Targeting smallmouth bass early in the season is top priority for many anglers. Whether you call smallmouth bass smallies, bronzebacks, or brown bass, this much is certain: pound-for-pound, this fish species offer some of the best fighting action in freshwater. The bronze prizefighting fish pack a big punch, putting rods and drag to the test, peeling line as they run for the deep, then break the surface – sometimes all within a matter of seconds.
But first, you have to know where to find them based not only on their seasonal location, but smallies can relate by the day and even by the hour.
In early-season, using your eyes, today’s electronics, and run and gun search baits like the Rapala X-Rap or Storm 360GT can make pretty quick work of finding fish, whether they’re roaming flats, rocky reefs or points.
Then, once you find multiple smallies on the spot, it’s hard to beat crawfish imitators like soft-plastic tubes.
And as the sun warms the water —drawing crawfish and baitfish into the open— topwaters can also produce, even during the early-season while water temps are still pretty chilly.
The duo quickly zooms in on scrappy Canadian smallies with search baits and then switches to a wicked one-two punch of tubes and topwaters for epic early-season action.
also dives deeper into the biology of the smallmouth-crawfish connection
Al and Dan Lindner share a deadly one-two punch for early-season smallmouth bass at Branch’s Seine River Lodge in NW Ontario.