Jump to content

Smallmouth Weird Behavior


Recommended Posts

I recently went smallmouth fishing for the first time. I caught a ton and noticed some behaviors of the smallmouth that just seemed unusual to me. But this was the first time I'd ever fished a large rock only deep lake. These behaviors may have just been normal for that type lake or the conditions, it could also be the fact that there was clear water and I could see the fishes reactions. Like I said though it was completely foreign to me. The behavior I noticed is lots and lots of fish would follow and never commit like 90% of the fish would just follow the bait with very little signs of aggression. The second most notable thing that I noticed is the school mentality. I mean this by saying I didn't see or catch a single fish that was alone they all had others that would either follow the hooked fish to the boat or I would catch the others. This is something that I see in LM as well but it was wayyyyyy more frequent in the smallmouth. Do they always act like this, was it the fishery type, or was it just clear water and clear sky conditions? I appreciate the help.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

SM, LM, and Spots while all being bass act differently IMO. SM around here in deep clear lakes act like what you were seeing, what we call wolf packs. One thing I can recommend is if you are slowly working a bait and they follow but won't hit make a drastic movement. I have watched them ignore a bait 12" in front of them hovering but when I jerk it up really quick multiple fish will attack. Same with jerkbaits. I can't count the number of times I have been reeling in one fish when another comes up and tries to steal the bait away? Once I had 3 SM hooked on a LC Slender Pointer 112MR for this reason. Now fishing for SM in a river system is a whole different animal but I doubt you have any rivers in Texas with them in.

 

Allen 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

That is typical behavior for smallmouth and spots here in our highland reservoirs though we don’t normally see them as we are fishing deeper than we can see.  Largemouth are not as likely to be that way most of the time.  
 

When I am in an area with smallmouth and spots, if one comes unbuttoned I don’t give up on the cast because others close by generally will rush to the bait.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

Smallies are very competitive with other smallies. And like @Munkin mentioned fast or erratic motions will trigger them to bite. They are super curious like a cat. The more you tease them the more aggressive they become.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

I would also back off from that school of smallmouth.  If you can see them, they can see you.  Increase your distance from them and make longer casts.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see the same behavior in the rivers out here in the PNW. I have caught several doubles this year alone and very often there are smallmouth chasing a hooked fish right up to the kayak (often biting at the lure if it is outside the mouth).

 

I am not sure about the follows in general but I do see it a lot of follows on spy baits for some reason. A lot of times a smallmouth will follow a spy bait all the way to the kayak but it is hard to get them to commit. I will say that I almost never use a straight retrieve when smallmouth fishing with a moving bait. My normal retrieve with a swim bait, rattletrap or spy bait is stop and go. Jerk baits are of course jerk baits :)

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Smallies love erratic. Even straight retrieve baits you should pump to create different trigger speeds. I think in most cases it’s hard to over work a bait for a smallie. 
 

@gimruis is spot on with backing off. Changing your approach angle can make a big difference too. 
 

@Dwight Hottle the cat and mouse game makes smallie fishing appeal to me the most.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I fish ultra clear shallow water and this is completely natural behavior for me.  It happens all the time.  Finding the exact mouvement and color that will trigger them is a lot of fun.  Erratic mouvements is one way.  Another is leaving a bait on the bottom till the group of fish is nearby and then moving it.  The fish are less used to a lure that goes from the bottom to the top.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

To show you how schooly smallmouth are, here's my all-time favorite smallmouth story: Fishing below a waterfall in northwestern Ontario, I hooked a fine 18-incher and she had a same-size pal. I brought the hooked bass into my canoe, but the accompanying bass didn't depart. She was about an inch beneath the surface, right beside my canoe. So, i cupped her under her belly with my hand and lifted her into the canoe too. She was as calm as a sleepy kitten. I didn't hold her for long as I still had a hooked bass in my boat.  

 

 

  • Like 6
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, i cupped her under her belly with my hand and lifted her into the canoe too. She was as calm as a sleepy kitten. I didn't hold her for long as I still had a hooked bass in my boat.  

 

OK, but today is November 1st, not April 1st!

 

Dave, SW Ohio

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/1/2023 at 8:35 AM, ol'crickety said:

To show you how schooly smallmouth are, here's my all-time favorite smallmouth story: Fishing below a waterfall in northwestern Ontario, I hooked a fine 18-incher and she had a same-size pal. I brought the hooked bass into my canoe, but the accompanying bass didn't depart. She was about an inch beneath the surface, right beside my canoe. So, i cupped her under her belly with my hand and lifted her into the canoe too. She was as calm as a sleepy kitten. I didn't hold her for long as I still had a hooked bass in my boat.  

 

 

That is an amazing story. I think you've got some doubters here but I'm with you on this one.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

@Blue Raider Bob I believe it as well. When fish are spawning or on a feeding binge strange things happen. I was fishing with a buddy up on the western end of Erie early April one year. I went to net my friends walleye during the spawn over a reef & ended up with 3 walleye in the net just missing the fourth. Only one was hooked the other three were swimming with the hooked female trying to mate. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll believe some weird things because I've seen some in numerous years of fishing for smallmouth.  One time on Champlain, during practice, on a point of a small island in about 12 feet of water, we had this fish who would stay under the boat but not bite.  It was around noon and he would stay in the shadow of the boat.  We would move and he would follow.  He cruised away when we reached deeper water.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User
1 hour ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

That is an amazing story. I think you've got some doubters here but I'm with you on this one.

 

Bob, I was the one who lifted that girl out of the water and I also still wonder if it happened. It was unbelievable then and it's unbelievable today. 

 

@Dwight Hottle's story is just as amazing. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back when I could still wade fish local streams and rivers, it was not totally uncommon to have smallmouth bass "attack" (circle, bump, and nip at) my legs when wading during spawning season when I happened to get into a spawning area with several beds.  I never deliberately waded into a spawning area, but many of the streams and rivers around here are pretty muddy/stained at that time of year due to rain and it is difficult to see the beds, especially on cloudy days or during other low light conditions. I would not say that being "attacked" by smallmouth was common, but it did happen more than once. They can be an amazingly aggressive fish.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

Our local lakes have good water clarity and seeing bass free swimming isn’t unusual....if you look! I am surprised how few bass anglers see bass in the water, they are focused looking at sonar missing these visible bass outside the spawn cycle.

Yes, Smallies in more remote lakes are very curious and often roam around in groups and try to take away a lureca hooked Bass has in it’s mouth.

Tom

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/1/2023 at 9:35 AM, ol'crickety said:

To show you how schooly smallmouth are, here's my all-time favorite smallmouth story: Fishing below a waterfall in northwestern Ontario, I hooked a fine 18-incher and she had a same-size pal. I brought the hooked bass into my canoe, but the accompanying bass didn't depart. She was about an inch beneath the surface, right beside my canoe. So, i cupped her under her belly with my hand and lifted her into the canoe too. She was as calm as a sleepy kitten. I didn't hold her for long as I still had a hooked bass in my boat.  

 

 

 

Glad I wasn't the only one who experienced this weird behavior.One them when I was wade fishing in a creek in hot summer days, the smallies were quite active. I had caught several over 19 inches already, and then I saw this big gal near the bank right in front of me. She clearly noticed me, but when I cupped her from the belly, she gave out a little struggle like saying "stop playing man." I let her go later, but she didn't swim away. She's a healthy gal, not dying or sick. 

No one believes me. I still can't either sometimes. Smallies behaviors are so bipolar.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


  • Outboard Engine

    fishing forum

    fishing tackle

    fishing

    fishing

    fishing tackle

    fishing

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.