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Smallmouth Bass Fishing

smallmouth_bass_photo

DESCRIPTION: This species is found to range in size from 14 inches to 17 inches, and exceeds 18 inches to produce world class trophy fishing. Also known as black bass, these fish are typically dark green in colour and have 8-15 pronounced to vague, thin, vertical dark bars down the sides of its body. Its eyes are red and sometimes orange in colour. It dorsal fin has 10 spiny rays, almost needle like, located on its back. The lack of sharp teeth allows the angler to “lip” this species, as you can put your thumb in its mouth and support its lower jaw with your forefinger to land it in the boat.

DISTRIBUTION: A wide range of lakes offer this feisty fish, mostly in the southern region of our area. Big Vermilion, Little Vermilion and connecting waters, Minnitaki, and Southeastern Lac Seul host excellent waters to fish for this species. This fish will spawn in late spring (late May to early July) when the water temperatures are between 55° F and 68° F. As summer progresses, this fish will move to deeper waters off reefs and rocky points usually in 10 feet to 20 feet of water. The fall produces some of the biggest Smallmouth Bass in the area where they are caught in stump fields, weed beds, and off rocky points.

ANGLING METHODS: There are three different stages this species goes through in relation to forage. At specific times of the year, this fish will predominantly seek either leeches, minnows, or crayfish. The key to fishing for this species is to be prepared to use any one of the previously mentioned species as bait, or typically, have artificial tackle which represents any one of these baits. While this fish is spawning, it will not hesitate to strike at anything which passes close to its nest. This is an ideal time of year to use top-water baits, crankbaits, and jigs tipped with a rubber worm or a leech. As the season progresses, jigging becomes more productive as they may be in deeper waters.

TROPHY SMALLMOUTH BASS FISHING: Like the Northern Pike fishing, all the lakes we fish hold good populations of Smallmouth Bass and the opportunity to catch a trophy Smallmouth Bass is tremendous on any one of the lakes. Our office staff and guides will help you make your decision as to which lake you want to fish for trophy Smallmouth Bass depending on what other species you would like to fish for that day and what time of year it is.

TACKLE:

Angling Experience Suggested Tackle
Novice Choose your weapon! Topwater is a spring favorite – Tiny Torpedos, Buzz Baits, Floating Rapalas (Size #9). Also popular are the plastic body baits such as Beetle Spins, Twister Tail on a 1/4 oz. jigs ( black tails to imitate a leech), Rebel Crawdad lures, and not to forget Rattlin’ Raps – RNR4’s. All of which produce well from the spring right through to the fall.
Seasoned All of the baits listed above work for a first time bass fisherman, but anybody who fishes for bass probably has these favorite baits in their tackle box, from the beginner to the pro! For another “angle”, try a 1/8 oz. jig topped off with a leech.
Veteran 1/8 oz. to a 1/16 oz. jig and a leech is prime. Or how about trying more artificial for spring and early summer like the Big-O, C.C. Shad, Fat Raps and the endless assortment of Rebel, Rapala, and Cotton Cordell lures to choose from. Keep in mind that these “Red Eyed Devils” prefer minnows, crayfish, and leeches as their feasting fancy (the key to colour assortment of the artificial baits you should have).

EQUIPMENT:

Angling Experience Suggested Equipment
Novice ROD: 6’6″ in length, one or two piece, medium action, Spinning rod.
REEL: Spinning or Close-Faced reel with capacity for approximately 200 yards of 10 lb. test or 160 yards of 12 lb. test.
LINE: Trilene XL (or similar) 8lb. to 14lb. Test
Seasoned ROD: 5’10” to 7′ in length, one or two piece, light to medium action, Spinning rod.
REEL: Spinning reel with the capacity for approximately 120 yards of 8 lb. Test
LINE: Trilene XL (or similar) 6 lb. to 12 lb. Test
Veteran ROD: 5′ to 7′ in length, one or two piece, ultralight to medium-light action.
REEL: Spinning reel with the capacity for approximately 200 yards of 4 lb. test or 160 yards of 6 lb. test.
LINE: Trilene XL (or similar) 4 lb. to 8 lb. Test
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