Monday, April 6, 2009

Bigger Baits Equal bigger Smallmouth Bass

Most of the time for me, bigger smallmouth bass are attracted to bigger food. Only stands to reason the meal better be worth the energy spent! Now when I say bigger baits, I mean bigger baits compared to what most people throw on average for smallmouth bass.

For some reason, the average fisherman believes smallmouths are snackers. Throw a 2" or 3" grub and you'll catch a lot of fish. A lot of small fish. Throw a bigger bait near bigger fish and presto! More big bass.

I guess this is a good thing. Novices don't need to be taking smallies home in buckets/stringers. They don't throw close enough to cover or throw big enough baits to regularly bring out the big smallmouth bass.

Now, when I say bigger baits, let's not get crazy. I'm not throwing 7" swimbaits- yet. Just bigger than average. I've found a nice niche of what will catch numbers and size. Someday I may be headed down the big fish only route. Not yet.

Get the idea?

Most bigger baits can really be hurled. On any small-medium size stream the bass hear you coming. The longer you can throw, the better chance you have of presenting to unspooked bass. It's also fun dropping a big 4.5" tube down into a log jam .

Try it, you'll be surprised how many dinks you can catch too.


  1. Love your site!

    Question...if you are wading the river (no kayak) how do you decide which rod/reel to take and what would that set up be (rod length, power/action, line, type of reel, etc)?

  2. Thanks! I like a longer rod for long casts to stay away from spooky fish. It depends on the season though, the colder it is the closer I am to the bass. Also when fish are up in the logs, I get really close.

    My favorite is St.Croix Avid 6'9" Medium Light Extra Fast. That's pretty much all I use. Spool up a 6:1 or better spinning reel (to catch up with charging downstream fish and burn buzzbaits) with some throwaway mono, then tie on about 70 yards of Power Pro 20/6 Braid.

    For smallies, I like a rod with backbone for hooksets on plastics without bringing a broomstick. I can winch most fish out of cover with this rod and line. But it can chuck lures a mile and the fish are still fun to fight.

    Either Pflueger Supreme 6735 or Shimano Saros 3000 spinning reel will work.

    The reason I stick to one rod is to get good with one is better than switching to a different reel to throw a single lure. And I simply cannot carry two rods and fish on foot. I squeeze in a lot of tight places. What may not be the most optimal for pitching wood, works because I have a couple thousand hours of casting on it. I know it like the back of my hand.

    Basically, check out my fishing article on 'snaps' here:

  3. Great info, very helpful!

    I've been using shorter, ultra light rigs that make it fun when you do hook up, but I was feeling like I needed more backbone. The shorter rods made it easier getting around, but I think I'd like using something longer.

    Looking forward to giving it a try.


  4. I started fishing Smallmouth Bass in Indiana on Ultralights. I'd throw crappie grubs with a spinner attached or a rootser tail.

    I'd catch a lot of small fish. So that's what I thought was in the creeks and rivers. Trust me, it's not. You may have to walk farther to get into more big fish chances, but they are there in abundance.

    I only discovered this when I'd occasionaly hit a 14-16"er and it invariably would throw the bait. My hooks weren't sharp enough and the ultralight wouldn't get the hook deep enough not to lose the fish.

    Learning what I could from other bass fishermen and getting out a lot helps. Go fishing with someone else who fishes differently. You'll learn a lot. In Indiana, the forum is a good place to find somone to fish with.

    The next progression was good gear ment to catch good fish.

  5. Oh, another couple things about long rods beyond extra casting distance.

    You can skip plastics a mile under low hanging brush.

    Up on high banks, the extra length allows you to sling casts in areas where a short rod couldn't go.

    Typically, on a smaller streams my rod never goes above my elbows on a cast.

  6. Yep, that's where I'm at right now...ultra light, crappie grubs with spinner rigs, lots of small bass.

    I'll definitely check out the website.