Today I am going to talk to you about Smallmouth Bass. While most fisherman are out casting lines to Largemouths, smallmouths can be just as – if not more fun to catch. They are aggressive, hit a ton and fight strong. While driving along the Androscoggin River in 13 mile woods which is between Errol and Dummer NH, I stopped to cast my jig into a fallen tree that I spotted in the water. I thought there might be a fish there, but as I got closer I noticed that there was some foam on the water by the tree. This got me excited as I knew with the combinations of cover (foam and fallen tree that you can see behind me in the photo below) there was definitely a fish or two hiding there. The only question I had was how big. My very first cast yeilded this nice little two pound smallie. He may not have been a huge fish, but he fought hard and was a huge amount of fun to catch.
Subsequent casts to the same spot did not get any more smallmouths, but I did catch a few river chubs. Since I practice catch and release anyways, the chubs were just as much fun to catch.
Ok, so what gear was I using and what was the presentation of my bait? I was using my general fishing rod and reel. A 6.5 ft Medium action Rod made by Daiwa and a Quantum Snapshot Reel loaded with 8lb flourocarbon line. As I have said in past posts, you do not need to match my equipment. All you need is a rod and reel and you can go fishing and you CAN catch fish.
The water temperature was near 50 degrees and water depth in this spot was about 8 foot. The current was swift (which is expected for a river). I was using a 1/4 oz unpainted jig head with a 4″ Renegade Twirl Tail Grub.
As for presentation, I cast a little upstream and as my offering drifted downstream I made a repeating quick jerking action from the 10 to 12 o’clock position while using a medium reel retrieve. This gave my jig a hopping action at about the 2 to 3 foot deep level. I was careful as my jig approached the fallen tree and adjusted my reel retrieve so as to not get snagged. I was able to watch my jig as it got closer to me and as soon as my jig disappeared into the foam I got hit, and hard by the smallie. After a short, but very fun fight, I was able to hold the fish in my hand and appreciate the beauty of this small adversary.
So, if you are anywhere near the Androscoggin, from Berlin all the way up to Errol NH, go ahead and drop a line in. The white twirl tail grub with the quick jerk action usually draws the smallies attention.
Tight lines, the Amateur Angler