid September you have what is called late transition. The late transition is the time where the temperature of water is starting to drop down. Now that means that their metabolism is starting to drop when the water cools off. It's probably the time of the year that bass feed the most and are the most aggressive. I have to admit that's my favorite time of the year for catching trophy bass. You will find them hanging around the same depths as peak summer and August.
I find that when I fish in early fall, the best fishing time is in the middle of the afternoon with the nice hot sun. It really seams to trigger them to feed more according to my experience.
And always remember: leave nothing more than your footprints in the bush when you go fishing.
Good Luck to all!