Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

There is no doubt that the smallmouth bass rivals the largemouth in popularity.

Northeast, Midwest, West, South
Catch Ease
Lake, Pond

How to identify a Smallmouth Bass

The smallmouth bass is the second largest member of the sunfish family Centrarchidae, attaining a weight of almost 12 lb. (5.45 kg). Only the largemouth bass, which reaches a weight of over 20 lb. (9.08 kg), is heavier. The smallmouth is easily distinguished from the largemouth by its clearly connected dorsal fins, the scales on the base portion of the soft-rayed second dorsal fin, and the upper jaw bone which extends only to about the middle of the eye. The coloration is also distinctive being usually more brownish in the smallmouth and more greenish in the largemouth. The smallmouth has faint bars on the body (prominent in the young), while the largemouth has a fairly wide streak of oval or diamond shaped markings or blotches down the midline of the sides. In either species, the colors may vary and the markings may be inconspicuous or absent in individuals based on the time of year and various biological factors. Generally, the smallmouth has bars radiating back from the eyes, and though similar bars may be present in individuals of other species, including the largemouth, they seem to be more prominent and more consistently present in the smallmouth. A smallmouth's eyes are red or orangish. In young smallmouths, there is a distinctive band of orange at the base of the tail. This is followed by a black band with the tip of the tail being either white or yellow.

Where to catch Smallmouth Bass

The smallmouth bass is native to the eastern half of the U.S.A. and southeastern Canada, from Manitoba and Quebec south to the Tennessee River system in Alabama and west to eastern Oklahoma. It has been widely transplanted so that today it occurs in almost every state and many other countries. It is not as widespread as the largemouth bass.They prefer deeper water than the largemouth and areas of clear, fast-flowing streams and pools with gravel/rubble bottom. In waters coinhabited by both smallmouth and largemouth, the largemouth bass will spawn a little earlier due to the fact that the shallower nesting sites they choose in protected areas with emergent vegetation warm to the optimum temperature sooner that the deeper, rockier sites chosen by the smallmouths. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish:

how to catch Smallmouth Bass

There are many who say that the smallmouth bass is gamier than the largemouth. The following are fishing methods used to catch this fish:

Smallmouth Bass lures, tackle & bait

The following are lures, tackle or bait that can be used to catch this fish:

Find Smallmouth Bass

View Map

Recent Articles from the Blog

Angler holding a bass by the mouth

How to get a fishing license and where to get it

Read More

numerous fishing rods and reels on a stand

How to Choose a Fishing Reel

Read More

Fishing boat on an ice lake

7 Tips for Breaking Ice With Boat Hulls: Say What?

Read More

Purchase a Virginia Fishing License

Subscribe to our Newsletter