3 Ways to Find the Perfect Spot to Catch Bass

January 22, 2018

Hit the Smallmouth Hotspots on Your Next Fishing Trip

Smallmouth Bass are a blast to catch. They strike hard and fast, and usually head straight for the surface when on your hook. Smallies are strong too, which means they’re always a threat to break your line. They’re exciting and challenging fish, so when you’re fishing for bass in a new place, you don’t want to spend the whole trip searching for hotspots.

From a life-long angler, here are a couple tips to get into the Smallmouth Bass action sooner rather than later.

1. Have a Fishing Plan

Fishing prep is essential. If you’re taking a fishing trip to any decent-size lake, you’re going to want to get lake survey maps and look for potential hotspots. Find areas of the lake where the lake bottom is sand, bedrock, boulders, or other grass bass habitats. Check the water depth, too. Canada Maps is a good place to start

If you’re lucky enough to be staying at a fly-in outpost, a good operator will go over maps with you. In addition to knowing the water, they get to talk to the anglers coming back in from a fishing trip and will pass on tips to folks who are going out. The outpost folks also know how fish will move around their lake as the season goes on.

2. Know What to Look for On the Water

When you’ve done your research, finding bass hotspots on the water will be an easy, enjoyable, and relaxing process. Whether you’re in a boat or on the shore, keep an eye out for these Smallmouth Bass habitat indicators:

  • Rock beds. Rock beds tend to be the natural habitat for crayfish, which is part of the Smallmouth Bass diet. Reefs are a good bet, too. Depending on the water you’re fishing, you can also try sandy-bottomed areas with laydowns or other structure, where you’d find plenty of bait fish.
  • Clear water. These fighters live in both still and running water, so the clarity of water is more important than most other facts. Some anglers will swear that running water is essential to catching a trophy Smallmouth BUT we’ve found that quiet, shady shorelines give up bass equally.
  • Cool water. On spring-fed lakes, the bass move up to the shallows at a slower pace than a tea-stained body of water. When bass move up to spawn, they tend to stay in the shallows longer into the summer. Bass move out to deeper water (15-30 ft.) come September.

3. Keep a Fishing Journal

If you don’t already keep a fishing journal, now is a good time to start. It’s the perfect way to track where you’ve found bass during each specific season and type of weather. After all, if you did all that research and work, why would you let it go to waste next year?!

Take note of the season/month, temps, weather, and smallie hotspots. It seems like every fishing trip is memorable, but that may not be the case a year later. Notes will help jog your memory when you’re headed back to the same spot again. Try keeping a waterproof notepad in your tackle box. If you’re tech-savvy, an Excel spreadsheet is great because each day’s notes are easily searchable.

When you head out fishing for bass, you don’t want to come home empty-handed. Doing trip prep before you leave, looking for the right spots on the water, and checking your notes will make sure there’s going to be a Smallmouth Bass on your hook!

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