Friday, May 25, 2012
Deep Smallmouth vs. Shallow Smallmouth Bass
I've been fishing quite a bit up until last Thursday. My grandfather passed away and the kids are out for summer. I caught these fish last week before heading out of town to be a pall bearer and to say goodbye to my papaw. I'm sure I'll hit a stream soon. There hasn't been much rain this spring and there seems to be another heat wave this year. With all the temperature records, it's not just in the south but seemingly the rest of the country too.
The lack of rain has led to shallow streams. Shallow streams leads to fish becoming trapped in holes or retreating to deeper pools. I think the best way to fish a stream is to float it. You have the opportunity to become more stealthy and cover more water. Obviously, the best time of day to fish for smallmouth bass is when there is less sunlight. Overcast days are the best. Mornings and evenings are still great times to hit the water too.
I mainly wade streams. I also am not the world's leading smallmouth angler and I surely don't land lunkers time and again. But, I am pretty consistent at landing fish. This time of year when the riffles tend to slow and the water retreats - especially when there is a drought - to maximize your float trip or wading, cast into deep pools. That is where you have the best chance of a smallmouth tagging your fly or lure. Sure, you can catch them in shallow water or pools they become trapped in. I've seen shallow pools run for 40 yards and only be an average of 2 -3 feet deep. But when the sun comes up, you'll wanna cast where the fish will retreat and that is deeper holes.
If your wading time is maximized or you are floating, hit the deep holes and keep moving. Use flies and baits that have lots of wiggle movement. When there is little sunlight such as early morning or a heavily shaded area, smallmouth will move from deeper holes to shallow areas foraging for something to suck down his gullet.
I read an Outdoor article in the local paper. The writer and a guide had an "average" day while catching 30 smallmouth and spotted bass as they floated the Kings River in Arkansas.. I would call that a stellar day, wouldn't you??