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Bass and Bass Fishing Lures

Smallmouth Bass pictureLargemouth Bass picture Smallmouth Bass (left) and Largemouth Bass (right) are very popular gamefish in North America. In Canada and the northern U.S., Smallmouth Bass are prized as probably the best pound-for-pound fighter in fresh water. Bass fishing tournaments have made the Largemouth Bass possibly the most targeted freshwater fish. In addition to the difference in mouth size, Smallmouth Bass tend to have verticle markings on the body, while the Largemouth Bass does not. When the mouth is closed, the rear jawline of a Smallmouth Bass extends to the rear part of the eye, while with the Largemouth Bass the jawline extends significantly past the eye.

Recommended Bass Fishing Lures

Topwater Fishing Lures
  • Bass'n Chugger  - a 2 1/4" Topwater Popper
  • Bass'n Popper  - a 2 1/4" Topwater Popper
  • Bass'n Popper Senior  - a 2 1/2" Topwater Popper
  • Dancin Dog  - a 3" long "Walk the Dog" Topwater Lure
  • Rippin Junior Minnow  - a 3 1/2" Topwater Jerkbait

    Crankbait Fishing Lures
  • Mini Crank  - a 2 1/2" Crankbait diving to 5'
  • Fat Chub  - a 2 1/2" Crankbait diving to 5'
  • Shiner Minnow  - a 2 1/2" shallow running Crankbait
  • Fat Crank  - deep diving crankbait fishing lure

    Spinnerbait Fishing Lures
  • 4 Spinnerbait Styles  - a very versatile fishing lure

    Soft Plastic Fishing Lures
  • 3" Crawfish  - the favorite food of Smallmouth Bass.
    Habitat : Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass generally are not found in the same immediate area. Smallmouth Bass tend to be found in deeper, colder, water, and generally around structures like reefs, bolders, and rock bars. Smallmouth are dispersed throughout North America where water temperatures generally don't go higher than 80 degrees, but will go over 60 degrees for a large part of the year. They will eat a lot of bottom hugging prey, such as crayfish, leeches and insects. Where crayfish are abundant, they will form the majority of the Smallmouth Bass's diet.

    The Largemouth Bass on the other hand, like to hide out in grasses and weeds, and may be found in quite shallow water close to shore. During non-feeding times, they will tend to be under cover such as lily pads, and cattails pads. They are an opportunistic feeder, taking frogs, insects, leeches, snakes, mice, and even small birds. The Largemouth Bass seems very tolerant of low ozygen, warm, turbid water, and can be found in areas you would think would support no fish life whatsoever.

    Biology : Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass have very similar spawning habits, although Smallmouth Bass require more sandy nest base than Largemouth Bass. Once the water termperature is approximately 60 degrees, the male bass builds a circular nest 2 to 4 feet wide, and 6" deep through fanning out muddy material to form a nest with a sandy bottom. The female lays the eggs at the same time that the male fertilizes the eggs, at which time the male stays with the nest to guard the eggs, and keep them ozygen rich by fanning the bed. The male is extremely defensive of the nest, and responsible anglers take great care not to catch the males at this time, as taking them off the nest risks the eggs being eaten by prey. Hatching time of the eggs is dependent on water temperature, but is generally 5 to 10 days. The eggs will die if water temperature rises too high, and the male will abandon the nest if water temperature drops too low. When the eggs hatch, the male will stay with the hatchlings until they are approximately 1" in length. After absorbing their egg sacs, young bass eat minute crustaceans until they can start feeding on insects and fry of other later spawning fish species.

    Largemouth Bass Fishing Tips : In the spring of the year, look for Largemouth Bass in shallow, weedy back bays that the Bass use to spawn in. Post spawn Bass will tend to hang out in these areas until water temperature drives them out. Spinner Baits, Buzz Baits, floating worms and texas rigged worms will tend to be hot producers in this time of year. In the morning, fish close to shore for heavy feeding fish, and move towards cover as the day becomes brighter and water warms up.

    In the summer, Largemouth seek out shade, and you want to fish around boat docks, moored boats, lily pads, and overhanging banks. Generally you want to flip lures into these lairs, and worms and craws work especially well. Also, working topwater lures early and late in the day is especially productive and fun!

    As the fall arrives, fish will move towards deeper water and slow down until they semi hibernate in winter. Using slow moving crankbaits or jigs are good bets, and a jig with pork chunks can work when other means are slow.

    Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tips : At all times, Smallmouth Bass like rocks and structure. In the spring after spawn, rocky bays are a good bet to stay near, and you fish the rocky points, shoals, and islands. Crankbaits, jigs, and crawfish immitations are good baits to use, and topwater lures are also good producers.

    In the summer, Smallmouths will head to deeper water for cooling, and may be found 30 feet deep when necessary. They will head to shallow water in the early and late parts of the day, and topwater lures are good means to catch them at those times. During the heat of the day, look for deeper structure, and work a jig in those areas. Your fishing will be mostly "miss" unless you use bottom electronics to find likely areas to fish.

    In the fall, Smallmouths go on a great feeding frenzy prior to their semi-hibernation, and catching big fish on crawfish immitations is quite possible. Generally they will be in somewhat shallower water than summer, but humps, shoals and points are still the place to search for. Fish between 20 and 35 feet, and when you find the depth they are fishing at, stay there because they tend to school up. Use of markers to keep track of the area is helpful. Use deep crankbaits and jigs suitable to the depth you're finding the fish in.
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