By Jack Mitchell
Smallmouth bass is regarded to be ranked among the hardest
fighting freshwater fish. It is also often referred to as the
brown bass, brownies, bronzebacks, smalls and smallies. Many
anglers and fishermen love the challenge of catching these
aggressive fishes and the great feeling after a well-fought
Smallmouth bass fishes are well thought-out by most people to
be the sportiest freshwater fish. They are known for their
fighting stamina and beyond belief leaping ability. Like
largemouths, they will take almost any kind of lure or bait,
but they commonly prefer smaller sizes. Favorites include
crankbaits, spinners, streamer flies, shiner minnow, crayfish,
hellgrammites, leeches, and nightcrawlers.
The jaw of a brown bass, which extends directly below the eye,
is smaller compared to that of a largemouth bass. Its cheeks
have from twelve to seventeen rows of scales and the dorsal
fins are joined with ten spines and thirteen to fourteen soft
It is golden bronze or brown in color, with a lighter, more
creamy underbelly that the largemouth which has a greenish
It has vertical dark bands or marks on the sides and its eyes
have a dash of red.
Most brownies weigh between 1 and 1.5 and they can run as high
as 4 or 5 pounds.
They have a preference of cool water, but will have a tendency
to follow food sources. It is sensitive to environmental
factors and can be greatly affected by polluted waters. Clean
rivers and lakes are necessary for them to survive. They will
move about from one habitat to another as temperature changes
throughout the year.
Smallies prefer rock strewn, gravelly hard bottoms. It is not
common for them to stay in areas with soft sandy or muddy
bottoms. Bronzebacks, which are found in rivers, usually
hangout in shallow rocky pools and ledges during the cooler
spring weather. It is also likely for them to settle on grass
beds and weedy patches growing on small islands and along the
banks, especially as the growth attracts forage. When the
heats up, they will tend to transfer to the deeper pools kin
rivers main channels, or to the faster moving parts of the
riffles that offer cooler water.
In lakes, they in general move to deeper water as the water
warms up. They cling to around structure and shade. Smallies
can be found in deeper grass and weed beds where forage and
cover is available.
They prefer to spawn in water temperatures within 62 to 65
degrees. They can usually be found spawning sometime between
April and June. They will spawn in depths of 2 to 10 feet. The
male cleans debris from a small circular area to create the
nest and guards it for about a month after spawning to allow
the fry to grow to swim freely.
The rocky lakes of Canadian Shield produce a perfect
environment for not only the large trophy of these species but
for a great number of other fishes. On Lake Panache, it is not
uncommon to catch your limit right off the dock of smallmouth.
If you are looking for big smallmouth bass then youíll
want to visit this lake. Smallmouths are one of the hardest
fighting fish in Canada but itís definitely easy to look for
in Lake Panache, its maybe because of the cool spring fed
that makes them extra scrappy and they also taste fantastic.
Northern Ontario is also well-known for big trophy brown bass
especially in Five Mile Lake. They are found off rocky points,
shoals, reeds and islands.
Even though this kind of fish is not a dominant specie in the
lake, it still has a healthy population and can still provide
full day of fishing if you go after them. They are usually
around 2 pounds but a fair number of 3 and 4 pounders are also
caught. Another lake which is in close proximity with the Five
Mile Lake also offers a good site for bass fishing, smallmouth
bass in particular.
One more lake in Ontario provides an excellent fishing,
particularly for smallmouth bass fishes. Norse Lake remains
calm even in windier days. The smallmouth bass population in
this lake reaches into the 5 pound class.
Truly, the Canadian coasts have a lot to offer especially when
we speak of Smallmouth Bass. Visit the net for more
information, tips and guides and see for yourself!
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