Smallmouth Bass (micropterus dolomieu)
Smallmouth bass is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family. One of the black bass species, smallmouth is a popular game fish sought by anglers throughout the temperate zones of North America.
The colour of smallmouth bass range from golden-olive to dark brown on its back and upper sides, fading to a yellowish white along its underside with dark brown vertical bars or blotches along the body and dark brown horizontal bars on the head.
The combination of the muscular body shape and camouflage-like colouring make these fish highly effective ambush predators. The protruding jaw of the smallmouth bass normally doesn’t extend past the eyes, which are red or brown. Males are generally smaller than females. The males tend to range around two pounds, while females can range from three to six pounds.
The smallmouth bass is found in clearer water than the largemouth, especially streams, rivers, and the rocky areas and stumps and also sandy bottoms of lakes and reservoirs. It can also survive in a stronger current than other black bass. The smallmouth prefers cooler water temperatures than its cousin the largemouth and may be found in both still and running water.
Smallmouth are carnivorous. Its diet comprises crayfish, amphibians, insects and smaller fish, while the larvae feed on various zooplankton and insect larvae. Adults also feed on the young of other smallmouth.
The smallmouth bass is potentially the toughest fighting freshwater fish in North America, which makes it a very popular game fish among anglers.
Smallmouth may be successfully caught on a wide range of natural and artificial baits or lures, including crankbaits bucktail jigs, plastic jerkbaits, artificial worms, spinnerbaits, and all types of soft plastic lures, including curly tail grubs or lead head tube jigs. Ultra-light to medium-heavy spinning or baitcasting outfits with line strengths of 6 to 15 pounds are commonly used. Braided line, such as Power Pro or Berkley X5 are recommended. Smallmouth typically put up a better, more exciting fight than any other black bass. Smallmouth are also targeted by fly fishers using a dry or wet artificial flies, nymphs, streamers, or imitations of larger aquatic creatures, such as crawfish or leeches. Floating topwater popper fly patterns and buzz baits are also popular.
Smallmouth inhabit three of Slippery Winds six lakes – Yoke Lake, Straw Lake and Sucan Lake. Smallmouth average 16 – 18 inches with good numbers of smallies over 10 inches caught and released each season by our guests.