Spring Smallmouth River Fishing Tips

Ahh, spring…a time of renewal and some kick butt smallmouth bass fishing!

We thought it would be great time to lay out some spring smallmouth fishing tips to help you catch a personal best smallie this year.

Spring Smallmouth River Fishing Tips

After a winter of low activity, smallmouth bass in rivers tend to become more active with every increase in water temperature.  River water temperatures can change quickly depending on weather and it can be difficult to know from one day to the next how the bass will behave.  They can be energetic and aggressive, going after just about anything that moves or they can be in more of a winter pattern and not want to chase a bait.

Finding Spring River Smallmouth Bass

This is probably the hardest part of spring fishing.  There are several factors that make this tough.  First is water levels.  When water levels are rising from spring rain or snow melt, bass will move out of current and locate themselves close to banks and protective cover.  Once levels begin to drop, they will tend to spread out and move in between their wintering holes and closer to spawning areas.  Don’t let stained, high water get you down.  Find areas where creeks come into the main river or look for clearer water and fish along the edge of this line.

Eddies, banks and wash out areas behind islands are great places to search for bass.  I like to use a search bait until I find smallies and then run through a few different presentations to see what they favor on that day.

Lures For Spring River Smallies

Options for search baits in spring include spinnerbaitsjerkbaitscrankbaits and throwing a tube or other weighted soft plastic jig in a particularly fishy looking location.  If you are not getting bit in a short period of time, keep moving.

When the water is stained, a slow rolled spinnerbait can be the ticket to a great day.  Keep it moving just enough for the blades to spin, You want to feel the bait bumping along the bottom and get ready to set the hook.  Bass are often near the bottom of the river in stained, high water.

Once you find some active bass, pick apart the area with different baits to figure out a pattern.  Once you find your pattern, begin to use that as your search bait until the fish tell you otherwise.

As smallmouth bass begin to fatten up for spawning, its common for anglers to catch their personal best bass in spring.  Let’s make this year that year for you!  If you do catch smallies, remember that you should take a quick picture, but then release the fish right back into the water, that way they can continue to spawn and grow for you to catch again..

Feel free to tell us your approach for spring river smallies by commenting below and please LIKE this post if you found it helpful.

Tight lines!