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LM vs SM-behavior, techniques, seasons etc.


1984isNOW

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Show off what you've learned about either, and both if you can draw clear parallels.

 

I pretty much only know SM like colder water than LM and prefer rock over wood or grass.

 

Other than that I don't have much smallie experience or knowledge.

 

At night are SM still deep? Still holding to rock?

 

How much in one day will a bass move?

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I recommend looking into everything A-Jay has stickied for SM on this forum, and otherwise watching how guys are currently catching them in tournaments. Not really to copy them or even do something similar unless you want to but to get an idea of just how nomadic SM can be and to emphasize the importance of being around bait for SM. You’ll also hear stuff that the guys are looking for, for the fish to hold on

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If I fish a local lake with equal populations of Smallmouth and largemouth, I'll catch 80% Smallmouth consistently. They are simply more aggressive....... that's all I got.

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5 minutes ago, Kites R4 Skyfishing said:

Sounds like electronics are key... Count me out of the game here

 

@Bird so what's different when you catch a LM?

Does your body of water have any well-defined channels or any grass? Those are two things that I think could change the game a lot

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I fish smallies in rivers 99% of the time. 

 

My advice for river smallies is that every river is different and current trumps all.

 

Edit - And start reading everything on the smallie forum of Bass Resource.

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15 minutes ago, Kites R4 Skyfishing said:

Sounds like electronics are key... Count me out of the game here

 

@Bird so what's different when you catch a LM?

The water is very clear here and Largemouth seems to cling to wood and Smallmouth to rock, the only difference I've seen.

 

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4 minutes ago, Bird said:

The water is very clear here and Largemouth seems to cling to wood and Smallmouth to rock, the only difference I've seen.

 

LM love rock too though, and especially riprap. Riprap holds so much dang fish….

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Lake Havasu on the Colorado River is a good example of preferred habitats between Largemouth and Smallmouth bass. Havasu is a Canyon lake and the lower 3/4 of the lake is steep rocky walls with a few shallow bays with reeds. The upper 1/4 is shallow with sand bars and flats covered with reeds. Very few Smallmouth bass are caught in the upper 1/4 of Havasu, they dominate the lower 3/4’s. A few LMB are caught in the lower 3/4’s around reed cover. 

I believe this behavior repeats around the county where both Smallmouth and LMB exist. When lake like our local lakes are deep rocky structure with sparse cove we catch both Smallmouth and LMB in the same locations on the same finesse lures and presentations. The difference I can single out is Smallmouth usually prefer brighter colors but not always.

Tom

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On 8/30/2023 at 4:18 PM, Kites R4 Skyfishing said:

Show off what you've learned about either, and both if you can draw clear parallels.

 

I pretty much only know SM like colder water than LM and prefer rock over wood or grass.

 

Other than that I don't have much smallie experience or knowledge.

 

At night are SM still deep? Still holding to rock?

 

How much in one day will a bass move?

Here's a little light reading on smallmouth and night fishing.

 

https://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/211811-brown-bass-tools-~-questions-answers/

 

https://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/176285-night-bassing-~-a-jays-version/

 

Enjoy.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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I fish the Susquehanna for smallies. River levels are a big key for finding them. After spawn the grass beds seem to come into play if the levels are right. I can tell you smallies do seem to move a lot but they also seem to school in the rivers. Most times you will find the same size fish in those schools.

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@A-Jay my man I'm looking forward to reading through that, and thanks for sharing it, but what's the TL:DR? I might go out tonight if you think I find findem with no electronics

 

I will certainly go through it and take notes, but what's a few bullet points for right now to help me know what to do?

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Thursday and Friday night I caught each in the same place with the same thing , water temp mid 80s. No electronics in this thing 

 

IMG-1860.jpg

 

Cast worm at bank, reel in green fish and brown fish. Also I catch tons of smallies in wood, standing or laid down. They are bass, they eat the same things. Went to Michigan  recently same story, green and brown ate the worm, both in trees. 
 

smallmouth night fishing usually involves a jig from what I’ve heard, i don’t try it myself because….. work

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@TnRiver46 that's awesome man, couple good nights in a row with a mix of bass.

 

Seems likely the body of water makes a huge difference on what the two will do. Similar or different. @A-Jay made it sound like they're very different in general, and that it would be practically impossible for me to find smallies in my tech free yak at night unless by chance they happen to be holding to the one spot I think might have'em because rock.

 

I didn't read the whole thing yet, but he convinced me it'd be a waste of time last night just to yak 1.36 miles to the boulders to check if smallies were still chillin there. Instead I beat the docks again and was reminded why angles are everything, another almost 5.5 pounder. 3 this week, that's 37.5% of my lifetime 5=> bass

 

I'm gonna explain in the latest catch thread since it's not quite on ? ic here.

 

But I will add that I do believe you about jigs coming into play, I seen some good craws kickin around here at night, I bet the smallies love'em.

 

I'm gonna hate going back home to MA, today's my last day n Maine. Hopefully I can steal another weekend up here this fall.

 

Thanks for all the input fellas, still feels like with all the people on here either they're holding out or smallies really are a mystery to crack ?

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Kites, one place you'll find both LMB and SMB is where the water enters a lake and where the water exits. However, I much prefer where the water enters as the bass seem to much prefer that too. Another good place for both species is a strait and especially near an outlet or inlet, where the water is pinched and current is accelerated. I focused on SMB for about 40 years and switched to LMB in just the last two years. What I've learned is that there is NO COVER TOO THICK for LMB. They're shade and ambush lovers and Heaven help you when you hook them in the thickest cover because they know how to leverage it to defeat you. 

 

When I fished SMB in northwestern Ontario and on Lakes Michigan and Superior, I looked for a particular size of rock. Flat bedrock, pebbles, and golf ball-sized rock wasn't it. However, a boulder in the middle of bedrock would often hold bass and sometimes dozens of them. However, my favorite was rock bowling ball-sized to ottoman-sized rocks. 

 

Like you, I have no electronics, but ^these bass markers^ are all things you can see, either on the surface or by looking down into the water. 

 

As far as night fishing, if you've seen my posts, you've seen that I catch bass in the dark. My experience is that LMB feed with abandon in the dark and if you don't know where to fish, fish everywhere. Drag a noisy lure like a Whopper Plopper behind you and when you catch, park your kayak, and work that area. It is so exciting to hear the big splash behind you and see your rod bend like a palm in a hurricane. 

 

^This^ kind of fishing is like walleye fishing. You troll until you catch one and then you stop and work that area. 

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1 hour ago, Kites R4 Skyfishing said:

I'm gonna hate going back home to MA, today's my last day n Maine. Hopefully I can steal another weekend up here this fall.

 

Where did you fish in Maine?

 

As someone noted upthread, smallies are aggressive. I regularly catch them on 130 Whopper Ploppers. I don't fish for them, but lawdy, they love hitting a 130 Whopper Plopper dragged behind my canoe in the middle of nowhere. 

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2 hours ago, Kites R4 Skyfishing said:

 

Seems likely the body of water makes a huge difference on what the two will do. Similar or different. @A-Jay made it sound like they're very different in general, and that it would be practically impossible for me to find smallies in my tech free yak at night unless by chance they happen to be holding to the one spot I think might have'em because rock.

 

I didn't read the whole thing yet, but he convinced me it'd be a waste of time last night just to yak 1.36 miles to the boulders to check if smallies were still chillin there. Instead I beat the docks again and was reminded why angles are everything, another almost 5.5 pounder. 3 this week, that's 37.5% of my lifetime 5=> bass

 

@Kites R4 Skyfishing 

Interesting perspective.

Impossible & waste of time was really not what I was going for with that thread.

While I'd never attempt to sway your opinion one way or the other,

it might be interesting to note that much of mine own experience & perspective

regarding catching big smallmouth bass, came while fishing from a canoe. 

Good Luck and here's to getting bites on every cast.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

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@ol'crickety your observations about water flows entering & exiting along with a strait or chute near an inlet or outlet where the water is pinched and current is accelerated is astute. These same areas always attract other predators like pike & walleye & muskies.   @Kites R4 Skyfishing The best time to target smallies is when they are most accessible like spring prespawn before the water temps hit 65 degrees & again in the fall when the water starts cooling into the sixties. As all ready mentioned look for them around rock & wood especially where different bottom types come together like sand to rock or slight elevation changes. Smallies I catch the most of during the prime spring & fall periods are usually in the 15-20 foot areas & also 20-30 foot areas. Also look for them shallow early & late in the day. Creek openings & river openings adjacent to lakes will attract them for spawning areas. During summer season they are usually only found deep from 35-55 feet of water. It can be a big puzzle locating them but once you do you have something to build upon. Remember the time of year & water temps & any other pertinent data you observe. They will repeat that location on an annual basis & sometimes twice a year as conditions repeat themselves. When you find bait balls observe the depth they are located & an target that depth in your searches. Smallies will move with the bait. Time on the water is your friend. 

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37 minutes ago, Dwight Hottle said:

Remember the time of year & water temps & any other pertinent data you observe. They will repeat that location on an annual basis & sometimes twice a year as conditions repeat themselves.

 

I have never thought about ^this^ repeating pattern, but it makes so much sense. 

 

38 minutes ago, Dwight Hottle said:

Time on the water is your friend. 

 

^This^ cannot be overemphasized. 

 

39 minutes ago, Dwight Hottle said:

These same areas always attract other predators like pike & walleye & muskies.   

 

Heck, yeah, they do! I've spent entire mornings in one strait because it was stacked with smallies, walleyes, and pike. There were so many fish that there was no reason to move. 

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3 hours ago, ol'crickety said:

 

 

 

 

Heck, yeah, they do! I've spent entire mornings in one strait because it was stacked with smallies, walleyes, and pike. There were so many fish that there was no reason to move. 

 

I caught my first legit 20lb pike in such a necked down area with accelerated current flows. I remember it and the area well. At that time that was a big deal for me like a DD bass. 

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2 hours ago, Dwight Hottle said:

 

I caught my first legit 20lb pike in such a necked down area with accelerated current flows. I remember it and the area well. At that time that was a big deal for me like a DD bass. 

 

Those 20 lb. pike are special, for sure, with their alligatory heads. 

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@A-Jay I only meant impossible for me to randomly search for smallies at night in a huge sparse cover sparse structure lake at night with no electronics only a paddle and an idea of a spot 1.5 miles away and another a little over a mile from there with no idea about the bait activities location or water temp.

 

You made some things sound like critical knowledge, and I didn't have time to be on the water for hours and days to learn it.

 

But it worked out, I caught another 5.5# LM at night on a buzzbait again. 3 >5# bass in one week is almost 50% of my lifetime 5># bass.

 

I did waste a day going out to one spot to look for smallies, all i did was sweat and get a sunburn on my ankle (the rest of me is covered haha). Barren boulders... my guess is the water was still too warm.

 

But thanks everybody for all your input, I will be going through it all again and taking notes. And @A-Jay I'll be going through the rest of the threads you shared.

 

Much love y'all

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