River Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tips

 

 

Smallmouth bass are a very hearty species of fish and are found in almost every type of water that there is, and one of the most enjoyable places to fish for and catch these beautiful fish is in the flowing waters of a river. Smallmouth love the current that rivers provide, as the current of a river creates many seams and places to hide to ambush their prey. One of the most effective ways to fish for smallmouth bass in a river is by wading in the water that you are fishing, in much the same way that a fly fisherman wades and fishes for trout.

In this article I will outline a few river smallmouth bass fishing tips that will help you to be more successful the next time that you head out to your local river in search of “bronze backs”. If you have never had the pleasure of hooking and fighting a smallmouth (especially if the smallmouth weighs two or more pounds) when the fish has the current of a river to use to it’s advantage during the fight, you are missing out on an experience that won’t soon be forgotten.

One of the best ways to fool an aggressive smallmouth bass is by using a top water plug, such as a Jitterbug or Zara Spook. Many anglers tend to think that top water plugs aren’t a good lure choice when they are wading in a river, but nothing could be farther from the truth. On a calm day, working a top water plug, such as those mentioned above, across a deep hole or slow moving bend in the river can be an incredibly effective technique.

The next tip involves a technique that is known as drift fishing. Drift fishing is a technique that was originally developed by salmon and steelhead fishermen, and a downsized version is used by trout fishermen all over the country. Smallmouth bass fishermen can also utilize this technique by using as a way to fish live bait. Live worms and minnows are both very effective when used as bait for smallmouth bass and drift fishing is the technique to use when river fishing for smallmouth bass with either of these types of live bait. A hungry smallmouth almost always finds a live worm or minnow “drifting” with the current all but impossible to resist.

The river fishing tip for smallmouth bass has to do with when you are on the water fishing. Many anglers make the mistake of thinking that the best time to be fishing is “anytime that you can”, and while this may be a true statement emotionally, the truth of the matter is that certain times of the day, week, and month are more productive than others when it comes to fishing. Factors such as the weather, the moon, and the temperature all play major roles in whether of not the fish that we are attempting to catch are going to be “active” or not. As a smallmouth angler you want to be on the water fishing when the bass are the most “active” (which means the most likely to be feeding) so this means that you need to understand the ways in which these factors have an impact of the fishes behavior.

Daiwa DSK20-B/F602ML D-Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo, 1 Bearing, 6′ Length, 2Piece Rod, Medium/Light Power, Fast Action, Ambidextrous

If you want to catch more smallmouth bass, especially when you are wading in a river, add one or all of these fishing tips to your fishing arsenal sooner rather than later.

Trevor Kugler is co-founder of JRWfishing.com a website focused on river and stream fishing with a focus on fishing for trout. He has more than 25 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and has spent much of that time fishing for the beautiful fish called trout.

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