Many anglers like to catch Smallmouth Bass, which are a very hearty fish that can be found in a variety of different settings. Smallmouth can be found in all kinds of lakes and ponds as well as rivers and streams of all kinds. Water temperature doesn’t affect the Smallmouth Bass like it does other fish so these fish can therefore be found in almost every state in the Union. For this article I’m going to focus on Smallmouth Bass fishing in moving water, such as rivers and streams.
In case you didn’t realize it, Smallmouth bass can be caught in much the same manner that trout can be caught. As a matter of fact, the two species can be found in the same rivers in many instances. One of my favorite activities is to wade fish for smallmouth bass using ultra light fishing gear. Ultra light fishing gear meaning and ultra light rod and reel equipped with four pound test fishing line. When you hook into a 3 pound smallmouth and that fish has the current to use to its advantage with gear like this, let me tell you something…it’s as much fun as you can have with your clothes on!
So, what’s the bet way to catch smallmouth bass in river situations? All of the normal techniques such as throwing spoons and spinners will work, as well as using minnow plugs such as rapalas. But the most effective technique that I’ve ever come across is using live bait rigged on a set of gang hooks. What are gang hooks? Gang hooks are simply a pair of small hooks tied in tandem.
Rigging a live worm is the most popular technique, and can be deadly for smallmouth bass when fished properly. To rig a live worm on a set of gang hooks is really quite simple. You simply take your line and tie a small barrel swivel onto it. Then tie the set of pre-tied gang hooks to the other end of the swivel. Now add split shot sinkers to the line “above” the barrel swivel as needed. Rig the worm onto the gang hooks and you’re good to go. The goal is to have the live worm bounce off the bottom as it tumbles naturally downstream. If you use this simple rig where Smallmouth Bass are present, watch out!
Smallmouth Bass are universally known as one of the hardest fighting fish, pound for pound, that swims in freshwater. If you have any experience with these fish, you know this to be true. Catching Smallmouth Bass in moving water is a ton of fun, and as I said, when these fish are coupled with gang hooks and ultra light gear, it’s easily as much fun as can be found while clothed. Get out there and give it a try, you’ll sure be glad you did.