- The big ones are lazy so look for moving water. Lazy and moving water? Doesn’t seem to make sense, but the larger smallmouth hang out near currents that will push the smaller meals right into their waiting jaws. On your larger lakes look for inlets, cutbacks, coves off of the main lakes or even up into the streams that feed the lake. If you know of a good river those will often have a lunker or two taking advantage of the strong current.
- Wind is not a problem. The breeze creates more moving water and pushes baitfish into a nice feeding zone for the smallmouth. Use larger baits to pick off the big ones and make fishing in the wind a bit easier.
- Smallmouth have great eyesight. Choose baits that match your body of water’s food source. This applies even more in clear waters. Use erratic motions to trigger a strike. Jerk baits are popular as well as floaters with a lot of movement. Some fishermen use spinners to find and draw out fish, then switch to slower baits to target the lingering smallmouth.
- Look to the shallows during pre and post spawn. Drop rigs and slow jerk baits will catch these fish as they prepare for and leave from their spawning beds. Again, these are some lazy fish so be prepared to entice them.
If you live in Kansas or are traveling through, here are a few of the better rated smallmouth lakes to get you started.
photo credit: Spencer Neuharth