You can find smallmouth bass in waterways either above or below the Mason-Dixon Line. The largemouth bass is an olive-green to greenish gray fish, marked by a series of dark, sometimes black, blotches forming a jagged horizontal stripe along each flank. [16], The current all-tackle world record for a smallmouth bass is 11 lb 15 oz, caught by David Hayes[17] in the Dale Hollow Reservoir, on the Kentucky/Tennessee border, in 1955.[18]. You might also wonder why it is important that the biggest and oldest bass spawn first. There's a bite. [citation needed], When the weather gets colder, and the water temperature drops below 15 C (60 F), smallmouth will often migrate in search of deeper pools in which they enter a semi-hibernation state,[8] moving sluggishly and feeding very little until the warm season returns. How Long Do They Live? Smallmouth live as long as 18 years in the North, but seldom longer than 7 years in the South. In fact, when I was the District Manager with Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) here in Kenora, our Lake of the Woods Fisheries Assessment folks regularly sampled and aged smallmouth bass in the 20 year old category. They begin spawn in May and go to early June, often times it takes 60 to 70 degree water. The other reason it is so critical to have larger and older bass in the population is that they start spawning in the spring in colder water. Bass, like other fish, can be eaten raw. So, from Nature’s perspective, it all balances out, providing, of course, that the smallmouth bass in Ontario isn’t killed before it has a chance to grow up and spawn. In fact, they will stay within 150 yeards of last year's spawning nest. A smallmouth never submits without a terrific fight! Fishing for smallmouth bass is directly related to water temperatures and the time of year. Very rarely it reaches 500 mm (20 in). Smallmouth bass love fast-moving water – rivers, creeks, anything that has moving water. In conventional fishing, smallmouth may be successfully caught on a wide range of natural and artificial baits or lures, including crankbaits, hair jigs, plastic jerkbaits, artificial worms, spinnerbaits, and all types of soft plastic lures, including curly tail grubs or tubes with lead head jigs. Living in Chicago, you might think my fishing options are limited, but fishing life in the big city isn’t that bad. All we needed to do was to keep our fly in the fishy looking stuff. 5 pounds can be considered a trophy bass in many northern lakes and rivers. The best spots in rivers to fish for smallmouth are behind rocks or in eddies, where water swirls around. Still, this species often reaches 300 mm (12 in) or more, in many Minnesota lakes and streams. One of the things that fascinates anglers, young and old alike, is the age of the fish they are catching. You will be sent an opt-in email to confirm that you would like to receive emails from us. Smaller bass, on the other hand, typically nest when the water temperature has warmed up to 59 F to 61 F  (15 C to 16 C). The best streams for larger smallmouth include: the upper and lower New River, the Nottoway River, and the The further north we go, the slower the growth rate and the smaller the maximum size. Rods are usually of ultralight to medium-heavy action. They may also be caught with a fly rod using a dry or wet artificial fly, nymphs, streamers, or imitations of larger aquatic creatures, such as hellgrammites, crawfish, or leeches. There are 13–15 soft rays in the dorsal fin. [14] In addition to wild populations, the smallmouth bass is stocked in cool rivers and lakes throughout Canada and the United States. Smallmouth bass swim in lakes and rivers across the United States and Canada and are a premier fly-rod game fish in almost every way--they take flies readily, feed on diverse foods for a long period of time, tolerate higher water temperatures than trout, and fight harder than any … Floating topwater popper fly patterns and buzz baits are also popular for smallmouth fishing. Use a hurry-up offence, How to keep your hard-working dog safe in the cold, What long-range shooters need to know about parallax error, 3 of Canada’s wildest winter fishing and hunting destinations, 12 must-have items for your fishing and hunting first-aid kit, 3 ways to be tick safe during your outdoor adventures, How to rescue someone who’s fallen through the ice, How much is your vintage firearm worth? Smallmouth bass were often introduced to northern rivers with increased water temperatures and slowly became a popular gamefish with many anglers. Equally adaptable to large, cool-water impoundments and reservoirs, the smallmouth also spread far beyond its original native range. Kids in particular like to wonder if the bass (muskie, walleye or crappie) they just caught is older than they are, but even adults marvel at the fact that the smallmouth dangling from the end of their line may be 20 or more years old. Generally speaking, northern smallmouth bass live longer than their southern counterparts. When l… Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. Just as not all Southern bass grow to 10 pounds, not all Northern bass live to 19. I recall a conversation with Ronald Lindner about live bait. In general smallmouth do not grow as fast or get as big as largemouth bass. Smallmouth Bass will build nests close to where they built a nest the previous year. What is amazing, however, is that the bass in Rainy Lake are typical of smallmouth bass living at the northern limit of their range. The oldest reported age for smallmouth bass is 26 years. They were introduced east of the Appalachians just before the Civil War, and afterwards transplanted to the states of New England. Smallmouth bass spawn in quiet water near shore, or downstream from a boulder or other obstruction that breaks the force of the current. The smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of the order Perciformes.It is the type species of its genus. “Smallies," on the other hand, are slightly smaller than largemouth bass (Oregon state record is a little under nine pounds), tend to hang out in schools, and prefer cooler, clearer water. For river fishing, spinning tackle or fly tackle has been the most popular angling tools for smallmouth in North America for many years. They have been seen eating tadpoles, fish, aquatic insects, and crayfish. How Big Do They Get? (2019). In the early spring, they will move to secondary points in preparation for the spawn. [15] Smallmouth bass are not usually taken for the table, but rather are caught and released by most anglers. Check the Game & Fish Forecast for best times to catch smallmouth bass After targeting the right habitat, the next issue is using the best techniques. [6] Adults also cannibalize young of other parents. Expect shorter life spans ... 7 to 9 years in more southern waters where faster growth and longer growing seasons occur. Fishing Editor Gord Pyzer is widely regarded as Canada's most scientific angler. Indeed, what I always find interesting about fish and fish ages is that in a general sense, the faster a fish grows and sexually matures, the shorter its lifespan usually is. Keep a tight line or it will throw your hook. Peak spawning activity is in May. Smallmouth can also be taken in cool lakes like Lake Erie or any of the northern lakes. Smallmouth bass habitat is … Often when the water temperature is 55F to 57 F (13 C to 14 C). Rule 1: No largemouth bass in your smallmouth pond. The average smallmouths come in at less than 5 pounds, on average. [9][11], Today, smallmouth bass are very popular game fish, frequently sought by anglers using conventional spinning and bait casting gear, as well as fly fishing tackle. Even for the larger smallmouth, it normally takes 10 days or more before any re-nesting is attempted. Large Swedish Pimples—like the 3 ¼-inch, 1-ounce model —are staple lures for ice anglers, but they also get the job done when the water opens up. This has largely happened because bass fishing is now more popular as a hobby and a sport than it has ever been. Catch Gord Pyzer on Fish’n Canada Live with Angelo Viola and Pete Bowman. Lures that mimic baitfish, worms, crayfish, frogs, and mice are all effective. According to many, smallmouth typically put up a better, more exciting fight than any other black bass. Darryl determined that the quality 3½ pound plus smallmouth bass in this lake are 15 to 18 years old. As I mentioned to the reader, 16 years old is by no means the maximum age for a smallmouth bass living in Ontario. The North Fork Holston River again tops all of the others with a score of 13. That same 4-pound bass could be 6 or 7 years old, instead of 18 or 19. The fish in Northern Ontario, on the other hand, has the same number of  preordained heart beats, but because of our cold winters, it spreads them out, and thus has the potential to live to the ripe old age of 20 or more years old. The bottom structure varies also. 31 Oct. 2014. Fingerling smallmouth bass at 2-1/2 inches long. River water smallmouth that live in dark water tend to be rather torpedo-shaped and very dark brown to be more efficient for feeding. "Bass biology and identification" see section entitled, "Smallmouth Bass", Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Last edited on 26 December 2020, at 02:08, 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T202564A18230216.en, https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Micropterus_dolomieu/, "60 years ago today: World-record smallmouth caught", IGFA Smallmouth Bass All-Tack World Record, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Smallmouth_bass&oldid=996350537, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 26 December 2020, at 02:08. Great big smallmouth insects, and mice are all effective water near shore, or downstream from a or! Reaches 500 mm ( 20 in ) or more, in many Minnesota lakes and streams anything that moving! And oldest bass spawn first reels may be how long do smallmouth bass live, with line strengths of 6 to pounds! Mice are all effective breaks the force of the northern how long do smallmouth bass live bass is 5.4 kg ( 2-4 lbs ) Minnesota! 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